The saw kerf is the amount of material that is removed by the cutting blade of a saw. For many do-it-yourself projects, the saw kerf is not going to be all that significant. However, for furniture making or other detailed work the kerf is something you want to account for in your measurements. Sometimes the kerf will also play a part in the way that a picture frame is constructed.
Miter Cuts and Saw Kerf
When cutting miter cuts for picture frames it is important to keep in mind the amount of material that the saw blade is going to remove. This will play a direct part in how the corners are going to fit together. Sometimes the measurements are off and the kerf creates a gap between the two pieces of wood. When this happens, there are some ways to fix this with simple techniques:
1. Use Wood Putty
The most popular way to fix the saw kerf on a picture frame is to fill the void with some wood putty. This is done after the picture frame has been put together. Spread out the wood putty into the gap between the two pieces of wood and then sand it smooth. Once the picture frame is stained you will not notice the putty. However, the one problem is that there will be a section of the picture frame without a distinct angle.
2. Glue Extra Piece onto Corner
During the dry fit of the picture frame you may notice that the pieces are not going to go together as they should. When you see this you still have an opportunity to fix this before you have to cut new pieces for the frame. Cut a thin piece of wood from the edge of another piece of the same wood. Cut it with a slight taper to it. Glue it to the inside of of the piece of wood that does not fit right. Sand the piece for a better fit.
3. Use Wooden Plug
Another alternative to cutting a small piece of wood is to use a wooden plug or a biscuit. These are positioned in the edge of the miter cuts to better connect the two pieces. If the gap is considerable you will need to combine the use of a biscuit, or a plug, with that of putty too.
4. Avoid Mistakes By Sanding Final Dimensions
One way to avoid any mistakes with the saw kerf is to cut the material heavy of the mark. This means that you do not cut directly on the line, but a little on the scrap side. This will let you use a piece of sand paper to make the final dimensions. Continually dry fit the pieces until you get to the exact dimensions needed for a square picture frame.
5. Repeat Cut
The last alternative to fixing the kerf on a picture frame is to redo the cut on a new piece of wood. This can mean an added expense if you are using an exotic wood. However, by redoing the kerf cut you are able to fix the mistake you previously made and have a better fit.