How To Make Picture Frame Miter Cuts With A Table Saw?

Are you looking to create beautiful picture frames? Follow this step-by-step guide on how to make picture frame miter cuts with a table saw. In this section, I will guide you through the process of making picture frame miter cuts using a table saw. With the right techniques, you can create perfect picture frames for your artwork or photographs.

Key Takeaways:

  • Preparing the boards properly is essential for optimal results.
  • Create a 45-degree angle pre-cut for accurate miter cuts.
  • The table saw can be used to cut bevels and coves on the frame.
  • Use a featherboard for stability and prevent wood from being pulled away from the fence.
  • A 45° miter sled ensures precise miter cuts.

Preparing the Boards for Miter Cuts

To begin, you’ll need to prepare the boards by planing them down to a consistent thickness using a dust collector. This step is crucial to ensure that your picture frames come out perfectly. Start by securely attaching the boards to the table saw, making sure they are flush against the fence. With the dust collector in place, turn on the table saw and slowly feed the boards through the blade. Make sure to apply even pressure and keep a firm grip on the boards to prevent any kickback. The dust collector will help maintain a clean workspace and prevent sawdust from obstructing your view of the cuts. After planing the boards, check their thickness with a caliper to ensure uniformity. This will ensure that your miter cuts are precise and the frames will fit together seamlessly. Once you’re satisfied with the thickness, you’re ready to move on to the next step in creating your DIY picture frame. DIY picture frame Now that the boards are ready, it’s time to set up the miter gauge on your table saw. The miter gauge allows you to make precise angled cuts for creating the miter joints on your picture frame. Ensure that the miter gauge is securely positioned and aligned parallel to the saw blade. Take a moment to familiarize yourself with the angle markings on the miter gauge, as these will help you achieve the desired angle for your miter cuts. For most picture frames, a 45-degree angle is commonly used. Adjust the miter gauge accordingly, aligning it with the desired angle marking. Before making any cuts, it’s always a good idea to make test cuts on scrap wood to ensure the accuracy of the angle. Once you’ve verified that the miter gauge is properly set up and the angle is correct, you’re ready to start making your picture frame miter cuts.

Creating a 45-Degree Angle Pre-Cut

Before proceeding with the miter cuts, it’s crucial to pre-cut a 45-degree angle to optimize the use of the wood. This angle will ensure a clean and precise joint when assembling the picture frame. To create this pre-cut, follow these steps:
  1. Set your table saw blade to a 45-degree angle. Make sure the blade is aligned properly and secure.
  2. Place the board against the fence, keeping it firmly pressed against the table surface.
  3. Using a push stick or push block, slowly feed the board through the blade, maintaining a steady and controlled movement.
  4. Repeat this process for all the boards you will be using for your picture frame.
By pre-cutting a 45-degree angle, you will have a clean reference edge to guide your subsequent miter cuts. This step is essential for achieving accurate and seamless joints in your picture frame.  

Table: Recommended Table Saw Settings for Different Wood Types

Wood Type Blade Height Blade Angle Feed Rate
Softwood (Pine, Cedar) 1/8 inch 45 degrees Slow and steady
Hardwood (Oak, Maple) 1/4 inch 45 degrees Medium pace
Plywood 1/8 inch 45 degrees Slow and steady
Referencing the table above, adjust the table saw settings according to the type of wood you are using. This will help ensure clean and precise cuts throughout the mitering process. Remember to always prioritize safety by wearing protective gear, using push sticks or blocks, and keeping your work area clean.

Using the Table Saw for Bevels and Coves

Utilize your table saw to cut a bevel on the back of the picture frame, as well as coves on the front for added design. These techniques can give your frames a unique and professional look. Here’s how to do it: To begin, set the table saw blade to a 45-degree angle. This will allow you to cut the bevel on the back of the frame. Make sure to adjust the blade height so that it doesn’t cut too deep into the wood. Always use a push stick or push block to guide the wood through the blade for added safety. Next, it’s time to cut the coves on the front of the frame. Start by setting the blade height to the desired depth, taking into account the thickness of the molding you’re using. You can experiment with different blade heights to achieve the desired look. Then, carefully guide the wood through the blade, making sure to keep your hands clear of the spinning blade. Repeat this process for each side of the frame. Remember to always wear safety goggles and follow proper safety precautions when using a table saw. Take your time and make sure to measure and mark the wood accurately before cutting. Practice these techniques on scrap wood before attempting them on your actual picture frame. With practice and patience, you’ll be able to create stunning bevels and coves on your picture frames using a table saw.

