DIY Woodworking – How to Make a Picture Frame 3 Ways

What’s up guys, I’m Brad Rodriguez from Fix This Build That and today I’m going to show you three different ways to make a picture frame I’m gonna go from DIY simple that you can do with just a few power tools to a more complex Several step method with some larger machinery stay tuned. I’ll show you just how I did it I’ll be making three types of frames today and I’ll be using different types of wood and finishes for each of them The first frame can be made using just a miter saw and a handheld router Now one thing that’ll make your picture frames a lot cleaner and more accurate is an auxiliary fence on your miter Saw I made a very simple one from half-inch plywood and screwed together at 90 degrees You just need to make sure that the screws are outside the blade path And most saws are gonna have holes in the fence to attach an additional fence And I used half inch pan head screws and I secured the new fence to the saw Next I swung my saw 45 degrees to the left and I made the initial cut into the fence Then I made a series of test cuts to see how well that it lined up and by some woodworking miracle It was perfect! Typically, you’ll need to nudge the blade left or right to make sure that you get it just where you need it.

I used a tip that I picked up from a John Peters video and I made some reference lines on the fence Now I link to his video below so you can check it out – I’m making 8 inch by 10 inch frames So I went with an 8 and an eighth of an inch and a 10 and an eighth of an inch line from the blade kerf I made marks on the back of the fence And then I used a 45-degree drafting Square to draw lines parallel to the cut line And you’ll see why this is so important a little bit later For this frame, I’m using 8-foot select pine 1 by 2. You can get it at most home improvement stores. I started by cutting it in half since you can get to 8 by 10 frames from one board next I grab my handheld router to make a spot for the picture in the glass I use the 3/8 of an inch rabbeting bit and I said it about half of the depth of the total cut that I wanted Then I made one pass with a router along the length of the one edge of the 1 by 2 I lowered the bit to the full depth of 3/8 of an inch and made another pass to get the full rabbit for the frame and Here’s one of the downsides of a handheld router dust and lots of it.

This was actually after I’d cleaned up after the first cut With a rabbet for the frame cut I could start cutting the minors I cut the board in half again to let me do stack cuts for the other pieces But let’s talk about the measurements here first When cutting picture frames you really have three different measurements The outside length of the frame the inside length of the frame and the length of the rabbet Which is the one that you really need to get right to fit your artwork in your glass Instead of doing a bunch of math and figuring out the outside or inside lengths You can just line up the end of the rabbet cut with the mark for the size that you want And this will give you a perfectly sized recess for your glass in your artwork.

And that’s the beauty of these reference lines. I stacked one piece on top of the other and I cut the 45-degree angle at the same time so this way if the pieces are slightly off of the mark, then they’re still the same size and With that. I had my 10 inch sides for the frame. I repeated the process Establishing a correctly angled miter on the remaining piece first and then cutting them to size and as you’ll see later it is very important To keep the position of the rabbet in the top of your mind.

I lined up the 8 inch pieces and I cut them to size to complete my floor frame parts And since this is a DIY version of the picture frame, I didn’t use any special clamps for this one I just used tape for the glue up. I line up the parts end in and I use tape on the outside corners where each piece will meet and This let me fold up the joint without the parts moving at all. I used a special glue on the miter joints to help make the ingrain joint stronger I put it on all the joints and then I folded them up and taped the last corner Then I use some more tape to try and pull the corners tight.

And honestly, I’m not a fan of this at all I saw some others doing it, but I’ll show you my preferred method in the next version now that said it did work, but the joints definitely needed some reinforcement a DIY version of reinforcement is to use these corrugated fasteners They get hammered in across the miter joint and lock it into place after the glue is dry I held the fasteners in place with pliers And I hammered them in and I don’t know why but this just really didn’t go well at all I kept bending the fastener and it was just really a mess on one corner was good Two are okay and the fourth was a complete disaster And when I tried this out on a plywood test frame they weren’t great So I think these will still work You just need to make sure you get your technique down and that you hammer them straight down I don’t love the look of pine.

So I wanted to stain the frame for a dark rich look I’m using stain and finishes from Minwax a sponsor of today’s video and I wanted to see how three different stains looked I made up some sample sticks so I could test the stain on each of them I tried out the jacobean espresso in dark walnut stains And the espresso ended up being the one that I liked the best and the conditioner definitely helped reduce the blotchiness So I went with that combo but I ended up doing three coats to get the darkness that I wanted I’ll have a link below to all the men wax products.

