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Perfect Picture framing...How to do it?

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smiffy

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Folks,

I have recently invested in some picture framing gear. All of it is from the Ozzie firm FrameCo and consists of the Mat Master 660 mount cutter, the PushMaster V-nailer and the band clamp. Now I know that this stuff is geared toward the DIY market (still bloody dear though) but what is the best method that you experienced framers use?

I cut the frame with a mitre saw, put the 4 pieces in the band clamp (still a bit tricky through inexperience and have been swearing like a trooper as yet again the bloody thing suddenly springs and everything goes flying), then push the V-Nails in. Is using a band clamp the best way?
It is a good quality metal band.
Has anybody made picture/mirror frames using a rail and stile kitchen door set as I always get good results making doors this way.

Cheers,
Raymond.
 

Neil

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Hi Raymond,

I have the Pushmaster widget too, and I know what you mean about the price :roll: - but I must admit it does a great job. I've always used corner clamps (Record brand) and I haven't had any great difficulties - never tried a band clamp I'm afraid.

Cheers,
Neil
 

Gill

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I've always made my own framing clamps from offcuts; they take no time to produce. I simply cut 4 corner blocks (usually from 18 mm MDF) with 90 degree angles each to go on each corner of the frame. Then I lightly score a line along the outside of each corner block to locate a piece of cord, position each block on the roughly assembled piece, and run the cord around the outside. I've made a little gadget which looks like a small boot jack to help tension the cord, but I've seen other people use a windlass arrangement too.

I've also heard that cutting a small nick right in the angle of each corner piece helps to get a better joint but I've never tried this; my own setup seems to work fine as it is. At least, it works for relatively small frames; I've never tried anything larger than about 50 cm square. Oh, and I trust to glue on the mitre joints without any mechanical augmentation.

Cost of all this? It all depends on how long a piece of string is.

Gill
 

Alf

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Up the proverbial creek
Never done any picture framing, but a mitre clamp would seem to be the required tool. Like these and similar "products in this category". I have one or two of various sorts (one of those things car boot sellers never seem to value much) because I've always had no end of grief trying to use band clamps on mitred joints.

Cheers, Alf
 

Alf

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GillD":1egkpeoz said:
My Heath Robinson arrangement looks quite similar to this:
http://www.axminster.co.uk/product.asp? ... 05&recno=3
Yours has to be better than that one, Gill, or you'd be a gibbering wreck. I have that one and I haven't once managed to use it without hurling it at the wall at least once during the set-up. :roll: Although, hang on. It looks like mine, but no way does mine have a 50mm wide band; much narrower I'm sure, and that's one of the main problems with it, so maybe this one's okay? Or maybe just a typo...

Cheers, Alf
 

Chris Knight

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Smiffy,

I find that particular band clamp just about the best there is and I use it for all sorts of mitred joints from picture frame-alike things to boxes (when I will dig out a variety of other bandclamps and use three or four depending on the size of the job). I can't really imagine why you are having problems.

However, another approach is to get a biggish piece of melamine covered chip board (I have pieces up to 24 inches wide) and then to bang in a couple of wooden fences to define a right angle. Make up four cam shaped bits of wood and screw these in so that turning them applies pressure to the free sides of your frame when it is tight against the fences. You will need to wax the fences to stop glue sticking but with that and the melamine surface you will find that nothing sticks. You can then glue up frames and be sure everything is kept square. I usually make up a board like this when doing panel doors.
 

Noel

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Buy or make one of these

Simple enough with some studding and angle blocks. The above is available from www.brimarc.com 'bout £20 odd and it does, I think, have the quick release facility.
Otherwise as Chris said a four corner clamping jig.

Noel
 

Gill

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Alf":2g1ag5wn said:
Yours has to be better than that one, Gill, or you'd be a gibbering wreck.
Who says I'm not a gibbering wreck anyway?

:)

The band clamp from Axminster looks much less substantial than my own arrangement. I certainly wouldn't trust those plastic corner blocks. I just posted the link to give a general idea of what I was trying to describe.

Gill
 

Bean

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How about the Bessey Band Clamp I use one frequently on boxes and frames, with little or no problems.


Bean
 

Travis Byrne

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Hello Raymond

I use a method simular to Chris' It goes like this:
1 Make sure all miters are a perfect 45 deg
2 Make sure that the opposite sides are the exact same length
3 Use a 90 deg. jig
4 take a top and a side and clamp them to the sides of jig
(This will assure that the frame is squire)
5 Then clamp the remaining side and bottom to the jig.


This has worked many time for me (dry fit first)
I also leave a small space in the corner of the 90 deg. angle on the jig.
I hope I have not been too dense in describing the method :D

Travis
 

smiffy

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I can't really imagine why you are having problems.
It is quite easy to imagine really...I have no experience with the blasted thing. :oops: I have also just discovered that my PVA has been frosted and is useless. :x But as usual I will persevere...as we do.

Thanks folks for your input :)

The one thing I have learn't (the hard way) is as you say Travis, the sides have to be exactly the same length.
I am getting better though...I have 8 frames to make this weekend...I will let you know what I think after. (that is if I have not been taken away in a white van in a strait jacket) :p

Cheers,
Raymond.
 
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