Introduction: Flat Frame...with Miters

What you need

s4s (surface four side) piece or of wood (length will vary on the size of your frame)
scrap block wood
Clamp (TechShop)
Table saw  (TechShop)
Chop Saw (TechShop)
wood glue
Strap clamp
45 degree table saw jig
¼ backing board (Masonite)
 ¼piece of glass
Point Drive with inserts

Making flat frame is harder than you think. The miters have to be perfect or you will see the gaps in the counters. I just started making them and with everyone I’m getting a little better.

The frame is only miter together, with end grain to grain. This is not a strong joint. You want to make the joint stronger. There are a few opinions, adding splines, nail gun, add biscuits, dovetail keys or half-lap miters. These are just some ways you can add strength to the miter joint. Depending on the way you want to you strengthen your miter, it may alter a few of these steps.

Step 1: Ripping and Cutting Out Notch

I ripped the wood down to 3 inches wide on the table saw. Now I have two pieces wood are cut to same size. I like to cut down the piece to about the size that they are going to be on the chop saw. 

The glass has to set somewhere; we are going to cut this out a notch with the table saw. When you are detriment the depth of the cut, need glass and a backer board to fit, with tabs to keeps the glass in place. I run the vertical cut 1st, raise the blade up to about ¾ high and set the fence. This will change with each frame. Run each one of the board thru. You have just made a rabbit. Lower the blade and move the fence over to cut the out the rest.

Step 2: 45 Jig for the Table Saw

When using the 45 jig for the table saw, there are a few things that you have to keep in mind. The jig is going to have a little play in left to right movement, the reason for this is when you are moving across the table you keep even presser to the inside of the channel. Next you don’t have to clamp your martial down, just make sure that you hold the material firmly.

Lay the pieces on a table, mark the miters this way you dont have to think what way you are going to cut the miter. Once you do this a few time, you wont need to do this. 

Take one of the boards and place against the rail of the jig, pass thru the saw. You will end up with a little triangle piece. Repeat for the other 3 boards. Turn off the saw and set up the stop to clamp the first side. You wand the opposites side to be the same length, if they are not the exactly the same the frame will never fit together perfectly. I will always double check the lengths. Hold the tow piece next to each other and feel if one in longer. if so re cut. Repeat the steps for the other side of the frame.

Step 3: Gluing the Frame.

Dry fit the frame, if you see any large gabs, that means one of the pieces is off, find what side is off and recut on the table saw.

Strap clamps work the best for gluing the frame. Use the strap clamps and dry fit the frame one more time. This is the really test, if you have no gaps here you will not have them in the glue up.

Apply glue to the end grain of the frame, wrap strap clamps around the frame and tighten the clamp. Let dry.

Step 4: Backing Board

Measure the inside of the frame that the backer board needs to be cut down too. On the table saw set the fence to the correct length. Cut the Masonite. Moving over to the chop saw, cut the Masonite down to size. Place into frame. 

Using the point drive add in the tabs that keep the board and glass in place. 

You still need to sand and put a finish on your frame and you will be all done.