My picture frames are hand made using traditional tools and woodworking techniques. There are several reasons for this but the most important is that it's very enjoyable to make a frame with hand tools. It may be more efficient to use power tools, and for bulk orders I'm not adverse to using a router, for example, but they are noisy and produce a lot of dust.
Crafting the wood by hand means that each frame becomes a unique piece of art in itself. In the case of Meranti, and other beautiful woods that I finish in natural oils, I carefully select the grain and colour of the frame for maximum effect.
The main tools that I use are a Stanley No.78 rebate plane, a block plane for cutting chamfers, and a small bull-nosed plane for close finishing work. I also have a number of moulding planes that I am currently learning to use so expect to see new designs added in the future.
Once I've planed the frame mouldings, I cut the mitres using a professional picture framers' guillotine. This ensure a perfect, clean (and very sharp) 45 degree angle.
The frames are then finished after joining, like furniture. I use progressively finer sandpaper and steel wool, until the mitre joints are smooth and continuous over the joint. Stains, oil and paint finishes are applied after the frame is put together.
The end result is a unique, hand-crafted wooden picture frame that looks great and is distinctive on your wall.