Tony Leonard's Gilded Frame

Simpler to make than it looks

SHOP OWNER: Tony Leonard

    My wife's old boss gave her this postcard. It is dated June 21, (mid 1800s) from a teacher to a student. About the time she got it, I took a class from Curtis Whittington at Highland Hardware on carving molding. I took one of the designs/techniques he taught us and applied it to make this frame. It's made of basswood.
     You can't tell from the picture, but there is a small cove cut on the side. I made the molding with simple router cuts and used a core box bit to make the small cove after the frame was assembled.
    The carving is pretty simple. It was my first attempt at carving a real project.
    The finish is waterbased gold paint that I antiqued with a couple of washes, then a coat of clear finish. I wanted it to look old.
    Anyway, it was a fun project. Curtis is a great teacher. I'll graduate to a more complicated carving on my next project. This one is great for beginners as it is mostly stab type cuts and easy to do in steps.
    For reference, Lee Grindinger did an excellent article in FWW that showed some molding making methods that are easy to follow. Ian Agrell also has some good pictures at his site, and Mike Davies has a good carving book that shows some simple moldings and other projects that are easy to follow and use minimal tools.
    One good point that Curtis taught us was that, since moldings are usually made several at a time, most can be broken down into steps or cuts that lend themselves to fast production. So, if you see an old pattern you like (take pictures), you can probably break it down into a series of fairly simple steps. He has a great inventory of pictures he has taken or collected over the years. You'd be surprised how easy it is to make these things!

. . . Tony Leonard




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P.O. Box 493
Springtown, PA 18081