Ebonized Walnut Frame with Half-lap miters

  • Advertise with us
Project by PeteMoss posted 10-26-2010 04:58 PM 3551 views 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

About five years ago, my wife and I went on a trip to Savannah. Down by the river we had our portrait drawn by one of the street artists. That picture has sat on our dresser since then while we hemmed and hawwed about what frame to put it in. I finally decided to just make one. I knew that we wanted to fairly simple black frame, but I had never made one before and was very unsure of myself.

I decided to use some of the walnut left over from my coffee table project. I did spend some extra time with the grain, using the same technique that I do on boxes to get the grain to flow all the way around the frame. Too bad you can’t see it now that it is ebonized.

I tried a few new things to me. I cut half-lap miters which you can see in the third picture. I had a hard time making these, but they really worked well especially during glue-up and made is feel very sturdy. I also had never ebonized anything before. I used vinegar that had steel wool soaking in it for a couple of weeks. It really did work great, turning it solid black with a few brownish streaks.

All in all a pretty enjoyable and educational project.

-- "Never measure......cut as many times as necessary." - PeteMoss

5 comments so far

View lew's profile


12102 posts in 3780 days

#1 posted 10-26-2010 05:42 PM

Beautiful frame and the joints look super- nice and tight.

The finish and mat selection really compliment the sketch.

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View shipwright's profile


7992 posts in 2823 days

#2 posted 10-26-2010 05:56 PM

Well done, nice corners and proportions. In our current house I did all the interior architectural trim and cabinets in Walnut and ebonized a lot of contrast details. Walnut does a pretty good imitation of Ebony, not quite as black as the Gabon stuff but I have some Madagascar Ebony that is almost indistinguishable from the Walnut.

Again, nice work

Paul m

-- Paul M ..............If God wanted us to have fiberglass boats he would have given us fibreglass trees.

View Manasseh's profile


122 posts in 2827 days

#3 posted 10-26-2010 06:15 PM

I never thought about miter with a half lap before. Thanks for posting. I am going to try it because that sounds nice and strong. I currently struggle with the whole putting splines (i think that is what everyone calls it) into the miter joints. I wonder if the 1/2 lap miter thing will work on boxes. hmmmmm.
Thanks again for the post.

-- Someday I will be more than a sawdust wisperer

View mtkate's profile


2049 posts in 3350 days

#4 posted 10-27-2010 12:28 AM

Thanks for posting this. I wanted to try ebonizing with the method you describe. It took a full two weeks for the steel wool to be ready?

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 3698 days

#5 posted 10-27-2010 01:14 AM

Thats a beautiful frame.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics