Monday, November 1, 2010
John loves nothing more than explaining to folks how to do things themselves. Back when we were faux finishers, he would frequently talk himself out of a job by encouraging ambitious house wives to faux their own bathrooms, or re-finish their own furniture. So I had to laugh when he came in from the garage last week and asked, "Hey, do you think your Epbot readers would want to learn how to do this?"
I think this blog is growing on him.
So, today's quick project is courtesy of John. It's a back frame - or whatever you call this:
See how the print is elevated off the wall on that wood frame? That's what I mean. We made this one for our bedroom a few years ago. (Yes, my bedroom is orange. And has an India theme. Like you're surprised.) For just a few dollars' worth of materials and a little labor we made it go from "el cheap-o poster" to "wall art."
You'll probably want to do this with a poster or print, like we did, but don't use anything valuable; you'll be gluing it down to a piece of 1/8th inch hardboard (aka Masonite.) You can get Masonite at any hardware store, and most places will even cut it to size for you. Paint the edges of your board black, glue your poster down to the board, smooth out any wrinkles, and you're ready to go with step one below. (The painting John will be using is already on a piece of Masonite.)
Your frame will need to be exactly the same size as your board, so be sure your measurements are precise.
Next you'll need a length of 1x2 wood. To begin, cut the end off the wood at a 45 degree angle:
CHEATER'S TIP: Don't have a miter saw? Or have one, but are afraid of losing a few fingers? (No judgment here; I'm scared of the vacuum cleaner.) In that case, you can use this instead:
Now, from the tip of that first angle, measure out your first piece:
Cut the other side at the same 45 degree angle, only in the opposite direction:
Now use this piece to mark out the next:
CHEATER'S TIP: Don't want to mess with the 45 degree angles? Then good news! You can also do the corners this way:
Just be sure to allow for the difference in your measurements. Since these frames will only be seen from the side, I wouldn't bother with the 45 degree angles at all, myself. John's just a perfectionist. And likes playing with his miter saw.
Ok, now you need to assemble your four pieces. To get the right angles perfect, John has this special doodad:
He thinks it's called a corner clamp. Maybe. (Thanks, dear...) It's unbelievably handy, so I'd highly recommend picking one up. (In fact, I found this exact clamp for less than $7 on Amazon, here.)
Put a dab of wood glue on your end pieces:
Clamp them together:
And then hammer in a few small nails:
(Again, no fancy nail gun needed; just use a regular ol' hammer and finishing nails.)
That's the hard part done! Now fill the nail holes with a little spackle and hit it with a coat or two of spray paint:
Black is easy and goes with everything, but you could also use a complementary color from your poster or print.
Next glue your hardboard to the frame using strong epoxy or construction adhesive (Liquid Nails comes to mind.)
If your calculations were correct, your board *should* be a perfect fit.
Once your adhesive is applied, weigh the board down while the glue dries:
And finally, here's the finished product, hanging in my office:
Now, you guys be sure to leave encouraging remarks for John in the comments, so he feels like you learned something. :)
Quick update from john: Hi! A couple of you have noted in the comments that it would be good to use stretcher bars instead of a 1x2 because they are precut and perfectly cured so they won't warp. I would say that while they are precut, that really just limits the size you can make your frame. As far as curing, you should only buy the grade A stuff they sell at your local lumber store. It's usually cured and dry and I've never had it warp on me. It's also important to note the cost difference: 1- 8 foot grade A 1x2 = $3.00. 1- 2'x2' stretcher bar = $40 or more.
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