I asked some friends to choose something I could make for a housewarming gift for their new home. They wanted me to make new frames for their two pieces of antique stained glass. It took a couple years but I got started in late 2014.
The request was for an Art Deco look. I made a design with layered round-overs and rounded corners. Since they were to be hung in windows, I made both sides finished.
The wood for a frame is cut from a single mahogany board. The retainer frame is made from the smaller pieces shown.
Rabbets are cut for the stained glass and the retainer prior to assembly.
The frames are glued up.
And then the retainer frames are fitted and glued in place. Note the plastic wrap to keep the glue from wandering.
The frames and retainers are cut for splines. This is especially important for the retainer frames since they are so fragile.
It’s not easy to see, but the splines for the frame are set extra deep to accommodate the rounded corners.
Filler strips are used to fill in the recess for the stain glass. These end up serving as the guide surface for the router bearing (for some of the cuts).
The outside corners are cut with a band saw and sanded to the line. All the outer profiles can be referenced from outside edge with the router fence.
Some of the inner profiles need a reference surface. This fence is set up to shape one inside corner at a time. An offset collar is used to achieve the correct spacing of the profiles.
Here is the finished shape (viewed from the front).
A close up of the outside corner.
And here is the inside corner (viewed from the back). You can see the filler strips still in place.
After shaping, the filler strips can be removed.
The frames are finished with an oxidizing layer of potassium dichromate and then clear polyurethane.
A final detail is an orientation plug set into the frame with a matching recess in the retainer. The plug has a slight dome shape.
The larger frame was started in September 2014 and finished in December 2014. It took about about 18 hours from design to finish.
The smaller frame with the diamond pattern was stated in February 2014 and finished in August 2016. It took about 24 hours.
For reference here is a cross section of the frame. The frame corners start with an inside radius of ¼” and end at 1 ¾”.
This was a fun project. It was my first effort with an Art Deco style design. The requirement for the frame to look finished from both sides provided a new set of solutions for me. This was also my first time working with leaded glass.