A Thank You Gift Build Part 1

Alright, my first build on my newish site.  Thanks to me, for being the only one who reads this! 

Two weeks ago, my wonderful in-laws took my family and I to Disney World for the week.  We desperately want to thank them, and one of our ideas it a nice picture of the six of us in a frame.  Of course, like any good woodworker I offer to build the frame, knowing it will mean more. 

I finally made it out in the shop tonight to get started.  First thing I did was find a piece of cherry, as it will match most of their furniture.   The nice thing about a picture frame is it doesn't use a lot of lumber!  I'm thinking of adding an accent wood, but for now the cherry looks great.   

Time to cut.

I once had a very awkward three minutes with Roy Underhill when I made a joke about a CNC machine, and he played 19th century on me.  Trying to explain a CNC to a 19th century Roy is a fun game.  One day I will get there, but until I get a rip panel saw, I started by ripping the parts on my 21st century bandsaw. 

To make sure a machine was not the final thing that touches any of the parts, I quickly planed the four sides flat and square. 

 

That is the same shop-vac that the pilgrims used... 

That is the same shop-vac that the pilgrims used... 

Ok, so far so good.  I don't really care about length or the edges, since they will all be metered anyway.  Oh yeah.  I get to try to attain 45 degrees by hand. 

 

You can use the word "chamfer" in a sentence to test if someone is a woodworker or not... 

You can use the word "chamfer" in a sentence to test if someone is a woodworker or not... 

Next I decided to chamfer the inside edge of the frame.  I may round over the outside edge, but I'm still not certain on the final width or whether or not an accent wood will be involved, so for now a nice 45 (er...43,46,44) degree chamfer will have to do.   I used a marking gauge to mark out about a quarter inch from each edge.  Then with my Lie Nielsen 60 1/2 (60.5? 121/2?) Low Angle Block Plane I chamfered down to the lines.  Yes, I capitalize the names of my planes.  No, it does not mean that I treat as if they were my children.  The fact that they each have their own bedroom means that I treat them like my children.

 

Holy crap, I'm done! 

Holy crap, I'm done! 

At this point I lined up the pieces to see if my chamfer was close on all four.  Not too shabby.  I quickly played with grain orientation to determine top, bottom and sides, and then skipped several important steps. 

 

I forgot my hot dog! 

I forgot my hot dog! 

I used a crosscut saw (Lie Nielsen) to cut a rough 45 on one end of each piece.  I really wasn't sure whether a crosscut or rip would be better, as I was doing half of each, but the crosscut seemed to do the job.  Then I used a square and a shooting board to shoot (chute?) the 45.  I had no faith that this would work. 

 

Rare example of a shaker square, unearthed in New Hampshire.   Ca. 1855  

Rare example of a shaker square, unearthed in New Hampshire.   Ca. 1855  

But it freaking did! 

This is when I realized that I still needed a rabbet in the rear for the glass, picture, and hardboard to fit into.  I also should have done that prior to cutting and shooting.  Oh well.   

Curly Q

Curly Q

To cut out the rabbet, I used the marking gauge to mark a line on the back of the frame.  Then, using the Lie Nielsen Skew Block Plane, I made many cuts down to the line.  I could have used a saw to cut this corner out, since it won't be seen, but this plane is awesome.  It has a removable side and a nicker, so it scores the grain, then the skewed blade takes out perfect strips.  I have it set deep, and it makes a nice cut every time.  It also has a depth gauge to keep your cuts consistent.  It's like a block plane, a rabbeting block plane, and a moving fillister all in one.  

Plus the shavings are great fire starters!

We are at what I call "The Walmart Stage" as in I could get crap like this at Target. 

We are at what I call "The Walmart Stage" as in I could get crap like this at Target. 

I cut the other side of each piece to rough length, but am stopping for the night.  I need to run out and get a piece of glass so that I can get everything exact, and I'm not running out in my shorts at 11:43 at night.   

Of course since no one is reading this, who cares?