picture frame making with warped wood


before i knew much about picture frame making (as in right now) i decided to buy peices of moulding at salvage yards and second hand stores and make them into frames. that way i can get the distressed kinda victorian look i'm going for.
then i got a miter saw, calibrated it, and cut for 2 frames. neither are perfect. even though i spent about 3 hour learning about and calibrating my new saw. a close inspection of the wood showed it had some warping/bowing. i suspect most of the dirt cheap wood i will find will be the same.
if i have faith in my cuts (and i mostly do) is it possible or worthwhile to look for a clamping solution to force these into place a bit? seems it would need to clamp as well as flatten the frame slightly. do i need to brace somehow with biscuits or staples or...?
much thanks
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Restraining the corners won't do anything for pieces bent in any plane, and unless you have very thick molding, biscuits or staples will cause more problems - like splitting.
A solid plywood back is one way to straighten pieces bent in the plane of the picture, but unless it's pretty thick (say 3/4" or so) it probably won't help much with wood bent perpendicular to the plane of the picture. Building a straight sub-frame and attaching the molding to that is another way.
Obviously it's preferable to work with straight pieces. The wood started out straight, maybe the best thing to do is to clamp it to straighten it out again. Wetting the concave surface will cause the wood fibers on that side to swell and that will tend to straighten out the piece.
Since the pieces are cheap to buy and you're looking for a distressed look, far as I'm concerned you have a license to kill - go for it! You'll learn as you go. Best way.
R
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On 19 Feb 2006 12:50:41 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

No, clamping suffers from springback afterwards. Best approach for this old timber is to use timber that's adequately dry and then assume that it's as warped as it's ever going to get. Machine the back rebate straight again, then use that.
Or else just use it warped. If the rebate is big enough then it will still work as a frame.
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In the theater we often use salvaged materials. For picture frames we usually glue the salvaged, mitered pieces to a 3/4" thick plywood subframe. The occasional drywall screw from behind will assist with "clamping" a bowed or twisted decorative piece to the subframe. Just make sure the screws are short enough not to protrude through the face pieces.
If your decorative framing is sufficiently thick you can rout a groove on the back face about half the depth of the piece and then glue a subframe member into the groove on edge. It seems to give extra holding power that way, but at the cost of much time and labor.
J.
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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thanks for all the advice.
last night i clamped the evil peice of wood down on my miter saw. seems it is twisted more then anything else. next its going in the oven. one of said go for broke right? so i'm gonna try straightening it first. i'm working unter the assumption that it was straight at one point.
if this doesn't work i'll try some of the other bracing methods, but i can see how getting the wood straight can save me lots of time.
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