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Thread: I'm getting better at these...

  1. #1
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    I'm getting better at these...

    Hey, folks,

    Frames have always been my nemesis... eight cuts with incremental errors usually mean big gaps at one corner. But now I've taken to using the scms for the miters, and then trimming with a miter trimmer. I've also been playing with various router profiles. A few more of these and I'll have some return on investment on that incra router fence I got for Christmas...

    This one is some wormy soft red maple Doorlink didn't like for her cabinet doors, but she likes the frame! And she's a pretty tough customer when it comes to these things. 41" x 29". Finished with lacquer. Put James in the pics so you get some feel for the size...

    Attachment 12815
    .


    Attachment 12816
    .

    thanks,

    Bill
    Last edited by Bill Lantry; 09-21-2007 at 12:51 PM.

  2. #2
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    looks good bill! what trimmer are you using....a lion?
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  3. #3
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    Bill, it looks like you're really making some headway on frames! Looks great.
    I feel your pain regarding frames. How can something that seems so simple be so frustrating? I've made about 6 frames this year. I'm really proud of some, others.....well at least they hang straight!

    Let's see some more.
    “We all die. The goal isn't to live forever; the goal is to create something that will.” - Chuck Palahniuk

  4. #4
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    Looks good Bill!
    The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
    William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
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    Great job Bill. I agree with you - I hate miters!!!

    Tell us more about your miter trimmer??
    Don't believe everything you think!

  6. #6
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    Gentlemen,

    Not much to tell about the trimmer, really. I looked for a genuine Lion, but after losing several auctions, I gave up. It seems the company doesn't make them anymore, and people who have them tend to hold on to them. Anyway, I finally broke down and ordered this clone:



    I thought it would solve the problem... it *should* be easy. Wrong! It literally shaves the end fibers of the wood... and though it's razor sharp, *cutting* a piece of hard wood at an angle tends to push the wood, so one gets a *very* slight U shape, which leads to a scallop in the joint. I tried screwing the trimmer to my bench, and butting the other end of the workpiece against the vise, which didn't solve the problem *and* dulled the pointy opposite end of the work piece. I stared and cursed and stared some more. Then I remembered I had a couple toggle clamps in a drawer. The trimmer was already screwed to an oversized piece of plywood. I screwed a piece of 4/4 beech to that, and then screwed a toggle clamp onto the beech...

    It worked like a dream. Toggle clamp adjusts horizontally, and I used washers to adjust it vertically. Now I can move the foot to a thick part of the profile, clamp, and get a "good enough" trim, which is miles better than anything I used to be able to do.

    Long story short, I'm very happy with it. I know people say they can get perfect miters every time with a sled or some other device, but I suspect they dwell in some other alternate universe, where the laws of physics are different from those that prevail in my shop...

    Now if I can just reduce the time it takes to make a frame! Think about it: Big old piece of rough lumber. Jointer, planer, jointer, table saw. Whoops, back to the jointer. Then the router table... several passes for each piece. Chop saw for basic miter. Router table for the rabbet. Miter trimmer. Glue and clamp, and pop it with the pin nailer. Hang it up, and spray the lacquer. Set up the cutting guide and circular saw for rough cutting the 1/8" luann backing (or hardboard, depending on what's on hand). Table saw for final trim. Table saw for plexiglass. Assemble and pin the whole thing together. It's just one of those really simple things that ends up burning a whole lot of time, with lots of ways to mess up each step. And if there's a way to mess something up, you'll know I'll find it... or maybe even invent a new way...

    Thanks,

    Bill

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Lantry View Post
    ... Long story short, I'm very happy with it. I know people say they can get perfect miters every time with a sled or some other device, but I suspect they dwell in some other alternate universe, where the laws of physics are different from those that prevail in my shop... ...

    Bill
    I guess I'm an alternate universe dweller but that's ok, I'm used to being there, and it's not just in my woodworking that I live there.... I play with a large format camera (8x10 Agfa), so I develop my own negs and do my own printing, soooo ... the logical next step is to make my own frames. Making frames was a real head-banger of an exercise in frustration until I made a sled for the tablesaw. The first frame I made (and all of them since) was perfect as far as angle and they glued up perfectly square.

    I would still like to get a trimmer though, mostly because I hear that it produces a nice clean "smooth and ready for glue" face on the cut ends, so it's nice to hear your experiences. Listening to others is how I learn.

    cheers eh?

  8. #8
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    By Jove, I think you've got it!

    The frame looks good Bill. I can commiserate on how many steps it can take to build something that seems simple. (Trinket boxes can be the same way.) As you've seen, repetition does help speed them up, but it doesn't necessarily eliminate any of the steps.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  9. #9
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    Nice frame Bill.
    I trim my miters on the miter saw, set them on the shooting board, and run the hand plane across the mitered face once or twice.
    It's old school, but the shooting board / hand plane combo couldn't be much more controlled or any quicker. It works great. Dressing 8 miters for a rectangular frame takes about 3 or 4 minutes. Setup time is half that, and the faces are flat and ready for glue.
    My shooting board is made from scrap and took about an hour to make. If you've got a good bench plane, it may be a good option for you.
    Not the only way, just another way to skin the cat.
    Paul Hubbman

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Looking nice Bill...

    I always wanted one of those trimmers, almost bought a Lion in '98 or so, a little before they stopped making them. Never got around to it, got the hang of a shooting board, etc, etc...

    A friend of mine has one - not Lion - that has a kind of gear mechanism that, if I remember correctly, gives the blade a slight plunging motion. I'll have to get him to drag it out so I can look at it again.

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