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  1. #1

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    Thickness of backing board for framing

    Does anyone have rule of thumb kind of thing for the thickness of the backing board? I typically use Acid Free Artcare Backing Board in 3/16 inch thickness. Typically, a photograph will be T hinged on to it directly. Occasionally, I will dry mount my photograph to a 2 ply mounting board then that goes in front of the backing board.

    I understand thicker is better for stiffness and flatness but sometimes the moulding doesn't have enough space for 3/16 inch and I am forced to use thinner 1/8 inch kind. It seems to work OK and I've used 1/8" for 18x12 size.

    Is there any rules/suggestions for what thickness to use as minimum for various sizes? I use metal and wood moulding materials. All of my stuff comes from Framedestinaion, if you need to see exactly what kind of stuff I'm using.
    Last edited by tkamiya; 04-06-2012 at 11:04 PM. Click to view previous post history.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  2. #2

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    I'm surprised SOMEONE on APUG isn't an expert on this....
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  3. #3
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    Perhaps because the answer is no...there is no rule of thumb.

    I mount the print on 4-ply rag, with a 4-ply or 8-ply window. I use foamcore behind all that in the frame (wood or Nielson profile#11). For the metal frames I often must compress the edges of the foamcore to fit it all into the frame.
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

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    I usually go
    4 ply backing with a 4 ply window.

  5. #5

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    Do you not use foam core board behind that?
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  6. #6

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    I try to avoid dry mounting and use archival corners on 4 ply acid-free board with a 4 or 8 ply overmat. The metal sectional frames come in different sizes some of which will accommodate the two 4 plys, foam core and glass. There may be some that will hold 8 ply as well but you may have to mount the print on 2 ply board and compress the foam core as mentioned. For wooden frames I use a frame shop.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/

  7. #7
    ROL
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkamiya View Post
    I'm surprised SOMEONE on APUG isn't an expert on this....
    You've got to be kidding. I'm not even going to provide a link this time (but I'm fairly certain that some commercial posters will thoughtfully supply you with theirs once this thread is ferreted out ).

    I don't believe you are using the term "backing board" in a standard way. You mount – dry, hinge, or whatever – the art to a mount board. The flat artwork, in this case a photograph, is normally separated from frame glazing and "finished" for presentation using a window mat. Thickness of both are determined by the size of the print's necessary support, and aesthetics. Most "professional" presentations use 4-ply (8-ply for very large "mural" prints) mount board, and 8-ply window matting material. Amateurs (don't get excited, it's just an accurate term – look it up) tend to use less expensive 4-ply mat for windows. These elements form the basis of a well (standard) presented print.

    That said, and to answer your specific question, backing board can be whatever you wish as long as it supports the presentation in its frame and conforms to general archival standards, that is, acid free for monochrome photographs. The thickness is only as necessary as can be accommodated by the frame's depth, minus glazing. As a consequence, there will have to be some forethought in frame selection. I have older shallow glass frames that have a tough time accommodating the print and and any backing material. For that reason, I prefer metal Nielsen frames that are at least 1 to 1.25 inch deep, and can take anything I throw into it. And these days I throw relatively inexpensive, easy to cut, super lightweight, 1/4 inch acid free paper faced "archival" foam core. It is robust enough to support and protect all sizes of my prints within the frame. I have even hinge mounted some color prints to it.

    I have seen 2-ply and even 1-ply mat board used to dry mount prints, sometimes flush cut. These are then mounted loosely to 4-ply as you have suggested, or with photo corners. The general strategy here seems to be a way of subverting museum considerations of not permanently affixing "the print" to its mount (congratulations if that's relevant to you). So this now becomes a possible confusion of what then is actually considered to be backing board. I would advise using additional support, as previously indicated, when framed.

    I believe that's a lot more information then you deserve from an "amateur" who doesn't troll the site everyday with unsolicited, unsubstantiated, opinion or non–commercial agenda, given your somewhat snotty remark.

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    Thanks. I'm surprised you thought my comment was snotty. Yourself included, we have several people who frame their own work and those are the people I was referring to. I certainly wasn't looking for shoot-from-hip type answers.

    I am NOT asking about a mount board. I am asking about backing board. In my case; however, they are often one and the same. For clarifications, I pointed to framedestination's website where it refer to the material (form core board) as backing board and named the material that I am using.

    My question is that in this usage, I would imagine at certain frame size, thinner board (1/8") will be insufficient to provide enough flatness and stiffness and that use of 3/16" would be preferable. My question is, what is this size?

    Would you be able to help me with that?

    I apologize if you took offence to my choice of words but that was not at all what I was trying to say.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkamiya View Post
    Thanks. I'm surprised you thought my comment was snotty...
    Well, written communication is lacking in sublties...and your use of capitilizations and icon does read a bit on the snarky side.

    I had to look up "Acid Free Artcare Backing Board" -- from the name it was not clear that it is a foamcore material. So if one is seeking information, it is better to provide links and/or more background information, rather than less info if one expects others to help out.

    The material used for the window and mounting board directly influences what is used for the backing board. My 16x20 8-ply windows with a 4-ply mounting board (8x10 prints) is a rather stiff package that really does not require any backing board to maintain stiffness, though I use foamcore as a backing board for physical protection in the frame. A thinner package -- say 4-ply window and a 2-ply mounting board does need a bit more in terms of a backing board.

    I find attaching the print to foamcore with a window over that to be a bit on the cheap side. Foamcore is so easily damaged that it does not come off as a quality permanent presentation. Perhaps fine for art fairs.
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn View Post
    I find attaching the print to foamcore with a window over that to be a bit on the cheap side. Foamcore is so easily damaged that it does not come off as a quality permanent presentation. Perhaps fine for art fairs.

    ....and it is fine for my living room. If I was dry mounting it, I would use a museum board and hinge that to the form core board. In fact, the one I sold (and the only one I sold), I did it that way.

    Thank you for your input.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

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