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Author Topic: Home based framing biz - Seeking advice  (Read 9480 times)

Landscapes

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Re: Home based framing biz - Seeking advice
« Reply #20 on: November 06, 2014, 11:35:39 pm »

In regards to the types of moulding I use, about half of it is polystyrene that gives me a killer price point that makes me the terror of the few remaining art fairs I attend.  The public loves it, framers hate it, galleries no longer care as long as it looks really good.  The best looking 3 to 5 inch polys now look better than almost any wood moulding that can be bought for less than $6/foot in quantity.  Be aware that most poly is crud, but 1 or 2% is superb until the supplier decides to go with the cheapest factory on the next run.

When varnished it pops up quite a bit, but you need custom profiles from varnished targets to make full use of that.  As with the Epson "cold" papers the texture is quite pronounced and mechanically repetitive, which may or may not be a problem aesthetically.  But it's a whole lot less mechanical looking than most canvases that are out there now, which is a look I just can't tolerate any more, especially when I see my old corrugated-surface canvas prints next to other more organic artwork surfaces.  That upsets me, and it's a big competitive disadvantage where you work is seen next to original paintings, etc.  But none of the manufacturers will listen to me on these topics, and I've tried.  FWIW, Fredrix 777 has the best and most organic looking canvas surface right now, and its excellent reflective qualities when varnished usually make it the best looking canvas on the wall, in spite of having a rather meager gamut.

Thanks so much for all the great info.  Yikes, at even $10 a foot, that is still some serious cost when you consider that for a large piece you might need about 15 feet or so.  I do agree that real wood versus really good plastic is not quite worth it.  Its not like the customer will be touching it.. just looking at it!

And excellent points about doing profiles after coating.  This is how I had mine done for canvas.  Its amazing how much lighter the canvas comes out of the printer before its coated with Timeless.  You really can see the difference, and when all the businesses are uploading profiles for their canvas, I wonder what the point is if the coating will surely darken the image and perhaps shift some colors.  Perhaps most photographers just lighten the image overall before printing if they notice this.
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framah

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Re: Home based framing biz - Seeking advice
« Reply #21 on: November 07, 2014, 11:15:25 am »

Just so you'll know, Bill... that open space is a straight line to the bathroom!! ;D
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Borealis

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Re: Home based framing biz - Seeking advice
« Reply #22 on: November 09, 2014, 02:45:33 pm »

For me it was an easy decision to do my own framing. But first, I'm just a hobby photographer since 45 years. I love printing my images since my high school days. I live in Canada's Yukon Territory where we have got just one small city with one framer that has to 'import' all his supplies for premium $$, needless to say he has to charge accordingly for his services/products. For years I just tagged my 'fine art' prints to my bathroom walls... a good place to examine the details from the throne ;-)
Friends, that I give a 17x22 print to, are quoted around $ 400 for a metal framed mat with quite ordinary glass. No talk of acid free material etc. either.
The winter nights are long and cold here... a good time to fire up the table saw, planers and router table etc. Recently I bought a Logan mat cutter and a bunch of supplies in the US since I can not even purchase 32 x 40 8 ply mat in Canada being just a hobbyist. Hey, I spend over 30 k on photo gear... what's another 5 to make beautiful frames? Sure, I've got a shop for the woodworking and a room for the matting and final assembly once my matting supplies make the last 1000 miles up the Alaska Hwy.
I just cut out my first moulding using 2x4s or 1x4s regular spruce from the local lumber yard, painted it and stuck a print with no mat or glass in it just to see how it looks... For me the answer is clear! I can cut about 10 frames of lets say 24 x 30 in three hours, sanding, painting and assembly for the frame moulding is about 30 minutes +/- per frame. No, I'm not planing on a commercial venture ;-) but I get a lot of satisfaction out of this. YMMV
William
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jferrari

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Re: Home based framing biz - Seeking advice
« Reply #23 on: November 10, 2014, 12:41:54 am »

Nice job with the frame but I thought polar bears were white!  :D
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huguito

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Re: Home based framing biz - Seeking advice
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2014, 01:08:49 am »

Those are black polar bears, the ones with horns
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bill t.

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Re: Home based framing biz - Seeking advice
« Reply #25 on: November 10, 2014, 12:34:02 pm »

Nice looking frame there, Borealis.  Fits the subject and in the right gallery would add a lot of value to the piece.

