Best tool for making picture frames?

Page 1 of 2  
I've been making my own picture frames but the joints are off slightly so I have to resort to filling the joints and painting. What would be a good way of making these cuts so the miters would line up tight enough to be left natural or stained?
I've tried a hand miter box, My 10" power miter saw, my table saw....
So what is the best way to get that cut at exactly 45 degrees.
TIA
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
steve wrote:

Miter trimmer or else a handplane and shooting board.
Chris
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

A framing guillotine such as http://www.frameco-online.com/shopusa/prod741.htm But a flat sanding disc on the tablesaw would work too.
Mark (sixoneeight) = 618
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tue, Apr 17, 2007, 4:12pm snipped-for-privacy@comcast.com (steve) doth query: <snip> So what is the best way to get that cut at exactly 45 degrees. ff that's a question it's missing a question mark.
Simple, just make sure you've got the angle right before you cut.
JOAT I have anal glaucoma. I can't see my ass going to work today.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
(steve) doth query:

And the same length on opposite sides. Probably more a factor than the angles, really. The threaded four-corner clamps are a great help, too.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tue, Apr 17, 2007, 9:33pm (EDT+4) snipped-for-privacy@home.net (George) doth sayeth: And the same length on opposite sides. Probably more a factor than the angles, really. The threaded four-corner clamps are a great help, too.
Yeah. length too. If I was gonna make many I'd make a few cutting jigs, then I wouldn't even have to think, just do it. Somewhere on line there'a a link to make your own frame clamp, I'm sure I posted it at least once.
JOAT I have anal glaucoma. I can't see my ass going to work today.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
(steve) doth query:

Should that ff be if ?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
of the tools you named, the tablesaw is your best bet.... assuming it's a "professional" one with a cast iron top and a real motor. getting the saw tuned up well enough to do what you want is a bit of an adventure, but well worth it.
first, you have to get the saw tuned up. that's too big a topic for this post, so I'll refer you to google: <http://groups.google.com/group/rec.woodworking/search ? hl=en&group=rec.woodworking&q=%2Btable+%2Bsaw+%2Btune+%2Bup&qt_g=Search +this+group>
then you need to have a suitable blade.
then you need to build yourself a miter sled.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

There is such a tool for making picture frames. It has a large sliding guillotine-like blade that moves when you pull the handle. It can slice off a small amount without chipping. It might be called a "picture frame trimmer." There are benchtop and floor models.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Lion trimmer, Pootatuck company http://www.lionmitertrimmer.com /
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I get great results with the TS, a top quality general purpose blade and a better than stock miter gauge.
Picture frames can be very hard if you only shoot for making perfect 45's.
YOU MUST also make parallel sides EXACTLY the same length or the corners will never come out right.
Use a stop on your sled or miter gauge fence to insure that the pieces being cut are exactly the same length.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

