Picture Frames with Epoxy Perimeter Inlay

After spending so much time moving the shop, it’s time to make a quick project and have some fun in the shop.  I thought a picture frame would be a good fundamental quick project and an epoxy boarder would add a bit of fun and experimentation to the project.

I pulled a couple of contrasting boards for this project.  I have some high temp thermally modified ash that I got from a viewer several years ago.  I believe this is an offcut of decking.  I also had a narrow board of birch.  My inlaws bought me a stack of wet lumber for christmas about 10 years ago.  That was the first stack of lumber that I dried myself.

I’ll start off by prepping the stock.  The birch gets jointed and planed flat and the ash has the molding profile removed and then ripped into strips.

I’ll start the profiling by making the rabbet for the glass and backer.  This is a 1/4″ x 1/4″ rabbet that I’ll make in two passes.

I’ll cut a groove for the epoxy and then add a bevel to the inside edge.

Because I’m not creative enough to come up with two designs, the birch gets a similar profile.  I was going to make one large groove for the epoxy but in the middle of clearing out the waste, I thought it might be cool to have two grooves with a bit of wood between them.

With the profiling complete, we can move on to cutting the miters.  I know many people find creating perfect fitting mitered frames challenging and my biggest piece of advice is to check and verify your cuts for accuracy.  Many people put a lot of effort into setting up their saws for a perfect cut but them never check the actual result of the cut.  Here are a few things to check:

  • Verify that the cut is straight/flat.  When using a miter gauge, the workpeice can be pulled into the blade as the cut is being made resulting in a cut that is curved.  Check that the cut is straight with a straightedge.
  • Verify that the cut is 45 degrees.  Many people check this with a combination square placing the body of the square on the edge and running the blade along the cut.  I like to reverse that and place the body on the cut and use the blade along the edge.  The blade can extend a longer distance which will help exaggerate any error making it easier to see.  It also goes without saying to make sure you’re using a good trustworthy square for this check.
  • Verify that the cut is 90 degrees.  This is the easiest one.  The cut should be nice and square from top to bottom

The other big accuracy thing with frames is that the two opposing sides are exactly the same length.  This can be done with a stop block or by gang cutting.

After checking the fit, we can proceed with glue up.  I’m using epoxy here primarily because I’ll be pouring epoxy into the grooves.  I’ll be able to do the pour without having to wait for the miter glue to cure.  I’m using TotalBoat Traditional 5:1 epoxy for the glue up and the pour.

Into the ash frame, I’ll pour epoxy with copper pigment.

Into the wider inside groove I went with a blue pigment with some micro pearl which will give it some iridescence.

Into the outer groove I with with black and micro pearl.

After the epoxy cures, I can flush it up and finish sand the frame.  For a quick finish I used a semigloss lacquer in a spray can.

Lastly I can cut some glass for each frame and install the hardware.

Products Used
Triton Jig Saw: https://amzn.to/2PedA0a​
Push Blocks: http://amzn.to/2yQD24r​
Miterset: http://miterset.myshopify.com/?aff=10​
Combo Square: https://amzn.to/3bdqbhh​
Copper Pigment: https://amzn.to/3u4m5Re​
Black Pigment: https://amzn.to/3jTxmPN​
Micropearl: https://amzn.to/3jTh7lP​
Blue Pigment: https://amzn.to/3jT8k3g​
Band Clamp: https://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/merle_clamp.html
Triton TGEOS 6″ Sander: https://amzn.to/3u3khI9​
Triton RO 5″ Sander: https://amzn.to/2NdMmfl​

Total Boat 5:1 Epoxy: https://www.totalboat.com/product/totalboat-epoxy-kits/
Use coupon code cremona15 to save 15% off your first purchase on totalboat.com

Check out the Free Picture Frame Project
https://thewoodwhispererguild.com/product/picture-frames/

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