Picture Frames: Mitered Half-Lap Joints #3: Miter Half-lap Joints Cut In Cherry Hardwood

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Blog entry by HappyHowie posted 11-18-2016 03:56 AM 2662 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Test Cuts with Pine Scraps Part 3 of Picture Frames: Mitered Half-Lap Joints series Part 4: Routed Rabbets and Hand Chisel Work »

These miter half-lap cuts for this picture frame are straight off my table saw. I used a 1 by 4 by 84 inch American Black Cherry board that I jointed one edge straight and then made the other edge parallel to it by ripping the board on my table saw. I ripped this board to 2 1/4 inches wide. It is close to 3/4 inches thick.

I will either apply several coats of Danish Oil or Boiled Linseed Oil that will pop the nice grain on this cherry hardwood. It will darken the wood and make the grain standout.

I know there is some hand chisel work to do yet to get these mitered corner fitted correctly, if not perfectly. The gaps will close with a bit more work.

The miter half-lap joint is a very strong joint for a picture frame. A simple miter joint is inherently weak. Some ways to strengthen a miter joint is to place a spline or a biscuit inside the joint or even to cut a saw kerf on the outside edges of the corners and then fit a spline piece of hardwood into the saw kerf.

I have taken an entirely different approach with this miter half-lap joint. I used the table saw and jig method shown in the following link from Woodworkers Journal Magazine.

Besides some hand chisel work to fit these corners more perfectly, I will also route a 1/4 inch deep and a 5/16 inch wide rabbet on the inside back edges of this frame. Into that rabbet I will place the 11 by 14 inch photo mat. I already have the 8 by 10 photo enlargement printed and ready to go when this frame is finished.

This will be a Christmas gift for a close friend. When I learned he was going to take his parents who are 95 and 91 years old to a Colorado Rockies game, I asked him to take photo of him with his parents. I know how close is with them. I figured this would be a great and worthwhile gift this year for my good friend.

-- --- Happy Howie

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