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I made a mirror frame and even though tried to adjust the saw at the right angle, the corners still have gaps in them.

What's a good way to fill those: caulking or filler? Before or after hanging (I'm planning to liquid nail it directly to the mirror)? Any particular brand recommendations?

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    For future reference, the right way to do this is to make sure before you cut your frame parts that your saw is cutting as close to a perfect 45° as it can do, by doing trial cuts on some offcuts or scrap wood. That way the gaps in your mitres will be as small as possible (or with a bit of luck you won't have any gaps at all). Filler should always be used as little as possible, because 1) good work doesn't require filler and 2) the more filler is present the more visible it tends to be. – Graphus Mar 20 '17 at 8:16
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There is two simple ways I would go about it.

1) Go to a store that sells stains. If they have that I am sure they will also have wood filler. Get the one that would match the wood color. Some also simply go by 'oak' wood color, something like that. If you used a stain then your in luck! These are usually stain-able.

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2) Make your own. Very simple and I have been doing this more lately. If you have a sander and the same wood (assuming you made this). Or just get a little of that wood. Anyway using a sander just sand away. When you have a good amount of sand dust collected but it in a little dish. Add some wood clue and mix till you get a nice paste. Just like that you would have made your own simple wood filler. The only thing is I am not sure this is stain-able. It could be since there is wood in it, but it could simply not stain well in that spot. Something to test on.

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  • Adding that I have the picture so you have a idea what it could look like. There also available in cans. – Ljk2000 Mar 20 '17 at 0:44
  • Thank you for the advice! Does it make a difference if I mount it first and fill when it's on? Or is it better to do it before mounting? The reason I'm asking is because I just put it together using staples and I don't think it would hold together for too long if I start filling it in. On the other hand, if I mount it to the mirror, it will stick to it pretty good and then I can do whatever I want. (Obviously, using some masking tape etc.) – Nikita G. Mar 20 '17 at 1:53
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    @NikitaG. It all depends on the width of the gap. The first picture with the wider gap it may not be a good idea. Of course it is hard to tell but a gap over a 1/8th of a inch you might get some sag, depending on how thick or runny the filler is. If you make your own you have control over that. But with the bottom picture it is a thin gap so you are not going to have any problems. So in short if the gaps are fairly small, then no. But it also depends if the filler is thick. Hopefully I make sense :). Also I would recommend with putting it together to use some wood glue, makes it stronger. – Ljk2000 Mar 20 '17 at 3:23
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    AND... When using the staples and putting in filler, as stated in the 3rd sentence (from your comment) it should hold fine. Filler does not expanded.... or at least not for me. And I am glad to help! Last thing I like how your frame looks. – Ljk2000 Mar 20 '17 at 3:28
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    @NikitaG. Staples alone aren't sufficient to join mitres and to keep a frame stable, but once you've bonded it to the mirror that should stabilise it enough because the mirror can't move. Re. the sanding dust + glue filler, this is a trick used a lot these days but be aware that 99% of the time it will dry much darker than the wood the dust came from. You will read that "it's a good match" but in fact that's nearly never the case (the exception being if you're using hide glue). – Graphus Mar 20 '17 at 8:20
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You're not off by much. That gap is 2x the amount your saw is off. You need to somehow rotate the work toward the saw a little bit to close that gap. If you can't adjust the saw I'd use the trick we use in the field with a saw that gets dropped:

Fold a dollar bill in half and tuck it in between the saw backstop and the piece of frame you are cutting. This will change the angle of attack a hair. You can adjust that by sliding the bill up or down the backstop, or folding or unfolding the bill.

I wouldn't fill it if a fix is so easy.

Good luck!

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Cutting miters to exactly 45 degrees 8 times is difficult. Instead you can use a jig to make sure that the 90° corner is perfectly cut.

Without the jig you can first cut the miters all on one side of the stock and then butt the mitered cut on the other side of the blade and adjust the miter to a right angle to the stock. This will give a more accurate angle that better complements the previous cut.

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  • Do you have a link to an article about how to do it? I'm pretty new to woodworking, would benefit from a step-by-step instructions the first time. Tried searching, but there're multiple kinds of jigs, would like to better understand the particular method you were referring to. – Nikita G. Mar 20 '17 at 18:30
  • @Ratchet freak I agree with Nikita G., it would be nice to have a article on what your talking about. thanks – Ljk2000 Mar 21 '17 at 2:20
  • @NikitaG. The following Q&A may be of help woodworking.stackexchange.com/questions/5216/… – Graphus Mar 21 '17 at 17:38

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