Picture frame making tutorial


Hey, all. I mentioned this in an old thread, but just in case it got missed, I thought I'd post the link here. I've created a complete tutorial explaining how I create my picture frames from scratch, including glazing, mounting, and matting.
Please feel free to take a look, and let me know if you have any suggestions for improvement.
http://kombat.org/FrameMaking /
Kevin.
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Looks really good, Kevin! I recently built a router table and had picture frame making in mind when I built it. I'll be saving your URL for future reference.
Some minor suggestions:
I like 3D drawings. You have lots of excellent drawings, but in the early stages I would like to see the 3rd dimension off in the distance. The photographs of the profiles were excellent examples.
The remark about rule #1, "exactly 45 degrees", states that being off by a couple of degrees leaves gaps. I think that being off by even half a degree is too much. Maybe you can do some experiements and find what the real limit is. I also notice that you have a pretty nice mitre fence. I don't, and even using a triangle (like you show in your photograph) I've had bad luck. Maybe there's too much slop in my mitre slot or something. More likely, my wood isn't always perfectly straight, which throws off the angles. I made a sled with a right angled block screwed down at 45 degrees just so I could make these cuts. Perhaps you could go into more detail on this critical issue, and provide minimum requirements and alternatives.
I wonder about applying the finish after glue-up. If glue gets into the pores before the stain, you might get blotching. I would tape the cut ends, apply finish, remove the tape, THEN glue it up.
Thanks for the tutorial. I look forward to trying it out someday.
- Owen -
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*snip*

*snip*
You may want to try cutting close to the 45 degree line and sanding the rest of the way down. Sand, check against your 45 and sand some more. It can be a lot more work, but you have much better control.
Puckdropper
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Actually, I have tried that. The end result always seems to be a bit of rounding (i.e. the cut isn't perfectly flat once I'm done sanding, no matter how careful I am). So far my best luck has been with my sled, and/or sneaking up to the cut I want. I long to be able to do it in one shot.
A friend of mine told me a couple of weeks ago that using a mitre saw really does the job and takes the worry out of it for him when he does the finish molding on windows. Yet just last weekend another friend told me of the trouble he had with his small/cheap mitre saw while doing baseboards. I guess there are no absolutes in this business. I continue to practice whatever technique seems best at the time. If I were going to make hundreds of frames I'd probably invest in one of those guillotines.
- Owen -
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You are quite correct. An error of .5 degrees in a mitre cut, in 1" wide material, will result in a gap of .024" when the frame is assembled.

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Owen Lawrence wrote:

Thanks, Owen. I appreciate the kind words.

Good suggestion. I'm not much of an artist when it comes to vector drawing, but maybe I could come up with something a little clearer.

I think you're right; another poster has actually worked out some of the math for us. Maybe I'll edit the description to reflect that the angles must be even more precise than I said. I wasn't sure exactly how precise the angles needed to be - I just knew that my saw's miter fence wasn't precise enough. :)

Hmm, interesting idea. Honestly, I've never tried that. Every frame I've done so far, I've glued it up, then finished it. In most of my frames, I've countersunk finishing nails into the corners, then puttied and sanded them smooth before finishing. However, in cases where I don't use nails, maybe I'll give your suggestion a try. Since I've started using the drafting triangle and simultaneous-cutting methods, my corners haven't exhibited any leftover glue at all, after sanding.

Thanks again, Owen. If you decide to give it a try, send me some pictures of the finished result. I'd be interested in hearing if my tutorial was helpful.
Kevin.
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Kevin,
What a fantastic tutorial! Clearly defined, explicitly precise, and very helpful. I'm definitely going to add your link to your bookmarks.
Mike
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Grammer error: I'm definitely going to add your link to MY bookmarks.
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Spelling error - "grammer" is spelled grammar!
LOL - Sorry, Mike - devil made me do that!
Vic
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Kevin,
Excellent tutorial, beautifully presented. I've been wanting to try this for a long time, and this may have been just the inspiration I needed to get going. Thanks for sharing your knowledge so generously.
Brad
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Kevin, Excellent tutorial. Thank you for posting.
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Ed. O.






My woodworking projects at:
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Kevin (in snipped-for-privacy@rogers.com) said:
| I've created | a complete tutorial explaining how I create my picture frames | from scratch, including glazing, mounting, and matting. | | Please feel free to take a look, and let me know if you have | any suggestions for improvement. | | http://kombat.org/FrameMaking /
Kevin...
Nice job! That's one of the best woodworking tutorials I've seen.
-- Morris Dovey DeSoto Solar DeSoto, Iowa USA http://www.iedu.com/DeSoto/solar.html
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Kevin, This is very good, the URL is a keeper.
Some minor suggestions:
You did not mention miter trimmers, they are worth getting if you can find a used one, especially the chinese clones of the original Lion trimmer. I find I can use a cheap chop-saw and cut to within 1/16" of the line, then take off a couple of slivers to get it dead right.
I have a set of extension arms (part no is WM110) available for B&D Workmates that work well for clamping the glued-up frame. However, I don't know if these are still readily available.
Barry Lennox
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The frame clamp mentioned in the tutorial is on sale at Busy Bee Tools right now. Go to http://www.busybeetools.com/ and search for "frame clamp".
- Owen -
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Nice Tutorial I just recently had someone ask me to make a frame for a canvas painting of there family and Im looking for ideas on how to make the most of the project. Thanks for the tips Ill know theyll come in handy

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The tutorial makes a great introduction to woodworking for beginners. I have a couple of observations that you may wish to incorporate: 1. Tell the readers that they should cut all (both) pieces each time they set the blade or fence. Never try to reproduce a setting; it's just asking for trouble. The same comment applies to router-bit settings. 2. In Step 3, "Cutting the Pieces to Length", explain the reader the virtues of using a backer board to prevent tearout. The cut will be much cleaner. 3. Step 2, "Routing a decoration" should be done as a single pass before the larger rabbet removes the 3/4" of support. This will save you all the hassle of continually readjusting the fence while making (what is essentially another rabbet) 1/8" at a time. 4. Long thin pieces of wood are prone to warping, especially if you have just ripped them from a wider board. It is a good idea to proceed to assembly as soon as possible.
Keep up the good work. I've bookmarked your page.
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