How to Turn on a Lathe for Round Picture Frames

Written by joseph mars
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How to Turn on a Lathe for Round Picture Frames
Making a frame like this can be a lot easier with a lathe's assistance. (Wooden engraved picture frame image by Sinisa Botas from

A round, wooden picture frame is an excellent choice for framing those circular photos of yourself and your loved ones. Because of its uniform circular shape, it can also be easier to hang on walls inside your house and business, when compared to a rectangular frame that may hang too far to one side due to weight. You can turn your round picture frame into just the right shape on a lathe, with a few simple preparation steps.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Safety glasses
  • Leather gloves
  • Picture frame
  • Lathe's faceplate
  • Drill
  • Functioning power outlet
  • Screws
  • Lathe chisels

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  1. 1

    Put the safety glasses and leather gloves on to protect your face and hands from wood and dust.

  2. 2

    Unscrew the lathe's faceplate from its chuck headstock by hand; place the faceplate's top down onto the flat backside of the round picture frame.

  3. 3

    Plug the drill into a functioning power outlet; drill in the screws inside the faceplate's holes, until they attach the faceplate to the back of the picture frame.

  4. 4

    Screw the faceplate back onto the chuck's headstock by hand; turn the lathe on.

  5. 5

    Shape the picture frame's edge and front-centre with the lathe chisels as desired. Turn the lathe off, remove the faceplate, undo the screws with the drill and detach the round picture frame to finish.

Tips and warnings

  • Use lower lathe speeds, such as 500 Revolutions Per Minute (RPM.)
  • Grip the tool's handle overhand with both hands, keeping one hand holding the end of the chisel's handle at all times, while shaping the frame.

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