Step 4: Assembling the Frame

Test Fit the Pieces Dry

This step is easy. Adjust your clamp (I'm using a specialty framing clamp I bought from Rockler) to the right size, and set the frame pieces in it to test the fit. Snug the clamp up and make sure the corners fit well, then loosen the clamp in preparation for gluing.

Test fit the pieces

Glue and Clamp

Spread some of the wood glue onto both ends of two opposite pieces of the frame. You don't want to overdo this, but you want to make sure you use enough to get a strong joint. When you clamp the pieces together, you should see a small amount of glue pressed out the top of the joints.

Glue both ends of 2 pieces

Just the right amount of glue

Glued frame in the clamp

Place the glued pieces back in the clamp, line everything up, and tighten the clamp. Flex the clamp a bit to make sure it squares itself. As I mentioned, you should see a little "squeeze-out." You can wipe this off now with a damp rag, or let the glue harden for half an hour or so and scrape it off with a chisel. Let the frame dry for a few hours.

If the frame you're building is too big for the framing clamp (as was the case in my example), remove the nut and bolt from the center and use a large clamp to pull the two halves together.

Next: Finishing the Frame.