Been a bit under the weather for the past 3 weeks, and still not quite right this morning, but life moves on anyhow and I needed to frame the Pilgrims for the Loo Gallery show that I told you about in the previous post. I personally like to look at prints without any glass, but since these prints will be in a bathroom and thus near water they need glass/plexi for sure.
The Dreamaway Lodge in Becket is full of funky and eclectic decor, including a lot of antiques and kitschy old art in kitschy old frames, so I decided to look for some kitschy old frames at local flea markets. Jackpot! I got almost all of the sizes I needed (I have an unfortunate habit of making prints in strange and varying sizes) for pretty darn cheap. No problem that many of them had no glass. I could get some plexi cut for me at Lowe's. (Yes I tried cutting plexi myself; no I was not successful and will not try it again.)
But I did have a couple of odd sizes missing, so with continuing on-the-cheap spirit I decided to try making an old-fashioned-looking frame from scratch.
Gotta love my own naiveness. It makes me do stuff I have no business doing. Like making frames even though I have no power tools. Now that I've tried this, I do NOT recommend actually doing it, but I will show you the torturous steps one by one.
Ideally one would use a router to either bevel the inside edge of a nice piece of moulding to hold glass plus mat plus backing, or even to make the whole frame out of a plain board, but I have no router. So instead I spent hours at a hardware store looking for two pieces of moulding that would overlap to make the right kind of lip for all the stuff I needed to put inside and still make a good-looking frame. The photo below shows the roughly 1/4" overlap that I achieved with the 2 pieces I chose.
I used wood glue plus a few well-placed brads to hold the two pieces together:
and let them dry:
Then came the ridiculous part. I used a miter box and hand saw to cut the 45° bevels. It was a disaster in measuring. I can't even describe the mathematical reason why, but there was no way to measure and cut to get the proper length inside the lip. I finally did a workaround that involved pieces of mat board cut to size with 45° bevels. I'm not even going to show you because it was such a cobbled-together solution, but here's the miter box:
I finally got four pieces cut, although inaccurately, so then I glued them together and used this clamping device to hold the frame while the glue dried:
There were some (pretty big) gaps I had to fill at two of the corners:
And then it was ready to paint:
Thank God paint is very forgiving. Once I scuff this thing up a little nobody will notice how badly crafted it is. I'm really glad this isn't for a museum :)