This past Christmas, I made a few gifts for family and friends. This is one of the better ones. For my sister’s fiance, I made a rustic picture frame out of pallet wood. I also printed a photo of them together from our visit to Virginia last year to put in the frame.
I started with two pallet boards that still had some nails in them. I measured, based on the size of the photo, and cut the four sides with a 45° miter. I had to go back and adjust those miters quite a few times because of how inaccurate my hand-me-down chop saw is.
Always give yourself extra room for adjustment – you’ll be thankful later. That’s especially true if you’re using random and cheap tools in your driveway… #DIY #BudgetHobbies
Next I cut a rabbet on the inside back edge of all four pieces. I made these cuts on the table saw. In the future, I’m going to cut the rabbet before cutting the sides. It will be safer to cut this way and probably a bit more accurate.
The rabbet is where the glass, photo, and backer will sit when the frame is assembled. I didn’t use glass, but I did use a piece of cardboard for the backer.
Since I wasn’t using any fasteners, my glue joints had to be strong. End-grain tends to suck up a lot of glue and can weaken the joint because of it. I was using an end-grain to end-grain miter joint, so I spread glue on all the ends and gave them a couple minutes to soak in. Then I added a bit more glue and clamped them all together.
I got to use my ratcheting band clamp from Harbor Freight and it worked wonderfully. It was so cheap but it really did a nice job. I snugged it up, made some final adjustments to get the faces all even, and then I really tightened it down.
To clean up the glue that squeezed out, I rubbed sawdust into it and then wiped it away. This also helped to fill some of the gaps in the joints.
After the glue was dry, I gave the frame a final sanding. I don’t have a picture of it, but I taped the photo to the center of the cardboard backer, placed it in the frame, and hammered in a few brad nails to hold it in place.
I’m looking forward to making another frame out of pallet wood. I’m probably more excited to make a miter jig for my table saw. Hopefully I won’t need to use my chop saw for the next one.