To recognise great achievements in sport, or to acknowledge somebody's hard work off the field, how about presenting them with an elegant trophy picture frame? I acknowledged my son's coach with this award, which includes a photo of his great team. Once you've made the jig, you can use it to make as many trophies as you like.
With a piece of paper or light cardboard folded in half, sketch the size and shape of the shield, and cut along the waste side of the line. Open the paper and you should now have a mirror image.
Trace around the shape on to a piece of 7mm MDF, and using a jig saw carefully cut along the waste side of the traced line. File accurately to the line if need be, take your time getting this right as any wobbly lines will show on the finished piece. Place and trace around the photo in the desired position; (I centred mine with a tape measure). Now drill a 10mm hole in each corner before cutting along the inside pencil line, (keep this piece for your back piece) and file to the line.
Also measure mark and cut out on another piece of MDF, 10mm larger than the photo. This jig is for the rebate for the photo, glass and backing to fit into.
To hold your work piece in place, use 3-4 evenly placed panel pins nailed through the jig. Cut with a pair of pincers so about 5mm protrudes. Clamp the best side of your work piece face-down and tap the jig down securely on top with the timber grain.
Fit the straight cutting router bit and fit the template guide to your router, then set the depth on the router to cut about 7-10mm deep and carefully run the router forwards around the shape of the jig. Still at the same router depth, run the router to cut out for the picture frame. Adjust the depth and repeat the process until the shape and frame have been cut out.
With the shield and picture frame now cut out, remove the jig from the work piece and fit the jig with the 10mm larger frame, centred 5mm right the way round and re-using the panel pins from the first jig. Still with the front of the work piece clamped facing down, set the depth of the router to cut 12mm deep, and then carefully run the router forwards to the inside shape of the frame, giving you the rebate needed.
Remove the template guide from the router and replace the straight cutting bit with decorative edge moulding, I used a Cove bit and set it to the desired depth of about 7mm, then run the router around the face-side edge of the shield.
Now the shield is ready for sanding. Start with the 120 grit and sandpaper all the mouldings and the front and back of the shield, finishing with 220 sandpaper. Apply a few coats of sealer/stain with a soft cloth that is free of dust. Lightly sand between coats using 220 wet and dry sandpaper.
Fix a small screw about 30mm above the photo, one at either side, then wrap a piece of picture frame wire around the screws before tightening the screws down. Now place in your glass, photo and back piece of MDF and hold in place with evenly placed glazier points using a flat blade screw driver. Take in the shield to get engraving on to a plaque.
Unplug the router when changing router bits.
Practise on a scrap piece of wood first when setting the depth of the decorative moulding.
Make sure all work pieces are clamped down securely when using the router.
Clamp a scrap piece of wood under your work piece to protect the work bench.