Picture Frames: Episode 3

Picture Frame ep3

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In this final episode, we explore the different techniques that can be used when decorating the picture frames. Paul shows a variety of methods that are used to create a cove, a bead, an inlay and how to cut a moulding using a moulding plane. You can then utilise these techniques to make various picture frames and layer them to create the whatever effect you wish to achieve.


  1. mikecan on 8 October 2014 at 3:58 pm

    Paul, I can hear your joy and excitement in this episode! It sounds like the same joy that I feel in working wood and creating. Many thanks!!

  2. John Moore on 8 October 2014 at 4:09 pm

    I have really enjoyed this project. Thanks for time you invest in us.

  3. STEVE MASSIE on 8 October 2014 at 5:05 pm

    Paul and staff this is and has been an exciting series, I learned so much. I have a ton of pictures that need frames this will be a ball this Winter. I love the fact there are different methods and tools that can be used without having to break the bank. This is also a great way to use up scrap’s


  4. bobeaston on 8 October 2014 at 5:57 pm

    Once again, thank you for showing many different methods and variations. Not only do they relieve us of having THIS specific tool or THAT specific tool, but they encourage us to seek alternatives and learn more … to think more.
    Thank You!

  5. BrianJ on 8 October 2014 at 6:59 pm

    Genuine appreciation to Paul and the crew on this project. Enjoyable to watch and words cannot express my appreciation for you sharing with us. Fantastic!!!

  6. david o'sullivan on 9 October 2014 at 1:11 am

    Brilliant I love it

  7. adrian on 9 October 2014 at 3:03 am

    Love it, love it, love it. Great ideas from a great teacher.
    Thank you so much. !!!

  8. dsigntrail on 9 October 2014 at 9:45 am

    great project. Thank you for sharing.

    I was wondering, will you be showing any technique to hold the picture (and glass) in the frame? How do you attach these? Thank you

    • Philip Adams on 27 October 2014 at 5:37 pm

      Hello Andrej, there are many possibilities depending on what is available to you, but standard picture framing tabs should work fine.

  9. tglozano on 9 October 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Yes, this is an excellent series and more importantly you have given me a set of skills to last my lifetime. Thank you.

  10. tenbears on 9 October 2014 at 7:41 pm

    If you are stacking the frames, are you tacking or glueing the sections to each other?

    • Philip Adams on 17 October 2014 at 2:27 pm

      Hello Eric, the options would be to glue it for a permenant fix, or otherwise use double sided tape or tabs of superglue if you want to be able to separate them at a later date. Hope it goes well.

    • larryl49 on 4 December 2016 at 8:33 pm

      Thanks Paul I have enjoyed all episodes on frame making, I love the In laying technique which enhances the frame it’s the one I’ve got to try .
      Many thanks for sharing your knowledge and skills.

  11. dejfson on 9 October 2014 at 10:09 pm

    Very nice, thank you. Maybe one more trick how to ‘fix’ two pieces together:


    this one is using two masking tapes glued together using superglue. easy to remove without any risk of damaging the wood.

  12. tompslattery on 13 October 2014 at 3:37 am

    I’m looking for some advice on the moulding plane used. I don’t have one nor do I have a card scrapper to make the scratch stock. So I’m going to have buy something to make the cove. What size/type of plane is used in the video? I’ve never used a moulding plane before so I’m rather lost when searching eBay etc as I know nothing

    • Ed on 8 November 2014 at 2:15 pm

      There’s a nice view of the grooved piece at 33:48. In the first video, he said he was using 20mm stock, so from the view at 33:48, it looks like the groove is about 3mm which I’ll round up to 1/8″ as a guess at the size of the tongue and groove size. It’s an old plane, so that’s why I’m switching to fractions of an inch. If I look at the overall photo, there are two equal sized faces on either sized of the groove and the rabbet/fillet at the top is about the same width. So, these 4 would add up to 1/2. The round in the middle seems to be 1/2 the width of the stick, so I’m guessing this is actually a 1″ thick (25mm) stick with 1/8″ groove and a 1/2″ round in the middle.

      Has anyone tried the tongue and groove attachment for the Veritas plow plane?

      • thunder52 on 6 January 2015 at 9:26 pm

        i have the tongue and groove attatchment for the veritas, and it workes fine, but you do have to remove the fence add the ekstra skate and on with the fence again, before you can cut the tongues…
        the ekstra skate is also needed when using the wider irons..
        i Havent cut alot of t-g´s but with this setup i have the meens..


