Picture Frames: Mitered Half-Lap Joints #2: Test Cuts with Pine Scraps

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Blog entry by HappyHowie posted 09-26-2016 02:31 AM 1679 reads 2 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Mitered Half-Lap Joints Part 2 of Picture Frames: Mitered Half-Lap Joints series Part 3: Miter Half-lap Joints Cut In Cherry Hardwood »

Before making the actual picture frame for my friend Bill, I decided to make the JIG and perform some tests cutting mitered half-lap joints.

I had some pine 1 by 6 by 72 inches boards in my lumber racks. I jointed one edge flat and square to a surface. From that I ripped a width about 2 1/2 inches wide. There was enough tension in the board that it moved immediately. I decided to crosscut the six foot lengths into lengths that would give me a picture frame that would fit a 11 by 14 matted photograph. I cut two pieces 20 inches long and two others 16 inches. From these lengths I jointed a surface flat and then edge jointed and edge flat and 90 degrees square to the flat surface. Then I ran the pieces through my planer. I stickered the milled parts and let it acclimate over night.

I used double side tape to apply 60 grit sandpaper to the L-fence JIG. Afterwards I fixed the JIG to my table saw’s miter gauge. I decided to use my DADO set. I configured the DADO set to just less that 1/2 inch width cuts.

Using the Woodworker’s Journal article as my guide, I drew the layout of miter half-laps for the test pieces and also a picture frame parts from the pine lumber I milled the day before.

I began by first cutting what I labeled B parts that were the mitered pieces. I cut those parts first and used my INCRA miter gauge for this process. In the photo below the B part with the mitered ends are shown on the top-side in the image.

I took a scrap pieces of pine and cut it in half. It was milled through my planer so it’s thickness was the same as the picture frame parts. with these two parts I began taking cuts to by raising my DADO blade until I had a perfect half-lap fitting. Once I had the blade height setting, I then used my jig to make the half-lap cuts to join each of the picture frame parts.

I will used a hand chisel to clean up the half-lap cuts so these miter ends fit snugly. The picture frames has turned out quite well straight from my table saw cuts.

-- --- Happy Howie

2 comments so far

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441 posts in 4358 days

#1 posted 09-26-2016 03:26 PM

Very nice. I just finished a similar frame and I wish I had used the half=lap technique.

-- "A goal without a plan is a wish."

View HappyHowie's profile


473 posts in 2555 days

#2 posted 09-26-2016 09:27 PM

My knotty pine material was for testing or practice purposes only. However, I do plan to work on the fit more. I will glue it up and route a rabbet on the inside back so I can fit a matte frame and photo inside. I just do not know if I will use it, or not. So, to be determined later.

I did go looking in my lumber rack this morning for enough lumber to make the picture frame for my friend’s photograph with his parents. They are 95 and 91 years of age. I can tell how much of an influence they have on him. I thought it would be a great Christmas gift.

I did find some nice cherry hardwood that is left over from the trestle table I am also currently making. This board will be just enough to make a new frame and to provide me some scraps for testing the half-lap saw setting. If it doesn’t work out I will go shopping for more lumber.

-- --- Happy Howie

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