A friend of mine knows I’m into wood working and wants to take material from an old wooden outdoor play set and have me make picture frames from the materials for her family.  They can enjoy the picture that goes in the frame but the frame itself they used to play on when they were smaller.

The material she brought me was 1×4 redwood that had been dried and weathered in the Arizona desert for 15 years or more. The lengths were mostly 24” to 32” so I decided on 20×16” frames with mitered corners.  She didn’t want it sanded or planed she wanted the old look and feel. (picture #1)

To give the frame some depth to the frames I ripped the 1×4  taking off a 1.25” piece. (picture #2) (For the picture I removed the blade guard for clarity.  Also you’ll notice the saw was not running).

Next I cut a shallow rabbet into the 1.25 piece. (picture #3) I turned it on edge and glued and it into the remaining 2.25” piece to hide the new wood but more importantly hid the irregular edge of the old wood. (picture #4).

I then cut a 3/8 x 3/8 rabbet to hold the glass, matting, and picture. (picture #5) I back routed the rabbit to limit tear out and blow out of knots in the wood. (Note: back routing can be dangerous as the bit can grab the work piece and propel in the direction of the bit pulling your hand into the bit.  Use plush block and take very small cuts.)

I then made two witness sticks, one 20” and the other 16” that is the standard size of the 20×16 mat that goes in the frame. I also cut a 20×16 piece of hardboard to help double check my sizing and help keep the frame square during glue up.

I mitered one corner of each piece. (picture #6)   I then used my witness stick plus 1/8” and marked the length for the next cut. (picture #7)  Here again the irregularities of the wood precludes the standard stop block approach.  Although all rabbeted dimensions are the same length, top to bottom and right to left, the actual inside or outside measurement of the frame can vary by as much as ½”.

Since the wood was old and at places had deep checks I used #20 biscuits to reinforce the miters. (picture #8)   I pined nailed the edges of the joints to help with alignment while the glue dried.

All in all a very cool looking set of frames



Recycled Wood Picture Frame Construction 2