Large picture frame commission #1: Making carving samples and the frame.

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Blog entry by Roger Strautman posted 04-13-2008 03:43 AM 3880 reads 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Large picture frame commission series Part 2: Carving completed »

Finally back with the next steps in this project. Chip carving relies heavily on shadows so when designing the frame profile I had to make sure that the angle of the frame wasn’t to much or to little other wise the carvings won’t show up under the lighting of the picture. Making the frame was a trial and err process for me. The first picture shows how I was able to get both pieces that make up the frame with one angled cut and by flipping the small piece over.



I also made several samples of ideas I had for some of the elements in the carving.



After I had my designs decided I the made a sample corner of the frame for the customer to approve. The frame is made of basswood. I am going to have a good friend of mine how is a decorative painter do the glazing finishing on this.



That’s all for now and the next time I should have some pictures of the carving process.

-- " All Things At First Appear Difficult"

12 comments so far

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3844 days

#1 posted 04-13-2008 03:50 AM

Hi Roger,

Thanks for the post on carving. I enjoy making frames but would not dream of trying to carve elements like this into them. Having the ability to carve is a gift. But as a non-carver I enjoy seeing this talent expressed by those who have these skills.

From what I can see you have created a unique frame.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View pappyjohn's profile


138 posts in 3735 days

#2 posted 04-13-2008 05:04 AM

Hello Roger, Very Nice way to make some very cool wood Frames. I haven’t made any frames myself yet, but the wifes been after me to make some. I especially like how you’ve made them and have given them that extra special touch with the Carving. Keep up the great work…..your brother in woodworking John

-- Your Brother in WoodWorking John, Pittsburgh , PA.

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4423 days

#3 posted 04-13-2008 05:49 AM

Roger a great looking frame. A nice job.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4010 days

#4 posted 04-13-2008 06:33 AM

Great looking frame. Man, I wish I could carve.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Colin's profile


246 posts in 3943 days

#5 posted 04-13-2008 11:30 AM

Hi Roger excellent work as usual, I appreciate the story of how you progress the design through to the finished frame.

-- Colin, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. "Every craftsman was once an amateur"

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3985 days

#6 posted 04-13-2008 03:20 PM

That’s a dandy, Roger. But, we expect that from you!!!LOL

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4183 days

#7 posted 04-13-2008 03:43 PM

Thank you for showing the options .. I like watching how people “think through” the process!
great job

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View DustyNewt's profile


671 posts in 3884 days

#8 posted 04-13-2008 04:06 PM

Great frame, Roger. I want to thank you for the angle cutting method for getting a deeper frame. So simple I never would have thought of it. It opens all kind of options for me.

-- Peace in Wood ~

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6859 posts in 4002 days

#9 posted 04-13-2008 04:26 PM

Hi Roger;

Wow! Very creative.

Obviously you have some very sharp chisels to get clean cuts like that.

Is that tulip poplar?

Great job!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Joel Tille's profile

Joel Tille

213 posts in 4266 days

#10 posted 04-13-2008 04:47 PM

Thanks for posting, like the thought process for design and great frame. Look forward to the carving lesson.

-- Joel Tille

View Roger Strautman's profile

Roger Strautman

656 posts in 4156 days

#11 posted 04-13-2008 05:36 PM

Thank you everyone! It sure makes me feel good that what I offer with the carving is accepted here on LJ, all though with chip carving I do have to make what I carve on.

Lee, the wood is basswood and I use only one knife to carve all of these elements on the frame. I only use a knife on soft woods but on hard woods I will use chisels to make the initial cuts then I will go back over all the cuts with a knife to give them the machined look. It’s a lot of work but the end result is perfection or at least I like to think so. LOL!

-- " All Things At First Appear Difficult"

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4322 days

#12 posted 04-13-2008 09:14 PM


As usual you came through with another beautiful creation.

It looks like the Basswood took the stain real well. I’ve had problems blotching when I stain it.

I like the design of the frame, it looks great.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

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