Have a friend who "carves" similar frames with a big angle grinder equipped with a steel brush.  Perfect match for his rustic paintings.  You really gotta like sawdust.  And there's a local guy who mills moulding sticks out of huge burls, which look great as frames but are somewhat labor intensive.  The problem with that construction lumber is that it breaks the miter joints as it shrinks, but with a rustic look that's a plus.

You can also make frames out of old circuit boards.  You have to look around the edges to see the frame.  Painting by Patricia Watwood.
« Last Edit: November 10, 2014, 12:37:43 pm by bill t. »
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Borealis

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Re: Home based framing biz - Seeking advice
« Reply #26 on: November 10, 2014, 11:17:56 pm »

Those are black polar bears, the ones with horns
Nice job with the frame but I thought polar bears were white!  :D
Haha, don't ya know that them there are just our horned brown bears on a B&W print???  ;D
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jferrari

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Re: Home based framing biz - Seeking advice
« Reply #27 on: November 10, 2014, 11:31:48 pm »

You can also make frames out of old circuit boards.  You have to look around the edges to see the frame.  Painting by Patricia Watwood.

Wait, that picture had a frame??? :D
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Borealis

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Re: Home based framing biz - Seeking advice
« Reply #28 on: November 10, 2014, 11:39:22 pm »

Nice looking frame there, Borealis.  Fits the subject and in the right gallery would add a lot of value to the piece.

Have a friend who "carves" similar frames with a big angle grinder equipped with a steel brush.  Perfect match for his rustic paintings.  You really gotta like sawdust.  And there's a local guy who mills moulding sticks out of huge burls, which look great as frames but are somewhat labor intensive.  The problem with that construction lumber is that it breaks the miter joints as it shrinks, but with a rustic look that's a plus.

You can also make frames out of old circuit boards.  You have to look around the edges to see the frame.  Painting by Patricia Watwood.
Thanks Bill,
Well, I figured I might as well start out on the cheap with the lumber until I've got the ideas somewhat right (moulding and paint combination) ... I do have pretty much all the tools and are anxiously waiting for the mat (not saying that I need to mat every print) and other framing supplies I ordered weeks ago... It's already somewhere in Canada heading North.
Actually I was surprised how quick one can fabricate some simple frames. Since years I have some rough cut lumber stored under a roof , I have been using it for other building projects and recently cut a bunch of other test moulding out of it... It's fun to be able to build/paint to suit your subjects on the prints, actually it's exciting :-)
Thanks for the other ideas you listed, I'll have a look for sure!

William
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Mike Sellers

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Re: Home based framing biz - Seeking advice
« Reply #29 on: November 11, 2014, 09:48:38 am »

bill t. do you have a website? I would like to see your work.
Mike
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arlon

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Re: Home based framing biz - Seeking advice
« Reply #30 on: November 11, 2014, 09:51:50 am »

Really enjoyed reading through these posts. Some great info in here that applies directly to my situation. I'm a pure hobbiest but I like to have fun doing things myself. I have had a few exhibits and want them to look better than they do now. I have 30 bug prints on display at a local nature center at the moment. I simply print them and mount on foam core. It's the cheapest solution and I recover zero of the cost. In fact it cost me even more money because a few science teachers have asked for prints for their class rooms and I just give them away (they couldn't afford them no matter how cheap they are). I can't afford to give away $6/ft mouldings but I still want the pictures to look decent.

I have an exhibit coming up that will show some of the rock art panoramas I've shot. These are long narrow panels about 12-18" tall and 8-12ft wide. Some of the ideas given here give me hope for doing more than just rolling a paper print from ipf6400 out on a table and taping the edges down. I can see these framed with my own frame moulding (have wood working shop) like Borealis, mounting paper or canvas on substrate like gator board (possibly hard board) like Bill, no glass, varnish possibly. Got the mind running... I think there is a way..

And NO, I would never consider framing for money! It's way too complicated. For the odd piece to hang in my house, that will be different. I also live in a smaller town with limited resources. I have to drive 5 hrs to find a piece of gator board. Not the Alaskan Highway but not around the corner either (hardboard is available around the corner).
« Last Edit: November 11, 2014, 09:54:33 am by arlon »
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framah

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Re: Home based framing biz - Seeking advice
« Reply #31 on: November 11, 2014, 11:38:07 am »

Arlon..

Remember that almost everything comes at a max size of 8'.  So if you're going to print something 12' long... you will have to have a joint at the 8' point of whatever you are mounting onto.
That joint will ghost thru no matter what you do.