Table: Safety Precautions for Using a Table Saw

Safety Precautions
Wear safety goggles to protect your eyes from flying debris
Use a push stick or push block to guide the wood through the blade
Keep your hands away from the blade at all times
Ensure the blade is properly aligned and securely tightened
Read and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for your specific table saw model
By following these safety precautions and using the proper techniques, you can achieve beautiful bevels and coves on your picture frames. These details will add depth and visual interest to your artwork or photographs.   Next, we will explore the use of a featherboard for stability during miter cuts. Stay tuned!

Using a Featherboard for Stability

Enhance the stability of your miter cuts by using a featherboard to prevent the wood from being pulled away from the fence. A featherboard is a simple yet effective tool that applies pressure to keep the workpiece firmly against the fence and table, minimizing the risk of kickback and ensuring accurate cuts. To use a featherboard, start by attaching it to the table saw fence using clamps or magnets. Position it so that the feathers are facing towards the workpiece, exerting pressure in the direction of the fence. The feathers should be firmly in contact with the workpiece, providing resistance and preventing any movement during the cut. When making miter cuts, especially on longer or wider workpieces, a featherboard can make a significant difference in the quality and precision of your cuts. It helps maintain consistency and prevents the wood from drifting away, resulting in cleaner and more accurate miter joints for your picture frames.  
  • Using a Featherboard for Stability
  • Ensuring Alignment with Picture Frame Clamping Cauls
  • Adding Glass and Finishing Touches
By utilizing a featherboard, you can ensure a stable workpiece and minimize the chance of errors or accidents during your table saw miter cuts. So, make sure to include this essential tool in your woodworking arsenal for picture frame projects.
Key Points Summary
Using a Featherboard Enhance stability and prevent wood from being pulled away from the fence.
Proper attachment Secure the featherboard firmly to the table saw fence with clamps or magnets.
Positioning Ensure the feathers are facing towards the workpiece and in contact with it for maximum pressure.

Creating Accurate Miter Cuts with a 45° Miter Sled

Ensure accuracy in your miter cuts by constructing and utilizing a 45° miter sled on your table saw. This sled acts as a guide, allowing you to make precise cuts at the desired angle for your picture frame. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you create and effectively use a 45° miter sled:
  1. Start by selecting a sturdy piece of plywood or particleboard that is large enough to accommodate your workpiece. Cut the base of the sled to your desired dimensions, ensuring it is wider and longer than your largest frame piece.
  2. Next, cut two wooden strips that will act as the guide rails for your sled. These strips should be straight and smooth to ensure a smooth sliding motion. Attach them to the base using screws or a strong adhesive, making sure they are parallel to each other and aligned with the miter slots on your table saw.
  3. Now, it’s time to secure your workpiece to the sled. Place the frame piece against the fence and align the miter angle with the sled’s guide rail. Use clamps or double-sided tape to hold the piece securely in place.
  4. With your workpiece secured, carefully make the miter cut using your table saw. Keep a steady hand and maintain consistent pressure throughout the cutting process.
  5. After the cut is complete, remove the frame piece from the sled and check the accuracy of the miter cut. If any adjustments are needed, make them gradually until you achieve the desired result.
By using a 45° miter sled, you can ensure precise and repeatable miter cuts for your picture frames. With practice and attention to detail, you’ll be able to create professional-looking frames that showcase your artwork beautifully.


Creating accurate miter cuts for picture frames requires the use of a 45° miter sled on your table saw. This sled serves as a guide to ensure precise cuts at the desired angle. To construct a 45° miter sled, start by cutting a sturdy base from plywood or particleboard. Attach two wooden strips as guide rails parallel to the miter slots on the table saw. Secure your workpiece to the sled using clamps or double-sided tape. Make the miter cut with a steady hand and consistent pressure. Check the accuracy of the cut and make any necessary adjustments. With a well-constructed and properly used 45° miter sled, you can achieve professional-quality miter cuts for your picture frames.  

