Finishing a Polyptych Cassetta

A few weeks ago I posted about carving the beads for a big polyptych cassetta frame we’re making. Here’s an update on the frame. It’s now in the finishing room, where yesterday Sam Edie stained it (below) and gilded the slips, and today applied the first of two coats of varnish to it. Here are some pictures of the frame(s) being made since the beads were carved. Finishing a picture frame

Carving the cap moulding—

A cassetta frame is a flat with an inner and outer molding. The smaller beaded molding in the earlier post was the inner molding. Next I made the heavier outer, or cap, moulding. It’s a carved flattened bead with stops. The cut-in back was shaped with a molding head, everything else with a rip blade on the table saw.

Gluing the cap to the flat—

This is one of the end frames, so the flat and the inner and outer moldings are “U”-shaped. The two corners of the cap were only glued. So the joints wouldn’t break while slotting on the table saw, I slotted and splined it after gluing to the flat.

Finally time to finish—

Sparing you pictures of me sanding (there was a lot of that; not very interesting) and jumping ahead to finishing.

I got the slips into the finishing room first. Those were gilded with 23 kt gold leaf. The blue tape is to leave raw wood for a glue surface, since they’ll be glued into the rabbets.

The quartersawn oak frames are stained Medieval Oak.

How’s it look?

After staining, Sam put the slips in and butted the frames all together. Total length, almost 15 feet. Sam did a beautiful job (as always).

Stay tuned!

NOTE: A final post on this project showing the finished framed Renaissance map of the Roman Empire is here.

« Back to Blog

One thought on “Finishing a Polyptych Cassetta

  1. Wow – compliments to Sam. Wonderful skills on show.

    I really appreciate you posting these articles, where you get into the “nitty gritty” of actually making something.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *