Picture frames-worth the build?

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New User
For a few one-off frames I think it's better to just bite the bullet and get a few professionally done frames, but they aren't cheap ($200-400 depending on the size, wood species, matting, etc). A 24" x 15" birdseye/curly maple frame that's 1.25" finished face width is about $24/linear foot at a local framing shop here in Durham. Their frames are made in Vermont to custom specifications. Yikes! :cry_smile


Made a double slider miter jig for the table saw from Baltic Birch (1/2" x 5 x 5 sheet = $84 delivered to my home). It does cut pretty nice matching miters if you're careful and use stop blocks to prevent movement on the second cut.

Sized the joints with 1:1 Titebond III and water. Dried for about 1+ hours with no sanding. Applied Titebond III and glued up with a band clamp and self-adjusting corner gizmos from Veritas. What a PITA with 8 joints. The miter joints matched up very nicely and they were true until the glue up phase-gaps in the miter faces which are kind of ugly, but not overly bad. Won't know 'till I do some planing/sanding.

Will post a few pics to verify that it did happen.

Joe Scharle

New User
Picture frames shouldn't be too big of a challenge with the right tools. And your miter sled will make them easier. These are my band clamps. They're Merle, from MLCS. The big corner blocks are easy to twist and align the frame corners. Here's a pic.


View image in gallery


Co-director of Outreach
Corporate Member
I use the Merle Clamps also....found they keep things pretty square


New User
As you may know, I am new to making picture frames but I love being able to hand something to the kids knowing that ma made the frame. The contents of the frames just happen to be family paintings. Don't get no better than that, think I will now order some of those corner clamps. Dang, there is always something else to purchase for the woman cave.:rotflm:


New User
pots,pans,stove,dishwasher,brooms etc :rotflm::rotflm::rotflm::rotflm::rotflm::rotflm:




New User
We have alot of art...for whatever reason.As such,there just isn't anyway we could afford to hire it out.Have an ancient Stanley...think its a #100 corner mitre clamp/saw?Rarely use the attendant backsaw,but love using the corner clamp part of it.I just "government" it in when doing other jobs in shop.....WRT frames,doing one corner at a time.Over a day's period,theres a new frame.No,it isn't breaking any speed records,I just enjoy using that old clamp.

Frames are also a good place to try out new,special finishing treatments........two tones,flecks,antique'ing.airbrushing ect.Theres always a backlog of art prints from our travels,prolly a dz or so now,that need frames.Best of luck,BW


Corporate Member
I don't often cut things that require frames, most likely due to the price of frames. I still have a number of cross-stitch pieces that need frames, and several scrolled things that need to be framed. I've got the mat cutting "tools", just never practiced.


New User
I've tempered my pessimism from the original post after a little more play time. It's frame #1 so maybe I was too hard on myself and the equipment; could probably improve with patience, care, and experience. :icon_scra

The frame has about a 1/8" twist along its length, but that's probably my clamping technique, even with a band clamp and fully adjustable corners in the band. Maybe I overtightened the clamp and forced the misalignment without realizing it.

Front miters aren't too bad, but the back face leaves a lot to be desired. The corners are keyed with cross grain QS white oak for added strength after glue up of the frame.

Front face:


Back face:


Keyed miters:


As always, critique, comments, and suggestions are welcome.
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