Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Did the Romans have tiger maple?

This past weekend I was able to spend some time in the shop and got a picture frame put together.  The frame was for a print of a painting that I did in high school.  I am glad that it finally has a home and think that the final result really works well with the art. It is made from a great piece of curly maple and some walnut.
 The miter joints came out pretty well. They were cut using the Incra miter jig that I picked up while finishing up the cabinet.   It is really amazing how much of a difference a decent miter gauge makes. I am having some issues with blade deflection.  Not sure if its time to have my blade sharpened or its just my saw reminding me that it wasn't designed for precision work.

The miter joints are reinforced with a spline which made the glue-up quite a bit simpler. Getting all four corners to line up was still a bit challenging.  Working with the curly maple I am really coming to appreciate the benefits of a high angle smoother.  I have a smaller smoothing plane that I have back beveled to give a higher effective cutting angle.  There is a remarkable difference when smoothing figured wood.  I am glad I used my narrower smoother as it still takes a bit of muscle to keep it moving. 

This project was a great opportunity to work on my card scraper sharpening as well as there was still some tear-out, even using the higher angle smoother.

The frame is finished with a coat of danish oil and then several coats of shellac.  After sanding the shellac lightly I applied a coat of paste wax and called it good.  

We have a few more items that need frames.  One is a print of an old map that I think would look great in a Greene & Greene style, mahogany frame.  I think a darker mahogany color would be nice so I may use it as an excuse to experiment with dyes.  

I am thinking maybe something similar to this...

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