Cutting Picture Frames

Cutting picture frames can be done in several different ways, depending on what tools you have available and what you want from the finished product. Saws for cutting picture frames should be chosen for their accuracy. There are several exact angles that frames need in order to make a tight fit that will not gap or warp. Saws for cutting picture frames come in a few varieties to fit different needs and budgets.

Miter Saws and the Miter Box

Different varieties of miter saws are often the saws used for cutting picture frames. Most miter boxes are three-sided boxes that open at the top and the ends. It is wide enough to hold the width of the boards that are to be cut. Then slots are cut into the walls of the box at the angle that the cut has to be made. The slots will provide a guide for the saw.

Most miter boxes have slots cut at 45 and 90 degrees. The board will be put into the box and the part of the board that will be cut should be lined up with the correct slot. A tenon saw is often used to do this. The cut is started by simply placing the blade into the slot and drawing it back and forth across the board.

The miter saw is a powered version of the miter box. This is one of the best saws for cutting picture frames because it will cut the molding for picture frames quickly and with repeatable accuracy. The radial arm saw that was once popular in applications like this one has largely been replaced with the miter saw. The size of the saw will be determined by the size of the saw. There are 8, 10, 12 and 14 inch models available.

Compound Miter Saws

The compound miter saw may or may not have a laser guide for additional accuracy. The compound miter can be adjusted in order to cut angels horizontally and vertically. This comes in handy when cutting the angels needed for this type of project, and makes it a handy saw for cutting picture frames. If the compound miter has a laser guide, it will show exactly where the cut is to be made, simplifying the process.

Another variation of this saw is the sliding compound miter saw. This one also may come with or without the laser guide. This sliding model will allow for a board with a greater width to be cut. Most of these saws for cutting picture frames will be able to cross cut a board that is 12 inches wide.

Tips For Cutting Picture Frames

Other tools in addition to the miter saws include the frame square fillet and trim cutter. This is a chopper used with miter cutting. It has twin blades that chop down on the wood, mitering both ends at the same time. A precision miter sander will put precise angles of 45 degrees on miter cuts.

This will allow the corners a greater accuracy when used with the miter saws for cutting picture frames. A tight corner is a must when assembling a picture frame, as gaps in the frame are unattractive as well as being less functional.

When you have selected your boards and saws for cutting picture frames, it is important to make sure of your dimensions and measurements. Frames are sized according to the size of the opening- not the outside of the frame.

To determine the size you will need, also remember what type of matting you will want. You may want to allow a few extra inches all the way around the artwork, or you may want the frame to overlap it slightly for a tighter fit.