picture frame cutting

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Forum topic by usabirddog posted 02-22-2012 10:14 PM 2383 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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23 posts in 2259 days

02-22-2012 10:14 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question

im new to woodworking and was wondering if thair was like a formula to measuring the cut of length for the frame , like how much do i subtract in length like for a 8×10 or so .

5 replies so far

View BerBer5985's profile


445 posts in 2383 days

#1 posted 02-22-2012 10:30 PM

I’m not sure I perfectly understand, but my suggestion if I were doing it myself and maybe make several is to make story sticks for the lengths and widths based on the exact size of the picture and then use those to make the picture frames. So, essentially cut one scrap piece for the length of the frame to the length you’ll need to mount the picture and use that as a pattern for the real pieces and do the same for the width. In other words the only measurements that should be concerning you are the interior measurements of the frame. If it’s an 8×10 frame, then the interior part of the frame needs to be slightly smaller than the picture you’re going to mount. The outside frame measurements will be dictated by the width of the wood stock you’ll be using to make the frame. The only thing that needs to be consistent and accurate is the interior dimensions. So in essence, are you going to put a rabbet on the interior for the frame and glass to fall into? If you are, then you need to account for the size rabbet you’re going to use. If you use a 1/4” rabbet on the interior, then you need to make the interior dimensions of the frame 1/2” smaller in total size since the 8×10 picture will be housed in that recess. I hope that make sense. This is where a picture would speak a thousand words.

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One,

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3611 days

#2 posted 02-22-2012 10:35 PM

looks like you really like the word like there ;)

there is no formula, and it really depends on how much reveal you are planning to have for the pictures in the frame. consider this – if you go to any frame store, you’ll see frames of different sizes for a 8×10 picture.

things to keep in mind – when you cut the parts, cut both opposing sections at the same time/setting so that they will be equal and will end up forming a properly square frame.

good luck

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View BerBer5985's profile


445 posts in 2383 days

#3 posted 02-22-2012 10:49 PM

This just popped up too. Worth a look.

-- Greg, Owner, Quality Carpet One,

View bobsmyuncle's profile


110 posts in 2653 days

#4 posted 02-22-2012 11:47 PM

I normally make all my own stock. For smaller sized frames, I do a 3/8” rabbet. If you are buying stock, it will already have a rabbet cut. Either way turn the stock over and measure from the edge of the stock to the rabbet. Call this “a”

Then the formula is this, the length of the cut to the tip of the miter :

+ length of artwork (e.g. width one way, height the other)
+ 1/8” (this allows for some slop in cutting, out of square frame, artwork, or glass, plus expansion room)
+ 2 a

Your stock is 1” wide and has a 3/8 rabbet. So “a” is 5/8”; 2a is 1 1/4”

For an 8×10 artwork

1 1/4” + 10” + 1/8” = 11 3/8

1 1/4” + 8” + 1/8” = 9 3/8”

The other thing is to make sure opposite side are a close as you can get to equal. It’s more important that they are equal than you hit 9 3/8” exactly.

View Danpaddles's profile


573 posts in 2274 days

#5 posted 02-22-2012 11:49 PM

I just buy a pre-cut mat for the size I want, that becomes my story stick, I guess. If you miss a few- well, it happens. I’m getting better, but I …........ well, I cut it, and cut it, and it was still too short!

Sometimes you can increase your rabbet with that happens.

-- Dan V. in Indy

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