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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am making pix frames I was told the best way to put the grove for the glass is to use a rabbeting bit. I have a router table so the pice will be good. Do I use the fence or free hand it. How do you get a good drop on then keep turning it to all 4 corners?
I am new to this any help will be great.
thanks
Brad
 

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Hi Brad,

This video mau help you..

 
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If you're making them with mitered corners, you can make the rabbet first, that way when you assemble the frame, the rabbet will be there, square at the corners. The key is getting the most exact 45 you can on the mitered corners. If there is any warp in your stock, the frame won't go together correctly. There's a reason professional custom frames cost so much.

If you have a table saw that's well tuned, and a really good miter gauge, you can get pretty darn close, if not perfect 45s. Opposite sides of the frame must be identical in length or the frame will not go together square, so you need a stop block to make sure the outside length is just right. Here's the kind of miter gauge you're looking for.
Wood Motor vehicle Wheel Train Rolling stock


This is an Incra 1000 miter gauge with the extension fence. It is remarkably accurate, but you must make certain the blade is parallel with the miter slots. I also suggest you use a full kerf blade. The thin kerf can deflect and give you a not quite flat cut. I use a Freud Glue Line blade because it produces a near glass smooth cut. When gluing the miters, apply a coat on each end first, then apply new glue and press it together and clamp it in place with some sort of corner clamp. I'd also consider using glue that dries clear.

Mitered corners are not all that strong, so I cut a 1/8 slot across the corners with a jig, then glue in1/8th inch thick splines. Sanding and finishing produces a very handsome, strong frame.

Are you making very many frames?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
If you're making them with mitered corners, you can make the rabbet first, that way when you assemble the frame, the rabbet will be there, square at the corners. The key is getting the most exact 45 you can on the mitered corners. If there is any warp in your stock, the frame won't go together correctly. There's a reason professional custom frames cost so much.

If you have a table saw that's well tuned, and a really good miter gauge, you can get pretty darn close, if not perfect 45s. Opposite sides of the frame must be identical in length or the frame will not go together square, so you need a stop block to make sure the outside length is just right. Here's the kind of miter gauge you're looking for.
View attachment 401118

This is an Incra 1000 miter gauge with the extension fence. It is remarkably accurate, but you must make certain the blade is parallel with the miter slots. I also suggest you use a full kerf blade. The thin kerf can deflect and give you a not quite flat cut. I use a Freud Glue Line blade because it produces a near glass smooth cut. When gluing the miters, apply a coat on each end first, then apply new glue and press it together and clamp it in place with some sort of corner clamp. I'd also consider using glue that dries clear.

Mitered corners are not all that strong, so I cut a 1/8 slot across the corners with a jig, then glue in1/8th inch thick splines. Sanding and finishing produces a very handsome, strong frame.

Are you making very many frames?
I am not cutting them to a 45 I am butting them up. I am going to try an do lap joints. I want a different look not the same old frame. That’s why I was told to cut put together. I have a miter like you show but I want to use my router.
thanks
Brad
 

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With the video James linked, you cut the rabbet in the full length of stock first, then break the length down for the the individual sections required, typically 2 uprights, a top and a bottom.
If you want to lap joint the segments rather than mitre them, I assume that you have a very plain face surface, as anything that has a profile will be very difficult to match correctly at the corners, think along the lines of cope and stick routing for a raised panel door. However for an RP door you can buy matched bits to ensure that things match up properly, but for a picture frame profile, there is rarely a matched set of bits to achieve the same thing. This is why profiled picture frames are made with mitred corners, provided you have a uniform profile and an accurate mitre, they match when they go together.

If you wish/need to rabbet inside the frame once joined, you can use a rabbet bit with the appropriate bearing free hand (no fence) on a router table, but you need to feed the work the opposite direction because you are cutting with the opposite side of the bit to normal. Do not allow the work to be trapped between the bit and a fence, the bit can grab the material and feed it (and your hand) potentially causing severe hand injuries.

If you do freehand the rabbet, the corners will be radiused rather than square cut due to the radius of the rabbet bit. The radiuses can be carefully removed by chisel etc to square the corners, but certainly not commercially viable, hence the commercial use of uniform moldings and mitres.
 

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I am making pix frames I was told the best way to put the grove for the glass is to use a rabbeting bit. I have a router table so the pice will be good. Do I use the fence or free hand it. How do you get a good drop on then keep turning it to all 4 corners?
I am new to this any help will be great.
thanks
Brad
You actually better to do these above table with the frame face down and hand routing...
 

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If you STOP the rabbet before the ends of each piece, you can easily use a lap joint and have the rabbit be square. Making a stopped rabbit means making a start and end mark on the fence at a point where the rabbet does NOT extend all the way through to the end. If you are doing multiple frames, this will be the most efficient way to do it. Make sure opposite side pieces are exactly the same length

You haven't mentioned the thickness of your wood. An end lap joint needs to be as close as possible to half the thickness of the piece. If it's under or over half, you'll have to sand it out. I suggest you cut some sample pieces and trial fit the cut.

If you have a table saw with the blade set to 90, you might want to make a cut across the grain exactly where you want the lap to begin. Blade set to exactly half the thickness again. Make a quick jig with the work pieces that you can clamp the end of your pieces into so it will support the base of your router. The pre cut will give you a little wiggle room for hand routing the lap.

If you're going to use the table to cut the joint, pre cutting will reduce the risk of chip out. I would use a block of MDF or ply, cut square to push the workpieces through the bit.

Precision in making cuts square and exactly half the thickness will pay of. The joint ideally should be exactly the width of the pieces so you have a minimum of sanding.

You can expect to have slight gaps if the cuts are close, but not exact. For that, you'll need a little filler. And the best I've found is an Aussie product you can get on Amazon called Lumber Mate. Great stuff and finishes and paints perfectly. Available in many wood tones.
Paint Liquid Plastic Service Electric blue
 

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I am making pix frames I was told the best way to put the grove for the glass is to use a rabbeting bit. I have a router table so the pice will be good. Do I use the fence or free hand it. How do you get a good drop on then keep turning it to all 4 corners?
I am new to this any help will be great.
thanks
Brad
I'd use the fence. With a 1/4", 1/2" or 3/4" straight bit. If the frame is already put together, then I'd use a dado bit with bearing. Then for the corners, I'd use a chisel to square out the corers. You could also use a table saw to make the dao groove.
 
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