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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Once again I find myself wallowing in abject humiliation, brought down by the simple act of cutting bevels on a board. Before you promise your wife that you will "build some simple picture frames" take my warning: you may be at it longer than you think!!!
The first one wasn't square. Second one turned out too small. Cut another one and it was too big. Cut it down and it was too small. Corners won't match up right. Cut 'em again. Check miter saw. Seems to be 45 degrees. Cut some more wood. Nope, still look crude. Check miter saw again. Buy new rabbet bit to cut slot in back side. Chatters and rips. Try again taking smaller cuts. Check miter saw again just for the hell of it. Check router bit too. Cut some miters on table saw. Not bad
Go to buy more oak. No money left. Go to picture frame store and buy some on credit card.
Make solemn pledge to NEVER again try to make "a simple picture frame." The horror.....the horror....
 

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measure the pic that add the wood for the outside of the frame like 8X10 the wood would be like 1/4" smaller on all the boards for the cut out for the pic and glass i have used the table saw and cut 1/4" square out for the glass or use a good router bit eather will do their are a couple way's to get them square and spline's on the ends and keep them flat use wax paper under the corners or foil that will work i have made lot's of frames del schisler
 

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Hi BW - gotta laugh - been there many times and it's humiliating to say the least - I feel your pain. Seems so simple which is I guess why it's so hard! It's exacting.
Sounds like you're using a miter saw, which is what I have to do as well, having no table saw.
Couple of thoughts should you attempt to try again - easy way to check and adjust your miter saw fence for 90 (nothin works if you're not there to begin with) is to cut a piece of wide stock (as wide as your saw allows) at 90 - leave one side there on the plate and take the other side and flip it over and try to butt them up again - is it good? if not, adjust the fence itself and do it again till it's perfect.
For cutting equal length sides, cutting to a mark doesn't "Cut it" for me - use stops clamped to the fence to get them all exactly the same - most likely whether the overall frame is off by 1/16 or 1/8 doesn't matter, but having any one side off by that amount will kill ya! If the stops would have to be beyond the end of your fence, clamp an extension onto the back and then a stop to the extension.
If you're tilting the blade for your cuts to 45 because your stock is too wide to cut verticaly - do NOT rely on the scale - use a good 45 degree triangle to set it and make sure you're not hitting the teeth - make sure the triangle is only on the flat part of the blade.
For clamping, I really like the straps with the adjustable 90 degree corner cleats - I don't use the regular screw down corner clamps anymore. There's also plenty of framing jig plans out there as well, but the straps work well for me. With the right tension, they'll pull together any slight imperfections.
If you're like me they'll be close but never quite perfect - once they're glued up try running a rounded burnisher (like the shank of a screw driver) along the corner - it'll fold the edges right up ... and I won't tell if you don't!
Probably told you things you already know, but I've been able to make them pretty well with the miter saw if I'm careful and follow those routines.
Of course, like you said, there's always the framing store but that's not near as much fun now is it?! ...... ;-)
 

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Been there. I bit the bullet and got an Incra miter gauge for the table saw. A couple hundred bucks for that and an auxiliary fence (plus an extra subfence for octagon's) from Woodpecker's and it all went away. It can be bought cheaper at other places, but they are the only one I found to have the auxiliary fence. I use the auxuliary fences for zero clearance, plus it has a non-slip coating on it and a holddown. I figure it will pay for itself with what I was spending in time and material.
 

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There's so many threads I look at and get SEVERE cases of tool envy!! Man, if I didn't have a limited budget (and space), I'd be flat broke!
It sounded like BW'd was using a miter saw, which is how I have to do frames myself, not having a table saw - but most certainly, it seems a table saw could be a much less painful way to go - not having one, I'm forced to get a little creative (or maybe cheesy's a better term?) sometimes to come up with work-arounds. Those were just some thoughts for frames with a miter saw.
 

