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How should I trim picture frame splines?

4464 Views 4 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  lrr
I built a jig for my table saw to hold picture frame at 45 degree vertically, to cut slots for reinforcing splines. (Thought about doing this on router table, but I do not have a slotting bit that gives nearly enough depth.)

Anyway, slots are cut, and splines are glued in. But, the splines I cut are oversized, and so I need to trim them. I am worried that trying to rout them with a piloted flush cut bit could splinter them, and remove part of the spline below the edge profile of the slot. (In other words, I want to end up with a perfect triangular spline in that triangular slot, but I'm worried the corner will chip out.)

I could trim with a small razor saw, and sand, but seems to be awfully time consuming - -there has to be a better way.

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Hi Lee

Many, many,many ways to get this type of job done but what works best for me is the bench top belt sander, with a 180/220 belt installed.

You can make a small jig to keep it sq. and true to the belt and it will come out looking great.

Bj :)
Hi Bob,

Thanks for the suggestion. I had considered that, but too lazy today to go out in the bitter cold to buy a fine or extra fine belt!

I ended up trimming the splines really close to the frame with my RAS, and then gingerly fed the frame past a piloted bit on the router table. I only fed it from corner of frame to end of spline all the way around, then flipped the frame over, and repeated.

There was no tearout, so I guess it was fine. Just a really labor-intensive process to cut slots, make splines, and then glue them in and trim them!
I use a flush trim hand saw and then hand sand. There are several brands but I have the Veritas aka Lee Valley. I think they go for $20.00 US. It works on dowels, splines, or plugs of any kind. I even used it to trim around a doorway when I was installing a new floor. It is one of my favorite hand tools.

And like all hand tools they help keep you warm when you use them. Berry in St Paul
I'm building a list of things to order from Lee Valley -- will probably add a flush trim hand saw to it.

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