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  • Joe

How To Make A Picture Frame For A Scratch Map

I've had my scratch map for a couple of years now. Never used it. So it's about time I did. Here is how to make a picture frame to mount the scratch map in. The DIY picture frame can be used for all sorts though, photos, paintings, shadow boxes, lots of possibilities. Not just for following where you have been on your travels around the world.

Materials Used:

Tools Used:


First step in this project is to resaw the walnut to size. You can of course buy wood ready planed to the size you want but I had this piece of walnut knocking around for over a year now so it was best to use it up.







American Black Walnut has beautiful grain and colour to it.







I planed the walnut to roughly 35mm x 45mm. This should give me nice proportions for the frame to the scratch map.






Speaking of the scratch map. It needs to be mounted to a board before going in the frame. I used a piece of 6mm MDF. I aligned the map to a line I marked on the board and clamped it in place.






I could then fold the map back and apply spray adhesive to the board. The clamps ensure the map stay aligned correctly.







I then lowered the map slowly onto the adhesive. Making sure there were no bubbles or wrinkles in the map.







Then it was just a case of removing the clamps and doing the same to the other side of the map.






I marked a 10mm boarder around the scratch map and cut it to size using a handsaw. The handsaw allows me to make sure the map doesn't get scratched or scuffed.




With the map adhered to the MDF and cut to size I could turn my attention back to the frame itself.



In order to set the map into the frame I needed to remove some material. I marked a 20mm square on the end of a walnut piece. This will be my guide for what needs to be removed.




Using a straight cutting bit in the router table I nibbled away at the material that needed to be removed. I did this on all 4 pieces of walnut. This left me with an L shape to the pieces.




To add a bit of detail to the front of the walnut pieces I used a chamfer bit to ease the edges.








The walnut pieces are starting to look like they belong to a picture frame.





I wanted mitre joints on this picture frame so I used a mitre saw to cut the 45 degree cut on each end. The length is best to determine for the map itself. I offered up the pieces and marked the inside of the cut. A scratch Map is roughly 819mm x 582mm so they should be measurements for the inside of your mitre cuts.


The glue up went a lot easier because I used the right angle clamping jigs I made previously. They held everything square while I added glue, clamps and tape.




The walnut had some voids and knots so I filled them with Milliput epoxy putty. When its set and sanded I think it offers a really nice contrast against the walnut.






To finish the frame I used a gloss spray lacquer. I gave it 3 coats, sanding between each coat.