Ensuring Alignment with Picture Frame Clamping Cauls

Achieve perfect alignment in your picture frames by utilizing picture frame clamping cauls during the gluing process. These simple but effective tools will ensure that your frame corners are square and tight, resulting in a professional-looking finished product. When assembling your picture frame, apply wood glue to the mitered corners and place the cauls on both the inside and outside of the frame. The cauls should be positioned perpendicular to the mitered joints, exerting gentle pressure to keep the corners aligned. Here’s a step-by-step guide on using picture frame clamping cauls:
  • Apply a thin layer of wood glue to the mitered corners.
  • Position the picture frame clamping cauls on the inside and outside of the frame, perpendicular to the mitered joints.
  • Ensure the cauls are exerting gentle pressure on the corners to keep them aligned.
  • Adjust the cauls as needed to achieve a snug fit at all corners.
  • Allow the glue to dry according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Remove the clamps and sand any excess glue residue from the frame.
By using picture frame clamping cauls, you can take the guesswork out of alignment and produce professional-quality picture frames. Your artwork or photographs will look even more impressive when displayed in a well-crafted frame.   Complete your picture frame by cutting the glass using a glass cutter and securing it in the frame using finishing nails. This final step will not only protect your artwork or photographs but also give your frame a polished and professional look. Start by measuring the dimensions of your frame and mark the glass accordingly. Ensure that the glass is cut slightly smaller than the frame to allow for easy fitting. Using a straight edge as a guide, score the glass along the marked line using a glass cutter. Apply consistent pressure while scoring to create a clean and precise cut. Once the glass is scored, carefully snap it along the scored line by applying gentle pressure on each side. Be sure to wear safety gloves and goggles while handling the glass to protect yourself from any potential injuries. Once the glass is cut to size, place it inside the frame and secure it in place using finishing nails. Finally, it’s time to add the finishing touches to your frame. Apply a coat of paint to match your desired color scheme or leave it natural for a rustic look. Once the paint is dry, apply a clear varathane to protect the wood and give it a glossy finish. This will not only enhance the appearance of your frame but also provide long-lasting durability.  
Materials Tools
Wooden frame Glass cutter
Glass Straight edge
Finishing nails Paintbrush
Paint Clear varathane
With these steps, you can confidently create your own picture frame from start to finish. Whether it’s for your own artwork or a thoughtful gift, a homemade picture frame adds a personal touch to any space. So go ahead, unleash your creativity, and showcase your memories with a beautiful DIY picture frame!

Can I Use the Table Saw Tapering Jig for Making Picture Frame Miter Cuts?

Yes, you can use the table saw tapering jig to make picture frame miter cuts. By adjusting the jig’s angle, you can create precise and accurate miter cuts for your picture frame corners. The create table saw tapering jig offers stability and control, ensuring clean and professional-looking cuts for your picture frame project.

Painting and Finishing the Picture Frame

Give your picture frame a professional touch by painting it and applying a clear varathane for a protective and glossy finish. Painting your frame not only adds a pop of color but also helps to protect the wood from wear and tear. Choose a paint color that complements the artwork or photograph you’ll be displaying in the frame. You can use a brush or a spray paint for an even and smooth application. Before painting, make sure to sand the frame lightly to create a smooth surface. You can use fine-grit sandpaper to remove any imperfections or rough edges. After sanding, wipe away any dust or debris with a clean cloth to ensure a clean painting surface. Once the paint has dried, it’s time to apply a clear varathane for added protection and a glossy finish. Clear varathane not only enhances the natural beauty of the wood but also provides a barrier against moisture and UV damage. Apply the varathane evenly using a brush or a clean cloth, following the manufacturer’s instructions. Allow the varathane to dry completely before handling or hanging your finished picture frame. With the painting and finishing steps complete, your picture frame is now ready to showcase your artwork or photographs. Hang it proudly on your wall or gift it to a loved one, knowing that you’ve created a beautiful and professional-looking frame using woodworking techniques and picture framing tips.
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