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Cut the boards to length, add a finish, and slip in the art, for a sleek display in any room.
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There are five sizes of frames (Project Diagram, Frame Sizes) that follow a simple set of instructions and require only a miter saw (but no miter cuts), a drill, and rags for applying a finish. Make them in one day and add the finish the next. The frames take advantage of the wood thickness and width as it comes off the shelf. That’s true whether you choose oak, maple, poplar, or pine. Simply cut four boards with the ends square, glue them together, add cleats to the back, and have a Lowe’s associate cut the acrylic panels to size. For the Project Diagrams, select the frame size you wish to build and use that as Drawing 1. Drawings 2 and 3 apply to all the frame sizes.
After selecting a style of frame based on the image you want to display and the size of acrylic panels used in the frames, cut the stiles (A) and rails (B) for the frames from 1/2-in-thick material (Project Diagram, Cutting Diagram and Cutting List). Frame styles 1 and 5 have an additional rail (B-2). Assemble the frames using glue and clamps (Project Diagram, Drawing 1). Clamp scrap material (clamping cauls), across the joints while you assemble the frame so the board edges align flush for a perfectly flat frame that requires less sanding. Use painter’s tape on the edges of the clamping cauls to prevent the glue from sticking.
A frame is composed of two elements: vertical elements called stiles and the horizontal elements called rails. Cut pairs of stiles and rails exactly the same length for frames that will assemble with ease.
Cut the cleats (C) and (D) from 1/2-in-thick poplar. When the glue has cured on the frames, remove the clamps and cauls and sand all of the parts.
Apply a finish of your choice to the frame, and add a clear polyurethane finish to the cleats. Allow the finish to cure, following the manufacturer’s instructions.
Add the cleats to the back of the frames (Photo 2). For the cleats that will receive the artwork sandwiched between pieces of acrylic, drill a 3/32-inch pilot hole centered on the edge of each part to receive a #6 x 1/2-inch screw (Project Diagram, Drawing 2). After installing the art, the four screws will hold the acrylic panels and the art in the frame.
Have a Lowe’s associate cut two acrylic panels to fit each frame. Lay the first in position and add the art (Photo 3). If you need to trim the art to fit, lay an acrylic sheet over it, adjust the position for the cropping you like, and cut around the acrylic.
Add the second layer of acrylic and add the screws to the pilot holes in the cleats you drilled earlier (Photo 4).
On the back of the frame, screw in two small D-rings and stretch picture cord between them (Project Diagram, Drawing 3) and (Photo 5), trim the excess cord with wire cutters.