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.