A&P Frames + Mattes DIY HALP?!

Discussion in 'Lifestyle' started by mooingmooseman, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. mooingmooseman

    mooingmooseman New Member

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    Looking to make my own mattes and possibly frames, mainly to save money, especially for custom sizes.

    Frames:

    I don't have a ton of experience in the shop so hence I'm a little hesitant regarding making frames. seems like it'd involve cutting glass and wood? no idea how glass even gets cut. do i need a robbery-style diamond glasscutter? :wiggle:

    For those that do/did this, is it really hard? If frames are too tough it's fine, I'd at least like to cut my own mattes

    Mattes:

    This seems relatively easy with a cutter, correct?

    What cutter is good? Looks like everyone sells a version... I'd be cutting for 8x10 frames up to 16x20. Possible 20x30 sooner or later. Do I need other stuff?

    Thanks guys!
     
  2. alexromo

    alexromo New Member

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    use plastic instead of glass....

    well thats what i would do

    and then sell to famiry
     
  3. mojito

    mojito New Member

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    ignore the site name, they have great selection and prices on the tools you'll need.

    http://www.dickblick.com/


    mattes are easy once you do a few, but very easy to fuck up too
     
  4. f/2.8L

    f/2.8L New Member

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    An edu would be great for this if anyone has some free time to put one together.

    :x:
     
  5. wizeguy4

    wizeguy4 New Member

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    I have thought about this myself but just dont have the time. There is a guy here at work who does it and he uses an anti glare glass kinda like museum glass. I know if I ever do get time to pursue this, I will get this type of glass
     
  6. MrSlappyPants

    MrSlappyPants New Member

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    I picked up a Logan 301-S mat cutter used on ebay for around $65 shipped. For home/family/friends/non-professional use it works amazing! I had tried several other hand cutters, and cheap products, but none of them would continually give me straight and even cuts with good corners... this one does! In fact, I prefer the cuts this thing gives than many of the "craft" stores around here that charge an arm and a leg for doing it. I would definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a budget cutter for home use.

    As for cutting glass, if you go with a Logan cutter, you can also pickup their "704 glass cutter" which attaches to the same rail on your cutter. These can be had for about $20-$25 +shipping. I've heard that they work well, but have not tried one personally, so I cannot say for sure... but if they are the same quality as the rest of the cutter, I'm sure it works fine. I will likely be picking one up in the next 6 months.

    For frame making... do not even attempt it unless you have absolutely precise and accurate tools, miters, and gauges. There's nothing worse than ruining a nice piece of art, and good mat, by tossing it in a crooked/lobsided/warped/or poorly joined frame. Your miter angles have to be precise in cutting and sanding. You have to have a good 90 degree angle joining jig, and preferably a biscuit joiner if you want clean solid joints that will last. Again, I will probably try my hand at some frame making in the next 6 months, as I have pretty much all the tools in place (thanks to my wife authorizing the purchase of several woodworking tools for me to build new cabinets!). I think my method of frame making would be to run the lumber through a jointer/planer to square up and smooth the surfaces perfectly even. Then I would run the stock through my table saw with a dado stack (or maybe even use a router) to create the lip for the inside of the frame. Then cut the stock to size, and miter the corners (or make a mortise and tennon, or slot and groove for a rail and stile type of frame). Then everything gets sanded. Then if mitered, I would hit the corners with my biscuit joiner. Everything then gets glued up and clamped to dry (after excess glue from seams is wiped off). After it's dried, apply whatever finish you desire, and let it dry. Then cut glass, mat, backer board, whatever, and insert into frame. Secure with brads. Install hardware for hanging. Done!

    If you decide to give it a try, please let us know how it goes! Good luck!
     
  7. tetsuo

    tetsuo And shepherds we shall be...

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    i have a buddy who has a custom framing business, and even he doesn't have half of the tools you mentioned :o are you talking about using blank square lumber and actually routing the lumber into the shape you want for a frame? you know you can just buy the frame pieces in 8-10ft lengths and cut it down to what you need. all he does is mieter the corners and then drills them for a small finish nail. he just uses glue and the nail to hold the frame together. :dunno: he might do something more elaborate for larger heavier artwork, but for your typical prints you don't need something that heavy duty.
     
  8. jared_IRL

    jared_IRL OT Supporter

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    I just started making my own frames, and use the following tools:

    compound mitre saw
    router w/ router table
    biscuit jointer
    corner clamps

    I only buy #1 wood stock for my frames, and pretty much follow what slappypants laid out.