      • D.J. King on 1 April 2015 at 4:00 am

        I have the Veritas plow playing with all the blades including tongue and groove. I agree with Klaus that it works well and I personally love this plow plane. I have done a number of picture frame inlays like Paul teaches with this plane and a wooden tongue and groove escapement plane like Paul does and I prefer the Veritas plow plane to it. However, at about $429 for the complete set of just the right-handed version of the plow plane, it’s a significant investment. You might consider trying to find a good wooden version like Paul uses in the video to start with. It works quite well and I enjoy using it also.

      • Paul Sellers on 28 May 2015 at 5:34 pm

        Yes, they work fine once they are set up.

    • grego on 4 December 2014 at 5:39 pm

      I’m also interesed in this. I would like to search for a cove molding plane and would like to know the details of the one Paul uses (1/4″?) I see a lot of hollows and rounds for sale, but I’m not sure I’m ready to make a cove using a round without the fence component to ride the side of the molding and guide me.

      • grego on 4 December 2014 at 5:42 pm

        I actually bought this one http://www.amazon.ca/Grizzly-T10274-Rosewood-Molding-Plane/dp/B006SJEI1O and it works great. However it makes just a very small (1/8″) cove and is awkwardly small in the hand.

      • D.J. King on 1 April 2015 at 4:01 am


        I have been down the molding plane trail/rabbit hole and if I may, I think I might be able to offer some advice that will save you money. Before buying a single molding plane, I would recommend getting and thoroughly reading a book by Matthew Bickford (often credited as MS Bickford) entitled “Moldings in Practice”. This book is published and sold the Lost Art Press and can be found at http://lostartpress.com/collections/books/products/mouldings-in-practice. For me, this book was valuable and the authoritative source on learning to use molding planes and hollows and rounds. He lays out the case, that while molding planes are cheap, abundant, and great for making the same exact molding over and over, most woodworkers would get more bang for their buck by investing a single pair of hollows and rounds (Hs&Rs). A single set (even an unmatched pair) can be used to create literally dozens of different profiles and moldings. Molding planes by comparison are one-trick-ponies that make just a single profile. With a second pair of hollows and rounds in a different size, your capabilities increase exponentially. These 2 pairs are usually all most woodworkers will need their entire lives to make scores of molding variations. In the interest of full disclosure, Matt Bickford has a company that makes Hs&Rs at a premium price so him motivation to write the book was likely to create a customer base for his product. MS Bickford hollows and rounds fall for $425 EACH!!! A half set of 9 pair sells for $4,000-$5,000 dollars. Even a single pair at $850 was far more than I would consider paying, but the good news is you don’t have to; hollows and rounds can often be found on the secondary market as individual pieces and if you’re lucky you might find a matched pair for a very reasonable price. These used planes often need significant rehab and some are beyond repair which is why you want to become knowledgeable about hollows and rounds before buying anything. Because of their versatility hollows and rounds can sometimes be just a little bit more expensive than molding planes even on the secondary market, but I wouldn’t pay more than 20 or $40 each for a hollow or round. The great thing about Bickford’s book is that it’s available as a .pdf download for under $20 or in hardcover for under $40. Still, I recommend the book despite the price being double the download because it’s a thorough book with many fine examples of molding designs that I have returned to as a reference for years. Two other resources are a Lie-Nielsen video by Larry Williams on making traditional side escapement planes, which is the general term for the most common style of hollows & rounds). If you get the H&R bug, you can use this video to teach yourself how make a full set for about $400 worth of specialty files and blade blanks. I get my iron blanks from LN as well for about $20 each. A companion DVD starring Don McConnell shows how to use hollows and rounds to make complex moldings. I hear this is a good alternative or complement to Matt Bickford’s book. LN sells this video too.

        There were several thIngs I learned from the book that were invaluable. 1) using something called a sticking board to quickly hold the workpiece without clamps. 2) How to use your fingers to guide hollows and rounds without a fence 3) AND THIS WAS THE BIGGIE, you don’t try to balance the H&R plane on the edge of the workpiece which is extremely hard to master, but what nearly everyone assumes is how their used. He clearly explains that’s for the concave hollows, you first create a chamfer and for rounds you start by creating a rabbet/rebate. What this does in both cases is allows the soul of the hollow or round to ride on two points of contact rather then trying to teeter on the corner of a board. The concept is brilliant and it’s simplicity, but makes all the difference in trying to use the master these wonderfully versatile tools.

