Picture frame jig/clamp

Rapid Roger

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I happened to use this jig yesterday and thought that it might be of interest to others that make picture frames or small frames for other uses.

I found the plans in a magazine several years ago and it has turned out to be a very handy thing for me over the years so, I'll pass it on.

As you can see, it clamps all four corners at once using only one clamp and makes for easy, quick glue-up.







Hope this helps someone sometime.



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Wow, it doesn't have to be just picture frames! You can use it for cabinet doors, cabinet bases, pulling together  the top for a table [ with extra clamping] there are a ton of uses you can come with for a jig like this.   Thank's, This falls in the category if KISS....Keep it simple stupid!

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I'm a firm believer in the KISS method for so many things. It seems that people think it needs to be complicated to work. I also believe in the SWAG method for building things (Scientific Wild @$$ Guess)

Yes it can be used for cabinet doors also. The only thing is you need to put the two center pieces on the other side of the bars to have clearance for the clamp with a panel installed. Hence the use of wing nuts for quick easy adjustments.



Yes, all the bolts with wing nuts are kept "just snug" if not a bit loose so that everything is self centering and one clamp will cause everything to pull in toward the center giving equal pressure all around. By relocating the corner pieces this jig covers a wide range of frames. You could make your jig with longer legs and get really crazy with it. The frame shown in the photo measured about 12" x 14" OS dimensions and I have made frames as large as 18" x 24" with this same set-up and used a longer clamp to pull it tight.


If anyone does build one of these jigs, be sure to put on a heavy coat of wax on every piece of the jig. Not only for ease of movement but, if you should glue the jig to your frame, it makes it hard to hang the frame on the wall. :)



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Roger, does this jig work well for keeping the miters from slipping as pressure is applied? Seems like no matter how perfect I cut miters for a frame, the always end up just a bit out of kilter when the glue has set.


ABSOLUTELY!  If you take your time, do a dry run with the frame in place, loosen just enough to take the pieces out for applying the glue and then re install the pieces in the same places, you can hardly miss!

I will watch the corners as I apply pressure with the clamp and make any slight adjustments if necessary and then  GLOMP it down on the pressure! The corner blocks provide equal pressure from every direction all at the same time so BOB IS YOUR UNCLE!



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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

ResidentEvil and C Shaffer, 

Please go back up this thread and re-read my two follow up posts.

This is NOT an "end all" jig so some time with adjustment before glue-up is required as I mentioned. If you take your time with a dry fit and just loosen the jig enough to remove one piece at a time to apply glue and watch each corner as you slowly pull it tight once all corners are glued, it is just easier and quicker than anything else I've tried.

And C, yes, you can bolt the corner pieces on either side of the jig. In fact if you use it on a paneled frame, you HAVE to rearrange things for clearance. And you can move the corner pieces to any hole along the legs BUT make sure that all four spacing's are equal for even pull at each corner with the single clamp. 



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I wasn't complaining at you roger. I've been thinking about making this jig for awhile now and finally did it. So no offense towards you was intended.

I did try it several times and did what you recommended, but still had issues with my miters pulling together tight and with them slipping a bit vertically out of line.

I'm guessing its more operator error. Either with my jig construction or miter cutting. Just had an easier time using the parallel clamps.

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Clamp looks good!

That is a different idea on pulling things tight. Seems like you are going to be doing a lot of screwing though.

You might try another idea and rob a screw out of an old wooden clamp that has a left and right thread so that it pulls things together in an equal way from both directions.

I just think the clamp I use make things a lot faster.



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