    I use the router for both the inside lip and the outside decorative pieces, and machine sand everything before routing, then hand sand after.

    So far everything has been beautiful, except I suck ass at staining. Once I get that down, i'll be in business.

    It's a HUGE relief to be able to print my work to the exact size I want and frame/mat around that instead of forcing my stuff into the common pre-made sizes...
     
  9. MrSlappyPants

    MrSlappyPants New Member

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    Well... you have a buddy who is lucky that his customers don't know a cheaper frame when they see one. :mamoru:

    In all seriousness, nailing does not provide for a good joint, and even worse, it leaves visible marks in the frame itself. Even after puddying, you can always tell a nail has been used there.

    As for all the other tools... Yes... I am talking about making custom frames from rough cut lumber. Sure you can buy already profiled lumber, and just cut and glue... but it is a far cry from "custom framing", and having the ability to choose your own lumber for the best grain, creating your own decorative edges and profiles with a router (and FAAAAR more options when doing it yourself), making quality joints that will last for generations, etc...
     
  10. GregFarz78

    GregFarz78 New Member

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    Framing isn't for the DIYer I mean its not hard but be prepared to spend a few hundred on the right tools as mentioned above. Staining is easy have to tried using a rag to wipe the stain on?

    One of these days I wanted to do a EDU how to build a simple frame just haven't had any time myself to make one :hs:
     
  11. mooingmooseman

    mooingmooseman New Member

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    sorry guys, work has been killer this week and i let this slip my mind...

    sounds like there are some hardcore DIYers in here. don't think i'll be cutting from raw wood or anything, that sounds nuts. maybe one day when i'm retired and have all day to do this, but for now, best bet still sounds like just buying frames + making mattes?

    otherwise buying the pre-made sides like someone suggested sounds okay too. and yeah I wouldn't nail but it cuts down the need to stain and sand and w/e w/e right?

    thanks for matte tool suggestions though. that's definitely helpful. will research Logan 301-S
     
  12. tetsuo

    tetsuo And shepherds we shall be...

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    he does have a rather impressive client list though :o and there are some people who will pay more for better frames. this is just what he does for the avg joe who wants a custom frame for a family photo.
     
  13. ///Mik3

    ///Mik3 New Member

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    I cut my own mattes, and i just buy frames from Aaron Brothers when they have their 1cent sales. They don't have museum glass or UV protective glass or anything, but whatever, they're are just inkjet prints :o

    [​IMG]
     
  14. MrSlappyPants

    MrSlappyPants New Member

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    I've thought about a nice pictorial EDU as well... but I just don't have time yet. If no one else does one... I'll make one in a few months. I just don't have the time yet while building my cabinets.

    As for staining, and those who are saying they are having trouble with it, here's the best way I've come up with. First, completely sand all your surfaces with increasing grits of sandpaper until it's perfectly smooth, then wipe down the wood to get all of the sanding dust off of it. Next, take some mineral spirits, and a cheese cloth or lint free rag (you use one of these to prevent any tiny bits of fabric from getting into your finish) and wipe down the whole frame with it. This will clean up the frame, and remove any dirt/oils/impurities that might cause the stain to not absorb, or finish unevenly. After the frame has completely dried from the mineral spirits, you can start to apply your stain. I prefer using lambswool applicators. They hold the stain well, and apply a very even and uniform coat, without any brush strokes. Generally, you test your stain on a test piece (of the same wood) first, by checking your watch, and applying the stain. The longer the stain sits, the darker it will get. When the test piece reaches your desired shade, wipe off the excess, and note how long it took. If you haven't gotten it as dark as you'd like after 5 minutes, wipe off the excess, wait for it to dry, and apply a second staining. If that still isn't dark enough, you need a darker stain. Please note though, that you always want to wipe off the excess stain. So, now that you have a time to reach the desired stain, you do it on the real frame. Again, wipe off the excess stain (again with a cheesecloth or lint free rag) if you want a good finish. After staining, let it dry. I like to wait 24 hours after staining to be sure, but depending on the environment, it can be much sooner. If finishing with a polyurethane, I again apply with a lambswool applicator (but not the same one you already used in the stain), in a thin coat... but you do NOT wipe off excess. If applied properly, there really shouldn't be "excess" so to speak... just a thin film. Again let the poly dry (up to 24 hours). Then hit the whole thing with a fine sand paper to rough up that first coat of poly, to give the second coat something to stick to. Now, apply a second coat of poly in the same way you did the first. Once that second coat has dried, you are done. That's how I do my staining. :bigthumb:
     

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