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I'm working on building square picture frames and holding in glass, image, and cardboard backing. I'm concerned that certain hard woods may not be appropriate for glazier points; in particular I am unsure of whether or not the points will stay in place in the long term.

Is there a 'hardness limit' to which woods would be appropriate for this?

For reference, a glazier point is a small clip that is imbedded in the internal edge of the frame to hold the contents against the glass:

Picture illustrating a glazier point and its installation

(Image Source)

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    It may be helpful to those not familiar with glazier points, to explain their point and purpose. Many here may have the knowledge of the woods, but not the application. – BrownRedHawk Mar 18 '15 at 20:46
  • There is a pending edit on this but I would like to point out this image since I was not completely sure what a glazier point was either. – Matt Mar 18 '15 at 22:04
  • Thanks for asking this question. I don't have an answer, but I have been searching for the answer as well. We aren't building picture frames, but my wife and I are thinking about doing some DIY projects where we would be building some wood and glass frames. I can't find any information on what the best kind of wood is for placing glazier points. http://amalgamatedglass.com.au/service/ – user786 Jun 23 '15 at 18:35
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Is there a 'hardness limit' to which woods would be appropriate for this?

Within reason I don't believe there is. Many picture frames are made of pine of course so anything like a glazing point or finish nail can be pushed or lightly hammered into the surface without difficulty. But even with oak and beech frames points can usually be pushed in using only the pressure provided by a flathead screwdriver tip. Although a better tool for doing this is a firm-bladed putty knife.

If there is some difficulty they can be squeezed in. There are a variety of commercial tools made to do this but any wide-mouth pliers (e.g. Channellock pliers) can be used for the purpose, with some card or scrap wood on the outside surface to protect the frame from bruising or denting:

Pliers squeeze point home

in particular I am unsure of whether or not the points will stay in place in the long term.

They appear to hold fine over time. There are reports of them shifting and even falling out but that is also the case with small brads/finish nails.

  • +1 for the tip with the channel-lock pliers. I've been using a flathead screwdriver and I put my glazier points right against the glass, which often chips when I use the screwdriver. – grfrazee Dec 14 '15 at 16:46
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If you're looking for a method to secure the contents of the frame and aren't particularly attached to glazier points, you could try something like a turn button. You can pilot the screw holes to secure the turn buttons, so it shouldn't matter as much if you're working with softwoods or hardwoods.

enter image description here

(Image Source)

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    I would go with this, I have never seen glazier points used for holding something in a picture frame. – Jack Mar 19 '15 at 5:30
  • Agreed. Glazier points depend on glazing putty to hold them in and aren't sufficient alone. – TX Turner Jun 23 '15 at 20:39
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    I have seen both used (go to your favorite local big-box department store & look at the pre-made frames - you'll see both). The glazier points are good if the frame is thicker than the material being framed, the turn buttons are good if the frame is the same thickness or slightly thinner (maybe up to 1/16"?) than the material being framed. – FreeMan Jun 25 '15 at 14:51

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