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Painted poplar picture frame #3: Reinforcing the miters and painting

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Blog entry by Dave Polaschek posted 06-23-2021 05:14 PM 1053 reads 0 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Mitered corners and glue up Part 3 of Painted poplar picture frame series Part 4: Finishing, day 2 »

First, since I’m using milk paint, I mixed 15ml of powder and water to make 30ml in a measuring cup. Every time I took a break, I give it a stir. After about an hour, it’s ready to go.

To reinforce the corners, I chucked a modified spade bit (I ground off the central spur so it won’t poke through a piece I’m putting a shallow hole in, but it’s really only safe in a drill press or post drill this way) in my post drill.

I clamped down the frame and drilled a shallow (<⅛ inch deep) hole in each corner of the frame. I had to remove a bit of the waste in the center of each hole with a gouge.

I had an ash dowel that’s a little under 3/4 inch laying around (a turning experiment), so I cut off four 3/16 inch pieces. Glue one into each of the holes in the frame, and the fragile miter joint is now reinforced.

After writing most of this (a half hour), the clamps could come off and I could hit the front of the frame with the first coat of paint. It’ll get a total of three or four, and the back will get a couple.

I use cheap foam brushes, and a frame this size used about 15ml on the first coat, so I diluted the remaining paint with about 10 ml more water, and set it in the fridge while I went to have lunch. The thinner mix will work better for later coats, flowing better and covering gaps.

[Added later]

After lunch, I continued putting on thin coats of paint. As I guessed, the front needed four coats before I was happy with it (and a little sanding with 180 grit when I’d gotten a little sloppy with the second coat), and the back took three coats. I grew out about 5 ml of the thinned paint when I figured I was done, so I mixed up about the right amount.

-- Dave - Santa Fe



13 comments so far

View Dan Lyke's profile

Dan Lyke

1530 posts in 5283 days


#1 posted 06-23-2021 05:40 PM

Neat corner reinforcement! So is the modification on the spade bit that it’s a little narrower? (I’m a power tool guy, so I think I’d reach for a Forstner bit for this first)

-- Dan Lyke, Petaluma California, http://www.flutterby.net/User:DanLyke

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

8094 posts in 3363 days


#2 posted 06-23-2021 05:45 PM

I nice simple project well written, and showing a very interesting concept, using a modified spade bit, and associated process to reinforce a typical and well used woodworking frame joint.
I see no gaps either physically or in the literal wordsmith sense.

A work of art so to speak

-- Regards Rob

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7954 posts in 1741 days


#3 posted 06-23-2021 05:52 PM

The spade bit normally has a protruding bit in the center to keep it from wandering, Dan. The modification is I ground that off so it won’t poke a hole through the front, but it’s really only safe in a post drill or drill press now. I forget what I was doing when I originally modified it, but I use it a couple times a year for making a circle in the surface of something.

I don’t have any forstner bits, but that’d work too.

Thanks, Rob! Had someone ask me, “so aren’t picture frames pretty simple?” I figure this, once I’m done with it, will answer that question for them.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View sras's profile

sras

6253 posts in 4288 days


#4 posted 06-23-2021 09:11 PM

Nice job Dave!

It just occurred to me that the spade bit would hold position better if the shank were shortened. I realize you likely didn’t have a issue but you’re not likely to drill a deep hole with that bit. Might be an improvement…

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7954 posts in 1741 days


#5 posted 06-23-2021 09:18 PM

Yeah, Steve. I’ve thought of shortening the shank every time I’ve used it, but in the post drill it holds well enough that I haven’t wanted to get out the hacksaw and cut through the shank. Yet.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Oldtool's profile

Oldtool

3264 posts in 3349 days


#6 posted 06-23-2021 11:48 PM

Nice work Dave, I especially like the single clamp method for clamping the frame up as shown in the previous blog, pretty slick.
Regarding the reinforced corner miters, and slicing the discs from a dowel; do you find this to work well in that the discs are end grain and somewhat fragile themselves? Maybe they aren’t as I think, but I’m working on a small iPhone 5 while traveling & it’s hard to determine grain orientation.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7954 posts in 1741 days


#7 posted 06-24-2021 12:04 AM

Thanks, Tom. They’re end-grain in the glue joint, but I oriented the grain cross-wise to the corner, so it’s about as strong as it can be for a thin disc. They would be stronger if I cut them the other way, but I’m hoping this will be good enough, and I didn’t have a scrap handy to make discs oriented the other direction. I might make up a few dozen next time I’m bored so I have them on hand, kinda like the thin oak wedges I have for wedged tenons, or the butterflies I have for fixing checks.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

8094 posts in 3363 days


#8 posted 06-24-2021 01:26 AM

Well from my experience they are far from simple.
Not only do you need to be very precise and accurate cutting to allow all four joints to close perfectly but the vertical error need to be considered as well.

I made a 45 deg sled for the table saw from rubbish this week and it took quite a lot of tuning I assure you.

Its only one sided but there are some SKA needed to get it to work and produce the acceptable accuracy

As you are aware the thinner the width of the timber the less the error is.

Go wider and the error of angle subtends.

The jig.

The adjustments

The results
after quite a bit of tuning I might add!

Mind you if you use a 90 deg jig you dont have to be so precise but need to end match the joints exactly.

It will be interesting to see the comments on the feedback as it progresses.

-- Regards Rob

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7954 posts in 1741 days


#9 posted 06-24-2021 01:49 AM

Rob, I don’t mind hand-tuning things just before the glue-up, but I got the angles close enough that there was less than a 1/64th of gap on one of the corners, and the other three showed no visible gap, so I just held one of the pieces for that corner on the shooting board with the piece maybe an eighth from the fence. One pass with the plane, check it again, and it looked good enough. You can see a tiny gap on the lower right corner in the last picture on the previous installment (reproduced here).

You can also see the adjustment I made on the upper left corner of that same picture. The profiles didn’t match up exactly, so I matched them “pretty close” with the knife, and then sanded to feather it a little with some 60 grit after it came out of the clamp. It’s poplar so soft and easy to adjust a little. If it were a 3 foot frame, I’d have to be more exacting, but most of what I’m framing at the moment are small things. And my eye is pretty fussy, so if I get it close enough that it doesn’t bother me, most people won’t notice the issues.

I may buy the miter trimmer if I keep making frames. We’ll see.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View doubleDD's profile

doubleDD

10511 posts in 3201 days


#10 posted 06-24-2021 02:04 AM

Interesting process in making this frame Dave. I also like the idea of the reinforcement on the back of it. I may try that in the future. I like spines but on occasion I can do without.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7954 posts in 1741 days


#11 posted 06-24-2021 03:29 AM

Thanks, Dave. I saw it on the internet somewhere, and it was recommended as the “quickest and easiest” way to reinforce a miter. But they cut the discs from a piece of veneer with a hole saw, I think. I don’t have a hole saw, but I can turn a dowel with the grain sideways and then slice it up pretty easily by hand.

If I’m doing a thicker miter, like in a box, I’ll reinforce it with splines, but on a picture frame it’s thin enough that my usual method of cutting the slot for the spline by hand seemed too likely to go wrong.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View robscastle's profile

robscastle

8094 posts in 3363 days


#12 posted 06-24-2021 07:43 AM

Picture perfect!

-- Regards Rob

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

7954 posts in 1741 days


#13 posted 06-24-2021 01:04 PM

Thanks, Rob! One thing I’ve definitely gotten better at is knowing how to fix slight imperfections after the fact.

-- Dave - Santa Fe

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