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Making Vinyl Album Cover Picture Frames

 In hundreds of garage sales, thrift shops, basements and store rooms around the country are sitting ... tens of thousands of older vinyl records. Vintage artifacts from the 50s, 60s, and 70s and many of them with some astoundingly wonderful art work. This project will bring out those old albums and give them a new life and decor in your home. The design of these frames makes them easy to change album covers, no need for clips or nails to hold the albums in the frame, a simple, innovative slot system designed by the maker allows easy changing of album covers. The wood used for this project was western or broad leaf maple (somewhat softer than the hard or eastern maple) but you could also use many other woods. We found cedar and pine to be a bit soft for this project. The beauty of this project is that it uses standard 3/4" material.

 

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Watch the video, then click below to read more details on how these frames are made. 

You will need to start off with four pieces of wood that measure 3/4" by 1" by at least 14" long. We recommend that you do a much of your preparation ahead of time on this wood before assembly, that means sanding and perhaps even staining ahead of time.

Once you have the four pieces of wood that will consist of the frame sides a 3/8" x 3/8" rebate needs to be cut in all four pieces. You can use a router for this or they can be cut on a table saw, but the sizing is important. We found that a rebate bit in a router table worked best.

After the rebates have been cut in all frame sides, the next step will be to cut slots in top and bottom frame rails only. For our frames we used a 1/4" solid carbide spiral bit. You do have to be careful with solid carbide bits, they are brittle and can break easily if too much pressure is applied to them. If you are worried about breaking an expensive bit, pick up a 1/4" or even a 3//16 steel/carbide bit. 

The frames require a slot of 1/4" deep by 1/4" wide in the top rail of the frame and 1/8" x 1/4" slot in the bottom rail. The reason for this is so the album cover slides up in the top slot enough to clear the bottom rail, then the bottom of the album cover sits in the bottom slot, not the album cover is held in the top and bottom slots of the frame rails.

The final step is to cut the angles of the frame. Use the same techniques as described in "making picture frames". Remember that because of the angle of the frames the rebate and slots will ALWAYS face the blade in your table saw. The rail it'self may either be face side up or face side down depending on the cut, but the slot and rebate will always face the blade.

You need cut at least one side of each rail before sizing all the sides, and the sizing is also critical to the frame function. The sides of the frame must be 13 1/2" and the top and bottom must be 14" long when the cuts are finished.

When the cuts are completed, the frame sides need to be assembled. Make sure you have the sides and top and bottoms all opposite one another. I prefer to glue the sides then pin them with a headless 23 gauge pinner. Nails are ok and for anyone one wanting more strength, just glueing, then after to glue is dried, cutting and inserting splines will ensure the frames are very strongly assembled.

Click on any of the images below to purchase tools for this project.


Rockler Router Table Package

 
 

Rockler Rebating Bit

 

 

 Freud 80 tooth cross cut blade  

Freud Straight Bits

 

copyright - Colin Knecht
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