Making Picture Frames Without Using Miters

Duration: 16:17

Making picture frames is a great way to take advantage of your woodworking skills and, as you make them and give them away, your friends will love you for it. They’re a great gift. If you’ve struggled with making picture frames (or haven’t even tried it) because the prospect of cutting miters makes smoke come out of your ears, we’re here to help. This picture frame is miter-less, and very easy to make.

Tools required

We’ll do the lion’s share of the work using a table saw and router table, including jointing the edges of our frame pieces using the router table. Since butt joints wouldn’t suffice for strength, we’ll be using pocket hole joinery to hold the corners together. You can learn more about pocket hole joinery in this video on screw pockets.

More easy projects

You’ll find that making picture frames is very easy using the techniques we teach in this instructional video. We love to help keep you working in the shop, so check out more of our easy woodshop projects and gift ideas.

More on table saws

The table saw is key to this project, as it is to many woodworking projects. It’s important to have a good understanding of how to safely and correctly use this important machine, and WoodWorkers Guild of America has lots of information for you that’ll help you learn how to use a table saw.

More info

For more info on the Triton WorkCentre visit www.tritontools.com

Discussion
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19 Responses to “Making Picture Frames Without Using Miters”
  1. Steve
    Steve

    This video seems to promote a particular brand of table saw and router table? How many people truly have this brand? I love woodworkers Guild of America. However this seems to be sponsored by a particular brand of equipment that many words workers do not own.?

    Reply
    • WWGOA Team
      WWGOA Team

      In this case the work was done on a Triton WorkCentre, but the project could be made using any table saw, any router table, any jointer…. The key to the project are the techniques/approaches required to make it, regardless of tools used.

      Reply
      • ROBERT A TOWLE
        ROBERT A TOWLE

        I fail to see how showing us how to joint a board on that exotic micro-adjustable divided fence helps us with the usual fixed flat standard fence. Please show us how we can joint a board on our router

        Reply
  2. Denis Lock
    Denis Lock

    The test piece is routed (jointed) in the right direction: with the grain. The first project piece is routed against the grain!

    Reply
    • George Vondriska
      George Vondriska

      Good eye. The “feathers” on the project piece are pointed the wrong way. I’m much more careful about this when using a jointer than when using a router table for jointing. The high rpm of a router provides about 44,000 cuts per minute, compared to about 18,000 for most jointers. That makes jointing on a router table much more forgiving and less likely to produce tear out and chipping.

      Reply
  3. JimE
    JimE

    George, Good info with a question. You made the boards a consistent width with parallel sides on the table saw and then jointed one edge which does not guarantee the sides are still parallel any more. Did I miss something? JimE

    Reply
    • WWGOA Team
      WWGOA Team

      This is common practice for creating 4S lumber, but you’re right, technically that jointer pass can leave the sides out of parallel, but with a single light pass on the jointer you probably won’t see more than a 1/64″ difference in width from end to end which is within my tolerance for this project. (ZD: 3557)

      Reply
  4. Al Ro
    Al Ro

    What do the purists in the Art World think of your Butt joints, rather than diagonal 45 degree joints? Could yow not make your 1/4 in. @ 3/8 in. Cuts on full length planks, before cutting frame sides to length? A thought.

    Reply
    • WWGOA Team
      WWGOA Team

      Thank you for your question. Artists like a different approach, so my prediction is that this will be popular in that community. In terms of your idea on making the rabbet cut prior to assembling the frame, this would cause the rabbet to extend through the side of the frame on the upper and lower rails. (ZD: 3556)

      Reply
  5. Dax
    Dax

    I am very glad I came across this site. I got hired at a cabinet shop a few months ago because of somebody I know. I have literally no experience with woodwork. I didn’t even take woodshop in school. This site has been extremely helpful and informative with helping me understand what some of the tools and machines do. Everything is explained very well. Thank you for this. It has been so helpful. Keep up the great work!

    Reply
  6. ROBERT A TOWLE
    ROBERT A TOWLE

    This is dumb. Anyone who owns the equipment that he is using to show us how to do this, does NOT need this video. This type of video should be done on equipment more basic like most of us own.

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi Robert. Thank you for your feedback. I will forward your comments on to the proper department.

      Reply
  7. Carl
    Carl

    I dislike pocket holes, rather use dowels. Anddddd I dislike to be prick teased by showing half of a video and say ” if you want to see the rest of the video become a member”’ lol

    Reply
    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi Alec. The sizing math is pretty straightforward if you use half lap joints. You would use the size of your picture minus 2X the width of your rabbet plus 2X the width of your stock.
      So as an example, if you are using 2″ stock and 1/2″ rabbets, for and 8×10 picture your rail and stile sizes would be:
      8 – (2 x .5) + (2×2) = 11″10 – (2 x .5) + (2×2) = 13″
      Thanks
      Paul-WWGOA

      Reply