LumberJocks do i fix this?

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Forum topic by Darkeyce posted 12-10-2012 07:49 PM 1177 views 0 times favorited 15 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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26 posts in 2072 days

12-10-2012 07:49 PM

Built a frame. My first one. It went “interestingly”.
Anyway, after much pain on what should have been a fairly straightforward project I now have mitres that don’t quite meet. They looked OK when I glued them up. But I messed something up.
I need suggestions on how to clean these up so they don’t gap quite so much.

15 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile


4769 posts in 2379 days

#1 posted 12-10-2012 07:58 PM

Pare the back of the miters w/ a chisel so the surface comes together.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View Darkeyce's profile


26 posts in 2072 days

#2 posted 12-10-2012 08:17 PM

The joint is already glued…Not sure how to make any changes without cutting the joint.

After i looked at my setup further it looks like my saw was not exactly 90 deg. So the mitre faces are is slightly angled. Hence the gap.
When i held them in my hands and mated them they matched, but when i made the frame level the faces no longer mate and i got gap.

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Don W

18754 posts in 2595 days

#3 posted 12-10-2012 08:23 PM

It won’t help on this one, but the next one you may want to look into a shooting board if you have access to a decent hand plane. The other option, go ever so slight past 90 the opposite way.

For this one you may be able to cut an inlay into the corners. In other words, make it look intentional with some kind of high light.

-- - Collecting is an investment in the past, and the future.

View bondogaposis's profile


4769 posts in 2379 days

#4 posted 12-10-2012 08:26 PM

Saw the joints open and redo. The frame will be only be slightly smaller.

-- Bondo Gaposis

View a1Jim's profile


117126 posts in 3605 days

#5 posted 12-10-2012 08:35 PM

If it’s glued already take a thin piece wood with as close of a grain match as possible with a little glue (white is best) let dry and then use a sharp chisel an or a card spacer and then touch up the finish as necessary. The other guys ideas will work too.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View teejk's profile


1215 posts in 2712 days

#6 posted 12-10-2012 08:57 PM

does it look the same on the back-side?

From my perspective it looks like a little “hollow” (funny what a 1/4 degree can do huh? especially when you aren’t using $25,000 laser saws)

old finish carpenters used to use a matchbook cover to create a slight bevel so the gap would be on the backside and would be easier to trim on the front-side. professional picture framers use something akin to a big paper cutter.

fix? try laying face down on a piece of clean soft material and tapping it…might open up the joint. go lightly. if that doesn’t work, then you will understand the concept of “filler”.

View Darkeyce's profile


26 posts in 2072 days

#7 posted 12-10-2012 09:26 PM

I appreciate all the ideas…
the back actually looks the way it’s supposed to, I’ll have to remember the matchbook idea.
I took the picture straight down, the purpleheart out trim is actually raised by 1/4”, otherwise i would have just flipped it over and used the “other” front :)

I think I’m going to end up trying to either a) fill the gaps with thin pieces or cut a piece of purpleheart and use it as a “feature” piece overlaying the joint. I really wanted the Joints to show though, i like the change in grain.

My final more drastic choice is to recut the joints as suggested and insert a 1/8 or 1/16 piece of purpleheart, that way i get a highlight, and the frame stays the same size and the color change will cover any issues with the joint.

View whitebeast88's profile


4128 posts in 2218 days

#8 posted 12-11-2012 12:32 AM

great post darkeyce,i just had this problem myself.fortunately my customer was going to paint it and i don’t know if this was the correct or even a good fix but i used filler and turned out great after that,my customer painted it and distressed it.


-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Mark Smith's profile

Mark Smith

509 posts in 2067 days

#9 posted 12-11-2012 12:38 AM

How about cutting a square grove along the miter and then inlaying a darker piece of wood? You could cut the inlay channel with your table saw or router table using some type of jig. It will add some highlight to your frame too.

View Mike Gager's profile

Mike Gager

665 posts in 3295 days

#10 posted 12-11-2012 12:45 AM

put a couple drops of glue on the joint and hit it with a sander. the sawdust from the sander will mix with the glue and fill the gap

View Rick  Dennington's profile (online now)

Rick Dennington

5912 posts in 3222 days

#11 posted 12-11-2012 02:29 AM

Just remember to always do a dry-fit before assembly…That way you’ll know….

-- " At my age, happy hour is a crap and a nap".....

View runswithscissors's profile


2768 posts in 2053 days

#12 posted 12-11-2012 09:20 AM

If you want to try sawing the joint apart, get a little razor saw (for want of a better name). These are extremely thin, and can have 20 or more very fine teeth per inch. You would lose very little wood that way. You might even find the saw would fit into the existing gap so marring the wood wouldn’t be a problem. My local hardware store has them—but then they have everything (Hardware Sales in Bellingham). You can probably get one off Rockler if you can’t find one locally. Oh, hobby shops are a good place to look, too. I have 3 or 4 of them, and use them quite often, sometimes in a situation much like you have.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View Darkeyce's profile


26 posts in 2072 days

#13 posted 12-12-2012 04:28 PM

Once again i appreciate all the suggestions. So this is what transpired next….
I thought i was going to fill the gaps…I started that process but when looking at the expected results it wasn’t up to par. so i went with recutting the joints. I have a small Japanese pull sat tht fit the gaps perfectly and i might have given up a 1/16 once the cuts were done.

I reset my table saw to a little over 90 degrees so to address any top gap and using a sanding wheel i took a little of to smooth the new mitres. In a fit of efficiency (insert sarcasm), and haste, I pushed the inevitable accumulation of scraps and squares and clamps to the side and hastily reglued the joints.

The next morning i realized i had glued the wrong pieces together…on the up side, the joints looked good.

So i cut them apart again [giving up another 1/16” :( ], spent a few minutes and cleaned up my work space and went to bend.

As i said to my wife, if it was easy it wouldn’t be any fun!
The saga (and education) continues.

anded the ends to

View waho6o9's profile


8207 posts in 2604 days

#14 posted 12-12-2012 04:40 PM

Welcome to the learning curve, and a belated welcome to LumberJocks.

Maybe practice on some scrap first until you’re satisfied with all
4 miters.

Assuming you used a table saw, a miter sled may come in handy., from LJer, Kent Shepherd

View jumbojack's profile


1677 posts in 2652 days

#15 posted 12-12-2012 05:46 PM

As Waho609 stated the miter sled IS THE WAY TO GO! If you take your time to build this correctly, perfect miters are a snap. The only thing you have to remember is to cut mating pieces on opposite sides of the jig. You may also want to look into a flat gluing station. My bench is not perfect so I slap down a piece of 3/4 MDF with rails on two sides that are 90 degrees. I push my frame pieces into the corner giving me at least one known 90. The rest simply fall into place.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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