Half Lap Picture Frame

One might think that picture frames are most common with miter joints. In this episode I show you how you can think outside the box a little bit and make a frame using a completely different and unexpected joint.

First start with 2 inch wide pieces by however long you need for your picture. Since we are using a half lap joint, you will need to accommodate the adjacent piece’s thicknesses when you cut these to length.


Now as you can see from my plan, a half lap joint is just that, a cut out half the thickness of the piece of stock and why do enough to accommodate the adjacent piece of stock. Using a very simple method of cutting and flipping you can easily find the exact center of your piece of stock.

Pushing your stock through then flipping it over and making another cut, raising the blade up little by little, until you reach the exact center.


Now using the technique that I showed you in my last “join it” episode one and two, I clean out the first section of half laps.


As you can see from my plan, there is a 3/8 x 3/8 inch section taken out for the glass and picture backing. This is known as a rabbet. I accomplish this using the router table and a rabbeting bit. Next the corners need cleaned out in order to be squared off. I do this with chisels, a combination of the standard and a hammer action corner chisel.


As you can see now the ends of each piece need to be beveled. I start off using the router table and a chamfering bit, and then finish it off with a little touch up sanding on the disc sander. This will remove any burning left from the router bit.


I then put all the pieces together with glue and clamps.


Once dried, I take it back to the router table and the chamfering bit and make a slight chamfer on the inside edges of the picture frame. I then take a small chisel and finalize the corners that were originally round it off.


Now all that’s left, is to place the glass, picture and backing along with some retaining clips. Now you have your self a beautiful frame that will last a long time.


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Thanks again, and be safe in your shops! BOOM!!!