15 years ago I had a small picture framing shop, and I used a Makita chop saw with a good carbide blade. These were the days before I took up woodworking. It took two things to make a perfect corner, equal sides, and a good 45 degree cut. Equally important!!! Each frame was custom sized, so I could take some time, but I would trim the lengths to well less than 1/16 inch difference. The standard "45" degree stops on the saw wern't! I had to tweek the stop until it was bang on. At least the saw was repeatable from cut to cut. It seemed that it read 1/4 degree off the stop to make a good cut, yours may vary.
Then there were tricks after assembly. On metal frames, the side of a screwdriver was used to roll the corners, kind of like putting the burr on a scraper. You could roll the ends together quite a bit. You can do the same, a little, on wood, but the key there is wax sticks in various colors used as a filler. They also take care of nail holes, and come in a variety of colors.
I suggest you take some scrap wood, and see if you can get a perfect 45 from your saw. It also might be a handy skill for other stuff.
Hope this helps...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Mine improved markedly after I constructed a miter sled like the one here: http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/album/548543593FmjBVA There are other sites that will give you step by step instructions, but the basic principle is that it is (at least for some of us) difficult to get an exact 45degree cut. The beauty of this jig is that if you have the two halves of the fence set at 90 degrees to each other, which is really easy with a reasonably good square, as long as your blade runs true and cuts fairly smoothly, you are trimming both halves of the joint at the same time so even if one is 44.8 degrees the other will be 45.2 degrees and you will get a perfect 90 degree joint every time. Then as the other poster mentioned you just have to make sure the two opposite sides are the same length, all four sides for a square frame, and you're in business. Using a Freud Combo blade I've never had to sand or use a miter trimmer to get a good tight joint. Glue ups were however much simpler when I broke down and bought a Merle adjustable corner clamp from MLCS. It was so helpful I bought another one a month later. Hope that helps. bc PS no affiliation to either MLCS or the other web site, just found them useful...
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Tue, Apr 17, 2007, 3:02pm (EDT-3) snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com (bc) doth sayeth: Mine improved markedly after I constructed a miter sled like the one here: http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/album/548543593FmjBVA There are other sites that will give you step by step instructions, but the basic principle is that it is (at least for some of us) difficult to get an exact 45degree cut. <snip>
Nah, not hard to get a 45 degree cut, just a bit time-consuming maybe, and a bit of a PITA, but not hard. I'd have an exended "arm" then cut a couple of pieces on one end, for sides or ends, then clamp a stop block at he length you want, then cut to equal lengths. Repeat for shorter or longer pieces No prob. I would expect the same basic principle would work with a power mitre saw too. Me, I wouldn't bother unless I figured on making a batch.
JOAT I have anal glaucoma. I can't see my ass going to work today.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

I second the hand plane and shooting board approach. My sons, then ages 8 and 11, made picture frames for their grandmother for Christmas and put their school pictures in the frames. They started out with skip planed walnut and using only hand tools ended up with perfect miters and frames with square corners. They used rip and cross cut panel saws and hand planes to prepare the stock and then, using the 45 degree shooting board jig as a guide cut the miters with a back saw. The miters were then trued up using a plane and the shooting board.
I posted a detail of corners of both frames on ABPW and a picture of 8 year old Joshua shooting a miter.
BTW, the boys won a second place ribbon for these frames at Woodworkers Showcase. Garrett Hack, Beth Ireland, John Fox and Adam Kropinski were the judges... the technique works and rather than owning a specialty purpose guillotine trimmer you have a bench plane that can be used for other projects.
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

jack plane. Paul Sellers states in his article (Popular Woodworking) that the low angle planes take the shooting boards to the next level. I use a Bailey in mine.
Is that a #4 Bailey your son is using?
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

It's an L-N #4 with York frog. Not ideal for shooting end grain--I bought it for dealing with curly maple--but it works better than my stock Stanley #4 as the iron is thicker and it cuts cleaner. The boys cannot handle the L-N #7 that I typically use for that purpose so I recently got a L-N #5 Jack for them to use. I find the mass of the larger planes is helpful in shooting end grain, particularly with wide boards.
The boys tried my associate's L-N low angle Jack plane at Showcase but the sides of the plane are much smaller than the Bailey profile and they kept rocking the plane. I'm not sure if the Veritas plane presents the same problem or not--I didn't think to check it at the Lee Valley booth at Showcase. I did let them handle the L-N #5 plane at the L-N booth and they seemed fine with that.
I had hoped to introduce the boys to Tom L-N and Robin Lee but neither were there... <sigh> Tom was shooting another video and the guys at the Lee Valley booth simply said Robin wasn't there. Oh well, maybe next year!
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
You want to make sure your material that you are making the frames is straight. A lot of molding that frams are made from isn't. If they are slightly bowed or cupped over the lenght of the edge of the board the cut will be off. A miter saw only registers about ten inches of board against the fence. If the board edge against the fence is not straight, it will throw the angle of the cut off a little. Multiply this slight angle variation by the eight cuts that make up the picture frame and you will have some gaps. You can either find straight stock to make the frame, joint the stock to make it straight, or mount it on a straight piece of 1/4 material and use that to register against the fence.
Good luck

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

This is also a situation where a shooting board excels... by using shims between the shooting board fence and the frame stock you can adjust the miter angle to correct for stock that isn't perfectly straight. It's amazing what few layers of paper can do for you...
John
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Any of the three you've already tried, adjusted properly.

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Related Threads

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.