Friday, February 18, 2011

How to make a floater frame- Part 2

Ok, so you've done as the bottle of wood glue instructed and dutifully waited overnight for your two pieces of wood to glue together. Now time for cutting! First, measure the sides of the painting you're framing.
This particular painting is 5"x7".  Think about if you want some space between the edge of your picture and the frame so that the picture looks like it's hovering (hence the name "floater frame") or if you want the frame to butt right up to the picture. Is that the right version of "butt" to use? Maybe it's butte. Anyway, I digress. The measuring will be a little easier if plan on the picture hovering because you have a tiny bit of leeway. 

First, you're going to cut one end of your board at the angle that it will need to be to make the corner of your frame. Set your miter saw (or miter box) to a 45 degree angle. Obviously, it's important to make sure that the cut is angled in the correct direction. You want the cut to slant toward what will be the inside of the frame (see picture below). 

Since I want my painting to float in the frame, I'm going to mark my board at 7 1/2" for the 2 longer sides of the painting. It's important also to clamp your board to your saw (see below). Please please please don't get near the blade. Clamping the board enables you to concentrate on what you're doing rather than worrying about holding the wood in place. Also, don't forget your goggles. I actually wear goggles, respirator mask, and earplugs. Not stylish, but I'm well protected. 
Don't forget the clamp the wood to the saw. If the piece is long you may need two clamps.

Now it's time to make your cuts! You'll have to swivel the saw to cut 45 degrees in the opposite direction for each end of each piece. Make sure your cut pieces match the piece that will be opposite them in size. Once you have all of your pieces cut, add glue to one end of each piece and put your frame together.
Your strap clamp will keep everything firmly in place while the glue dries. Don't forget to wipe up the excess glue! Once the clamp in on the frame and tightened, it should look like this:

I admit, I had a hard time tightening the clamp all the way at first since it didn't come with instructions, but then I figured out that after the crank is turned as far as it will go, you can then turn the long red wooden handle to the right to tighten it further.
Once again, be patient and let it dry over night. I think I forgot to mention wood filler on our supply list. We'll need that for the next step, so go ahead and get some. I'll go back and add it to the initial list for those of you just joining me.

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