Moulding and finish please

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Ed209
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Moulding and finish please

Post by Ed209 » Thu 23 Aug, 2018 2:28 pm

Got a customer who really wants some more framing done as near as possible to attached
Looks to me like a plain wood and stain he called it a walnut finish
I so far have no experience of hand finishing at the moment but will hopefully be sorting so tuition in the near future. Will message you back soon Mark
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Re: Moulding and finish please

Post by Ed209 » Thu 23 Aug, 2018 2:30 pm

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Re: Moulding and finish please

Post by kartoffelngeist » Thu 23 Aug, 2018 2:36 pm

https://www.ashworthandthompson.co.uk/124296-ob.html

Maybe?

No idea on the finish though...
Thanks,

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Re: Moulding and finish please

Post by prospero » Thu 23 Aug, 2018 2:48 pm

Not Walnut. Classic Bird's-Eye Maple veneer. Lots of suppliers will have it in some form mostly in that Ogee shape.
Finding one to match exactly is another matter......

Once upon a time you could buy it veneered but unfinished, but a brief search has drawn a blank. :|
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Re: Moulding and finish please

Post by vintage frames » Thu 23 Aug, 2018 2:53 pm

That wood is a veneer and it's called Bird's Eye Maple, stained to make it look Victorian. I make frames like that all the time but the cost might be more than your customer's budget. Have a look on e-bay where there should be a few original bird's eye frames. Buy one and cut it down. The profile though is a more modern take on the traditional shape you'll find.

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Re: Moulding and finish please

Post by prospero » Thu 23 Aug, 2018 2:54 pm

You can fake it on Obeche but not easy.... :roll:

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Re: Moulding and finish please

Post by Ed209 » Thu 23 Aug, 2018 3:27 pm

Must say it looks much better in the photos, the actual thing doesn't come across so good the finish looks a bit crude!

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Re: Moulding and finish please

Post by Not your average framer » Thu 23 Aug, 2018 5:13 pm

I think that birds eye maple bare mouldings are a thing of the past, Rose and hollis used to do something a few years ago, but I haven't seen anything available anywhere these days. The idea of buying a frame of eBay and cutting it down suggested by Vintage frames is an inspired idea and probably the easiest way around this problem.

If you are using Liberon pallet stains, then the colour you need is Yew, or if you are using Polyvine, then the colour is Teak.
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Re: Moulding and finish please

Post by poliopete » Thu 23 Aug, 2018 9:26 pm

Hi Paul

Prospero is correct "classic birds eye maple" :P

Thanks to misterdiy I have a reasonable amount in short lengths.

If you care to pm me the frame size, and if I can, I will be pleased to help you out.

Only last month I sold a large antique map of Lincs. engraved by Robert Morden framed in this very moulding with an inch gold slip. IMHO it really looked the business.

Peter

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Re: Moulding and finish please

Post by prospero » Fri 24 Aug, 2018 1:38 am

The wife of a local auctioneer/estate agent often brings me old maple frames to be cut down. The older
ones have the veneer wrapped all around the edge. Age gives them a look that is nearly impossible to replicate.
Even with bits of veneer missing they look suberb.

Some modern stuff I have seen is over-finished until it resembles Formica. :cry: My 'faux' finish above actually looks
more like a real old maple frame than a lot of modern moulding with real veneer. :lol:At least from a few feet away.
One mistake I made was to do the finish over blended corners. :oops: Bit phoney.

It's funny, but even the huge corner gaps in the OP pic don't really detract. :P
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Re: Moulding and finish please

Post by vintage frames » Fri 24 Aug, 2018 10:44 am

Well, there you are. If poliopete has the moulding, then you can make up the frame to match the customer's original.
There are a few things you can do to improve the look of your frame. To leave the mitres as is after joining and glueing can make that sort of a frame look cheap and tacky. Take some medium grit sandpaper and rub away the sharp corners and just a little off the sharp line of the mitres.
Now mix up some strong Van Dyke water stain ( if you don't have any - well you should! ) and brush this lightly over the sanded areas using a CLOTH, not a brush. You'd be looking for a slightly dark and dirty appearance. Keep practicing on it as it's easily removed with a wet cloth.
Let it dry and rub over the frame with a little wax.
Some people would say to add some rottenstone - I always think that's so much of a cliche.

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Re: Moulding and finish please

Post by poliopete » Sat 25 Aug, 2018 5:04 am

After checking through my huge stock of moulding (I have far too much being unable to resist a bargain bundle) I find I have two different shades of birds eye maple :)

The darker one prospero has emulated to perfection and the lighter one is similar to the op.

Years ago and when we were really going for it, business wise, I was able to buy a genuine veneered birds eye maple moulding of excellent quality from a one man band specialist, in two profile widths. Although I cant recall all the details In do remember it was an arm and a leg back then :shock:

I have been in touch with Paul and the problem is sorted :wink: :wink:

Another excellent yet simple tip from vintage btw :D

Peter.

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Re: Moulding and finish please

Post by Not your average framer » Sat 25 Aug, 2018 9:12 am

There's some really special about old bird eye maple frames which is hard to put into words, the description that you hear used is about that "lite from within" which I suspect has something to do with the fact that a lot of these old frames were finished with oil based stain and varnishes. I think that the oil based finishes soaked into the wood and added a little transparency to the the few thousandths of an inch on the surface.

