Canadian Woodworking

Sports frame

Author: Ted Duquette
Published: February March 2005

This photo frame is just the thing to keep and display all your MVP’s sport photos.

Table tilted to left by amount needed for the thickness of wood. Test-cut on a scrap piece of the wood to determine angle. Entry hole drilled in bottom of line and cut in direction of arrow all the way around.

If you have kids, grandkids, or neighbours who participate in group sports, you have probably realized by now that you can only stick so many photos on your refrigerator. You want to display the sports photos given to you, but where? And what to do with the older photos when you get this year’s batch?

This photo frame is just the thing to keep and display all your MVP’s sport photos. When you get a new photo, simply place it in front of the older one, and soon you will have a nice collection of photos showing each season in succession.

Begin by using a table saw to cut the three straight sides of the frame: bottom, left, and top. Cut the curved part of the frame freehand with a scroll saw. Then, cut out the inside area where the photo goes.

You must tilt your scroll saw table to the left, to cut the outside line around the photo area (called a relief cut). That is so the piece around the photo area will pop up and lock in place, creating a recess in the back of the frame for the glass, photo(s), and cardboard backer.

The amount that you tilt the scroll saw table to the left will depend on the thickness of your project wood, and the size of your blade.

Test cut a piece of scrap wood to get the tilt right for whatever wood and blade you will be using.

I used ⅝” particleboard and a Flying Dutchman, #9 FDSR blade, size 0.050″ by 0.018″, with 8 teeth per inch. I tilted the saw table to the left 4 ½º, which gave me a ⅜” recess in the back.

Cutting the Frame

Tilt the table to the left. Drill a small entry hole (the same angle as the tilt) at the bottom of the pattern line. Cut in a counterclockwise direction until you get back to the starting point. The piece should now pop up and lock in place.

Glue it in place before painting your project.

As you can see from the photo, I rounded over the edges with a router to make them look smoother. You don’t have to do this; it looks good with straight cut edges as well.

The figure of the baseball batter is cut from ⅛” Baltic Birch plywood, and glued on the frame as an overay. I left mine plain as it shows up better on the green background. The frame is first painted with Krylon spray paint. Then, the figure is glued on and the whole project is given 3 coats of a clear spray.

The frame is held upright by two pieces of ¼” Baltic Birch plywood cut in a 3″ circle and painted the same color as the frame. They are mounted on the bottom using a couple of counter sunk screws.

You can use any kind of wood to make this frame. Just remember, the thickness and blade size will determine the amount you have to tilt the saw table.

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