Christmas Gift | Walnut License Frame


This year for Christmas, I decided to make something special for Ann. A couple weeks prior to Christmas, Ann recieved her engineer’s license, which is a huge accomplishment. I really wanted to celebrate this somehow and show how proud I was. All licenses need a frame to be displayed in right?

test, test and test more

After a number of test pieces on the router table (I must have spent 2 full nights figuring this out and testing things), I had something I was happy with. In order to hold the glass in, but keep everything tidy on all sides, it required 2 steps and 2 different set-ups on the router table. The first step is for the back piece that will hold the glass in. The second step is for the glass to sit on, which had to be the right depth for the glass to sit and stay tight when I put the backer pieces on.

All the corners were mitered and glued/clamped. I thought about doing some dowels to strengthen the joint, but honesly I was scared of messing it up so I left it.

router table tip

For a frame like this, do all your router steps first before mitering the corners if you can. This means that any blow-out you get on the end of your piece can be cut off and won’t ruin your mitered piece.


For the backer pieces that hold the glass in, we had some pieces of walnut left by the previous owner of the house. They are 1/4″ thick by 3/4″ strips that I believe are used as finish edging for plywood, whatever they are we have about 300000 of them so we use them whenever we can.

The screws and picture hanger had to be brass, brass and walnut are a match made in heaven.

mitered frame tip

Your keen eye may have noticed that my pieces do not quite match. Do as I say not as I do. Ideally for a frame, you would use a continuous piece so the color is the same or similar and the grain matches up as much as possible. I was utilizing what was available at my local woodcraft (last minute ideas will do that), so it works, but I’d recommend matching them better if possible.

All the backer pieces were chamfered on the sander to ease the edge down to the frame.

The entire frame was finished with danish oil, 3 coats.

brownie points awarded

She loved it! Not a huge fan of making mitered frames though. They look and seem easy, but if you have made one you know they are not. Anyway, Merry Christmas babe.

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