Design process of a wooden frame for paintings –

Process of designing a Frame for paintings –

Designing and manufacturing your own chassis is not easy. It is not a question of assembling 4 pieces of wood to imagine correctly stretching a canvas over it and hoping for a lasting result over time.

As with the design of a ready-to-paint canvas, it is necessary to follow the manufacturing steps that are essential to obtaining an acceptable final result. Staples, nails, screws, glues... are to be avoided. Only a tenon and mortise interlocking perfect to the mm of the pieces will guarantee you obtaining a quality frame.

You will find below the different manufacturing steps, from the selection of the wood to the assembly of the pieces with a spacer if necessary.

  1. Choose your wood: The choice of wood is preponderant in the confection. Indeed, too hard oak type wood will be complicated to work with and too soft wood will not have the expected result. However, we advise you to work on this last type of wood, but if possible from mountainous regions. The tree species present in these massifs grow much more slowly due to cooler temperatures and a climate less conducive to rapid growth. For example, avoid pine from the Landes. The region's temperate and windy climate makes it possible to have a lot of wood, but unfortunately wood that is not very compact, veiny, thorny and prone to variations in humidity.
  1. Drying: The wood must be dry, not cracked, free of knots and not burly. It can be worked between 14 and 16% humidity. Less than 14%: it risks breaking or splitting. More than 16%: it is not in a state to be worked.
  1. Manufacture of the cleat: Depending on the format of the frame you wish to create, define a sufficient molding size to ensure a certain rigidity to your work. Some believe that the thicker the section of wood, the stronger the frame. It's wrong. The solidity of your frame comes from the choice of wood and its quality of drying.

  1. Preparing the molding: A sash molding must consist of four sides of different sizes. A large side often called "thickness" and corresponding to the edge of the frame on which the canvas will be fixed. A width, says the "flat" that will be on the wall. A small side located inside the frame and finally a sufficiently large slope so that the canvas is not in contact with the molding and that it is not marked by brushstrokes or knives. On both sides of this slope, lightly sand the edges so that they are bevelled and not sharp. This technique will allow you not to tear the canvas during its tension.
  1. Then comes the technical part: the creation of mortise tenons. This is an essential technique for making a key frame. Indeed, if the frame is not assembled in this way, it will then be impossible to house the “tension keys” intended to tighten the canvas in the event of deterioration. The tenons must be designed to the millimeter so that there is no play between the different pieces and therefore concerns about the holding of the chassis. In the case of large formats, spacers or braces must be provided approximately every 50 cm to support the main frame and prevent deformation of the frame during the tensioning of the fabric.

  1. Assembly and assembly of the frame by hammering in the different pieces. Reminder: No nails, screws, staples or glue! Precision work required… The angles must be perfectly straight and very robust: do not hesitate to use squares if necessary (a deformation of the frame often results from uncertain angles). The corners should not be sharp to prevent the canvas from tearing. A little sanding is often welcome….

Here is your chassis is finalized and ready to use. You don't invent yourself as a manufacturer overnight. Today this know-how remains an art and must be mastered so that your works last over time.

At Label Toile, we have decided to work with a master referent in this field, the company Châssis France. We offer around 200 formats of bare and canvas frames, and are able to have your projects and frames made to measure on demand! All your projects, all your creations are possible.

So trust us…. You will not be disappointed !