        I will leave you with one final note. To get a sense of what the book is all about you can read an article he wrote for Popular Woodworking magazine back in 2012, issue #201. Part of the article is online at http://www.popularwoodworking.com/dec12/the-case-for-hollows-rounds. Reading that article is what caused me to buy the book and begin my journey with hollows and rounds. Unfortunately, I had purchased several molding planes before I read the book. If I had read the book first I would’ve saved my money on the molding planes and invested in hollows and rounds instead. In that way I would’ve gotten much more bang for my buck. If you’re desperate to read the article and can’t get a back issue from popular woodworking or can’t afford to, let me know and I will dig through my stack and make you a copy of the article.

        I wish you the best of luck and happy hand tool woodworking.

  13. D.J. King on 20 April 2015 at 8:54 pm

    Paul amazes me. It looks to me like he is balancing the convex bottomed plane (a “round”) on the edge of the board. For the life of me, I could never get this to work no matter how hard or long I tried. Somehow, Paul
    makes this look easy the way he does with everything. Thankfully, I discovered a trick that made this easier for me. The trick is to simply start with a rebate on the corner so that the round has 2 points of contact to ride on and guide it. I also found that using a chamfer has a similar effect for hollows. An added benefit is that most of the stock is removed with a rebate plane (for rebates/rounds) or smoothing plane (for chamfers/hollows) which means that my hollows and rounds stay sharper longer. This is important because sharpening the irons of hollows and rounds takes me more time than sharpening my straight irons. I’m always amazed that the smallest little tips can make all the difference. Thanks Paul for such a great set of videos.

  14. Paul Sellers on 10 July 2015 at 2:21 am

    I’m not sure if very many people can afford to pay so high a price for a pair of planes when they can be had individually for £10-14 on eBay and made to work like new usually in a matter of minutes. H&R’s are referred to as common planes and not complex at all and they are very east to sharpen and set up.

  15. António on 22 August 2015 at 3:53 pm

    Hi Mr Sellers and team!

    I just bought and wathed this series because I’ll have some picture frames to do.

    Once again Paul make it so so easy, it’s so great to see.

    Mow it’s my time to get my hands os the wood.

    Great work WWMC!

  16. bobnt on 28 May 2016 at 1:11 am

    Really lovely work thanks Paul and crew

  17. Richard Long on 9 July 2017 at 11:57 am

    Fantastic episodes here, the level of fine quality attained with such simple and inexpensive tools is testament to the industrious minds of past craftsmen who developed these techniques. Thank you Mr Sellers for passing on the gift of generations. We are lucky to have you….

  18. Olivier COURTAUX on 4 September 2017 at 9:04 pm

    Good evening,
    I learned a lot of things and thank you to all the alternatives you propose to adapt to everyone ressources and capacities
    Best regards

  19. ted clawton on 10 January 2018 at 6:18 am

    Are there other videos where Paul uses molding or tongue and groove planes?
    Thank you

    • Heidi DD on 19 November 2019 at 3:06 pm

      What a fantastic project. Just finished my hanging wall shelf and now moving on to picture frames, thank you for sharing your knowledge and techniques, Mr. Sellers.

      Not sure if I missed it but what are the measurements of the outer frame for stacked frames? I know it depends on the size of the pic, but what are the recommended measurements (e.g. how many mm apart is the second frame from the innermost frame and so on)


      • Izzy Berger on 26 November 2019 at 8:23 am


        Paul says:
        The whole process of making the picture frames, wasn’t to give viewers specific component sizes because all picture frames will vary and indeed so will the profile you make. The idea was that we would provide the methodology on how to make them only.

        Kind Regards,

  20. Heidi DD on 20 November 2019 at 9:53 am

    What a fantastic project. Just finished my hanging wall shelf and now moving on to picture frames, thank you for sharing your knowledge and techniques, Mr. Sellers.

    Not sure if I missed it but what are the measurements of the outer frame for stacked frames? I know it depends on the size of the pic, but what are the recommended measurements (e.g. how many mm apart is the second frame from the innermost frame and so on)


  21. Warren Hall on 5 February 2021 at 1:41 pm


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