I use during the project After letting it dry came back and topped the frame with a spray-on satin lacquer I love this lacquer because it dries very quickly and I could go back and forth between the two frames almost immediately and hey if you’re new here and you like what you’re seeing go ahead and subscribe and let me know in the comments the next project you’d like to see me make For the second frame I’m upgrading to a hardwood and I’m adding a table saw to the mix I drew out the profile for the frame on the in grain of the oak And this is gonna help me was set up on the table saw later And the first cut to make is a subtle chamfer on the inside of the frames edge.

I Tilted the blade to 15 degrees and I set the fence at half an inch from the blade Using a feather board for these cuts make sure that they are consistent along the entire piece With the chamfer cut I could move on to the rabbet for the glass in the artwork. I raise my blade to a quarter inch and I set the fence of the blade would just hit the outside layout line for the rabbet For the second cut I flipped the board on end and I moved the blade and the fence to line up with my first layout line to avoid kickback on the final cut You always want the piece being cut free on the outside of the blade and not between the blade and the fence now here’s the final profile using just the table saw I Cleaned up the saw marks on the frame with a card scraper before heading over to the miter saw Now remember what I said to always pay attention to how the rabbit is oriented Well, I just ruined my chance at an eight might ten frame with that cut though I was blissfully unaware at the moment I realized my mistake here and I naively thought that I’d just go ahead and fix it and swing the piece around and make new cuts Now the 10 inch long side cuts went great.

And then when I went to stack the sides for the eight inch pieces I became aware of my error And that my friends is why 5×7 inch frames were made Seriously, though. Just keep an eye on that rabbit and double-check it before each cut Now to glue up this newly miniaturized frame. I’m breaking out my web clamp This thing makes clamping mitered pieces so much easier the little corner supports span Both sides are the miters and they give you even pressure around the whole frame After the glue dried I wanted to add some splines for support And those corrugated fasteners would be a real bear and a hardwood like oak I used a jig to position the frame and cut a slot in each corner using my table saw Then I sized a piece of oak to fit the slot and cut out little triangles on the bandsaw I flattened the bottom of each triangle to make sure that it had a solid fit Then I glued them all in place making sure the triangle was bottoming out in the slot to prevent gaps After the glue dried I cut the splines off at the pool saw And be careful to cut with the grain here and not against it or you could really easily chip out that corner Finished by saying then flush with the frame with my random orbital sander We’ll be putting a picture of us at the ocean in this frame someone to have kind of a beachy feel And I wanted to try out a whitewash finish.

I used this Minwax whitewash pickling stain, and I applied two coats After letting it dry I topcoat the frame with polycrylic Oak is not one of my favorite woods, but the whitewash definitely changes the feel and I’m glad I tried it out It’s kind of a cool look But the third frame I brought out the big guns and I added a router table to the mix With a router table you just open up a whole new world of options for profiles The router table I’m using is the cast iron table from jet the other sponsor today’s video It’s gonna change Riven router lift that lets you change the bits above the table and make micro adjustments to the height of the bit It’s also got the huge cast iron top, which is super flat I’ll show you some more features as I go through this third frame and I’ll have a link down below in the description where you can find out all about this table,.

I had a rough idea of what I wanted to do with the profile, but honestly, I just jumped into it So using a cove bit, I made a sweeping curve on the inside of the frame It was a little small for what I was going for So I raised the bit and made another pass and that’s the beauty of working on the router table You can really fine-tune things very easily and this cut would be very difficult with a handheld router And next I unplugged the router and I changed over from a cove bit to a straight bit I put a small eighth of an inch by 18 inch groove along the inner edge This is very subtle, but it’s gonna create some really cool shadow lines when the piece is finished Cutting the recess rabbet for the glass in the artwork can be done with the same straight bit I already have in the router and one thing you probably didn’t notice is the dust or lack thereof The dust collection on this table is superb with both above and below table collection points With a more detailed profile I needed to sand everything before assembly Wrapping sandpaper around a dowel is a great way to get into little curved areas.

I Went through the same process on the miter saw to cut the miters and frankly I was gonna cut them on the table saw using a jig but my results here were just so good with a miter saw an auxilary fence that I just stayed with it and For this frame. I went back to the taped corner method, but paired it with the web clamp I got a little bit overconfident with that web clamp with the oak frame and I didn’t use the tape But the corners did slip a little bit up and down So it’s better to use the tape rather than not In this combination gave me my best results yet and the profiles in the corners met up Perfectly now I’m paying tribute to the plaid shirt advance From so I went with a clear satin lacquer finish to let the natural mahogany color shine Whether you only have a few tools or access to some advanced woodworking machines You can make some really awesome frames, and now norm has a respectable place to call home If you want to see some more videos, I got another one queued up for you right there You can go check out if you’re not subscribed to the channel already I’d love to have you as part of the team and until next time guys get out there and build something awesome

Read More: 10 DIY Outdoor Wood Project ideas

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