before i knew much about picture frame making (as in right now) i
decided to buy peices of moulding at salvage yards and second hand
stores and make them into frames. that way i can get the distressed
kinda victorian look i'm going for.
then i got a miter saw, calibrated it, and cut for 2 frames. neither
are perfect. even though i spent about 3 hour learning about and
calibrating my new saw. a close inspection of the wood showed it had
some warping/bowing. i suspect most of the dirt cheap wood i will find
will be the same.
if i have faith in my cuts (and i mostly do) is it possible or
worthwhile to look for a clamping solution to force these into place a
bit? seems it would need to clamp as well as flatten the frame
slightly. do i need to brace somehow with biscuits or staples or...?
Restraining the corners won't do anything for pieces bent in any plane,
and unless you have very thick molding, biscuits or staples will cause
more problems - like splitting.
A solid plywood back is one way to straighten pieces bent in the plane
of the picture, but unless it's pretty thick (say 3/4" or so) it
probably won't help much with wood bent perpendicular to the plane of
the picture. Building a straight sub-frame and attaching the molding
to that is another way.
Obviously it's preferable to work with straight pieces. The wood
started out straight, maybe the best thing to do is to clamp it to
straighten it out again. Wetting the concave surface will cause the
wood fibers on that side to swell and that will tend to straighten out
Since the pieces are cheap to buy and you're looking for a distressed
look, far as I'm concerned you have a license to kill - go for it!
You'll learn as you go. Best way.
On 19 Feb 2006 12:50:41 -0800, email@example.com wrote:
No, clamping suffers from springback afterwards. Best approach for this
old timber is to use timber that's adequately dry and then assume that
it's as warped as it's ever going to get. Machine the back rebate
straight again, then use that.
Or else just use it warped. If the rebate is big enough then it will
still work as a frame.
In the theater we often use salvaged materials. For picture frames we
usually glue the salvaged, mitered pieces to a 3/4" thick plywood
subframe. The occasional drywall screw from behind will assist with
"clamping" a bowed or twisted decorative piece to the subframe. Just
make sure the screws are short enough not to protrude through the face
If your decorative framing is sufficiently thick you can rout a groove
on the back face about half the depth of the piece and then glue a
subframe member into the groove on edge. It seems to give extra holding
power that way, but at the cost of much time and labor.
thanks for all the advice.
last night i clamped the evil peice of wood down on my miter saw. seems
it is twisted more then anything else. next its going in the oven. one
of said go for broke right? so i'm gonna try straightening it first.
i'm working unter the assumption that it was straight at one point.
if this doesn't work i'll try some of the other bracing methods, but i
can see how getting the wood straight can save me lots of time.
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