Montana Log Homes

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Log Picture Frames

DIY Rustic Log Picture FramesLog Picture Frame

One of the most eye-catching decorator pieces found in a log home are rustic looking log picture frames. Nothing compliments a rustic atmosphere like a hand-crafted frame. This instructional video shows how you can do-it-yourself.

There are any number of way to rip small logs, but attaching your round log to a squared guide will permit you to rip the log straight and true on a table saw.

Once the two halves are cut, minor trimming on one side using a joiner or your table saw will give you the other squared side you will need to cut the channel, which will hold your picture and glass. When this is done, mitering the ends to accommodate the size of your picture can be done using a chop saw or table saw.

Gluing-up the four rails presents more of a challenge due to the uneven log sections. As a result, they will not usually fit inside a conventional picture frame jig. I solve this problem by clamping one piece to my workbench and then using a series of long clamps to apply pressure to the 45 degree joint while the glue cures. I also prefer to use Gorilla Glue (instead of white carpenter’s glue) for these joints due to the porous nature of pine (end pieces) and its extraordinary holding power.

Once the frame is completed and the glue set, I use a variety of tools to trim the uneven corners. A hand plane will take the wood down quickly, followed by a belt sander and wide chisel to merge the corner joints’ uneven edge height.

When I have ‘roughed-in’ the frame, I use a finishing sander to remove marks left by the coarse grit belt sander and plane. Because this is a rustic piece, I don’t try to sand this to a smooth finish, I prefer to leave as many of the drawknife marks and original bark as possible to give that look of rustic charm.

This video show my process in creating a log picture frame

Once my frame is ready to be finished, I stain it using a natural or slightly tinted solution to give me the shade I am looking to achieve. I prefer a natural or slightly yellowed look to compliment our interior walls. When dry, I will coat with one or two layers of satin polyurethane. Obviously, you can stain and finish to meet your taste.