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I know what you mean about "tool envy". I've only been doing this for a couple of years. Starting out, I bought all Delta shopmaster tools. Bottom of the line, benchtop. And as you said, you have to get creative sometimes. When my table saw fizzled on me, I too, went to cutting miters on my miter saw. That's when I bought the table saw with the Incra. There is no substitute for precision. And it's not that I'm rolling in the dough. I just won't be going with the family on vacation this year. I think we all win since having 2 weeks of nothing but woodworking is vacation enough for me. That's one tool upgraded, five to go.
By the way, I think having to be creative has made me a better woodworker to some extent. And I'm sure it has you, also.
Kevin
 

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Birchwood,
Here is a thread where I posted a link to some of my picture frame making steps. http://www.routerforums.com/showthread.php?t=1626

I noticed that I did not include the actual miter step, so here is a picture of the jig that was put together for cutting picture frame miters on the miter saw:



A fairly simple jig to make, locating the arcs for the swinging wings and then punching the pivot hole are the most critical steps. (And no, I don't remember just how I measured them out -- too long ago. :) ) To use, a triangle square is used to get one wing 'close' to 45° to the saw blade, then use the square again to set the second wing 90° to the first. The miters do not have to be cut at exactly 45°, but the combination of the miters on the two pieces must be 90°.

A block attached to the wings with a clamp acts as a stop-block to ensure the lengths are duplicated, and I have added a couple toggle clamps to the wings to hold frame stock in place since this picture was taken.

This seems to work much better for me than attempting to use the built-in stops on the miter saw.

Hope some of this may help.
 

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Hey Birchwood, If I'd have seen NewMontana's thread before, I would have saved myself a lot of finger exercise and just said "Look at this! This guy's got it down!" -
I know what kind of jig I'm making tonight! Thanks, Montana!
 

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No problem Gilbear, it's one of those easy to make items that can save ya a lot of grief.

I do plan on upgrading mine once I get ahold of some 80/20 bar stock though, think that would be much better for the wing/fence setup. Will drop another thread in here once I get that done.

Here's an 'original idea' drawing that I started from -- not sure if it will help you or not.

 

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Just one more way to do it.

Bj :)

If you want more info just ask and I will post it.
 

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Gilbear hit it on mark, check to be sure that either your table saw or miter saw is set to a true 90 degrees. If it's not right, the project won't be right. Also the jigs above are a big plus as well.
Here's something to think about... with a miter saw, you can cut the angle plus a bevel in one cut, can't do that with a table saw very well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay you guys-I got it! Great ideas and even a jig to build! I KNEW if I asked somebody would have good ideas or prior experience. Thanks much. I just wish I actually KNEW something I could share, but I'm all new to most of this stuff. OH! I do know something I can toss out. When making a cutting jig for your circle saw...FIRST make sure the "shoe" onyour saw is STRAIGHT on the side that tracks along the guide.Was playing around making a "fancy" jig and discovered something not right. Part of problem was a gentle curve in base of Makita circle saw.
Thanks again group.
 

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Love your message BirchWood...

My wife has a project as her mom is getting ready for the next life, she wants to frame many of her paintings and when she asked me if I could do it, I said yes, because......karma is still working on me I guess.

I've made a few frames for her for other things and they turned out passable, but the best part is I learned a lot.

I originally made a sled for my tablesaw and it's a very cheap saw, same things as you, low money, high desires....and that was also a learning experience, but it worked fairly well.

With those successes, I've learned to measure many times before cutting, use stops for each opposite side length of my frames, and make sure my frames don't move once I start my cuts.

I put multilevel or multi part pieces together to create rather thick frames but with style (2 of them cover thermostats that we don't want showing and they work perfectly). That was also a learning experience.

I've rambled enough, just want to say, keep at the frames, you WILL get it right with practise and there are many ways to fix these things anyway so you don't have to make wood. I think one of the most beautiful things about this hobby is if you make mistakes, fix them as well as you can, and keep moving forward, you have evidence of your improvement. Your first project probably was a big source of pride for you but if you look back, you can see your improvement over time from that first project. Don't you think that's really wonderful?

Anyway, good luck should you try framing again, it is a lot of fun but can be frustrating a bit too, until you get it, and then watch out!

karateed
 
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