My first picture frame and its not turning out how I "pictured" it

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Forum topic by AnthonyD posted 03-20-2013 07:47 PM 1127 views 0 times favorited 6 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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21 posts in 1958 days

03-20-2013 07:47 PM

Hey Jocks!!!

My kids have these drawings of there selfs that we got them on there first trip to Manhattan a few weeks ago. They absolutely love them. So I desided to make some frames for them with some 1X4 mahogany boards I had laying around. I ran the router over a bunch of times until I came out with something I thought would make a good frame. After the boards were all sanded nicely, I figured out what lengths I needed for the frames and cut them on a 45.

Ok, here comes the issue I’m having. For some reason the 45 angles didn’t come out perfect, but that happens. So I threw them on disk sander and they still aren’t lining up. I need some advise from you guys on what I can do the get this frame to line up.

Or if there is a way to build a picture frame with the four corner angles not 100% on point. Thank you in advance fellow jocks because I know you guys are going to help a brother out like you always do. SO HAVE AT IT LUMBER JOCKS!!!

-- AJ DeSantis

6 replies so far

View Cosmicsniper's profile


2202 posts in 3185 days

#1 posted 03-20-2013 07:55 PM

First, how did you cut the 45s?

Second, when you used the disk sander to correct the angles, how much did you shorten the sides in the process?

-- jay,

View gtbuzz's profile


427 posts in 2468 days

#2 posted 03-20-2013 08:22 PM

It all depends on how you cut your miters.

Miter saw – don’t rely on the detents in the table. Use a speed square or something similar to find 45 degrees. Even half a degree can end up making a big difference (remember over the entire frame, you’re multiplying the error by 8). If you’ve got a sliding miter saw, don’t slide; it’s bound to introduce error. Once you find 45, leave it there; don’t swivel around to the other side, or else you’ll have to calibrate all over again.

Table saw – is your miter gauge calibrated correctly? Is the blade parallel to the miter slot? All of these can introduce error.

One thing that’s just as important as making sure the miters are the right angle is making sure the pieces on the opposite side are exactly the same length. You can clamp on some stop blocks to help with this. Sanding the miters is also pretty dangerous, because you never know how much material is going to be removed or what the resulting angle is going to be.

If you’re left over with small gaps (really small) sometimes you can get away with forcing them closed with a band clamp, but generally I don’t like to do that past a gap of a certain size because it will introduce residual stresses in the joint.

Before you cut these pieces again, test on some scrap to make sure you’ve got your saw dialed in. You could cut two miters and check for 90 degrees with a square, but even better would be to cut 4 pieces all the same length and look for error there.

By the way, nice job with routing those profiles in there – they look good.

View PurpLev's profile


8536 posts in 3675 days

#3 posted 03-20-2013 08:24 PM

setup a shooting board

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

View Hammerthumb's profile


2853 posts in 2002 days

#4 posted 03-20-2013 09:15 PM

What PurpLev said. Shooting board.

-- Paul, Las Vegas

View DrDirt's profile


4424 posts in 3769 days

#5 posted 03-20-2013 09:42 PM

Get one of those plastic triangles from the school supply aisle or hobby lobby.
Use that to get exactly 45 degrees on your miter gauge.

Should be right on, but you can touch up with a hand plane. The gaps you show are more than you should have to “true up”

-- “The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Mark Twain

View Bogeyguy's profile


548 posts in 2095 days

#6 posted 03-20-2013 10:24 PM

Is it April 1st, not yet.

-- Art, Pittsburgh.

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