Written by Natasha Dickins
Have MDF professionally cut to the same size as the picture you want framed. Most picture framers or hardware stores will cut a sheet of glass for you. One this size costs about $8.
Frames this size are best made with miter joints, each made by cutting two parts joined at 45° to form a 90° corner. A compound miter saw gives the most accurate cut. When cutting, molding can roll, so anchor with scrap wood and a small clamp.
Estimate how much wood is required for a frame with mitered corners. See first diagram below to add the length (E) and width (S) of the picture then double the result. Add on 1/2-in. to allow for an easy fit. To allow for mitering, multiply the total width of the wood by eight and add to the total. About 6-feet were needed for this.
Measure twice, cut once for an accurate finish. To make allowances for the clearance and miters, work out how long to make the pieces using the results of the calculating length formula below. Mark up the wood, with the long measurement on the outside and short measurement on the bead side (see second and third diagrams below).
Calculating the Length Formula:
For outside length of the sides
L = E + (2 x C) + (2 x W); So, L is 14 3/4-in. + (2 x 1/16-in.) + (2 x 2 5/8-in.)= 20-in.
For outside length of top and base
L = S + (2 x C) + (2 x W) So L is 10 1/2-in. + (2 x 1/16-in.) + (2 x 2 5/8-in.) = 16-in.
L: frame length (the maximum length each side)
E: longer side of the picture
S: shorter side of picture
W: width of frame profile (excluding rebate)
C: clearance around the article being framed (1/16-in. in this case)
Mark up the wood following the formula. Set the compound miter saw to 45°, clamp the wood against the fence and cut. Set the saw to the 45° mark on the other side to miter the other end.
Place the first cut piece back-to-back with the next side to be cut and check that the markup is the same. Cut the other piece. Then, repeat for the shorter top and base. On a clean surface, dry assemble the frame face down and position the backing board to check for a neat, square fit.
Brush glue onto the corners and assemble the pieces face-up. Attach the framing clamp, or small clamps, and use a square inside the corners to adjust the set-up. Leave to dry.
Use wood filler to fill any gaps and leave it to dry. Along the top and bottom corners of the frame, predrill holes 1-in. in from the edge at 45° into the joint. Tap in four 4d x 1 1/2-in. finish nails. Countersink nail heads and fill with wood filler. On the back, predrill holes for screweyes on either side, a third of the way down (about 6 1/2-in.) from the top.
Smooth over the joints and sand off glue using 120-grit sandpaper. Sand the entire frame with 220-grit sandpaper. Paint, varnish, stain or finish as desired. Apply three coats, leaving to dry between each.
Polish the glass on both sides then position it in the frame with poster and backing board. Tap 2d brads at 45° to the inside edge, leaving a third of the nail protruding. Attach screweyes either side, a third of the way down, and string metal wire across.
Before beginning the project we asked framing-expert Lynn Pearce for her advice on framing the poster.
On planning the finished look she advised, "To frame a paper poster of this size a mat board isn't essential unless you choose to use it for visual effect to fill out the picture and make the frame bigger."
If the poster has been rolled up, Lynn suggests gluing it to the backing board with PVA, although this poster was printed on thick stock and was flat. "Brush glue onto the board and leave to dry until it feels tacky. Smooth on the poster with your palm and leave to dry."
This vintage-style movie poster of Dr. No was bought at a local market for $25. Find others online at www.allposters.com. Allow a couple of weeks for delivery.
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