Restore / Repair Very Old Frames?

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Jo
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Restore / Repair Very Old Frames?

Post by Jo » Mon 18 Nov, 2019 1:38 pm

Hello,
Had a friend ask if I can restore some very very old ornate frames for a school, but that definitely doesn't fall within my skill range. Does anyone on here do that sort of thing or can recommend anyone please? She has sent me one quick phone photo to give you an idea of what is required!
Any pointers or volunteers that I can put in touch with her would be hugely appreciated.
Thanks, Jo
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Re: Restore / Repair Very Old Frames?

Post by JFeig » Mon 18 Nov, 2019 1:56 pm

One of those frames has wood loss in addition to compo loss. The replacement wood would have to be pinned to the main structure of the frame on the right. It would be necessary to see the entire 2 frames to see the scope of the project.

Being on the other side of the pond would be problematic for me to work on your project.
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Re: Restore / Repair Very Old Frames?

Post by Not your average framer » Mon 18 Nov, 2019 3:08 pm

That's a very demanding repair job to do and does not just involve a significant level of skill, but also the appropriate tools for the job as well. Even if you were experienced at doing this sort of work, this is not an easy and straight forward job to undertake. The finished repair needs to have strength and durability corresponding to the original undamaged strength of the original and this does not mean just taking a mould from another corner, casting a new corner and gluing it in.

I would not be keen to accept a repair job like this myself, although I could work out how to do this and I have sufficient equipment to undertake this including a 40 teeth per inch razor saw with a kerf of eight thousands of an inch. If I were to do something like this, I would be wanting to fit a replacement section of wood into the corner and that wound involve cutting into the existing corner joint to produce a joint where the new piece of wood is fitted and glued into the existing frame.

I would then mark out the new piece of wood to continue the decorative cut outs with my scroll saw and then carve the new wood to match the surrounding frames decoration and refinish to match. I've never done this before and would have no idea what to quote for doing this. It can be done, but it's not something that most of us would be sensible to undertake and even if any of us felt like giving it a go, we might in the end have spent more time doing it, than the price quoted allowed for and end up not earning an adequate return for our efforts.

There are not many framers who undertake this sort of work and there is a good reason for this. Jobs like this are unlikely to be straight forward and difficulties encountered during undertaking the repair may not be obvious when you first undertake the work. If this happens and you don't have the knowledge, or skills to cope with this, how do you explain this to the customer? It may be a smarter move to get Frinton Gallery to quote for making a complete and new replacement frame, it won't be cheap, but it will be a perfect job.
Mark Lacey

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Re: Restore / Repair Very Old Frames?

Post by Jo » Mon 18 Nov, 2019 3:16 pm

I think they are quite keen to preserve the original frames due to their age and history.

I think they probably need someone like this! http://ruth-tappin.co.uk/picture-frame-restoration.

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Re: Restore / Repair Very Old Frames?

Post by vintage frames » Mon 18 Nov, 2019 4:16 pm

Ruth Tapin would indeed do a very skilled and comprehensive job. I would think that a repair bill of several hundred pounds should be expected. Perhaps your customers will think this perfectly justifiable. If not you could indeed do a serviceable cover-up job with a mix of Liberon Chantilly and Rambouillet gilt creams because, between you and me, the frames are of junk value!

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Re: Restore / Repair Very Old Frames?

Post by Jo » Mon 18 Nov, 2019 4:31 pm

I'm just giving them the contact details and keeping out of it - no idea what budget they have in mind! Not much point me getting involved as well, just said I'd ask around as a favour to my friend who works at the school.

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Re: Restore / Repair Very Old Frames?

Post by JFeig » Mon 18 Nov, 2019 5:05 pm

Vintage Frames, I think you are way short on your estimate of charges.
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Re: Restore / Repair Very Old Frames?

Post by Not your average framer » Mon 18 Nov, 2019 8:35 pm

It's often easier to commission a replacement frame than to repair a badly damaged frame. A difficult repair tends to really push the cost of repair up a lot. Quite a lot of these frames include nails that you don't known are there, which can destroy your razor saw, or a router bit in a instant, without you having done anything wrong!

There are a few useful tools when tackling cutting the holes in the outer decorative section, very often the cut outs in frames like this may have been originally cut out by hand using a piercing saw. I don't have one of these, but have a coping saw, which is quite helpful as the blade can be rotated, but the blade is off larger dimensions and less easy to guide round a tighter radius.

I also have an electric scroll saw, which is much easier to use, but it relies upon you rotating the frame instead of the blade of the saw, but you very soon learn that there is a size limitation of frames that can be accommodated using normal blades. There are spiral blades that can cut in all directions, they take extra skill to use these flawlessly and need good concentration, while you are doing this. Getting tired and losing concetration happen too easily.

There are various teeth patterns available on these blades, including skip tooth and also a modified tooth pattern where the bottom portion of the teeth is reversed so that a cleaner cut is produced on the underside of the cut. Using a scroll saw takes a lot of practice, when you have got good at using it, there is a lot of satisfaction attached to what you achieve using it. Cheap blades are not worth buying, as they are usually stamp out and not ground to remove the burrs.

Apart from this needle files, riflers, and carving chisels are also useful.
Mark Lacey

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Re: Restore / Repair Very Old Frames?

Post by prospero » Tue 19 Nov, 2019 12:03 am

Unless the frames have significant historical value, I would say they are past economical repair. :cry:

Nothing is impossible, but to restore those would cost £££££££££££££s. Very labour intensive.
Even replacing the entire frame would not be cheap.
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Re: Restore / Repair Very Old Frames?

Post by poliopete » Tue 19 Nov, 2019 8:13 am

Jo wrote:
Mon 18 Nov, 2019 4:31 pm
I'm just giving them the contact details and keeping out of it - no idea what budget they have in mind! Not much point me getting involved as well, just said I'd ask around as a favour to my friend who works at the school.
In this case that is exactly the approach I would take.

BTW thanks for the link to Ruth Tappin.

Peter.

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