Giant Adjustable Picture Frame Clamp

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Project by cjones posted 01-04-2010 02:51 AM 12205 views 62 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hi all,

So I’ve never been a big fan of miters, at least as far as glue-ups go. I found this site and thought I could simplify it without losing any of its usefulness and also minimize human error.

Their version requires you to drill perfectly-evenly spaced holes in four pieces of hardwood. In mine, it’s already perfect.

The perforated metal bars were ~$5/ea at Home Depot. With the turnbuckle and the bolts, I think I spent about $30 total. The flat bars are galvanized and I don’t think they’ll react with tannin or anything, but if you’re worried about that, you can just cover the metal with clear packing tape.

I decided to use some leftover 1×4 pine that I dimensioned for the corner blocks. I figure the small flex the soft wood will have might be helpful. I may switch them out with hardwood in the future.

I also marked the bars with sharpie every 5 holes since I never learned to count past 5.

UPDATE: I had a problem with the nuts loosening and the bolts slipping, so I switched all the nuts to nylon lock-nuts. This tightens the whole system.

The frame in these pictures fits a map that’s 27” x 39”. (I’ll post that project when I’m finished with it.) I cross-measured the corners, and it’s square beyond my ability to measure it.

Let me know if you make one or if you have any ideas for improvements.

-- Living well is the best revenge.

13 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3576 days

#1 posted 01-04-2010 02:54 AM

good job on the jig

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Maveric777's profile


2693 posts in 3076 days

#2 posted 01-04-2010 03:11 AM

Sweet Jig!

-- Dan ~ Texarkana, Tx.

View stefang's profile


15881 posts in 3333 days

#3 posted 01-04-2010 03:14 AM

A useful improvement would be me having one, otherwise it looks real good.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18271 posts in 3675 days

#4 posted 01-04-2010 03:18 AM

I need to make one of those for a frame for my wife. Clamping the 4 pieces of wood together would take care of the precision drilling. That is a good alternative.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

20488 posts in 3105 days

#5 posted 01-04-2010 03:29 AM

That is real nice. You’ll get a lot of use from that clamp fixture. I love it when tools are made from wood- even partially…....

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View bayspt's profile


292 posts in 3703 days

#6 posted 01-04-2010 04:34 AM

Made one a while back. Love it. Didn’t think of using the galv metal though.

-- Jimmy, Oklahoma "It's a dog-eat-dog world, and I'm wearing milkbone underwear!"

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3821 days

#7 posted 01-04-2010 05:23 AM

That is a pretty interesting jig. It looks like it will put better clamping pressure than a band clamp, which is what I generally use.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 3194 days

#8 posted 01-04-2010 11:30 PM

Cool jig, simple and effective.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View dustyal's profile


1294 posts in 3474 days

#9 posted 01-04-2010 11:48 PM

I like this… well done.

Should the V blocks on corners have a “hole” at the point of the V… keep pressure off the frame corner end and keep the pressure on the sides of the frame?

I just got new engineer square that has that type cut out… I can see how it is better than the squares without.

-- Al H. - small shop, small projects...

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3114 days

#10 posted 01-05-2010 12:43 AM

like it


View stuk4x4's profile


115 posts in 3066 days

#11 posted 01-06-2010 12:19 AM

I like it very simple and cheap!!

-- All the tools in the world wont make you a good mechanic or craftsman... however it helps!

View bill merritt's profile

bill merritt

203 posts in 3288 days

#12 posted 01-15-2010 05:39 AM

Can’t wait to make my own, looks good.

-- Bill Merritt -Augusta Ga. woodworker

View Ron Berneburg's profile

Ron Berneburg

28 posts in 3238 days

#13 posted 03-13-2010 12:06 PM

I am heading to HD to make mine, love the simplicty-Too Cool

-- Ron - Would Make It 4 You

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