what type of rigid tab is used here?

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daveym
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what type of rigid tab is used here?

Post by daveym » Fri 27 May, 2022 11:50 am

Hi everyone,

I have a very small vintage print in old frame that measures approx 3" x 3.5". I've been trying to replicate the way it's been printed which is onto some kind of fabric. The back of frame doesn't have a backing board and is just held in place with a medium card glued down. It was peeling away so I've pulled it up so see how it was all put together inside.

The fabric is held down onto some card with a layer of cardboard underneath then there is some kind of old tab insert although it isn't the standard tab I've ever seen. I prefer this type of tab to the regular tabs or anything similar, purely because I'm trying to replicate all aspects of the frame and want it to look as vintage as possible.

I'm planning to make various sizes of frames from very small to larger A3 size but I want to use a similar rigid tab. I see tab guns available but they only take the regular tabs.

How would these types of tabs have been inserted by hand or a specific tool? Considering my frame is very small a tab gun would not fit into it.

If anyone can give me any ideas for similar tabs and how they are inserted.

many thanks
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Re: what type of rigid tab is used here?

Post by vintage frames » Fri 27 May, 2022 12:13 pm

It looks like some sort of staple and it also looks pretty modern.
I'm suggesting it might be Italian in origin.
I know you want to replicate as 'vintage' as possible but the frame itself also looks pretty modern?
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Re: what type of rigid tab is used here?

Post by Justintime » Fri 27 May, 2022 12:45 pm

This looks like a staple that has bent on entry to me.

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Re: what type of rigid tab is used here?

Post by Not your average framer » Fri 27 May, 2022 1:12 pm

Ideally you want a tab which won't go rusty and cause a brown mark which bleed through the fabric. I'n not really sure what type of tab that would need to be. I also used to print of to fabric and in my case I did it onto white calico which had been very lightly stained with tea, left to dry and the taped to a piece of thing A4 card and then fed through an ordinary A4 Epsom ink jet printer. The prints looked great and I framed and sold a few. Doing stuff like this need a good volue in order to make any decent and worthwhile money. It's still possible to do this stuff, but if you are only doing it to sell to the tourists, Tourist's are usually not a good source of decent value sales and can be a lot of work for not much money.

However I've got a few tips for you! After a while, I was dry mounting the calico onto thin A4 card and then priinting several images onto one sheet and cut them up to mount and frame, These looked much nicer with a mount and sold for correspondingly more money, so I got a better profit level per sale. I had a quite good collection of old Devonian water colours postcard scenes in Devon which I tried to sell, but the days when stuff like this used to sell were during an earlier era and the number of customers for these were quite limited. It might still work better for larger mounted prints of a more upto date subject matter.

I seriously think that the fact that these images are printed on to fabric is likely to be a good thing from a marketing perspective, but it would be a good thing to seal the front surface of the print to prevent un-necessary deterioration of the printed result. Considering that these days are not particularly easy times for businesses. I would be careful about how much up front money I would commit to this without seeing some worthwhile results. Scanning and printing customers own photos, might be something which could make some worthwhile money for you, but I would test the process on something of your own before doing anything for a customer, just in case the results are not what you were hoping for!
Mark Lacey

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daveym
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Re: what type of rigid tab is used here?

Post by daveym » Fri 27 May, 2022 1:38 pm

thanks for the above replies. Sorry when saying vintage I'm not trying to copy the actual frame. This particular frame is from the 70's. I'm buying old frames and replicating similar artwork inside printed onto fabric but I won't be using backing boards and instead will use thick card taped to the back and have cardboard inside behind the print to give it extra thickness. These are fabric type prints which the picture doesn't show and it is a particular fabric that looks quite vintage. I just wanted to construct something similar internally to hold the cardboard in place both top and bottom of frame. On very small frames I don't know how best to get a tab in place due to the amount of room available. A tab gun wouldn't fit and I don't want to use normal tabs if possible. Obviously if i'm working on larger frames then a tab gun would

I used to have a Logan fitting tool which i think fired nails but I sold this some years back as it didn't work for the intended project. I never really gave it a proper go and never tried the nails in anything. I think using nails might be too rigid behind cardboard just in case they didn't sit flush to board when firing and therefor I wouldn't be able to bend them into place. I think I need something semi rigid that once in the frame I could push further into place behind the cardboard. Any thought or should I just use standard tabs?

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Re: what type of rigid tab is used here?

