Large Walnut Picture Frame

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Project by WirelessWoodworker posted 04-07-2015 07:50 PM 1215 views 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Got finished this frame last weekend and I think it turned out pretty nice.

This is a very large frame, which measures 16” x 60” inside the opening and 1-1/4” thick. It was constructed out of a single piece of 8/4 walnut and was made almost entirely with hand tools (I did use the table saw at one point). The corners have an oak spline for a little added strength. For the finish, I didn’t want the frame to detract from the picture inside, so it’s just one coat of low gloss tung oil mixed 50/50 with mineral spirits.

I can’t take credit for the matting, which was done by my sister, who used to be a professional framer. She managed to incorporate the same “stepped” profile design from the frame into the mat, which ties everything together nicely. It also gives a nice zoom effect, which fits nicely with the panoramic satellite picture inside. The pictures above were taken before the glass was installed, but it’s all finished now.

I really don’t like doing miters, so I tend to stay away from frames, but this was a present for my father, so couldn’t turn it down! The story of the picture is actually pretty cool. This was one of the first high-resolution satellite photos taken from space (a copy of which is hanging in the Smithsonian). My grandfather played a key role in designing the camera system for the satellite which took it (a CIA satellite, but all has been de-classified now, so I can talk about it!) back in the mid to late 60’s. We take these things for granted now with Google Maps etc, but you can easily make out individual cars in this massive image (along with the top and bottom horizon lines), which was pretty amazing 50 years ago.

Anyway, hope you all enjoy! My sister and I presented it to my father this past weekend and he loved it.

If you want to read about the construction process, feel free to take a look at my blog posts:
Brim Studio Walnut Picture Frame (links to all the parts at the bottom)

-- Tim, Delaware,

3 comments so far

View Northwest29's profile


1469 posts in 1910 days

#1 posted 04-07-2015 08:25 PM

Nice looking project, well done. Like the ‘zoom’ effect. Glad you said what was in the frame I was having a real difficult time trying to figure it out.

-- Ron, Eugene, OR, "Curiosity is a terrible thing to waste."

View WirelessWoodworker's profile


54 posts in 676 days

#2 posted 04-07-2015 11:37 PM

Nice looking project, well done. Like the zoom effect. Glad you said what was in the frame I was having a real difficult time trying to figure it out.

- Northwest29

Thanks Ron. Yep, the photos aren’t the greatest. At 5’ long it was hard to get everything in the shot and the pictures are so detailed you can’t see any of it! For size reference, the shiny strip near the center of each picture is the Potomac river as it passes through the DC area.

-- Tim, Delaware,

View Hazem's profile


50 posts in 667 days

#3 posted 04-09-2015 01:15 AM

Very cool! Love the story behind the project.

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