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Thread: Should I reinforce picture frame corners

  1. #16
    I used to think that glue, by itself, was sufficient for miters. I made jewelry boxes with mitered corners and used to just glue them. Then, one day, I dropped one and one of the corners came open. Since then, I put an FF biscuit in all my miters. Even with the biscuit, I think a corner can come loose if you drop it hard enough or enough times but it will last longer than without a biscuit.

    Mike
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  2. #17
    dowels work fine, wouldnt make it without something.

    Capture.JPG

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    SE PA, Central Bucks County
    Posts
    228
    Like Martin, I've a jig to cut slots in mitered corners for splines. I glue up the miters then spline them after, usually with a contrasting wood species. The miters will never come apart with a properly inserted spline. A suggestion on a jig; make the part that supports the miter replaceable to reduce tearout since exactly aligning the slot with your table saw blade each time it's used is a challenge. Just replace these strips and you get complete support each time. Obviously this only needs to be done when the jig is set up for a fresh round of spline cuts.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    NE Iowa
    Posts
    425
    If your frames are from narrow stock, miters are perfect, and you properly size and apply glue on both pieces, and get a tight enough clamp, most frames will hold together fine. Several hanging in my house and my kids' places that way for years. But wider material, unless in a climate controlled environment, is at risk due to miters wanting to open up on the inside as wood shrinks, and any frame is stronger and more imperfection-proof with a spline, key spline, or dowelled. Personally, for anything larger than a 5 x 7" desk frame, I use external splines cut in to the corners after glue up, as shown above by Martin. As Jeff says, it's easy to make them a design element.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    19,311
    Sounds like it is already assembled. With those dimensions I would reinforce. The spline jigs shown will do it, you just want good backing and tight pressure so you don't tearout at the exit. A quick and dirty one:

    Miter-Key-Jig-old.jpg


    Replaced by a more elegant one with replaceable inserts (for a clean exit) once it wore out.

    Miter-Key-Jig-in-use 006.jpg
    She said “How many woodworking tools do you need?”
    I said “Why? Do you know someone who is selling some?”


  6. #21
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Marquette MI
    Posts
    503
    I use a 23 gauge micro pin installed on each corner with my pneumatic pinner and TiteBond III and have never had a problem. Most of my frames are 8X10.

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