View Full Version : some frame examples

09-19-2004, 11:57 AM
Heres 3 frames I did last week - thought maybe someone could get ideas from them .

The first is an old beat up one i got at junk shop for free - i just painted it with a wash of thinned enamel . It has a great basketweave pattern ...

the second is made of old chunks of house trim I got at another junk shop - I like the way the paint has chipped so again just hit it with a wash . It helps keep the old paint from chipping further too.

The third is from new moulding i get from Foster Brothers -- you cant really see it cause of bad lighting but it is a rubbed finish ( sort of like a Dutch Finish ) . You cover the new moulding with thick red clay bole, then do a couple washes with brown or black Japan Colors ( I use Ronan brand ) then with a nice, rich, colored wax polish like Black Bison and a rag and maybe some fine steel wool you rub off some of the top wash to reveal the red bole underneath . I really like this effect , but its most suited to wide moulding like this .

Helen Zapata
09-19-2004, 08:09 PM
All three of those look so cool. I especially like the first one, and the bottom one looks so stylish!

Makes me want to go hang around the junk shops. hmmm!


09-21-2004, 11:16 AM
They look great!

I am just in the process of learning to make frames for my husband's artwork.
He attended a class in June with an artist who's wife is now making his frames. (www.artistbuiltframes.com) These are high end frames. We attended an artist reception this weekend in Jackson WY. and spoke with them both. ( Paco and Toni Young) She is now building frames for many artisits. The arverage selling price on the artwork is 10-20,000.00 Her frames are wonderful! Syhe can not keep up with demand now.


09-21-2004, 07:30 PM
Hi Colin,

I do love those frames! I am going to try to make some
frames myself. I have cut the wood, but I don't have any
clamps to use. Do you know how I could get what is
called a "tape clamp"? Also, getting really ambitious here,
I wish I could carve fancy shapes into wood for frames.
People frown on homemade frames around my area, but
I will try it anyway. I am not into woodwork per se, just

I have already painted some bare wood frames with
acrylic paint and then sprayed them with acrylic varnish,
and they look good.

10-17-2004, 03:34 AM
Glad you guys liked these !
Sorry to take so long in reply ArtMarkie --was traveling.

By " Tape Clamp " do you mean a strap clamp ? It winds around the outside of the assembled frame and tightens all 4 joints simultaneously ? I havent used one, but for other kinds of woodwork I have used a kind of homemade version with rope and a stick to twist it tight . To tell you the truth though, in framing I personally just never had much luck with clamps of any kind, and especially not with the kind that try and clamp all 4 corners at once - Its just too hard to keep everything aligned at once . One corner always slips, and then when you fix that one another will slip . By the time you start to get it right yer glue is beginning to set up and then the real cursing begins !

The thing is that glue alone isnt enough to hold a mitered joint like we use in framing . It requires a fastener of some sort as well - like a screw or nails, and so why not use the fastener to act as yer clamp and save a lot of fuss ? It takes a bit of practise to nail or screw a mitre and have the joint stay aligned, but I find it way easier in the end this way.

Here is a page from Rockler's web site ( good woodworking stuff here ! ) however, that has some interesting looking clamping systems for framing .
This one in particular catches my eye - Quick-Release Corner Framing Clamp . It looks like it might work well and since you can adjust each corners' pressure individually you may be able to avoid all that slip that I was talking about .

Carving nice relief shapes in frames is gonna be tricky if you are not a sculptor - but if you keep it simple and work from a glued down paper pattern it could be really nice . You are thinking of like chip-carving it ?

Another, maybe easier option along those lines is to do like the Victorian or some Arts And Crafts frames and lay down a nice thick coat of gesso on the frame, paint it gloss black, then carve small, thin leaf / vine sort of designs thru the black to reveal the white gesso . This really looks sharp if done neatly !

10-17-2004, 10:12 AM
By " Tape Clamp " do you mean a strap clamp ? It winds around the outside of the assembled frame and tightens all 4 joints simultaneously ?
I hate those strap "clamps" - because of the awkwardness of using them, having that ratchet gadget spring loose at the inappropriate times, etc.

As a long-time bicycler, I have always used "touring tires" which require the use of an inner tube. And I recycle those inner tubes when they need replacing by using them instead of a strap clamp. If they are too big for the particular frame, simply tie a knot, or otherwise shorten the tube up by crimping it - and it can be stretched to give as much or as little tension as desired. Because they have a rubber base, they also don't tend to slide around like the nylon strap clamps do.

I find the inner tube much more versatile for other gluing chores too - such as in furniture manufacture where there is a need to hold awkward assemblies together while the glue sets.

I also occasionally stop at a tire store, where they throw away large vehicle inner tubes on occasion. Yes, some tires still use tubes. And you can cut rubber bands from those larger tubes - as wide or as narrow as desired. I keep a supply of these rubber bands on hand for all sorts of uses.