I knew my wife wanted to paint the frame, so why spend money on expensive hardwood? I bought an 8’ long 2×10 (if I remember the size correctly) and let it acclimate in my shop for a week or two. I started by planing the board down to just over an inch thick, then I cut out the four pieces I would need – approximately 4.5” x 39”. I was able to cut around most of the knots in the wood and really you could never tell these came from construction lumber.
The first steps were a cove cut on one long edge with a rabbit on the bottom which the chalkboard would recess into.
Next came time for the outside profile. Because the design is symmetric, I made a half template from cardboard and used this to lay out all four blanks.
I cut well outside the lines on my (crappy little) bandsaw, then used a sanding drum in the drill press to sand to the lines.
And a bit of filing to clean up the inside corner.
Now that I had one piece completed, it could serve as a template for the other 3. I rough cut them all out on the bandsaw, then used carpet tape and a flush trim bit in the router table to produce 4 identical pieces.