Post by daveym » Fri 27 May, 2022 1:49 pm

Hi Mark, many thanks for your reply regarding the methods you used on fabric. It is fairly hit and miss. I did about 100 small fabric prints in frames some years back of old scenery around the UK from the 1800s. They looked very good in small frames and I made these based on visiting Italy many years ago and seeing a similar frame sold in a tourist hotspot. I ended up buying one for my mum.

Unfortunately I didn't sell many of my frames and put the entire lot on ebay for a rediculously small amount and which didn't get bidded up. Someone got a bargain which I'm sure they made good money on. Had I been a market stall seller in some part of London getting the right tourists then I'm sure these would have done very well but I was solely selling online and people just can't see the quality and difference between a fabric print and normal print going on pictures. It's very difficult to convey they quality of printed frames online.

However, these newer fabric prints will be a little different and I'm hoping to make a few videos with close ups. Try and take advantage of the likes of TikTok and instagram. It's early days, I'm just getting the bits and looking for some advice before I start constructing over the coming week and see how it all pans out.

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Re: what type of rigid tab is used here?

Post by Justintime » Fri 27 May, 2022 2:03 pm

You could use a narrow crown air staple gun?
https://www.lionpic.co.uk/p/8749/Omer-4 ... Staple-Gun

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Re: what type of rigid tab is used here?

Post by Rainbow » Fri 27 May, 2022 2:17 pm

If I've understood correctly, I'd consider using panel pins or veneer pins.

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Re: what type of rigid tab is used here?

Post by daveym » Fri 27 May, 2022 2:35 pm

Thanks for the above comments. I went on to Lions and see the same logan framers tool F400 i used to have. I think i used it once. I see you can also use semi rigid flexipoints. I guessing this might do the trick but the tool is a fair bit more than when I purchased. Comes in at about £60 then the points cost an extra £80.00.

If I use veneer or panel pins do I just hammer these in myself behind the cardboard?

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Re: what type of rigid tab is used here?

Post by Not your average framer » Fri 27 May, 2022 2:43 pm

Years ago it was common practice to knock the little panel pins in place using the abrasive edge to a file which will grip the head of the nail and tap the file with a small hammer. This method considerably reduces the risk of hitting the glass, the mount, or the rest of the frame and gives you plenty of control as you do it. It's nice and cheap too!
Mark Lacey

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Re: what type of rigid tab is used here?

Post by vintage frames » Fri 27 May, 2022 3:31 pm

All I ever use is 1/2" panel pins knocked in with a pin hammer.
They look quite authentic when rusted up a bit.
Unless you're doing dozens of frames a day, maybe you don't need a tab gun yet.
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Re: what type of rigid tab is used here?

Post by Not your average framer » Fri 27 May, 2022 3:47 pm

What you are thinking of doing, if it is done in a way that does not involve too much up front expense, might very well be an inspired idea, if you can find the right market for it. A large part of the secret might be to use these fabric prints to sell a mount and a frame as part of your usual product. It may not necessarily be the print which generates the significant part of the product, but the overall price that customers pay for the mounted and framed print may be what makes this worthwhile for you to be doing. I honestly wonder if buying a staple gun and staples, will necessarily get enough use to repay you what it cost and if there's an equaly effective lower cost alternative, perhaps this will be an economical option for you, while you are developing and proving the idea. A relatively small piece of plain white calico, probably won't cost very much and might be a simple way to get started trying out the idea. Using a small decorators paint roller to apply A thin layer of PVA to thin printer compatible card is quite simple and low cost.

After the PVA has set to iron the reverse side of the card to activate the PVA and to bond the thin layer of PVA to the calico so that everything will hold together while printing in an ink jet printer is sort of heading in a promising direction. So I am thinking this might be the start of something, which may just be going somewhere. There will still a few other things to work out, be at least it's a hopeful start. Incidentally, you've got me thinking about something which could also work for me! I have so small loal prints of Devon by R D Sherrin, who was a famous painter during the 1920's and 1930's. I have industrial quantities of these prints and there lots of scenes from all other devon as well. I'm thinking that I might also dry mount these onto calico and stretch them onto stretcher frames, heatseal the front face and frame them. Lightly tinting the calico to nt be to bright white and these might sell well to the tourists. Perhaps I might give this a try! you never know this might just work.
Mark Lacey

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Re: what type of rigid tab is used here?

Post by Not your average framer » Fri 27 May, 2022 3:50 pm

Dermot is right, a tab gun isn't needed to try this out and maybe a tab gun looks too modern, where as the panel pins might add a bit of a traditional look which is sometimes beneficial to any sales potential.
Mark Lacey

“Life is short. Art long. Opportunity is fleeting. Experience treacherous. Judgement difficult.”
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