As a furniture maker for me it’s all about the wood so when I get an artist client that needs a frame and wants it made of wood in all its natural beauty I get excited! I just completed this 16″ x 20″ frame for Scottsdale artist Devon Meyer.
The majority of frames tend to be either gilded or painted black. Being able to showcase the beauty of the wood is a treat. The profile is just under 3″ in width and it is 6/4 Black Walnut from Woodworkers Source here in Phoenix. After going through their entire stock I found a piece without any sapwood but now, looking at the finished frame it was well worth it. Frames in the Mission style constructed of solid wood with exposed joinery are beautiful and I love creating them.
The first step was to use my Powermatic planer to make the board a uniform thickness, there will always be a slight variation in wood so this step is important if you want nice, tight joinery. After that it’s time to hand plane the edge to prepare it for ripping which is done with my corrugated sole, #7 Stanley plane that dates to the late 1800’s! The tablesaw is used to cut the rabbet for the painting and also the 20° bevel on the sight edge. Once all of the tablesaw work is done, all surface are gone over with a #4 Bronze Smooth plane. As good as the helix head on the Powermatic is you can’t compare it to the finish a smooth plane will give you.
The final step to creating this profile was to cut a single bead on the outer edge. For this I used a router bit and cleaned up any chatter with a tadpole sander. Now that the profile is complete it’s time to miter the ends and then assemble the frame with glue and #20 biscuits. It’s not too unusual for me to get questions about how I miter my frames so this is a good opportunity to share the jig I built for my tablesaw, I use it in conjunction with a Tenyru 72 tooth blade to get super smooth cuts.
The finish used is Osmo Polyx oil which has become my “go to” finish ever since Watco changed their formulation many years ago. My client picked up the frame this afternoon and I installed her painting for her. The painting was commissioned to her by the owner of the compound, she really captured the beautiful desert scenery and sky of area around Payson Arizona.