It's only my own thoughts and may not mean a lot, but old birds eye maple looks lovely. It seems a shame that it seems to be very hard to get these days.
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Re: Moulding and finish please

Post by prospero » Sat 25 Aug, 2018 10:24 am

My theory on old maple frames is that they were finished with shellac which is more permeable to the atmosphere
than varnish and therefore the wood reacts very slowly with the air and darkens a tad. It attains a quality that is impossible
to replicate. A bit like fine wine.

Might be completely wrong though. :roll:
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Re: Moulding and finish please

Post by Not your average framer » Sat 25 Aug, 2018 1:47 pm

There used to be an auction house in my town and I used to buy old frames that I fancied from there. Some of them were in need of repair so I often got them without having to bid against anybody. There was a better market for items like that at the time, compared to now and I often resized frames to suit customers artworks.

Customers came to me specifically for old frames to suit older pictures. This does not happen as much these days and I think it may have much to do with the fact that there's no longer a local auction house as a source for collectable pictures. Veneered frames such as birds eye maple are not usually the best thing to cut them on a Morso as the veneers can break away where they are being cut.

It's not always totally successful to cut them with a handsaw either, I would not say it's foolproof, but I sometimes stuck some backing tape over the surface of the moulding to try and stop any veneer, or parts of the moulding from breaking away. My experience is that the wood in older frames can be a bit iffy to cut down, it does not matter so much on finishes which can be filled and re-finished, but repairing veneers is not easy.
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Re: Moulding and finish please

Post by vintage frames » Sat 25 Aug, 2018 2:34 pm

So here's all you need to know about Bird's Eye Maple. The wood veneer was used extensively in Victorian times to frame art works on paper, maps and sewing samplers. Ironically it was considered a cheap way to frame everyday images and you can see that in the use of a silvered inner slip which was varnished to resemble real gold leaf. Prospero is right in observing that the finish was layers of shellac and the action of time, atmosphere and light exposure on the wood has resulted in the wonderful golden colour you see on present day antique frames.
Reproduction bird's eye maple had its moment in the 90's and I myself was quite busy producing replica frames in this finish. Now the zeitgeist has moved away and they are now only popular within the antique trade and other collectors.
And here's why you don't see many reproductions on the market -
The veneer must be carefully selected to fulfill two important criteria, the bird's eyes should be clustered in a random fashion and there should be an attractive "quilting" pattern across the grain. This gives the beautiful dark reddish cast you see on these old frames. Many modern veneers don't fit this criteria and it is often the cheaper cuts that work best for reproductions.
Next you have to persuade the veneer to wrap itself in and around the classic ogee profile. Anyone who works on veneers will know what I'm talking about. Faults in this process often don't show until days into the process and can then ruin the appearance of the whole work.
If the gluing has been successful and there are no splits or blisters, then the veneer is "cleaned" or sanded to the thickness of light paper.
Only now can the wood be treated with stains. There are several staining procedures, on the details of which I shall remain silent, but the process is to amplify the contrasts within the quilting figure and the appearance of the small bird's eyes.
If one uses just a simple stain then everything reduces to the one colour, with no contrasts, and this is what is often seen on less successful reproductions.
After that comes the layering of several tinted and pigmented coats of shellac. These gradually build up the depth of colour whilst at the same time blinding out the unattractive pine grain that always shows when finishing maple. You never see it on the originals, but nearly always on poor reproductions.
And that is why there aren't much of it about.

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Re: Moulding and finish please

Post by misterdiy » Sat 25 Aug, 2018 3:00 pm

Yes classic Birds Eye Maple.

We used to do a fair bit of that and it was a lovely moulding. We got ours from Simons and the reference was either BEM1 or BEM2

The original picture at the top of the post is of course the old stuff which is better.

As an aside we used to chop down old Birds Eye Maple frames for one customer who framed old prints. They were a pig as they were all hand made and the lengths of moulding were variable in width and depth so were easy to cut (saw) but difficult to pin together. The glass had to be cut down as well. He wanted the old glass to complete the look

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Re: Moulding and finish please

Post by vintage frames » Sat 25 Aug, 2018 3:11 pm

That man had taste.

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Re: Moulding and finish please

Post by poliopete » Sat 25 Aug, 2018 6:55 pm

Thank you vintage for that fascinating and informative explanation :clap: :clap: :clap:

Years ago we had a couple of discerning customers that appreciated certain items glazed with old glass so I never discard it :) although, I have not been asked for any lately :( how times change.

I know we usually advise new framers not to do this but,I have always enjoyed taking certain old frames apart and recycling them. It needs to be done with care and it's not always rewarding.

Peter

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Re: Moulding and finish please

Post by Ed209 » Sat 25 Aug, 2018 10:08 pm

Well you have given me inspiration had a customer in the other day broken frame whole thing pined with panel pins and holding the glass in. Normally would have binned and sold new frame but today I glued and managed to underpin (narrow) and filled big section missing from under one corner and a bit elsewhere. Its a relatively simple black moulding but been in family for at least 50+ years and they really want to save it if possible for nostalgia not money.
Next step is the finish which I will tackle when my man flu fonaly clears up


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