First Picture Frame

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Project by DaveWS posted 07-05-2011 02:14 AM 2289 views 1 time favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This is the first frame that I have made, actually its the first project that I have done! It is made of curly maple and purpleheart, what a mistake to use those two woods on my first project! I love curly maple, by far my favorite wood, however it is a real PAIN to machine! I have since decided that I will not try much more with it until I build a workbench and get some hand planes! I have tried all the tips to machine it, like running it at an angle through the planer and even dampening the wood first, but no matter how much I try to plane it I get bad tear out. I even have a spiral cutterhead in my planer and it is still hard to do! I used miter keys (I think that is what they are called!) in the corners of the frame which I really wished I would have used the maple instead of the purpleheart. But I think that it turned out ok for the first frame! The last picture shows a bad beginners mistake. I had the rabbets going good on the frame but the glass would fit on the narrow side but was a bit short on the long side so I thought I would just cut the rabbets a little deeper on the end two pieces! I never thought about it not lining up right when I glued the frame together. Gotta love rookies huh! Thanks for looking.

-- {Dave}

9 comments so far

View mmh's profile


3677 posts in 3868 days

#1 posted 07-05-2011 03:07 AM

Beautifully done! The multi-directional grain of the fiddle back maple is a real bugger to work with on planers. I do mostly rounded, 3-D work so my applications are different than your flat surface needs, but I have a dining room table made from this and had the same problems with tear out. The best solution was to sand it down and that takes time and energy but the table style and finish was left somewhat rustic (live edge & pits) so I wouldn’t be upset when the finish was scratched or dented through it’s life.

Gorgeous piece!

-- "They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night." ~ Edgar Allan Poe

View Mark Blomster's profile

Mark Blomster

107 posts in 3131 days

#2 posted 07-05-2011 04:09 AM

That’s a nice frame! I am working on some almost identical frames that have curly maple with a wenge border. I thickness my frame stock on the tablesaw with a good blade and then use a drum sander. Thanks for posting! Nice work.

View Shawn Sealer's profile

Shawn Sealer

168 posts in 3260 days

#3 posted 07-05-2011 06:24 AM

Love the grain and the edge banding Looks great!

-- -Shawn

View RKW's profile


328 posts in 3593 days

#4 posted 07-05-2011 06:26 AM

im impressed David, nice work on the frame and the picture you selected seems to compliment it as well.
your miters look great, we wont even discuss the first ones that i cut. And the mishap on the back, well… that makes for good experience and fortunately it was on the back and not the front.

-- RKWoods

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3214 days

#5 posted 07-05-2011 02:14 PM

Great job!!

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View 58j35bonanza's profile


395 posts in 2838 days

#6 posted 07-05-2011 06:17 PM

Looks great! nice job on the miters.

-- Chuck

View DaveWS's profile


11 posts in 2832 days

#7 posted 07-06-2011 01:59 AM

Thanks for the nice comments.
Mark – a drum sander is definately on my list of stuff to buy, however I am definately on a budget!

-- {Dave}

View Roger's profile


20948 posts in 2950 days

#8 posted 06-10-2012 11:04 PM

A super nice frame with gr8 wood combos. Very nicely done.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Dusty56's profile


11822 posts in 3834 days

#9 posted 07-27-2012 02:12 AM

Very well done for your first , and I’m sure it won’t be your last : )

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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