Equipment Needed

Clamping the Moulding for Joining

The next step in frame construction is clamping and the mitred sections of moulding ready for joining.
Clamping is a very important part of the operation. Using poor quality equipment will cause more problems than it is worth. A frame requires the assembly of four or more pieces of moulding that have been mitred. The clamps,  mentioned here, will all perform the task of holding the pieces of moulding together in one go. If each corner is done individually, slight inaccuracies on each corner are multiplied four fold.  By the time you reach the final corner,  you can end up with gaps.

At the very cheap end of the market is the cord clamp. This very simple device has four right angled plastic corners connected by string. The mitred lengths of moulding are assembled, the plastic supports are then placed on each corner, the string is tightened by hand pulling all the pieces together. Finally the string is tied off to a special cleat in one of the plastic corners, which will keep it from slipping. This system works better on smaller frames, mainly because the strength of grip is only as strong as the amount you can pull the cord in by hand. If you are trying to push a v nail in and it is not tightened sufficiently then the join can easily be forced apart if you are not careful.

Finally there is the Strap Clamp. This tool is far superior having a metal strap and integral tensioning device.  These are really easy to use on small and large frames alike. Having a rigid steel band to work with makes life so much easier.  Unlike the cord clamp, it doesn't flop around whilst you are trying to gather the four sides of moulding together, and a far greater tension can be achieved using a mechanical tightening mechanism. Once sufficiently tightened, the frame can be picked up, turned over and adjusted so all the mitres are in perfect alignment. We recommend this clamp if you are framing for the first time and intend to make more than 10 frames.  It will save a lot of frustration and time.


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