Build your own Floater Frames


Did you try building your own cradled panel? If you have, making your own floater frame is just a step or two away. You will need many of the same materials, with the addition of some way to create a rabbet (that shelf the panel will sit on). I made my rabbet with an antique plane, a knife, and a jig...but I hear that a table saw will do the job as well. Suddenly, I have developed an interest in creating room for another tool! But really, if you have a plane- and it is sharp- this can easily be accomplished. Here is the finished frame, complete with a painting. It fits at 12"x12" panel, and the finished dimension is 12 7/8" x 12 7/8".


Begin by cutting a 1.5"x 0.75" x 8' board in four lengths with a 45 degree angle. I used my beloved mitered chop saw.


The inner part of my angle is 11.5". This gives your panel something to sit on.


Now you need to cut out the rabbet. My rabbet is just a smidgen over 1/4" wide (so there is a tiny space between the panel and frame) and 1/4" deep (so that the panel is flush with the frame). My husband built this handy jig for me to hold the piece of wood. My plane follows the guide, and cuts in the correct amount. I plane down to a marked line (1/4" down). Sorry, I can"t tell you how to make the jig, but if you are really interested, let me know and I will get him to write some instructions for you. Or find a woodworking friend to help.

Here is the jig- with a side piece in it, and in front of it.



I clamp it in the vise while planing. First I score down with a knife. This helps the plane cut down.


Then I use the plane.


I love the curls of fragrant wood.

Here is the finished piece.


You may find a way to cut the rabbet that works better for you...What tools do you have that will work?

I cut a few waste pieces to fit into the corners to add stability. Using the band saw, I cut a piece with 45 degree angels in half so that it would fit in under the panel. And now you will glue up your frame! Using wood glue, add a small amount of glue to the angle cuts, and clamp. As you can see from my clamps, the band clamp is essential here as it gives the corner clamps something to push against.


Once your glue is dry, remove your clamps, and you are ready to finish your frame as you please.

A spot of glue in the corners, and you are ready to glue in your panel! Good luck, and let me know if you have any questions. This is a lot of information. I wish you could come over and make a frame with me! Liese

Next week: Different Ways to Sign Your Name

#Framing #floaterframe #chopsaw #rabbetjig #rabbet #miter #finishing