Maker Project

Making A Mitred Frame.

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A friend of mine commissioned me to make her one simple wooden frame so that she could swap out her various prints and display the one she wanted. The prints were mounted on hardwood backing and they were of various sizes.

So the first task was to resize all the prints down to a single size. I lay a clean sheet of paper on top of the print to protect it. The edge of the paper also marked my cut line. I lay out my straight edge and clamped it down and used my circular saw to make the first cut.

This resulted in a nice clean edge. After 15 more cuts, I had 4 prints all the same size.

I then did some quick back of the envelope calculations to work out the size of the frame and came up with 675mm x 825mm. I've included a frame size calculator on this page for those interested.

I then measured up the timber and cut them to size. I'm using 10mm x 60mm clear pine for this project.

When cutting the second piece, I used the first piece butted up against the blade as my measurement guide.

Next, it was time to cut the 45 degree mitres for this frame. In my case, I had already set up my jig for making these cuts. For setting up to cut mitres, there is a detailed video and information in the "how to" section of the website. I cut both pieces for each side together and this makes sure that the lengths remain the same. When making the cuts, I lined up the top corner with my left hand side of the blade line.

I then tested the frame to make sure it was all square. The mitres were nice and tight and would require only a small amount of finishing work.

Next, it was time to cut the rebates which would allow the prints to be slotted in. The rebates would be 10mm in width by 5mm depth. I didn't need to allow for glass and this would allow the prints to sit reasonably flush with the edge of the frame.

I marked out my measurements and setup my straight edge to cut the rebates. This is the same straight edge I had used earlier to cut the prints to size only this time I set it up for my router.

Because the frame was only 10mm in depth and it was quite large, I knew I had to reinforce the corners. So I cut up some triangular pieces to be used later. I didn't use the mitre offcuts as I felt that these would bulk up the frame so I opted for 5mm mdf to try and maintain the slim profile.

Next, it was time to cut the rebates - that's the cavity for holding the prints. I marked 10mm from the inside edge of each piece.

I then lined up my straight edge and clamped it into position. This is the same straight edge I'd used earlier to cut the prints to size only this time I was using it with my router. I set my router to cut a 5mm depth. For details instructions on setting up this jig, see the "how to" section of the website.

It's important to make sure that the base of the router remains firmly on the flat surface of the straight edge especially when moving it away from the fence.

Next, I cleaned up the surfaces and rounded off all the edges.

When I measured up, I thought I was being smart allowing a few millimeters extra but this resulted in the frame being just a little large. As my table was being occupied, I dropped my sled on the garage floor and shaved off the excess. The result was a nice fit and the corners are all reasonbly tight not needing too much work to finish.

I forgot to push the record button for this next part. I used my square board and glued up and stapled the corners. My sqaure board has about 3 to 4 coats of wax so is perfect for these jobs. But the frame extends beyond this and is supported by ordinary timber. I just had to make sure I separated these before the glue fully cured.

Next I tapped the staples down just below the surface. I then glued and stapled those small triangular pieces to each corner to reinforce the frame.

I sliced up some small pieces which I rounded off with the sander. These I would use as fixers to hold the print in place.

I then sanded down the whole frame paying close attention to the edges and corners.

Next I attached those little pieces I referred to earlier with a small screw. I predrilled each hole for the screws. I also put a bit of tape on my drill bit to make sure I didn't drill through the frame by accident.

I then measured 1/3rd of the way down from the top of the frame and marked that position. I predrilled the holes and screwed in the eyelets for the wire. This sets up the frame to take the vertical prints. There is one horizontal print but that can be sorted at a later time.

Finally, here's the frame with a print inserted. Gillian wanted to apply her own finishing so I've left the frame bare. I hope you've enjoyed this video and thanks for watching.

Frame Size Calcluator - Applies To 45deg Mitres

You can use this calculator to work out the width and length of your frame where the mitre angle is 45 degrees.

frame diagram

Calculate Size Of Side A

Calculate Size Of Side B