View Full Version : Picture Frame - Laser Cut

Mr Mike Mills
01-12-2014, 10:35 PM
As a cabinetmaking teacher we have lots of scraps in the shop. We have found several smaller projects to use the solid oak on. We also have a lot of 1/4 oak plywood scraps which many of them are to small to use in our projects. Some of the pieces are to small for cabinet parts, but large enough I do not want to throw them away. I have been trying to come up with some smaller projects which would use up some of this 1/4" ply, yes of course would always just laser a few little plaques, but I wanted something a little more than that.

I wanted to come up with a picture frame for a recent family vacation, and I wanted to try and use some of this 1/4 plywood scraps that we have. Now this picture is not the family vacation frame, but one with the high school logo on it.

To keep the picture in place I used 2 pieces of .100" Plexiglass and put the picture between them.

Since these pictures were taken I have also had the idea to add a keyhole in the back to hang the picture. Keyhole shape on the back layer, and a oval cut out for the screw head to slide in.


The frame uses 3 pieces of plywood. There is a cut out in the back layer so you could easily get your fingers in to pull out the plexiglass and change the picture. Also I set it up so that the frame pieces get cut on all sides so that the edge of the frame has the same burn appearance on all edges. I also used the laser to cut out the 2 pieces of plexiglass.

To hold the 3 pieces of wood together I use just a little bit of wood glue around the frame. Not a lot do not want it to squeeze out and down the edge of the burnt edge of the fame, and then a few spring clamps to keep it in place.

The only thing I would like to add would be some holes on the bottom side of the back layers of the frame where dowels could be inserted so the frame could also sit on a desk or shelf. Typically I would use the drill press to drill 15-20 degree holes. i would like to figure out how to set up a file to run the oblong holes so the drill press would not need to be used. I would need to set it up so that a 3 pieces get a hole that would allow the dowel to sit at an angle.

This frame was for a 5x7 picture.

I do not have the coreldraw file on this computer, but I will try and get it uploaded soon.

Michele Welch
01-12-2014, 10:41 PM
This is really a neat idea. Great job.

Mr Mike Mills
01-13-2014, 3:31 PM
Okay I have attached the File. There are 2 cut outs at the bottom these are the size the plexiglass needs to be. Enjoy


Chuck Stone
01-13-2014, 4:46 PM
Looks great, Mike!

.. one word of caution... as a rule, you don't want the photo
sandwiched between sheets so that the surface is touching. Depending
on the paper, it may stick and/or change color from chemicals leeching
out of the plastic over time. You may be able to eliminate the back sheet
and use a matte board to take up that space (I'd have to check the
dimensions) but that would keep the photo from touching the front
sheet and possibly doing damage over time. Having spent decades in
that field, I can't tell you how many people brought in pictures in the
frames where the photo was welded to the glass and there wasn't
anything anyone could do. Not as bad now with most photos being
digital copies that can be reprinted again.. but there were some broken
hearts over heirlooms that couldn't be salvaged.I downloaded the
file and I'm going to play with it. Thanks!

Bert Kemp
01-13-2014, 10:54 PM
I tried to open this file but I just get a blank corel page. What version is it in.?

Duncan Crawford
01-14-2014, 11:01 AM

I had a similar issue with scraps, and a whole lot of grandkid pictures. The Corel file (six pages, as sized for my Mini-18) is too big to upload, but here's a link to a zip out on Dropbox: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/80200697/Picture%20frame.zip

I had 3 and 5mm plywood scraps, and ended up assembling the frame pieces in a vacuum bag, using stacked rare earth magnets to ensure alignment as the veneer glue set up. Once the glue was dry the residue can be scraped off and the edges either left as-cut, or lightly sanded and given a coat of paint. I ended up painting a dark brown as a bit of contrast to the maple and birch. There are two frame orientations in the archive, landscape and portrait. The "glass" is 0.050 styrene from the local big box store.


Mr Mike Mills
01-14-2014, 3:33 PM
CoreDraw x6

I have split the file in to 4 parts. If this does not work Do I need to Export the file with a specific extension? All i am doing is attaching the original document. The largest File size is only 11kb


Mike Chance in Iowa
01-14-2014, 4:06 PM

A lot of forum members are still using older versions of Corel Draw and will not be able to open your files. If you do a Save As, you can select the Version and drop it down to Ver 9 or Ver 12 so that all members can open your files.

Mr Mike Mills
01-17-2014, 1:23 PM
I have saved the file in corel draw version 7


Let me know if this does not work

Mr Mike Mills
02-20-2014, 3:00 PM
Here is a few frames I made for a Make A Wish trip we did for my son.282922 282923. Also added some 3/8" holes on the back 2 layers so a dowel could be use to keep frame up right on desk or shelf.


David Somers
02-20-2014, 3:31 PM

This is a minor time savings, but just one dowel is more than enough to support a picture frame.

Fun stuff!!!


Bert Kemp
02-20-2014, 8:48 PM
Could you post these in a lower version of corel Thanks opps never mind LOL