Swirl Frame

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Project by DesertWoodGuy posted 07-22-2010 05:24 PM 2761 views 20 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This stained glass frame was my first commissioned piece. The frame is 6 feet by 3 feet and made of two laminated 4/4 curly Maple with 8/4 Mesquite corner pieces in a design I call a swirl joint. The finish is 3 coats of satin Tung oil with a buffing of Johnson’s paste wax.

This frame had to carry a massively heavy stained glass panel (not my work, but crafted by Ochoa Stained Glass). The joint transition from maple to mesquite was done with a template and router, then joined with four dowels and wood glue. Miter joint is strengthened with three offset Ebony splines. Afterward, I added a heavy guage countersunk screw at each corner (just to be safe) with an elipse plug.

The frame is hung by twin steel cables on each side. However, I still worried about the frame supporting that much weight. So, after thinking about it for few days I came upon a solution thanks to some of my own stained glass work. Before complete assembly of the frame, soldered steel cable along the full length of the vertical sides of the stained glass panel. I then slid the stained glass panel into the dadoed groove of the three sided frame, drilled a hole running up through the top of the frame cap, ran the attached cable through that, then attached, glued, and splined the frame cap. The top cables were attached to the side cables, then to heavy hooks. To this day, after several years, the wood has shown no stress. thankfully.

-- Matt - WildFire Designs

8 comments so far

View mtnwild's profile


3474 posts in 2615 days

#1 posted 07-22-2010 05:38 PM

That’s very cool!! Like it lots!

I’ve thought of that sort of corner but you really did a great job on that and helped clarify my thinking on it. Thanks and fantastic project!!

-- mtnwild (Jack), It's not what you see, it's how you see it.

View deucefour's profile


285 posts in 2342 days

#2 posted 07-22-2010 06:24 PM

I can see why you would not want that thing to have the come-aparts!! Nice problem solving and Great work!


View Richard 's profile


394 posts in 2209 days

#3 posted 07-22-2010 06:31 PM

Nice job, but I have to say my eyes were fooled when I first looked at it. I thought it was orientated differently and I couldn’t figure out how you put the splines in. But taking a second look, everything looks normal. I think the stained area has something to do with the optical illusion which affected my eye. But very creative job.

-- Richard Boise, Idaho

View HokieMojo's profile


2103 posts in 2816 days

#4 posted 07-22-2010 08:15 PM

that is great. didn’t anyone tell you the frame shouldn’t steal attention from the main piece though (-: I guess the two will have to share the attention. both are very nice.

View Div's profile


1653 posts in 2028 days

#5 posted 07-22-2010 10:29 PM

Me like! Good work.

-- Div @ the bottom end of Africa. "A woodworker's sharpest tool should be his mind."

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2703 posts in 2374 days

#6 posted 07-22-2010 11:37 PM

I like the unique design

Thanks for sharing—well done

-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

View a1Jim's profile (online now)


113823 posts in 2665 days

#7 posted 07-22-2010 11:53 PM

Nice work and design.

-- Custom furniture

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 2862 days

#8 posted 07-23-2010 02:23 AM

Very nicely done. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

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