Even veteran woodworkers can find it challenging to establish solid clamping pressure when gluing up mitered projects such as picture frames or mitered face frames. Clamping miters is tricky because if you use any traditional clamping approach, the clamping pressure that you apply will immediately force the miters to slide out of alignment. Therefore, if you want to learn how to make strong mitered corners, you’ll have to use an approach for clamping miters that aligns the clamping pressure in a direction that is perpendicular to the joint line, so that the clamps are working for you, rather than against you.
George demonstrates an approach for clamping miters that can produce a perfect result every time by providing an approach for clamping miters that enables standard bar clamps to pull the joints closed effortlessly. To utilize this approach, you will want to do the following:
Build a prototype jig. First you’ll build a jig for clamping miters using the instructions provided, sizing for your project and your specific clamps.
Test on your actual project. Then test your prototype with your project to ensure that it will work with your clamps and direct the clamping pressure right where you want it. Make any necessary modifications to ensure that the jig works perfectly for your situation.
Make the remainder of the clamps necessary for your project. You’ll need 8 jigs for each project that you want to glue up simultaneously. Don’t be shy about stocking up on these because they’re cheap and quick to build and come in extremely handy.
Once you have these jigs in your tool arsenal, you’ll find tons of opportunities to use them and you’ll never feel the frustration of clamping miters without them. If you find this useful, WWGOA has lots more tips on gluing and clamping.