Trestle Frame #215

I’m sure I’m not the only one that is inspired by seeing work that others have done. My wife recently completed a painting; At the Station which had a woman sitting on a chair. The chair reminded me of an architectural detail often found in a trestle. Then, I saw this frame in a pizza parlor and it inspired me to refine it. As you can see in the picture I took, it is a barnwood type of frame obviously stapled together which isn’t my style! What attracted me was the diagonal piece place at the corners; it just adds an interesting element which mimicked the chair the subject of the painting is sitting on.

The frame is made of Roasted Oak and is my typical construction. The panel and outer cap are tongue and groove. First step is to miter, biscuit, and glue the panel section. The cap is then mitered and glued and clamped to the panel. I’m old school and keep things clamped over-night. The following day the pieces were milled to put in the corners. To my eye, the inspiration frame looked crude so my goal was to refine that. Rather than just staple that piece into the corner my choice was to inset it across the cap, this way it added a detail on the side of the frame too.

The first step was where to position the angled piece on the corners. Rather than just staple it in (like the inspiration frame) I thought it would better if it was inset into the frame and the end grain would add some interest to the sides of frame. The process was similar to cutting a hinge mortise; locate and cut one side then slide the piece in position to just cover the kerf and mark the other side. I use an old Stanley #271 router plane to not only smooth the bottom but also to mark the depth of the cut. Had to be careful with the chisels since this Oak is pretty grainy and the process used to “roast” it leaves the wood very dry and brittle.

The frame was finished with Osmo Polyx which gives a very nice, deep black color and still allows the wood grain to show. Two coats, wet sanded in followed by a coat of Liberon Black Bison Wax and the frame is ready for the painting. Here’s are the final results, the painting measures 20″ square and is oil on panel:


About woodworksbyjohn

I'm a retired woodshop teacher. I build one of a kind furniture pieces and custom picture frames. You can see some of my currently available work, boxes, carvings through my Etsy store: Contact me about your project -- always up for the challenge of unique work.
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1 Response to Trestle Frame #215

  1. This turned out great! I especially like the way you took an idea and really elevated it.


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