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Strongest mitre for picture frame - How I made it

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Blog entry by Paul Sellers posted 02-16-2012 02:42 PM 4898 reads 2 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch


Moulding the stock

Following up from the video film on the strength of these mitres. These are the steps I took to make this picture-frame moulded and inlaid stock and the frame itself. It’s dead straight forward using a pair of wooden T&G planes, a moulding plane, a tenon saw and a plane. You can make a simple shooting board with stop screwed to a board at 45-degrees or a proper one with removable stops. I took about 45 minutes to make it.


Mould the stock with the moulding plane. I am using to edges of a shorter piece but you could use a single edge if need be. I am using a 3/8” ovolo profile here; it’s simple and quick to work on the stock. Always start at the nose and work backwards along the stock. I am using 7/8” thick pine, but many other woods will work as well such as walnut, mahogany or cherry.

 

 


Now run the groove with the grooving plane aspect of the matched pair of T&G planes. Again we always start at the beginning end and work backwards along the stock with each subsequent swipe of the plane. This helps set the plane and the wall of the cut helps keep the plane in line and parallel to the edge of the wood.

 

 


Use a contrasting wood such as walnut or mahogany to run the tongue on.

 

 

 

 


Cut along the corner of the tongue to remove the tongue wit a tenon saw, which becomes the inlay.

 

 

 

 

Glue the inlay into the groove by running a bead of glue along each wall of the groove.

 

 

 

 


Insert the inlay and press firmly to the bottom. Set aside to dry.

 

 

 

 

 


Plane the inlay down to the level of the main wood.

 

 

 

 

 


Use a marking gauge set to 5/8” and run a guideline alongthe edge of the stock.

 

 

 

 


Rip down the stock and surface plane smooth.

 

 

 

 

 


Use a marking gauge set to 1/8” and run a guideline along the inside edges of the stock.

 

 

 

 


Secure in the vise and run the tenon saw along the gauge lines starting at the nose and working backwards with each deepening cut to remove the corner.

 

 

 

 


Use a bullnose plane to clean up the saw cuts if you have one.

 

 

 

 

Making the mitres


Cut 45-degree mitres BY EYE. You will get to a point where you can cut within 1 degree every time.

 

 

 

 


Use a shooting board, trim the saw cut smooth and pair each opposite for exact length.

 

 

 

 


Secure each matched pair in the vise as shown, mark them as pairs for later ID, and cut the corresponding angled cuts down into both mitred pieces to a depth of about ½” from the corner. It’s important to  mark them accordingly as I said, so that when you put them together the joints match the same saw cuts.

 

 


With all of the dovetailed saw kerfs completed, cut some spline material.

 

 

 

 


Place the first mitred pair into the vise and glued up.

 

 

 

 

 


Glue a section of spline and insert into the kerfs, tap down with a small hammer if needed.

 

 

 

 


Trim with the tenon saw and plane flush.

 


Repeat to each corner. The last two can be the hardest depending on your vise type.

Here is the video I posted before which demonstrates the strength of the joint:

-- Paul Sellers, UK http://paulsellers.com/paul-sellers-blog



4 comments so far

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6845 posts in 1841 days


#1 posted 02-16-2012 08:37 PM

Great blog! Thanks for sharing.

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Paul Sellers's profile

Paul Sellers

277 posts in 1260 days


#2 posted 02-16-2012 08:49 PM

You are welcome! This all part of the Real Woodworking Campaign and a quest to get people to rethink hand tools as the real power tools.

-- Paul Sellers, UK http://paulsellers.com/paul-sellers-blog

View Mauricio's profile

Mauricio

6845 posts in 1841 days


#3 posted 02-16-2012 08:56 PM

I have yet to make a picture frame. I will definitely try these splines when I do. My wife likes simple frames so I probably wont do the molding and inlay, though I think it looks nice.

How do you hold the miter together initially before cutting the miter? Do you use a glue with a strong initial tack?

-- Mauricio - Woodstock, GA - "Confusion is the Womb of Learning, with utter conviction being it's Tomb" Prof. T.O. Nitsch

View Paul Sellers's profile

Paul Sellers

277 posts in 1260 days


#4 posted 02-16-2012 09:03 PM

No, they are not glued up at that stage. Place them together in the voise as shown and saw the kerfs whilst held together. Having the point upwards like that means you just angle the saw on one face and don;t worry about the other.

-- Paul Sellers, UK http://paulsellers.com/paul-sellers-blog

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