I make picture frames, but do not mill the wood yet. The tool I find most useful is a miter trimmer. This tool first was made about the 1880 as the Lyon miter trimmer. Mine is identical but made by Grizzly. It produces a perfect 45 or 90 degree cut. You rough cut to size, then use the trimmer to trim off a very thin amount from the ends. You can buy supports with stops to help make exactly matching lengths. I use a sliding miter to get a really good 45, then perfect it on the trimmer. Picture attached. The second picture is of a frame I made that has a two tone finish.
Mine is mounted on a piece of ply. If I were using it in a frame shop, I'd set up the tool on a larger table so that the wings were fixed in a precise position. I'd also consider replacing the manufacturer's wings so I'd have a longer set for the larger frames I's want to be making for artist clients.
As with any business, marketing, the courting and development of customers, especially regular customers, is the key.
I found a couple of books on the topic. "Making Picture Frames in Wood," by Manly Banister, is interesting. The other is very specialized, "Starting up a Gallery and Frame Shop, by Annabelle Ruston. It includes business, marketing, sales, inventory and other topics from the viewpoint of a business standpoint. Both are in the used book market. I think locating in a well-to-do area where the arts are pursued seriously, would be wise. Low rent won't help much if no one in the area is willing to pony up the fare for a great frame, or the art that goes in it. You will have to reach out in your marketing effort, you won't get much walk-by business. I'd also want to be very visible in the arts communities, among galleries and art brokers of modern works.
Forgive me for my marketing emphasis, but I teach the topic as a consultant and always think this way.
The more I do, the less I accomplish.
Last edited by DesertRatTom; 05-04-2018 at 08:23 PM.