LumberJocks

Help needed for a picture frame without miters.

  • Advertise with us

« back to Sweating for Bucks Through Woodworking forum

Forum topic by ed2fun posted 691 days ago 1795 views 0 times favorited 8 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View ed2fun's profile

ed2fun

7 posts in 709 days


691 days ago

I need advise for cutting the center rectangle out of a larger rectangle of 3/4 MDF to create picture frames. I have a small home shop, I’m building small production lots of custom picture frames in. Some of the frames are 20”x30”. Currently I use a sliding miter saw for the smaller one’s & finish the cuts with a jig saw. This method seems to work ok, but I’m limited with the cut length by the miter saw and have to cut too much with the jig saw. I’d also like to use the center cut out for smaller frames, therefore I don’t have enough space for a 1/2” router bit to make the cuts. I tried a 1/4” router bit, but it doesn’t work well on 3/4” material. I can’t afford a CNC right now, but I’m open to a smaller investment to speed up the process. I like the speed and the ease of a straight cut with the miter. The jig saw is slower and is more difficult to make a straight cut without setting up a straight edge each cut. I guess I could build a jig for the jig saw for each frame size, but it would be nice to just pull down on a pencil line and rip away. I like the miter, because you line it up, lower the saw and rip away. Is there a saw similar to make the the cut closer too the corners? I don’t think a radial arm saw will work, but I’m open to suggestions. Thank U! :)


8 replies so far

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7284 posts in 2253 days


#1 posted 691 days ago

In terms of saving material by avoiding use of a 1/2”
router bit you are stepping over dollars to save
pennies with your method of finishing inside corners
with a jig saw. 1/4” bits do flex too much. A 3/8”
bit is a lot stiffer.

Pin router could cut them out wicked fast. It’s like a CNC
without the CNC part – uses a template instead. Very
effective for whipping out identical internal cutouts. The
corners would be radiused but you can fix that in a jiffy with
chisels and a file.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

4763 posts in 1182 days


#2 posted 691 days ago

+1 for Loren.

Or, templates and a router will achieve the same results.

View patron's profile

patron

12977 posts in 1946 days


#3 posted 691 days ago

as easy as MDF is to glue
it seems to me that just ripping strips
and butting the corners
(with biscuits if desired)
would speed up this process
and you have all the strips
to make frames any size you want

attention to the gluing
would yeild good results

MDF is for paint anyway
which will hide any filler
if needed

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7284 posts in 2253 days


#4 posted 691 days ago

Patron is right. Invest in a double head horizontal boring
machine and you’ll be whipping out doweled frames so
fast you won’t know what to do with yourself for all the
time you’re saving.

A single head boring machine will work too. You need a stop
system like a fence with flip stops though. A double head
machine (or portable doweler by Freud, Triton, Hoffman or
Maffel) drills two exactly spaced holes in every part.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

View ed2fun's profile

ed2fun

7 posts in 709 days


#5 posted 691 days ago

Thanks everyone for the suggestions!

View ed2fun's profile

ed2fun

7 posts in 709 days


#6 posted 691 days ago

Ok, I’ve spent quite some time looking into doweling jigs. My head is spinning! Would you guys mind suggesting the most productive jig or equipment for me to do this? I think I saw a piece of equipment to allow a drill press to drill 2 holes at the same time, but I can’t find the site again. Thanks!

View waho6o9's profile

waho6o9

4763 posts in 1182 days


#7 posted 691 days ago

View Loren's profile (online now)

Loren

7284 posts in 2253 days


#8 posted 691 days ago

The most productive machine for this is a horizontal boring
machine, hands down. Loose tenons are no competition
for speed or economy compared to dowels. Dowel
assembly is failproof if you drill the holes right.

Loose tenon machines like the Domino are attractive for
their versatility in making custom furniture and one-offs,
but for manufacturing more work in less time with no
fasteners showing, dowels win. Dowel holes drilled
with a “jig” and a hand drill are considerably slower. If
you want speed and precision, get a double-head dowel
drill from Ritter, Lobo, Woodtek or Grizzly with a pneumatic
plunge. Clamping and drilling two holes in a part takes
about 2 seconds with such a machine.

Here is the Grizzly machine:
http://www.grizzly.com/products/Horizontal-Boring-Machine/G4185

You would need to buy a 2 spindle head for the most speed.

The machines are not hard to find used since a lot of face frame cabinet
shops went over to pocket screws for frames.

Any horizontal boring machine can do the job, even an old single
spindle drill with a foot pedal to plunge. You would need a couple
of custom fences to drill identically spaced dowel holes. The key
to the operation is the solid reference table in exact parallelism
with the boring bit. This precision is essential to accurate doweled
frames. You need very good parallelism of the sides of your
ripped frame parts as well, and the edges must be with say
1/2 a degree of 90 consistently. This can be achieved with
a cabinet or contractor saw, but probably not a portable.

A drill press with a special table can do the job too but plunging
the drill with a hand lever is not a fun way to do it if you’re
drilling a lot of work.

-- http://lawoodworking.com

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase