Articles, Blog

Making a picture frame (make molding on the table saw)


I got this picture printed out
years and years ago. It’s from where I grew up and in this video
I’m finally gonna make a frame for it. I rough pre-cut this cut
here on the band saw because this piece is only long
enough if I fully use both pieces. And this way I can kinda see
how its gonna work out. If I hadn’t pre-cut that like that
once I cut the molding I have to cut the miters like that. And
at that point it wouldn’t be long enough for both sides anymore. I’m thinking I should add a
bevel to the inside edge here to make it taper in
towards the picture but the other idea is to just
take these pieces of wood and bevel them like this. And that just means cutting
a bevel on the back. And I need to decorate
this profile a little bit. And I’ll do that by cutting a
cove like this on the table saw. Here’s the cove cut
without any sanding yet. It came out very clean because, as
usual, I have a trick up my sleeve. So, two things I did is I tilted
the blade this way a little bit so as I’m feeding this way I’m
feeding into the top of the teeth. The other trick is
I started with a junk blade and actually rounded
the tops of all these teeth by grinding away
the alternating points. It looks fairly nice so far but I want
some kind of visible edge on this frame. My thinking is I want
some kind of sharp edge here. So, I’m thinking I’m gonna
cut in like this and then a curve like so. And I’ll try to
approximate that with the table saw. With just a few cuts
in the table saw that already looks like
a convex round. But it actually has corners. And I’ll try
to smooth those over with a hand plane. With a ledge cut for the picture I’m
ready to cut miters into these. And for that purpose I built
myself a miter slide. Well, that looks like
it’s gonna work good. Now I just have to
glue it together. I made these picture frame
clamping claws many years ago. And by clamping these
to the edge of the frame I can concentrate on getting
just one joint at a time lined up perfectly. Now I just gotta
do that with glue. And the last two joints I
have to do at the same time. So I set up on the table saw so
I can get at both ends easily. Next its time to cut some
reinforcing splines into here. And for that I’m just gonna use a
plywood box on my table saw sled. I still need to clean up these splines.
And I’ll clean those up by cutting a back bevel along the
edge using this fence set-up. For the glass for this picture frame,
I’m gonna use old storm window that I got from the garbage. Shit! As long as I manage to not let
this crack get any longer. I can still use this glass. I got a nice little cavity for a
screw head to really hook onto now. I think a bit of a dark
bluish tinge will go well with that picture
I have of the spring. I giving this several coats
of water-based Varathane. And that will seal it give it gloss and
protect the paint I just put on it. I’m just gonna put some nails
to hold the back plywood in. It feels really manly pushing those
nails in with my bare hands but I did pre-drill the holes. I am quite pleased with
how this molding came out. And it was done almost
entirely on the table saw. So I ended up drilling
two holes in two studs. And I put holes off-center
in the picture. So that way I could
hang it off the studs. And get it exactly
where I want it. And it doesn’t go
back and forth.

100 Comments

  1. J. Stribling Author

    Matthias, you are so incredibly gifted. Everyone can see it — hence your many subscribers. Just watching you work is simultaneously entertaining and educational.

    Reply
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    Reply
  3. Aesithair Runekafi Author

    Replace the wood backer with acid free foam core. You'll burn the picture in about 10 years with the acid in the wood. Also the image needs a couple of acid free Japanese hinges at the top or the paper will creep down and permanently ripple the image. The hangers you placed on the wall are a bit of overkill. I would suggest you look into something like a Wall Buddies hanging system to have minimal impact on the sheet rock.

    Reply
  4. dcscribbles Author

    have been looking up videos on diy picture frames, this was not at all helpful but was incredibly entertaining. incredible craftsmanship, definitely need a nicer picture to go with that frame

    Reply
  5. Gregg Jones Author

    I thought I'd seen all off Matthias' videos but somehow I've missed this important one. My daughter got a large poster for Christmas that she's going to want to keep for years, so it needs a frame. A professional one would be ridiculously expensive. Now I've got enough information to figure out how to make something great. Thanks Matthias!

    Reply
  6. Steve Prescott Author

    Excellent lesson on using a table saw. I've been trying to figure out how to make an apron for the base of a grandfather clock without having to buy a bunch of expensive tools and you solved it for me. The table saw is a symbol of independence.

    Reply
  7. Vincent Smith Author

    At 4:20 and again at 4:55 – please don't allow the piece you're removing with the table saw to be pinched between the blade and the fence – you're begging for a kickback and injury.

    Reply
  8. sultan Merchant Author

    why all videos are made showing using electric operated tools and not using manual tools? most of them cannot effort to purchase expensive electric tools. Therefore exhibit your talent using manual tools.

    Reply
  9. Kevin Adkinson Author

    This is full of genius. I think your the only person who thinks table saw instead of router when making a picture frame.

    Reply
  10. Remybird 05 Author

    Yes, I agree with the other viewer; you are simply a genius! Making that beauty with almost entirely a table saw? Thank you for inspiring us all. Good day.

    Reply
  11. KpxUrz5745 Author

    Way too much work to justify the rather ordinary result. I pick up nice frames for next to nothing at thrift stores, then modify to suit if necessary. Sometimes it just means using the miter jig to recut lengths. Other times I can use as is, and just improve the finish and color through judicious use of thin acrylic paint washes. In the example in this video, I found the final shine of the paint surface quite amateurish and unpleasant.

    Reply
  12. Chairfarmer 1 Author

    Dude, you make great vids and projects. WEAR SHORT SLEEVES. From one angle your sleeve buttons looked dangerously close to the TS blade. You almost made an advert for Sawstop.

    Reply
  13. Luis Rodriguez Lynch Author

    Bien Matias, bonito cuadro y tecnica a la vez, el solo usar la sierra de mesa para moldear los marcos, felicitaciones. Luis de Peru.

    Reply
  14. Tom Clarke Author

    Hoe Leeeeee Sheeeeeeeeet!
    I've got soooooo many better things to do with my time!
    I'll just bring along my print to the picture framer and let her do it.

    Reply

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