Mid-week tool sneak peek no. 9

August 24, 2011

For creating beautiful custom-made picture frames one way to reinforce the corner miter joints is to use mechanical fasteners. Whether it’s brad nails or specialized joint fasteners, they can quickly and easily strength the miters. But they don’t add anything to the overall look of the frame, nothing that could make your frames stand out from the store bought versions.

A simple spline to the corner of your miters, especially a spline made of a contrasting color, can not only reinforce the inherently weak corner miter joint but also add a little beauty to it. Cutting splines on an angle isn’t always the easiest thing to do. There’s plenty of spline jig options out there, but it’s very crucial you get the angles right and also come up with a way to repeat the cuts safely and accurately every time.

Over at Eagle America they created a spline jig that was designed for your table saw to save you time and help you safely create strong, decorative joints.

* The jig measures 12″ W x 24″ L and features an embedded t-track with two stop blocks.
* Stop blocks sandwich and cut splines in projects.
* Base of the jig is made from durable 1/2″ HDPE which creates a smooth, non-marring surface that slides easily across your table saw top.
* Adjustable 18″ miter bar fita in any standard 3/4″ miter slot.


While we’re on the topic of joinery, here’s another great title from the folks at Popular Woodworking Magazine. Ron Herman’s “The Joinery Challenge” DVD “…guides you step by step through the joints that he was taught during his apprenticeship. Similar to a divided light window, Ron uses just six pieces of wood to build a frame using nine essential joints including: mitered butt joint, pinned mitered butt joint, corner slip, corner half-lap, half-lap dovetail, mortise-and-tenon, bridle and the center half-lap joint. Ron also incorporates the modern pocket-screw joint.”

In the DVD you’ll learn:

* The secrets to nine essential joints using traditional hand tools
* Achieve excellent results using Ron’s time-tested techniques
* Discover the best ways to correct your mistakes
* To take your hand work skills to the next level


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  1. Milan Adam says:

    Great ideas! I think this is a clever way to show guests that you didn’t just buy your picture frames at the store, you actually spent time and made them yourself. That second video took me back to my days as an apprentice when I learned how to make all of the different joints for the first time. My carpentry job today doesn’t require too much of that thankfully 🙂

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