NOTE: Stiles are made from s/a"-thick stock, rails are Vt" thick. Back are Vt" plywood

NOTE: Frame built with offset tongue and groove joints

You'll find it's pretty easy to change the horizontal frame to a vertical frame. All you need to do is change a few dimensions. The top and bottom pieces are shortened and the sides are lengthened.

What makes this mantel frame unique is its ability to stand on its own. Most free-standing frames like this are ready just wall frames with a wobbly, hinged flap to hold it up. This frame rests on a solid base. And a removable top makes it easy to get at the picture inside,

TWO FRAMES IN ONE, But these frames have a couple of other features that are worth mentioning. First, these frames don't have a solid back. Because there's a glass pane in the front and die back, you can actually display two photos in one frame at the same time.

The other feature is that the frame can be easily modified to be either vertical or horizontal, as you can see in the photo above. The details for both are the same, only the lengths of the parts change. You can find the changes in the drawing at left.

I started building this frame from the bottom up. The bottom (A) is simply a piece of 5/s"-thick stock cut to size with a slight (10") bevel cut on all four edges.

Safety Note: Since the size of die parts are so small, I did most of the shaping of the bottom, sides, and top on extra-long blanks.

MAKING THE SIDES. Next, I made the sides (B). They have two details cut in them. First, a groove to hold the pictures. Second, bevels to match the bottom and top (made later).

The first step in making the sides is to cut the centered groove. I sized the groove to hold two pieces of glass and two photos, as you can see in detail 'a' on the opposite page. The groove is cut in two passes on the table saw.

CUTTING THE 8EVEIS: Once the grooves are cut, the next step is to cut the bevels on each face. You can see how I did this in the box on the bottom of the opposite page. I tilted the saw blade 10° and crept up on the final fence setting. The blade just shaves the top comer of the blank without leaving a fiat spot on the edge. Then you can flip the workpiece around and cut the other side. The sides can then be cut to final length.

The last piece to make is the removable top (C). It shares the same bevel detailing as the bottom. The only difference is that the top is 3/s" thick, as shown in detail 'b.'

ASSEMBLING THE FRAME. With all the parts made, you can now assemble them into the frame. I used two different methods for joining the top and bottom to the sides, as shown in the box below.

To secure the bottom, 1 simply used screws. The reason for tl\is is the joint here is end grain, which makes a poor glue joint. I started by marking and drilling shank holes in the bottom. Next, I attached the sides to the bottom with some carpet tape and marked the screw holes with a brad point bit (center drawing). Then remove the sides and drill the pilot holes for the screws. The dimples left by the brad point bit will also keep the bit from wandering.

ADDING THE TOP. For the top, it needed to be easily removed to get at the photos inside. To do that, I attached it with dowels. A pair of dowels is glued in the frame sides. A pair of holes in the top fit over the dowels and keep it in place.

The first step is to mark and drill holes in the sides. Then I used dowel centers to mark the location for the holes in the top. Finally you can glue short pieces of dowel in the sides (detail 'b') and the frame is ready for pictures. C9

How-To; Assembly Details

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