Even with 8' stuff, I'd consider mounting that to a subframe of 1x3 or 4 to make it more rigid and less prone to flexing and bending or outright breaking.
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arlon

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Re: Home based framing biz - Seeking advice
« Reply #32 on: November 11, 2014, 09:06:25 pm »

Arlon..

Remember that almost everything comes at a max size of 8'.  So if you're going to print something 12' long... you will have to have a joint at the 8' point of whatever you are mounting onto.
That joint will ghost thru no matter what you do.

Even with 8' stuff, I'd consider mounting that to a subframe of 1x3 or 4 to make it more rigid and less prone to flexing and bending or outright breaking.

12 ft is a problem, the only real solution I could come up with from local materials was a frame from elm or similar wood available up to 16', and simply stretch canvas. The 12' long panel would only be a about a 16" wide. The other option would be simply make it in two 6' pieces and just try to get them close at the joint. Make transporting a lot easier too! It's going to be a winter project to come up with something. This thread has given a lot of food for thought!
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jferrari

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Re: Home based framing biz - Seeking advice
« Reply #33 on: November 11, 2014, 11:02:18 pm »

An old adage from my fine woodworking days: "If you can't hide a joint, celebrate it." If the piece is so large that you would need to join materials, consider a triptych.    - Jim
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mark@lindquiststudios.com

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Re: Home based framing biz - Seeking advice
« Reply #34 on: November 12, 2014, 05:59:26 am »

12 ft is a problem, the only real solution I could come up with from local materials was a frame from elm or similar wood available up to 16', and simply stretch canvas. The 12' long panel would only be a about a 16" wide. The other option would be simply make it in two 6' pieces and just try to get them close at the joint. Make transporting a lot easier too! It's going to be a winter project to come up with something. This thread has given a lot of food for thought!

Arlon, if you want to make a 16" x 12' long surface, think hollow core doors.  Create a simple light weight frame out of 3/4" x 16" x 12'  and glue and clamp 1/4" birch or luan-type plywood to it.  Use spring clamps to glue the frame to the plywood.  Be very careful at the joints, and stagger them, front to back.  Since the width is just 16", join them using a scarf joint cut on the table saw, for precision. Glue the first down with the 45 degree bevel facing downwards, then slide the other beveled piece  in and carefully glue and clamp using wax paper and backing boards over the joint which should be tightly clamped.  Afterwards, lightly belt sand then use an orbital sander to finish the joint.  After experimenting, you may find that you can just make your "hollow core door" one sided, or open at the back once your joining technique is worked out.  Figure out a jig to bring the plywood together at the scarf joint, perhaps run the whole 12 foot piece through a sanding machine, then glue your 3/4" pieces on with just hand clamps, mitering the corners.  All this may sound tedious, but it goes very quickly.  I've used this technique often, and the results can be very precise, and very light weight, and sturdy.  Goes pretty quickly when you're set up for the process.  Think either making the back frame first, or assembling the parts of the back frame onto the plywood.  The latter works well.  Thinking about it, perhaps two back framed sections where the scarf joint is pulled together and clamped from behind...  many ways to skin this cat.
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framah

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Re: Home based framing biz - Seeking advice
« Reply #35 on: November 13, 2014, 09:04:13 am »

Yup... canvas would solve the problem for sure!

The idea of a dyptic (sp.?) or tryptic is a nice one as well.
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mark@lindquiststudios.com

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Re: Home based framing biz - Seeking advice
« Reply #36 on: November 13, 2014, 09:28:48 am »

Yes - really.
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Mike Sellers

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Re: Home based framing biz - Seeking advice
« Reply #37 on: November 21, 2014, 11:52:59 am »

If you wanted to have your custom moulding design made on polystyrene where could you get this done? Anyone in the US that can do this?
Mike
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davidh202

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Re: Home based framing biz - Seeking advice
« Reply #38 on: November 21, 2014, 11:58:48 pm »

Unless your prepared to order a considerably large volume (thousands of feet),  and put up the expense for designing, tooling, and finishing, I doubt any manufacturer would be interested in a production run.
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Mike Sellers

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Re: Home based framing biz - Seeking advice
« Reply #39 on: February 13, 2015, 11:43:16 am »

Hi Bill,
On 11/6 last fall you said you were going to show prints on varnished silver rag at an art show next week. Can you tell me how they were received by the public?
Mike
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