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  • Need Advice on a Frame Square

    Hi Everyone, I could use some advice as to buying a new framing square. I have been framing some of my work and making my own frames with a cheap framing square. I am in need of a better one any tips or advice on a good quality framing square would be appreciated. Thanks, Steve
    If This HillBilly Can't Fix it Then it Ain't Broke!!!
    My Gallery
    [email protected]

  • #2
    Framing Square

    Don't know if there is an extremely accurate framing square. I've made picture frames for years and the first thing I did was to make a sled that fit my table saws miter gauge slots. On the sled I made a very accurate 45º frame for cutting the miters for frames. I set up the frame with a machinists 12" combination square. If you'd like, I can clear my saw table and take a picture of it to show you better what I did. It's a bit cumbersome, but it does work well. There may be other methods available. You might try Micro Mark for one source. Possibly a saw designed for accurate miter cuts.
    Buzz
    Buzz
    We Danes are very even tempered. We're always mad about something!

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    • #3
      Steve,
      You didn't say how you were making your frames (table saw, chop saw, miter box, etc). Buzz has the right idea if you're using a TS. I've seen many variations of a sled that sets up to cut the 45º angle on either side of the blade (think of a 90º angle with the point centered on the saw blade). If you cut one side of the frame on the left side of the blade and the mating piece on the right side of the blade the angle will be 90º even if one angle is a hair off. If you're going to be making your own frames it's well worth the time investment.

      Bruce
      Bruce
      . . . because each piece will be someone's heirloom someday.
      visit sometime
      Hawk 220VS, Delta 40-570

      Comment


      • #4
        Steve...Are you asking about a framing square for making the mitered corners or a square clamp for joining the corners and keeping the frame square? Woodcraft sells an adjustable, four cornered, frame clamp and it's reasonably priced. It uses 1/4" all-thread and four 90 degree corner blocks. Look in the book I sent you in the section on framing. There's a picture of it in there. I use a miter box with a back saw to cut my frames. I have used my table saw but find I get a much more accurate cut with the manual rig. There's also some info in the book on how to cut a frame so the backer board fits in the rabbets. I always make the frame first and then cut the backer board for a perfect fit. I made a frame for the Charity Quilt and hauled it all the way to East Petersburg only to find it was 1/8" too small all around for the backer. I still feel bad about that!!!
        If it don't fit, don't force it....get a bigger hammer!!

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        • #5
          I thought when you say framing square, your talking about a piece of L shaped metal, not how to cut a 45 angle.
          If I'm correct then I have an answer. I grab a handful of framing squares and go to the plywood section and find some hardboard or melamine...don't use plywood for this test, lol, they'll have a fit if u do that. Place the square on the straight edge and trace the full length of the square...supposedly you have a 90 degree mark. flip the square over and see if the line still matches. If not, it's not square. repeat with another untill you find one that is true. Then you can erase the lines. If it's melamine you tested on, don't worry about it..it'll clean up easy when someone buys it. Hardboard and melamine always have nice straight edges to test squares on...but don't expect a corner on any sheetgood to be square, just expect the edge is straight.
          Once you find a good framing square, don't drop it.
          Jeff Powell

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          • #6
            Frame Square

            Hi Everyone, I am sorry that I was not clear as to my needs. I am cutting my angles with a miter saw and getting a fairly good fit up. I am needing the clamp to pull the frame together. The one that I have is wanting to roll the wood and leave a gap. The one that neal spoke of may be on the track of what I need. I want to be able to put a good deal of pressure on the corners to bring them together. Thanks to all, Steve
            If This HillBilly Can't Fix it Then it Ain't Broke!!!
            My Gallery
            [email protected]

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            • #7
              There are numerous clamping jigs to join framing corners that are mostly reasaonably priced.

              One option I have seen to make sure that your have perfect 45 degree cuts is to use a Miter Trimmer Guillotine. This trues up to angle after you cut it with a very sharp blade. This is a little expense but it works very well.
              Attached Files
              Dan

              -Just do'in the best I can every day

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              • #8
                Framing Clamps

                I have had a few corner clamps but the one I always go back to is the Shopmate Maxi Clamp. I have done a bit of searching and can't seem to find the manufacturer. My manual says "Shopsmith Maxi-Clamp" clamping system. Don't even know if it is available any more. This clamp is composed of different types of corners all interconnected by 3/8" all thread with appropriate nuts/wing nuts and coupling nuts to make all thread longer. You can also just buy more 3/8" all thread at your local hardware store. It is a bit cumbersome to put together, but has the capability of minute (long i, as in mynute) adjustments to individual corners.
                Buzz
                Buzz
                We Danes are very even tempered. We're always mad about something!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Steve-- I bought a framing clamp like Neal spoke of at Wal=mart a hundred years ago. I don't make good 45 angle cuts so I never use it anymore- come on down and you can pick it up -but you have to takr the sawdust off of it yourself.
                  Sharon

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                  • #10
                    Stevie, I use band clamps like the one pictured below. I've had very good results with them. They're not terribly expensive. I bought mine at a local Woodcraft store.
                    Attached Files
                    Kevin
                    Scrollsaw Patterns Online
                    Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

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                    • #11
                      I use the same technique as Kevin, although my clamps were made from offcuts and a piece of string! Cheapskate, me?



                      I've always found that set up to be satisfactory. However, it helps an awful lot if you've got dead accurate 45 degree angles to start with. You can get these using a plane and shooting board (cheapskate approach) or one of the guillotines mentioned earlier (luxury approach).

                      Gill
                      There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
                      (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Gill
                        I use the same technique as Kevin, although my clamps were made from offcuts and a piece of string! Cheapskate, me?



                        I've always found that set up to be satisfactory. However, it helps an awful lot if you've got dead accurate 45 degree angles to start with. You can get these using a plane and shooting board (cheapskate approach) or one of the guillotines mentioned earlier (luxury approach).

                        Gill
                        I prefer "thrifty." I'm curious Gill, did you drill holes to feed the string through or do you just wrap it around the off-cuts? I'm always looking for cheap...err, thrifty solutions.
                        Kevin
                        Scrollsaw Patterns Online
                        Making holes in wood with an EX-30, Craftsman 16" VS, Dremel 1680 and 1671

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Steviegwood
                          I want to be able to put a good deal of pressure on the corners to bring them together.
                          Steve, you'd better rethink how you are cutting the miters if you have to use that much pressure to bring them together. The glue should be holding two well mated surfaces. If you have to force them together you're setting yourself up for the joint to fail prematurely.

                          Bruce
                          Bruce
                          . . . because each piece will be someone's heirloom someday.
                          visit sometime
                          Hawk 220VS, Delta 40-570

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Hi Kevin

                            I just wrap it round. However, I have cut channels around the outside of each block with my multi-tool so that the string doesn't fall off as the jig's being tightened.

                            Gill
                            There is no opinion, however absurd, which men will not readily embrace as soon as they can be brought to the conviction that it is readily adopted.
                            (Schopenhauer, Die Kunst Recht zu Behalten)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Steve, the secret to making sure your picture frames meet at 90° at the corners is making sure the 2 sides are EXACTLY the same length and the top and bottom pieces are EXACTLY the same length. I use a miter saw with a Freud 80 tooth Blade. I either cut the 2 parallel pieces together or use a stop block to make sure they are the same length. I use the threaded rods with the plastic corners for my clamp. One side not being the same as the other will throw the whole frame off. Been there done that. Good luck with it.
                              Mick, - Delta P-20

                              A smile is a small curve that straightens everything out.

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