How to Make a Decorative Picture Frame Using a Router
Making a picture frame can be very simple if you have a router. Many people who have a router do not really use it for many projects, but this does not have to be the case. In fact, you can make several nice projects to give away as gifts or sell to earn a little extra money. An example would be a picture frame with two heart-shaped holes cut out in the center where pictures can be placed. Decorating the frame using the router can add interest and a finesse to the frame.
This is assuming that you have your frame already cut out, with the shapes already made in your frame. As with any project, you want to pick a face side—the side that shows the best. Using a pencil, mark an “x” on the face side so you can keep track of where you are at.
Choose the Roman OG bit to work on the sides and place on the router. Raise the height of the bit so there is a square shoulder, which eliminates the need for additional sanding later on.
Grab your frame and place face down next to the router bit. Work the bottom end across the grain. Then work the indentation on the corner and continue with the grain up the side, across the top grain and then stop.
On the last side, sometimes the router can catch on the bad grain, taking out large chips of wood with it. You must score this side first. This will break up the grain so the router will not dig in and keep tearing the wood. Score your wood by moving the piece side to side to make four different indentations on the side. Then work the side as normal, creating a decorative edge on the last side.
Lower the bit so that you can work on the inner hearts to create a nice edge. Do both edges.
For the groove on the back for where the picture goes, you will need to change the bit to the rabbiting bit, at a 3/8 inch size. Set the height for the size of picture you plan on using and work the back of the frame around the shape of the heart. This will be place where you will put your picture and backing material.
If you want to put glass in the frame in front of the picture, use a guide pattern to cut out a place for it. Using a keyhole bit, cut the back side to a square. Square up the sides or chip the glass corners so that it can fit better.