This is my first real woodworking project, so bear with me. I decided to create a picture frame (18x24) for a print I bought for my wife for Christmas. It's made out of 2" wide mitered pieces of oak. I used a dado blade to cut the lip for the contents of the frame. However, in my stupidity, I didn't test fit the glass after it was clamped (I did before it was clamped, but yeah, stupid me).

So now it's glued and I need to take about 1/8" off of the inside of the frame. It seems to be due to the fact that it's not perfectly square since it's only on the one side of the frame. I started sanding with 100-grit sandpaper as that's the roughest I had around. I'm sure you can guess that I'm not making much progress with it.

Should I invest in a set of chisels and work it down that way? I thought of using a rougher grit paper, but not sure if it's going to work for the amount of material that needs to come off. Any other suggestions on what to do? Thanks!

  • Why not trim a quarter inch off two sides of the glass? All you need is a glass cutter and a straight edge.
    – bib
    Dec 17, 2013 at 20:35
  • Let's see - removing 1/4" twice to fix a 1/8 inch problem makes about 3/8" of overcorrection, and have you actually tried cutting 1/4" (much less the 1/8 he actually needs) from a sheet of glass? Even with fancy stained glass tools it's more likely to ruin the sheet than remove just the bit you need removed. It's not hard to score, but getting a tiny piece like that to break cleanly is rare indeed.
    – Ecnerwal
    Dec 17, 2013 at 21:35
  • @Ecnerwal Actually not. He has a 1/8 overwidth, but the rabbet will cover the extra gap. I have no trouble cutting 1/4 inch off glass. Tapping the cutmark from underneath is one method. Snapping off with a gently held pliers is another method (yes, stained glass craftsmen use special smooth pliers, but regular ones work in a pinch).
    – bib
    Dec 17, 2013 at 22:33
  • 1/4" or less can be cut off. Stick with a 1/4"...It has to be a fresh/new cutter, tap the glass along the cut with the bulb end of the cutter as mentioned before. That's what the bulb end is for. The other end that looks like an "E" is to take off the little chards that don't break clean with the cut. Otherwise a router and guide that works into the inside corners is the way to go. Everything else requires to much pressure and the picture frame may not hold up with a new woodworker trying it. The router would take finesse too...
    – Jack
    Dec 17, 2013 at 23:12

2 Answers 2


A block plane will work up to a point. Use it parallel with the grain, and in the direction that the wood grain is rising (since no grain is perfectly parallel) to avoid tear-out. They make some wood planes without sides, which can be useful for corners, but may risk tear out for your purposes.

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Instead, the design with a blade near the very front may be the best for this task:

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With each of these, you'll eventually need to carefully chisel out the corner.

  • You can get a bullnose rabbet plane that will cut right into the corner - but you're then talking about a LOT of money for tools to solve one small problem. The items pictured ain't cheap. A bit out there for a first woodworking project.
    – Ecnerwal
    Dec 17, 2013 at 20:10
  • Actually, the first one you show appears to have the removable type of nose, so it would cut all the way into the corner with the nose removed.
    – Ecnerwal
    Dec 17, 2013 at 20:18
  • The tool someone should get for a first project would be a standard block plane and then carefully chisel the rest. But if that was my only suggestion, people would chime in that there are specialized planes for getting tight into the corners. :)
    – BMitch
    Dec 17, 2013 at 20:21
  • 1
    With most rabbets, a block plane is just going to be a waste of time - the non-cutting edge will cover most of the area that needs to be cut. Given lack of tools, and that a chisel alone will do the whole job, (not surprisingly, in the orientation where it looks just about like a plane blade - bevel down) I can't see fussing with one, especially if it is not in hand.
    – Ecnerwal
    Dec 17, 2013 at 21:42
  • 18x24, subtract a couple inches that you can't reach, that's still a good 14 to 20 inches that you can do properly with a block plane. The chisel is still needed for the corners, but it's going to leave you with a worse edge unless you're really talented.
    – BMitch
    Dec 17, 2013 at 22:08

Depends on your available tooling and inclinations.

Chisels, used with care, will do the job, and you can listen to the radio while doing it.

A router, with appropriate fencing/jigging, could also do the job, but if you don't have one, it costs more, and it's loud.

A wood rasp (or even a coarse file) might also do the job for you, though I'd go for the chisels, first.

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