need help on a picture frame.

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Forum topic by whitebeast88 posted 10-21-2012 03:27 AM 1142 views 0 times favorited 9 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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4128 posts in 2187 days

10-21-2012 03:27 AM

Topic tags/keywords: question

i need to build a picture frame with 1×8 boards.i’ve built one before with 1×4’s and it turned out a little off.i know you cut the ends at 45 degree angles,but i can’t figure out where i messed up.any advice or any tips would be appreciated.thanks marty.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

9 replies so far

View ShaneA's profile


6929 posts in 2595 days

#1 posted 10-21-2012 03:47 AM

Using stops to make sure the opposite sides of the frame are equal length is helpful, as well as double checking that balde is 90 degress to table and that miter gage or sled is perfectly 45 degrees, if you are using a table saw. If you are using a miter saw, tune it up and test make sure it is set to 45 degrees with a high quality blade. Closing miters across 4 corners looks simple, but can be more difficult than it looks.

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29224 posts in 2335 days

#2 posted 10-21-2012 10:08 AM

I have a gauge to verify my mitre saw angle. I don’t trust the markings on the saw itself. Tight fitting mitre cuts are tougher than they look.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View IsaacH's profile


128 posts in 2093 days

#3 posted 10-21-2012 10:21 AM

If your miter saw or gauge is 1 degree off, by the time you’ve cut 8 miters, your looking at 8 degrees. If you leave the miter saw in the same place and flip the boards over to make all of your cuts so that one cut is face up and the mating side was cut with the board face down, you should be able to cancel out some if not all of any error that exists. (this only works if your using unprofiled boards) Also if you cut the opposing sides while stacked, they should end up being exactly the same size.

-- Isaac- Decatur, GA - "Your woodworking....NOT machining parts for NASA!!!"

View Sawdust4Blood's profile


404 posts in 3018 days

#4 posted 10-21-2012 11:12 AM

Lots of places to go wrong. First your lumber must be milled flat and true or the miter angles will be all over the place. Then your stock has to all be the exact same length. Finally, the miters must be dead on 45 and perpendicular to the face. Lots of ways to accomplish all of the above but also lots of ways to get lost along the way. I start by jointing and planing all the stock so it’s perfectly true. Then I cut if close to final dimension on the table saw with a precision miter gauge. For me, the final tuning of all the miters is done on a miter trimmer. Then the joints are all glued and splined, pinned, or v-nailed.

-- Greg, Severn MD

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2187 days

#5 posted 10-21-2012 02:22 PM

thanks everyone i’m gonna try some test runs on my miter saw and table saw to see which i like the best.that is after i check for correct angles.thanks for the help.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View AandCstyle's profile


3052 posts in 2254 days

#6 posted 10-21-2012 06:31 PM

One trick I learned someplace along the way is to clamp the frame to a piece of scrap plywood so that the corners are as close to square as possible. Then I saw down between the pieces that don’t make a tight corner with a dovetail saw. That ensures that the two pieces will meet (you may need to do this a second time if there is a large gap). HTH

-- Art

View a1Jim's profile


117091 posts in 3574 days

#7 posted 10-21-2012 08:15 PM

Another problem can be it your parallel sides are not exactly the same length even with dead on cuts your frame will be off. Not sure if someone else brought this up already.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2187 days

#8 posted 10-21-2012 11:32 PM

thanks for the advice.i cut the frame out with some scraps and checked the miter on the wood with a speed square and they were off at different areas so i marked them and sanded them down even.i checked the blade angle and the 45 degree on the miter gauge before starting.even after sanding im still off so i’m thinking about starting over with more scrap.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Sawdust4Blood's profile


404 posts in 3018 days

#9 posted 10-22-2012 10:01 AM

One other thing to think about. If you are using a miter gauge and holding the stock by hand, the torque from the blade can move the stock more than you might think while the cut is in progress. That’s the advantage of some miter sleds that use sand paper to help hold the stock in place during the cut.

-- Greg, Severn MD

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