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New Hobby meets Old Hobby

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Woodworking is clearly not a long-term hobby of mine. In my earlier posts, I’ve mentioned that I have only been introduced to the craft within the past couple years. In contrast, the world of video games has always been a part of my life. I would even say that it has been one of the most influential aspects in my life. The influence comes directly through my endless time spent playing them during my childhood through today, and indirectly through my love of technology and aspirations to build computers to let me continue gaming.

The short of it: I found an artist on Reddit that did watercolor paintings of scenes in one of my favorite video games – Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. I’ve been playing this game (and subsequent iterations of this game) for over 15 years.

I thought it was super nice and looks close to identical to what you see in the game itself. It was pretty remarkable. I decided I need to build a frame for it.

I started with some 2″ poplar that I had sitting around.

Ran the wood through the bandsaw to create some 1″ strips to work with. I didn’t want anything bulky and wanted to keep it simple.

Since the bandsaw isn’t the best at making very flat cuts, I planed these down a bit to even them out and make them smooth.

Mitered the corners using the miter saw. Dry fit was looking good!

This is where the trouble started. I knew I needed to add a recess to the wood for the glass to sit in. I wasn’t comfortable with using my table saw at this point (yet would become plenty comfortable later) so I hooked up my small router to a router table I purchased from someone at my workplace. If I had a decent router, this probably wouldn’t have been a problem, but my inexpensive Harbor Freight router was barely holding up when doing this. I had to sand a lot of the edges to knock down any marks the router made while struggling through this. It worked, but I would definitely use a table saw next time… or get a better router.

This wonderful little 90 degree clamp was super helpful in gluing these together.

However, I did decide to throw in a quick finish nail to make sure this stays together. I ended up filling the hole with some wood putty and sanding it down.

Cleaning everything up a bit!

Starting to come together here. Onto the finishing!

I ended up using the same stain + poly that I used on my bench which ended up looking pretty nice. Only one coat and it was all set.

I will spare you the details but let’s just say that my first attempt at cutting glass turned into breaking glass. I picked up a glass cutter from Home Depot + a sheet of 24″ x 36″ glass. I ended up using a straightedge to attempt my first cut but the blade veered off of the glass and cracked the first attempt. What I decided to do was build a quick jig to hold the blade in place. The picture above shows what I did. This allowed the glass cutter to cut straight and I could feel free to apply as much pressure as I felt necessary without the fear of flying off the glass. Granted, I did have to make sure that the glass was in position properly before clamping the jig on top. It ended up working great and I can hopefully continue to use this for pieces in the future.

Quick cut of some backing board to apply to the back of the frame to hold the picture + glass in. There are some small L-shaped tacks that you can use at this point (found next to my glass cutter in Home Depot) to hold everything in place.

And we’re done! Minus a few aesthetic flaws on the poplar that were pre-existing and I didn’t feel like working too hard to fix, I thought the frame looked perfect for the room.

Added it right below my Firewatch poster. 🙂

I have to say: I really appreciate now why picture frames are pretty pricey. I always thought they cost a fortune for what they really were but now that I know the process, I can definitely see why. I may not do this again due to how much time it took but at least I have the option to put together something custom if I can’t find anything in a store.

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