Picture frame measurements. - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
Old 03-09-2014, 03:32 AM Thread Starter
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Picture frame measurements.

Not sure if picture framing is considered joinery and if it's not I'll delete and repost where appropriate. If this is the correct sub forum well here it is. I have been googling my fingers and eyes out with no luck. How can you precisely measure your miter cuts for a specific picture size with compensation for the rabbit where he picture goes? I may be overthinking this but I am assuming there are different measurement based on lumber size but I'm wondering if there is any easy formula to follow to make it less measurement tedious.

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Old 03-09-2014, 04:42 AM
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simple math?

If your rabbet is 3/8" deep, your picture is 10 long, the molding is 2" wide, then ... subtracting .... 2" - 3/8" = 1 5/8" on each side.
so you must add 2 ( 1 5/8") to your picture length to get your total frame outside dimension.
That would be 10" + 3 1/4" or 13 1/4" OAL
Unless I messed up somewhere?

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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Old 03-09-2014, 06:44 AM
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The back edge of the rabbet will be the length you need to fit the photo, glass, etc.
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Old 03-09-2014, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankC View Post
The back edge of the rabbet will be the length you need to fit the photo, glass, etc.
Very nice clear explanation/picture.

George
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:24 AM
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yes, but of course

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankC View Post
The back edge of the rabbet will be the length you need to fit the photo, glass, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
Very nice clear explanation/picture.

George
How do you know what the overall length is? The length of the photo is a given, but the length of the frame is the unknown, and is what the OP is seeking to "calculate" JMO.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:38 AM
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I measure them more like Frank does. If the canvas is 20" long I want the opening 20 1/8" for a little wiggle room which would be Frank's required length. Then if the rabbet is 3/8" wide the inside corner of the molding would be 19 3/8" which would be 3/4" less than the required length.
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:41 AM
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The way I do it is to use the outside dimension of the item that fits into the rabbet, and allow a small amount of overage to allow for placement/removal, in consideration for expansion and contraction.

In both directions (L and W) add the size of the inserted item (+/- 1/16") that fits against the rabbet, and the width of the rest of the frame (times 2), for the overall length and width. Opposite sides should be cut (mitered) for the exact same length. If the miters aren't 45°, or one of the sides are different than the other, the miters will not close up.

If you have doubts about the overall dimension, draw it out on brown/white wrapping paper (available on a roll) in full size. When your parts are cut, they should fit right on the drawing.

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Old 03-09-2014, 09:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ASB1583 View Post
I'm wondering if there is any easy formula to follow to make it less measurement tedious.

Hi Adam - for an easy formula it boils down to stock width minus rabbet width times 2. Add that to each dimension of the picture, L and W. As noted, it doesn't hurt to add a little wiggle room.

John

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Old 03-09-2014, 09:38 AM
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I made a picture frame tutorial thread a while back. You can find it here.

On page 4 of the tutorial, is a 4 part video series from my youtube channel showing how to make picture frames and gives a pretty good method of how to measure for your mitres taking the rabbets into consideration.
The other guys explanations were spot on as well, but if you are a visual guy, the videos and thread might help you out.

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Old 03-09-2014, 11:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
How do you know what the overall length is? The length of the photo is a given, but the length of the frame is the unknown, and is what the OP is seeking to "calculate" JMO.
The length of the frame, either width or length, is whatever the poster wants it to be. It is all dependent upon the width of the frame pieces and what makes for a correlated appearance.

The only thing that has to be calculated is the rabbit. That is what was present be Frank. The poster must decide the overall size the frame must be to look like he/she wants and then decide what the finished rabbit measurements will be. He/she must account for any matting besides the actual item to be framed.

George
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Old 03-09-2014, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
The length of the frame, either width or length, is whatever the poster wants it to be. It is all dependent upon the width of the frame pieces and what makes for a correlated appearance.

The only thing that has to be calculated is the rabbit. That is what was present be Frank. The poster must decide the overall size the frame must be to look like he/she wants and then decide what the finished rabbit measurements will be. He/she must account for any matting besides the actual item to be framed.

George
All woodenthings is doing is measuring from the edge of the rabbet to the outside edge of the frame and adding it to the picture size. The way he is doing it, it wouldn't matter what size the rabbet is. I just got in the habit of measuring the inside because the picture frame molding I was using came from different lots and the size varied a little.
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Old 03-09-2014, 12:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kenbo
I made a picture frame tutorial thread a while back. You can find it here. On page 4 of the tutorial, is a 4 part video series from my youtube channel showing how to make picture frames and gives a pretty good method of how to measure for your mitres taking the rabbets into consideration. The other guys explanations were spot on as well, but if you are a visual guy, the videos and thread might help you out.
Thank you Kenbo. That is exactly what I am looking for. Not exactly a quick formula but after I read/watch this a couple times I will have it down to a science.

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Old 03-09-2014, 12:13 PM
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Old 03-09-2014, 02:04 PM
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it ain't quite this simple...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
The length of the frame, either width or length, is whatever the poster wants it to be. It is all dependent upon the width of the frame pieces and what makes for a correlated appearance.

The only thing that has to be calculated is the rabbit. That is what was present be Frank. The poster must decide the overall size the frame must be to look like he/she wants and then decide what the finished rabbit measurements will be. He/she must account for any matting besides the actual item to be framed.

George
Different types of media have different relationships of image to frame. For example, photos can have a mat border or just the white border on the photo. Watercolors usually have a mat border. Posters may or may not be matted. Prints may or may not be matted. Oil paintings have a stretcher frame behind the canvas. Etc, Etc.

The rabbet will be a different width/depth depending on the subject to be framed and how much mat or image exposure is desirable. This is not an arbitrary dimension, rather a matter of what is functionally appropriate. The frame stock width is the variable in the equation in my opinion. Frames come in all manner of widths and materials, so the relief from the rabbet will vary within a range, but it will not be arbitrarily 2" or some other amount.

The overall size of the frame will depend on the subject matter, whether there is a mat border, the amount of relief in the rabbet, and the width of the framing material.

To clarify my earlier formula:
2 X (molding width (-) rabbet) + photo length = OAL

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

Last edited by woodnthings; 03-09-2014 at 06:12 PM. Reason: better formula
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Old 03-09-2014, 03:28 PM
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The overall dimensions of the frame depends on the panel used, and how much frame is beyond the edge of the rabbet. What is being framed can be set up for a rabbet by how it's done. If the visual edge of the poster, or picture is finished all the way to the edge, or has a frame of it's own, it might be able to be mounted from the front into a rabbet. If the edge needs to be obscured the rabbet can be cut into the back of the frame as deep and wide as needed.

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Old 03-09-2014, 05:53 PM
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There is an old formula nearly as old as Methuselah and it's probably been said here in nearly every reply in some way or every way possible. It was taught to me when rote memory was an OK thing and I suppose I'll take it to my grave.

I goes something like this.

The length of the molding is the dimension of the picture +2 x the molding width minus 2 x the rabbit width. This does not include any free play so add that 1/8" +/- if you want clearance.
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