How To Join floater frames with clamps

Step instructions on how to join a wood picture frame with clamps.

When miters are glued up they tend to open at the tips because end grain has been cut on the diagonal. These little spring miter clamps are perfect for keeping the pressure on while gluing miters, and when the glue is dry the tips will still be together.  The sharp points pierce the wood without cutting wood fibers so it's easy to clean up the marks. Customers use this in conjunction with our wedge system on large deep floater frames to ensure the corners are perfectly tight. It is also used on very thin frames that are too narrow to use a wedge joining system.

Step 1

Assemble the tools and materials. They are: wood glue, clamp piers, clamps, wood filler, and sand paper


Step 2

Lay out 4 frame sections, You will have 2 long sides and 2 short sides (unless the frame is square). Using a wood glue, apply it to the corner of a long and short piece.


Step 3

Use your hands to manipulate the corner until it is aligned perfectly.


Step 4

Pick up the clamp pliers and squeeze the handle to open the spring clamp.


Step 5

place the spring clamp on the corner of the frame.


Step 6

Repeat on the other 3 corners. If for some reason the join is not perfect, loosen the clamp with the accompanying pliers and readjust until it is aligned.



Smaller frames can be picked up very carefully and moved to a safe place until the glue has time to dry (30 minutes or overnight depending on the glue.) However, large frames should not be moved until the glue is completely dry. If you join many frames at the same time we recommend you purchase additional spring clamps to speed up the process


Step 7

The spring clamps have very sharp points. They will leave a small hole on the side of the frame. This can easily be filled with a wood filler on unfinished frames.To touchup prefinished frames we recommend a wood putty or filler which can be purchased at hardware and woodworking store


Step 8

After applying, lightly sand to remove any excess wood filler..



To eliminate the holes, you can use clamps to put small pieces of wood on the sides of the frames before installing the spring clamps.


For most jobs the glue will be sufficient to hold the corners together. Some customers prefer also using nails. After the glue dries, you can drill a pilot hole and nail the frames.


You can then counter sink the nail and fill with wood filler and sand as shown above.