Friday, September 12, 2008

Hear Those Sleigh Bells?

Christmas will be here before we know it and if you plan to make gifts, it might be a good time to start. If you're like me, projects usually take longer to build than anticipated.

Every adult on your list can always use two things—picture frames and cutting boards. (And gas cards if you plan to buy gifts instead of make them.)

You can make simple and attractive picture frames from 2" square pieces of wood. It's quick, it's easy, you can make a bunch at a time, and it cleans out your offcut bin.

I used purpleheart and yellowheart with ziricote pegs for this frame. The back is recessed with a router to allow space for glass, photo, and backer board, which are held in place with bent wire. The ends of the wire are glued into predrilled holes.

The frame stands upright with a dowel that is plugged into a matching-diameter hole. You can glue the dowel in place or not, if you want the option to hang the frame on a wall.

To glue up the frame, I used a jig made of 2 strips of pine screwed to a board, and a loose block of wood with a 90ยบ corner cut into it. (I drilled a hole at the cut-out corner of the loose block to allow for glue squeeze out on another project). The best thing about this jig is you only need one clamp to use it.

It's a good idea to lay a sheet of wax paper beneath the frame so it doesn't stick to the jig. The other thing I did was place a loose 2" square block in the middle of the frame to help keep the frame squares in alignment during glue up. Rub plenty of wax on the middle square so it won't stick to your workpiece.

Okay, elves...time to get to work!