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  1. #1

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    Mounting and Framing tips & tricks

    I am getting to the point where things are pretty smooth when it comes to framing. I wanted to ask a couple questions, and share some tips I have learned.

    Questions first:
    Plexiglas or glass? I can cut either, but glass is certainly easier to keep clean (and static free).

    How does one add a "dust cover" to the back of a metal frame? I have no problem getting the paper cover drum tight on the back of a wooden frame, but don't know where to begin using metal frames (maybe it isn't necessary).

    OK - a couple of tips.

    If you have ever used plexiglas as a glazing, you know how the stuff attracts dirt when you peel off the protective cover. I peel off one side carefully, and then lay that side on top of my matted print. I then peel off the front, never separating the plastic from the print other than lifting an edge to reach a speck-o-dirt. This really cuts down on the specks I have to chase.

    Add two pieces of heatshrink tubing (about 1" lone) on the hangar wire before twisting the ends. Slide it over the sharp ends of the wire and shrink in place. This keeps the person hanging the print from drawing blood.

    Always print, mount, mat and frame one more than you think you will need (or maybe two if it is a photo of your daughter's soccer team).
    Those who don't think Photographers have the skills of REAL artists such as painters obviously have not had to spot my prints.

  2. #2
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    The place that I applied to exhibit at specifically said "All work must be framed under Plexi, not Glass". I told them in my request that my stuff was under glass. I was hoping that it wasn't some sort of insurance thing. They didn't seem to care or even mention it at the review and I got the space.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  3. #3
    Bob Carnie's Avatar
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    Some nice tips

    I prefer glass over plexi but for shipping glass is problematic
    On metal frames I do not put on a dust cover . when putting the glass on we tape with archival tape the glass to the back ing board which stops the dust from finding its way to the print, in fact we do this with wood as well (dust cover included).
    For cleaning glass we use Varn rather than glass liquid cleaner. we like this better.
    Always use a matt board beneath the cut you are making when cutting materials to size.
    Compressed air is helpful in a framing envioronment as well as humitity above 50% helps in controling dust and makes for better pressing of fibre prints.
    One big pain in the a** is carpets in our framing area and when I have the dough I will definately replace with tile to sweep and mop rather than trying to vacumn.
    We only use two kinds of matt. Archival white and soft white as well as artcare foam board as a backer , we will use 2ply for the print to be corner mounted into .

    Ques: do others mount their photo's to a substrate???

    If a project is large and the prints are for a show or display we will mount the show so there is no wavyness when viewing, any prints sold from the show go out the door unmounted, I prefer the way the prints look mounted but I wonder what others think about the archival Propertys??

  4. #4

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    I dry mount everything for perfect flatness.

    I used to use a lot of plexi, but got fed up with scratches appearing at a sneeze and the very fine abrasions that any cleaning casued. Plexi is clearer (no green cast) and transmits more light IMO. I would love ot use posh Denglass but am waiting to win the lottery....

    I do not tape glass to backing but use aluminium backed archival sealing tape for the back (metal to backing board). Nothing seems to get in the front but the UK is not like (as I have just found out) the ME for dust!

    I use a cotton rag barrier card between mount ensemble and backing board.

    Most tests I have read seem to show that dry mounting actually improves the longevity of FB prints. I get bugged by FB prints that dont lie flat. They may be pressed flat but atmospheric changes (humidity?) can cause cockling to come and go. Dry mounting nails this.

  5. #5

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    I agree with dry mounting, both for looks and for flatness. But that doesn't mean they stay flat forever. I have a 16x20 shot of an SR-71 engine at work, not framed. I had it "hanging" on a cabinet using home-made corners. It pulled itself free one weekend when the humidity started increasing this spring. It now has a ding in the bottom edge. I just measured, and with one corner held to the floor the opposite corner is up 3 1/4". It USED to be flat.

    Heck, I will even dry mount an RC print if I like it. It doesn't cost much, and using the press is kinda fun.
    Those who don't think Photographers have the skills of REAL artists such as painters obviously have not had to spot my prints.

  6. #6

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    I find the biggest killer of framed prints is when someone sticks a framed print in full sun (like a shop window during summer)....... Surpise, surprise, the whole print/mount ensemble warps horribly as well as subjecting the print to a horrid assualt of UV. However a stint in the press and then some weight afterwards to hold flat whilst cooling retruns things to their former flatness.

    I mainly use MDF backing with a barrier card as MDF is rigid enough to keep the bevel mount pressed firmly against the print all the way round with no gaps even for big prints. I still find tho sometimes (and cannot always find the cause) that the bevel will not sit perfectly flush against the print under the pressure that the backing board generates (under the bow springs in the back of the metal frame). Even a tiny gap niggles me. I have a huge box of bow springs so I am not limited by the paltry number in some metal frame assembly packs (Nielsen used to give only 8) for bigger prints, where onl;y 2 springs along the short side is way too low. I am looking into using that rigid polypropylene hollow board that is very rigid. By using two sheets with the internal ridges perpendicular you might be able to get a VERY rigid backing board that is far more archival than MDF, produces no dust, is thicker (which with some metal profiles enables the springs to exert more pressure) etc.

    Things continually evolve.....

    Tom
    Last edited by Tom Stanworth; 05-18-2005 at 04:17 AM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: addition

  7. #7

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    Here is a tip for anyone using Metal Frames...

    DO NOT USE THOSE METAL BOW CLIPS ON THE BACK OF THE FRAME! There are MANY reasons for this. First off, if you are using 2ply board..overtime they will but a bend in the matboard. Second, they are a pain in the ass to remove and will sometimes even break the glass if you try to pull a side off the frame and the clip pops down and hits the glass. Third, they create a space for bugs to craw into ect.

    After you have your print framed completly, cut strips of old matboard (4ply, or a few layers of 2ply) to be fitted into the space where the clips will usually go. You can fit it in there very snug...but it can be removed easy. Also, it seals off the back of the frame to stop dust and bugs from going inside. Doing this will also leave no bend/bow/damage to the mount or frame. When the strips of matboard are fit in there snug, there will be no uneven presure on the mount to cause the overmat to lift in certain areas.

    If you do this, dont worry about putting backing paper on the frame or anything like that...it is not needed.

    As for glass, I use glass only, not plexi. I am very picky about glass and try to look for the higher quality that does not have a color cast on it.

    I would not be taping off the back of the framewith random tapes. It does not look clean usually, and it is not needed. If you take my suggestion on using the strips of matboard to replace the metal clips, it is also not needed.

    Ryan McIntosh

  8. #8
    MurrayMinchin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RyanMcIntoshPhoto
    After you have your print framed completly, cut strips of old matboard (4ply, or a few layers of 2ply) to be fitted into the space where the clips will usually go. You can fit it in there very snug...but it can be removed easy.
    Ryan McIntosh
    That one's a keeper!

    Murray

  9. #9
    Aggie's Avatar
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    a trick I learned long time ago from a group of women framing family heirlooms such as lace pieces was: get those small packets of bug repllent from places like home depot. They come in small flat maybe 1 1/2 inch X 1 1/2 inch size packets. Just tape that to the back of the backing, and no bugs bother it. I replace mine every 18 months even thought they are good for 3 years. Not a problem in 22 years.
    Non Digital Diva

  10. #10
    Shmoo's Avatar
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    My local plex shop has a UV protected plexiglass available which I use. I also use a product that they have called "Brillianize" by Kleencraft. It's a glass & plex polish that "removes" those scratches on plex but I only use i on the outside. I keep a BIG bottle of Dust Off around when I'm framing. There's always some matboard fibers running around somewhere...


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