Choosing a suitable wood - Router Forums
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 03:49 AM Thread Starter
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Default Choosing a suitable wood

Hi everyone, could anyone inform me of the best type of wood for making picture frames? The wood measurements I wish to buy is approx. 70cmsx30cms and hopefully straight. I am asking this because having never used a bench router before, I would like to avoid some of the pitfalls which no doubt are out there ready to ensnare me! Also the cost of the wood will also have a bearing on my final choice. I will be very grateful for any expert advice, thanks from Brian
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 08:29 AM
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I think a lot depends on the subject matter of your pictures. I'm an amateur photographer and I have used everything from old barn board for rustic pictures to exotic woods for more artistic pictures. If you want acid free mounting you need spacers to isolate the picture from the frame and the glass. You will also need to seal the wood. Choose your wood, choose how you would like to join the corners. then ask how to rout that wood.
Sorry but you question has too many variables.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 10:09 AM
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My first frame was done as a prototype and I selected pine. The next immediately after was maple. I have a band saw, INCRA miter gauge for my bench saw and a jointer.

It was relatively small: 5" x 7" (12.7cm x 17.78cm) overall and will handle a 4"x6" photo.
I'll post a pic when complete.

Clamping in the future will be done with my newly acquired MCLS Merle band clamp.

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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 12:29 PM
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There are probably hundreds of woods that would make frames out of the 20,000 or so that exist. As long as they are fairly stable when dry. I would guess that oak is probably one of the most common. I've made some out of white birch and white pine. I've also seen them made out of cedar, Douglas fir, other pines, spruce, and walnut. One of the main considerations is whether the wood will compete with the picture for attention. Then it becomes a choice of whether you want to just varnish the frame, or paint or stain it. If you check my downloads you'll see one I made of white birch. The birch was too light coloured to go with the print so I stained it with a water based stain to complement the colours of the print (SamaN brand stain).

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 12:50 PM
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Brian; hopefully one of your Aussie mates will offer some advice based on what's readily available down-under. As Richard suggests there are a LOT of choices up here, but they won't necessarily be available where you are(?).
Go to a framing shop and ask them what they offer as custom framing option; that should give you a better idea of what the commercial millwork shops work with.
Or you could just go right to the millwork plant and ask them, maybe they'll sell you raw material... 'nothing ventured, nothing gained,' eh?
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 05:03 PM
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Exclamation Timber species.....Oz.

Hi Brian.

Whereabouts in our great wide land are you?

IMO, any dry stable timber can be used for picture frames. As you will see from the attached list, there are many timbers available in Sydney.

This is just a list from Trend Timbers in Sydney.

I would start with Mountain Ash.
Attached Files
File Type: doc trend Timbers_Timber species Listing.doc (364.0 KB, 72 views)

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Last edited by jw2170; 03-07-2014 at 05:07 PM. Reason: add doc
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 05:19 PM
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!...You guys have Mountain Ash?!


Well, blow me over...
Searching PlantFiles
And that folks, is the problem with 'common names' regarding plants, and why Latin botanical names are used to describe a particular plant. I had no idea there were so many varieties of 'Mountain Ash'.
So which one is harvested in Oz, James?
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-07-2014, 05:28 PM
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LOL...

I don't know, Dan. I just cut it. I will do some research and get back to you.

I believe it is a type of Eucalypti.

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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-08-2014, 02:40 AM
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Hi Brian...and others.

refer to below.

Eucalyptus regnans - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Giant ash, mountain ash, Victorian ash, swamp gum, Tasmanian oak or stringy gum all seem to be the same>

Bunnings used to sell Tassie Oak.

James
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-08-2014, 10:31 AM
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Hi guys,
That is an impressive list of the different types of timber available.
To my fellow Canadians, do you know of such a list for here?
Cheers,
Dan
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