Man of Steel Poster and Frame

Finished Man of Steel Poster Frame

The completed frame is 84″ wide by 38″ high

If you know me, you know I can come up with some of the strangest of projects. I once built a feeding station for my dog that had two chambers, one for food and one for water. It worked pretty well other than the issue of birds. I also have experience making my own signage. I built a dodge logo out of hard board only to find that hard board doesn’t stand up to any type of rigor. I then built a batman logo, a superman logo and a Jeep logo (for a friend) out of medium density fiberboard, which all turned out quite nice.

The Man of Steel Poster

For father’s day my wife and son got me a large vinyl poster for the movie “The Man of Steel”. Before you ask, yes, I am a huge Superman fan. Anyhow, I got the poster in the mail. It was beautiful, large… and beautiful. So I couldn’t just get some scotch tape and tape it to the wall, I had to put it up in class; I decided to build a frame. At first I envisioned a simple frame, but my mind could never rest easy on simple. I headed to home depot for my supplies. I got 6 boards and a small sheet of Plexiglas.

I tend to take my time and ensure the right steps are taken while building anything, which is why this project taken me almost two months to complete. I built this frame using very few electrical tools. I used a biscuit joiner and an orbital sander on the frame and a jig saw, drum sander and a dremel on the Plexiglas emblem. The rest was done with hand tools, I used a hand plane to get nice clean miters and a smooth flat surface and a hand saw with a miter box to get my cross and miter cuts. I wanted to have as much of a personal feeling of achievement with this project possible so I left out as many power tools as I could.

Background for Superman LogoI started with the frame, I wanted a frame that was slim from the face of the poster but with depth to extend it from the wall a bit. The front of the frame is 1.5”. The side is 4.5” from wall to the face of the frame. To make the frame more custom I wanted to put the Superman symbol on it. I initially had the idea of using a small key chain or something pre-made to just glue to the frame, but that would have been too easy, plus I like to make things look as good as I can. I decided I wanted the logo to take up about 4.5” inches in width and extend above and below the frame, but I wanted the frame to accommodate the logo by extending back from the logo so that the frame looks like that logo was built into the frame (which it was). Out of the wood I shaped some pieces that would be the backer for the logo. One of the requirements I had for this project was to hide all the end grain from the wood (wood workers always stride to hide end grain), to do that I had shaped three pieces, one above the frame face, and two below.

Superman Logo during initial shaping

Superman Logo during initial shaping

The logo itself was more work than the actual frame. I printed out the logo and surround piece that I created in Adobe Illustrator and glued them to the back of the Plexiglas (using spray glue) leaving the protective plastic on the Plexiglas that comes on it. With the jig saw I cut out the two pieces being careful not to get too close to the edge of the logo. Then on the drum sander I honed the outside edges more close to the logo shapes. From there I used a dremel mortising bit to cut out the bigger pieces inside the logo but to get the shapes just right I had to use some small hand files.

Superman Logo with and without background

Superman Logo with and without background

Once I got the logo done I thought to have it glossy at first, so I painted the backside of the logo, tried it with and without a yellow background which after much debate (with myself), I decided it was too happy and happy didn’t go with the grungier style of Zach Snyder, so I airbrushed the front of the logo and darkened up the colors a bit, I dry brushed some accents to it and then finished it with a matt clear coat. I think that turned out pretty good.

The Man of Steel logo

The Man of Steel logo

To finish the frame I stained it ebony, and then stained it with an espresso color. This created a beautiful tone, but the finish was a bit too contrasted, so I stained it a sanded it out slightly and stained it again with the espresso stain. That smoothed out the contrast perfectly. To protect it I used a satin polyurethane coat.

After cleaning it all up and hanging it I was extremely happy with the results. I’m rather proud of this one.

Man of Steel Poster seen from left edge

Man of Steel Poster seen from left edge

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