Greene-and-Greene Picture Frame

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[avatar user="tonyw" /] This picture frame, from Fine Woodworking Magazine, nearly killed me.  Hyperbole aside, it should have taken me a month or two, instead it was a 15 month ordeal.   I managed to botch a critical piece twice.  Because the mortise and tenons are custom fit, I had to start from scratch each time. I managed to complete one but it wasn't close to square, into the kindling pile it went.  Pictures from all three attempts are kind of mixed up here - I'm trying to show the sequence of the process (which could be confusing with so many restarts).

A friend of ours found himself flying over our house with a camera.  He gave us a photo that made our place look better than it ever has in real life.  I had it printed and gave it to my wife as a Christmas gift along with a promise to make a frame for it.

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My death certificate.
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The initial step was to create a couple of templates. The templates will be used with a router to establish the initial shape. Each template is used twice, flipping it over lengthwise for the second cut. Bottom on the left, top on the right.

 

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After milling and cutting the lumber, the next major step is drilling and chopping the mortises.  I used the drill press to hog out the majority of the wood, then moved to a chisel.
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Also routed the groove that will hold the picture, squared off with the chisel.

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Doh! It's amazing how quickly a router can do some real damage. Back to the drawing board.

 

 

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From the back.
Damn it! Damn it! Damn it!
Damn it! Damn it! Damn it! Back to the drawing board.
Gaaahh!  The template slipped while I was routing the final shape.  Back to the drawing board, yes - again.
Gaaahh! The template slipped while I was routing the final shape. Back to the drawing board, yes - again.
Carving the cloud lifts was pretty intimidating to me.  It's too much like art - and I'm not artist.
Carving the cloud lifts was pretty intimidating to me. It's too close to art - and I'm no artist.
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Could have come out better, could have come out much worse.
Finally time to glue it together.
Finally time to glue it together.

 

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