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Picture Frame

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Project by TomFran posted 08-08-2007 12:33 AM 1870 views 0 times favorited 23 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here is a simple frame I made for my son.

It is constructed from MDF, since he wanted it black. I used biscuits to join the components together, and eased the inside and outside edges. The back is rabbeted to take the glass and the mat.

I used joint compound to seal the edges and produce a smooth finish (a method that I learned about in a FWW article). I applied a lacquer based primer and then a semi-flat enamel.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28





23 comments so far

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6651 posts in 2646 days


#1 posted 08-08-2007 12:36 AM

Hi Tom;

Good job on the frame.

That joint compound trick works real well. We use it often.

Lee

-- by Lee A. Jesberger http://www.prowoodworkingtips.com http://www.ezee-feed.com

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2942 posts in 2661 days


#2 posted 08-08-2007 12:42 AM

Thanks a lot, Lee!

The tricks of the trade. I also read the you could use a glue size to keep the MDF from being a problem, but I decided to go with the messier joint compound, and it worked well. It really wasn’t that bad sanding it smooth.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Max's profile

Max

55971 posts in 2940 days


#3 posted 08-08-2007 12:47 AM

Very nice looking frame Tom. I agree with Lee the joint compound trick works very well and it is easy to sand.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2942 posts in 2661 days


#4 posted 08-08-2007 12:54 AM

Thank you Max!

The MDF is actually a nice product to work with as far as cutting, routing, and being a stable material. The only down side is the dust it creates.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4435 posts in 2629 days


#5 posted 08-08-2007 01:09 AM

good frame Tom. I’ve watched a couple remodelers in Boise build complex crown mold from MDF and then caulk the gaps and paint it. My son-in-law does this on MDF trim. It looks molded when he gets done. I’ve used joint compound to fill holes or gouges on paint finish wood. It really works well.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2942 posts in 2661 days


#6 posted 08-08-2007 01:13 AM

Thos.,

Thanks much. So many tricks to learn – so little time ;^D

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View Don's profile

Don

2600 posts in 2844 days


#7 posted 08-08-2007 03:26 AM

Quote TomFran: ”The only down side is the dust it creates.”

Tom, I don’t know if this statement simply refers to the dust or the health dangers inherent in inhaling the dust. Some go so far as to say that the urea formaldehydes used in the manufacture is carcinogenic but from my reading, the jury is out on this. Never-the-less, there is no question that the fine dust that is created by milling MDF is a real problem. I think history will someday show that any foreign particles ingested into ones lungs will eventually host carcinogenic cells; coal, tobacco, asbestos, etc.

So a cautious person will take extreme care to avoid inhalation of MDF dust. A good dust extraction system is a first step, but additionally, one must wear a respirator, or a very good personal dust filter.

The main big box lumber retailer in Australia no longer custom cuts MDF. They take it from their suppliers in full sheet sizes and cut to smaller sub-sizes for the DIY market – they refuse to subject their employees to the daust created from cutting it down to any custom size.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://www.dpb-photos.com/

View Don's profile

Don

2600 posts in 2844 days


#8 posted 08-08-2007 03:27 AM

Nicely done, Tom.

Did you give any thought to making this without joints (ie cutting it from one piece)?

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!" http://www.dpb-photos.com/

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2942 posts in 2661 days


#9 posted 08-08-2007 03:52 AM

”Did you give any thought to making this without joints (ie cutting it from one piece?” – Don

Don,

That is an excellent question. Now that you mentioned it, it would have been a great way to go. I actually have a bathroom cabinet whose doors (with glass in them) are made from one piece. Where were you when I needed you, Don! ;^D It would have eliminated a lot of extra steps (biscuits / clamping / gluing, etc.

That’s why I come to this site – to learn more from the seasoned pro’s. Thanks for the tip!

By the way, Don. I did wear a good quality 3M mask while I made my dust, and then blew out the garage when I was done with my leaf blower ;^D

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View cajunpen's profile

cajunpen

14395 posts in 2733 days


#10 posted 08-08-2007 09:07 AM

Nice frame Tom. It brings up a topic that is of a big concern for me personally. I have some lung issues – mostly my own fault from years of smoking – I have really been cautious with my woodworking. I have DC in the shop, as well as an overhead air filtration system (Jet) and I use a Trend Airshield for any really dusty projects, sanding mostly.

I had been thinking of redoing all of the door frames in my house doing a fluted design with MDF – think I will use Poplar instead.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased." http://www.cajunpen.com/

View TheGravedigger's profile

TheGravedigger

963 posts in 2691 days


#11 posted 08-08-2007 12:45 PM

Our house was trimmed with MDF. It looks great UNTIL IT GETS DAMP! Even the steam from the deep fryer caused one of the kitchen cabinet doors to deform with ugly lumps. I’ll leave the bathroom leak to your imagination. I’ve stuck with wood for all the fixes.

-- Robert - Visit my woodworking blog: http://littlegoodpieces.wordpress.com

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2942 posts in 2661 days


#12 posted 08-08-2007 02:10 PM

Bill & Robert,

I guess that brings up whether MDF is a good choice for a project, or whether we should really consider another type of solution. I suppose for a substrate, it would be a good choice, but for anything else maybe we should use solid wood.

Who knows, maybe someday there will be a whole bunch of lawsuits, like there is for asbestos, for those who have been exposed to this (like me). Oh well, maybe my wife will get to be a millionaire after all ;^D

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2827 days


#13 posted 08-08-2007 08:34 PM

gorgeous frame.

Now.. info on the special treasure inside??

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

View TomFran's profile

TomFran

2942 posts in 2661 days


#14 posted 08-08-2007 09:21 PM

Debbie, Thanks for the nice comment.

The “treasure inside” is a picture of my son performing on a 9’ Bosendorfer grand piano with a mat surrounding it containing comments written from those who attended his senior piano recital.

It is indeed a treasure to him which reminds him of a milestone of achievement. This fall he’ll begin his post graduate work at the University of South Carolina with his major being piano performance. He is a very gifted concert pianist and will be studying under a world class teacher. My wife and I are grateful for how he has developed his God-given talent in music.

Thanks for asking.

-- Tom, Surfside Beach, SC - Romans 8:28

View MsDebbieP's profile

MsDebbieP

18615 posts in 2827 days


#15 posted 08-09-2007 05:56 PM

he has not only been given the gift of his talent but also the gift of great parents who support him in such a way that he follows the gift rather than trying to avoid it, as some do.

My daughter is a Music Grad and I was always in awe of all of musicians at that level, but especially the pianists, since I shall always remain at a Grade II level.

This picture truly is a symbol of his journey!

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (https://www.facebook.com/DebbiePribeleENJOConsultant)

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