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Framing Panels
Framing Panels

For purposes of this tutorial, we are using framing stock that comes in 6' lengths, is available in 1", 2" and 3" widths. The stock has shaped edges on the front. It is also routed out to a width of 1/4" and depth of 1/2" to accept 1/2" U zinc border came or 1/2" HF lead.

Initially we sand the framing stock with 220 grit sandpaper then wipe it down with a damp cloth to remove any residual dust from the surface.

Framing Panels Next we screw a cup hook into one end so we can hang the stock while applying a finish to it.
Framing Panels A close up of the cup hooks.
Framing Panels We also place a 3" screw about 1/4" into the wood on the bottom of the stock piece. This gives us something to hold onto when applying stain or a finishing polyurethane. By holding the screw on the bottom of the stock we can avoid drips and marking the finish while applying it.
Framing Panels With the procedure we use, the panel is kept in an upright position while custom sizing the frame. Two people are needed for the fitting and assembly.

Miter one end of the stock, lay it on a work table and fit the frame into the stock leaving a space of about 1/16" ~ 1/32"  from the edge of the zinc border to the end of the channel in the stock as shown.

Framing Panels Move to the other end of the stock piece and mark the wood about 3/16" back from the inside edge of the zinc. When cutting this miter (45 degree angle) hold the piece you want to keep for the frame in your left hand, the handle of the saw in your right hand, and be sure the edge of the cutting blade is set on the outside side of the mark. If you cut on, or on the inside of the mark the piece will be too short to fit.

Fit the cut length to the bottom of the panel. Both ends should appear as above with a space of about 1/16" ~ 1/32" of the channel showing. If the cut is too long, then carefully trim a little of the end with the saw and refit. Better to make several fits than cut too much off. Exercise care.

Framing Panels Miter the corner of the next piece of stock and fit to the panel as shown.
Framing Panels Go to the top of the first vertical and mark as you did on the end of the bottom. Remove the stock and cut. 

The vertical in this picture is marked, lightly. Click on the picture to see it more clearly.

Framing Panels Again, fit and adjust the stock so that the end of the bottom of the channel in the stock has a 1/16" ~ 1/32" overage.
Framing Panels Carefully turn the panel 180 degrees so you can continue working in the same position on the second vertical. Miter the stock for the second vertical and mark for the cut.

Cut and fit as you did the first vertical.

Framing Panels Now that the bottom and two verticals are cut and fit, miter the end of the top stock piece and lay it upside down on top spanning the two verticals.
Framing Panels Go to the other end of the top stock piece, visually check that the vertical pieces are positioned on the frame correctly. This is easy to do by making sure the edges of the zinc border are even with the edges of the framing stock and that the bottom miters are fit on. 

Mark the top to cut exactly where the point of the vertical meets the top piece of stock as shown.

Framing Panels Make your cut. Turn the stock to the fitting orientation and fit to the panel. By turning the top stock upside down for marking, you perfectly align the ends to the verticals. Should be a perfect fit.
Framing Panels Align a bottom corner and hold the mitered joint in position with a wood clamp. When aligning the mitered corner, make sure the tip of the vertical is extended so it is 1/16" past/longer than the tip of the horizontal stock.
Framing Panels Drill an appropriate sized hole at an appropriate height, depending on the type of stock and framing screws being use. To help make the frame you are building stronger, drill screw holes in from the sides and not the top or bottom. Having the screws come in from the side helps keep the weight of the panel from eventually pulling them out by gravity.
Framing Panels Apply wood glue to both faces of the miter and allow to become tacky.

Screw screw (screw screw sounds screwy, but what the heck....) into the frame. When approaching the point where the head of the screw will begin to flush up against the wood, screw slowly and carefully. As the screw begins to pull the two pieces of stock together, the bottom stock will begin to slide against the vertical. Tighten screw until the two stock tips that were skewed come into even alignment. If you tighten too much the tip of the bottom piece of stock will be pulled out past the tip of the vertical.

Framing Panels Here is another picture of the slightly off center corner before hole drilling. Notice how the tip of the vertical wood stock is ever so slightly higher than the horizontal tip.

Finish screwing all four corners together.

Framing Panels We use our own brass framing hooks (bent or rolled). We also use our own brass framing screws. To position the hanging hooks we take the paper label off the hook package, align the top end with the corner of the frame and drill a small pilot hole at the bottom edge of the tab.
Framing Panels Next place the top of the hook over the hole and screw the screw provided halfway in so the hook still hangs free.

Position the hook and screw a pilot hole through the bottom of the hook. Screw in the bottom screw, then tighten the top screw. Repeat procedure on the other side.

Framing Panels Your panel is now framed and ready to be hung.
41 South Railroad Avenue
San Mateo, CA 94401
TEL: (650) 372-0527