Do you know how a real frame is made? Well, thought so, neither did we until we paid a visit to our frame maker Ramverkstan to learn about all the steps of a handmade, high quality frame. The most important lesson we learnt? That it's quite an impressive craft, which takes time.
This is Jonas and Robert who work at Ramverkstan. Both of them started working with frames in the eighties, and that really shows. All the movements of frame making seem programmed in their hands and they work extremely fast, even with the most delicate task. Still, it takes quite a while to finish a frame, due to the amount of work that has to be done. About 10-15 different steps have to be carried out. In this article we've tried to document the whole process to elucidate what a handmade frame is, why it costs what it costs and, above all, why it looks so much better! We've followed the process of making a wooden box frame and a metal frame with a mount.
Welcome to Ramverkstan's basement! This is the wood and metal workshop where all frame material is cut. We're starting out by making our wooden frame.
The size of the frame is established and now the batten is cut in four pieces with the help of a special machine.
Was it a good cut? Well, yes, so now the four pieces can be assembled.
But first any unevenness in the wood around the edges must be cut off with a sharp knife.
A dab of glue on the end, and the pieces are joined. Many frame makers use a special kind of nailer gun, but Ramverkstan nail by hand with two nails in each corner. The result is more satisfactory and the corners more "tight" according to Robert. The nailer gun shoots its brads into the frame from below, which can cause the joint to be less tight, whereas the hammer enters the nail from the side, which helps the two pieces of batten to join together even tighter.
Fancy trying to join two pieces of wood at home? This is where craftsmanship really shows its true face. In a minute or so, Robert has made a perfectly square frame with the joints barely visible.
At the same time, the metal batten is cut with a saw. You need to cover your ears because this sure makes a lot of sound!
Four finished pieces, ready to make a frame.