Making a Picture Frame
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Making a Picture Frame

October 15, 2019


In the previous video, we made this miter sled for the table saw. Now we’re going to put it to use and make some picture frames. First I cut down the thicker strips of walnut that would make the inside of the frame. Then I cut thin strips of walnut and maple I glued together the pieces and let them sit You can never have too many clamps With a hand plane, I quickly smoothed out the frame pieces The table saw was the fastest way to make rabbets The miter sled cuts the perfect corners I marked the size based on the matte I like to mark the ends with which side of the sled I cut them on The ends are really thirsty, so I spread some glue on them with my finger first Then I use painters tape to join the corners. I find I have better luck with it than a band clamp. With two ‘L’ pieces glued, I could glue the other two corners to join it all I had to pull out my old spline jig, which was covered in cobwebs Mitered corners are weak, so splines give them a lot of strength I cut splines with scraps of maple and thinned them to the right size My table saw blade isn’t a flat grind, so smoothing the cuts is necessary The bandsaw is great for cutting splines but don’t forget to put the guard down Some of the splines were really tight and needed some persuasion to get in place A flush-cut saw saves a lot of sanding later Whoops, I had a gap, but a little glue and sawdust fixed that I worked from 120 grit to 3000 grit and cleaned it off with mineral spirits My measurements were bad, so I decided to cut the matte …but I forgot about the glass, which I didn’t want to cut I couldn’t use a marking guage so I just used a chisel and a cutoff I marked the ends to avoid splitting past them And aggressively chopped out the wood Finally, the glass fits Just a little spray lacquer And now slow motion so you can see the evil can spitting on my beautiful frame 🙁 Yuck Time for more sanding! Not trusting the lacquer, I thought to use polyurethane instead …but it was completely solid I bought a fresh can of spray lacquer from the store instead I taped the photo to the matte And dropped it in place These point drivers are really nice Especially because you can bend the points back
to actually put the correct piece of cardboard backing in the frame Much better The paper wasn’t long enough, but I just cut two strips Wood glue worked fine since I was out of spray adhesive I guess at some point I bought this overly fancy hanger system It worked fine I put those little cabinet door pads on the bottom Now that we’ve finished making all our mistakes, we have a picture frame. I think overall it turned out really well. It’s obvious that the bottom piece of maple is a little too thick. I’m not sure how that happened, but I’m still happy with the overall frame. The miters turned out excellent, which I think means our jig from last time is working as it should. The splines, uh, I should have spent a little bit more time making sure they were exactly flat, so I had to fill in a few gaps with sawdust, but I think they look okay. The big mistake that I made really was rushing my measurements and I got the rabbets wrong, so it was a little too wide of an opening in the back and not quite tall enough. Initially I thought this would be fine because I could just cut the matte down by a quarter of an inch and that would be okay except the problem was I wasn’t thinking about the glass pane. I didn’t want to cut off a quarter of an inch of glass because I thought it was, I don’t know, with the way my luck was going it was probably going to break in the wrong direction. So I decided to extend out the rabbet and get things to fit that way. That meant the back was a little bit rough, but since I could put paper over it, it didn’t matter too much. When I was finishing it with the spray lacquer, the spray lacquer decided to become spit lacquer and put some big globs on it. I’m not sure if other people would have noticed, but I certainly did, so I took the time to sand it down, get some new spray lacquer, and re-finish it. I think that was probably the right call even if it was a little frustrating.

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  1. Were our worst critics..I hated when sprays glob up like that so now I always stick a needle in the tips after I'm done using the can so next time it's as good as new..nice frame tho.keep up the good work.

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