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Watch the video, then click below to read more details on how these frames are made.
I'm always amazed in this world of high technology and all it's whizz bangs, that someone ... somewhere never forgets about the simple things in life. The small things that often frustrate us to death but that we never seem to overcome. Enter the new "Bench Cookies from Rockler. These are simple little discs with non skid material applied that not only allows them to stand off the workbench, thus giving the worker some room underneath the project ... these little things stick like crazy, even when grit and sawdust tries to confound them.
At first I wondered how many times I would really need to lift my work piece off the workbech top, but I soon discovered that was not the real issue, the real issue was all the stuff that always seemed to accumulate under my work piece, like nails, screws, bits of wood, tools, pencils ... the list goes on and and on. The real problem with thes is that in some cases I don't want the back to get scratched and marred, I want it to be clean, which doesn happen when a screw rolls under and all of a sudden your piece now has a dint or scratch in it.
I also like the fact that I can use them for painting and staining, simply by moving them in from the side of the piece. To me, the that is the best part of these accessories, when you want to paint, stain or varnish all sides of a piece, when it is small it often moves around on you ... but not with these little items. If I only used them for finishing they would be worth EVERY PENNY.
For many woodworkers today, scapers are a bit of a mystery. Many of us have heard other woodworkers extoling the virtures of scrapers and how wonderful they are. Well, we decided that it was high time to spend some time on scrapers and explain how and where to use them ... and most of all how to keep them sharp. I can tell you the absolute most useless tool you will ever have in your workshop is a dull scaper. On the flip ... a sharp scraper is irreplaceable.
Before sandpaper became popular, scapers were the item that woodworkers used to put a fine finish on their woodworking projects. In fact, scrapers were so useful and popular that there were people who circulated the woodworking shops with the sole purpose of sharpening scrapers for woodworkers. Because of the sound they made when sharpening scrapers they were called "clickers".
As it turns out, scapers are a VERY useful tool in finishing wood, and in many cases, especially with highly figured woods, particularly those with open grain, sandpaper can actually supress that three dimensional aspect of highly figured wood ... but scrapers can restore the look.
Click the Read More button to see more about scrapers.
OK, Now that you know how to cut picture frame material and make the angle cuts, now you need to put it all together. Gluing up smaller picture frames can be done with something a simple as black electrical tape wrapped around the picture frame after glue-up. The pressure of the tape will keep the corners together long enough to allow the frame to become rigid. Larger picture frames are another story ... the black electrical tape trick doesn't work so well.
In this case it is better to have some sort of a picture framing glue-up jig. The one shown in the video can be made quite easily, the plans are easy to find on the Internet and it doesn't take long to put it together. As usual ... there are some tricks. I decided to offset the center block so it makes it easier to use, AND I added wing-nuts to the ready bar so that the whole jig can be tightened up around the frame quickly and easily ... you don't want to fussing around too much glues like Titebond lll, it will start harding up on you (especially in warm weather) in minutes.
Now that you know how to make picture frames, wouldn't it be nice to be able to make your own picture frame material ... simply and easily ... on your own table saw?
The process of making picture frame material, also called molding can be as complex as you want to make it ... or you can make it simple. The molding I like to make are simple and when viewed in a cross section look like and "L" shape. They are easy to put together and look great.
I also ad splines in all for corners to add strength and an extra detail to the frames. I try to choose a contrasting wood so that the splines stand out somewhat from the frame molding.
It's important to remember that the face sides of your picture frame metial will need to be almost finished before you peform your final cuts. There is no easy way to run "L" shaped material through a planer and even funning it through a jointer will be tricky. All that should need to be done after the final cuts is to sand the face sides and begin the final 45 degree cuts as shown in the assembly video.