Picture Frames Part 2 - Router Forums
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-22-2011, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Default Picture Frames Part 2

Well, I have spent the last week and half trying to figure out how to make picture frames. It's not as easy as I thought it would be.

First, I made a frame clamp similar to the clampmate frame clamp. This was a disaster. I have not included a picture of this. It's embarrassing.

I came upon some plans for wedged frame clamps. They work really well. I made 8 of them. I can now clamp frames of any size.

Then I tried to cut 45 degree angles. Not as easy as I thought it would be. I spent an entire evening micro-adjusting my compound miter saw, but I could never get it exact enough. So I gave in and bought a hand-plane (it's true -- I didn't own one) and built a shooting board.

I spent another evening sanding the shooting board edge until it was exactly 45 degrees. I tried to make a 90 degree angle as you can see in the photo, but I just couldn't get it right (pun intended). Now that it's exactly 45 degrees, my joints look pretty good.

I've clamped and glued the corners together, and it holds pretty well, but I'm sure it's not strong enough yet.

So here's my next question: what do you all do to strengthen your miter joints? For now, I'm thinking about adding corner splines. Are these going to be easier to cut on my table saw after I make a 45 degree jig or am I better off using a slot cutter on my router table? Or should I clamp the piece down and make a jig to run my router across the joint with a slot cutter?

I'd really like to learn how to do a hidden spline or biscuit. How would you approach this?

What do you guys do to reinforce these joints?

I appreciate all the advice I can get.

Thank you,
Darren
Picture Frames Part 2-picture-frame-photos-2.jpg

Picture Frames Part 2-picture-frame-photos-3.jpg

Picture Frames Part 2-picture-frame-photos-1.jpg
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 08:21 AM
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WOW! nice looking stuff. but do you really feel you need to be so exact when wood movment will make the joints open up with time anyway? I have a friend that owns a framing shop, he has a nice set of pro corner clamps and uses a pin nailer and glue to secure the joints.
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 09:30 AM
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Hi dmc

Nice job on the frame clamp setup BUT you are making to hard, a biscuit on the corners and the clamp below will get the job done in a heart beat.

You can use your router table to put the biscuit slots in place.

Merle Band Clamp with Self Adjusting Jaws

http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shops...merleclamp.pdf

http://www.routerforums.com/table-mo...nel-doors.html


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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmc_md View Post
Well, I have spent the last week and half trying to figure out how to make picture frames. It's not as easy as I thought it would be.

First, I made a frame clamp similar to the clampmate frame clamp. This was a disaster. I have not included a picture of this. It's embarrassing.

I came upon some plans for wedged frame clamps. They work really well. I made 8 of them. I can now clamp frames of any size.

Then I tried to cut 45 degree angles. Not as easy as I thought it would be. I spent an entire evening micro-adjusting my compound miter saw, but I could never get it exact enough. So I gave in and bought a hand-plane (it's true -- I didn't own one) and built a shooting board.

I spent another evening sanding the shooting board edge until it was exactly 45 degrees. I tried to make a 90 degree angle as you can see in the photo, but I just couldn't get it right (pun intended). Now that it's exactly 45 degrees, my joints look pretty good.

I've clamped and glued the corners together, and it holds pretty well, but I'm sure it's not strong enough yet.

So here's my next question: what do you all do to strengthen your miter joints? For now, I'm thinking about adding corner splines. Are these going to be easier to cut on my table saw after I make a 45 degree jig or am I better off using a slot cutter on my router table? Or should I clamp the piece down and make a jig to run my router across the joint with a slot cutter?

I'd really like to learn how to do a hidden spline or biscuit. How would you approach this?

What do you guys do to reinforce these joints?

I appreciate all the advice I can get.

Thank you,
Darren
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Attachment 41555

Attachment 41553



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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 10:24 AM
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FWIW, Darren, I think the relative strength of the frame depends on how large it is, and what is going in the frame. For small frames, a simple glue joint may be sufficient; for medium-sized frames, adding a biscuit may work; for others, a stronger spline may be a better choice. Then, there comes a point at which an attached back panel may be needed to provide enough strength for the weight of the content of the frame (e.g. large mirrors).

Exposed splines of contrasting wood look nice for "modern" frame designs, but less so for more complex moulded frames, I think. If the frame material is wide enough, you might consider a stopped (hidden) spline for larger frames with light-weight contents.

- Ralph
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walowan View Post
.. I have a friend that owns a framing shop, he has a nice set of pro corner clamps and uses a pin nailer and glue to secure the joints....

I've seen many a frame fastened with glue and V nails, as well.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 12:18 PM
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I try to avoid metal fasteners in a picture frame if at all possible, within my skill set anyway. Probably no good reason, just one of my quirks.
Lately I have been using biscuits or blind splines. I cut the slot free hand on the router table. Been meaning to make a jig for this as it isn't all that consistant. I stop the slot before the corner but allow it to come through the rabbet and trim the spline with a chisel after glue up. I cut the splines on the table saw and shape them to the curvature of the slot on a belt sander. Not a high production system but I'm not being charged for my time either.

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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-23-2011, 02:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jschaben View Post
I try to avoid metal fasteners in a picture frame if at all possible, within my skill set anyway. Probably no good reason, just one of my quirks.
Understood.... just doesn't seem to fit into the "code" of woodworking, does it.

The V nails I mentioned actually bind the miters together while the glue sets. They're pressed into the backside of a clamped frame and are hidden by the dust cover (if one chooses to apply one). Primarily for the prefinished stock used by production framers.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 04:44 AM
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Look at this method for putting splines into frames
http://flic.kr/p/5W84D6
http://flic.kr/p/5W84D6
http://flic.kr/p/5WcnV1
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Last edited by derek willis; 02-24-2011 at 04:47 AM.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-24-2011, 11:13 AM
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Hi

Just one more way to do it on the router table your frames will always come out just right, the spline will do all the work..

http://www.routerforums.com/jigs-fix...slot-jigs.html

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 02-25-2011, 12:06 AM
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The last frames I made I splined and used the router table to do with a slotting bit. Better on the table. I have also biscuited the ends together depending on frame width. Has to be wide enough. Works well. When I worked at a mantel shop a few years ago they bought an Italian made machine which is supposed to be the framing industry standard. Cost $25,000. It used spring steel V nails to hold the joints together, from 1-3 nails, and they would pull the two sides together, no glue required. I think Lee Valley sells the nails. Not sure how they work with a hand driver.
I also had trouble cutting mitres with a chop saw until I added some blade stiffeners. Mine are made by Dimar, about $25.

Someone I consider a master woodworker once told me that a master woodworker is not someone who never makes mistakes. He is someone who is able to cover them up so that no one can tell.

Last edited by Cherryville Chuck; 02-25-2011 at 12:44 AM.
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