Framing with low-end equipment

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Framing with low-end equipment

Postby ashaughnessy » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:20 pm

I'm thinking of starting to do my own framing using gear from the lower end of the price range. I'm not bothered about productivity so much, as I'll only be doing a handful of frames per month but I am bothered about quality. I'll be framing my own photographs to sell so I need a good result. I'll be using just a few (perhaps three or four) different mouldings, none of them of excessive width and all probably fairly plain and square. I'll use one of the many chop services available to get mitred mouldings cut to size and then I'll assemble myself.

I'm thinking about something like an Inglet steel strap clamp ( https://www.lionpic.co.uk/p/7731/Inglet-Steel-Band-Frame-Clamp-B--7m ) plus a Frameco benchmaster ( https://www.lionpic.co.uk/p/28594/FrameCo-Benchmaster-2-Frame-Joiner ) to do the assembly. So my question is, will I be able to get reliably good joining results using this kind of gear? There's no point me starting out with this if every frame I make ends up with mismatched corners or gaps.

I'm already doing all my own mounting and I have a source of glass so I don't need to be cutting glass to size. Not sure how I'll cut MDF or hardboard backing board yet but probably stanley knife and long steel ruler. I'll also buy a flexipoint driver, something like this - https://www.lionpic.co.uk/p/35218/Inmes-Fi-150M-Flexipoint-Driver

Any comments or suggestions eagerly received.
Thanks
Anthony Shaughnessy
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Re: Framing with low-end equipment

Postby Timh » Fri Aug 10, 2018 3:49 pm

Hi Anthony,
you can get an ok standard from these types of machines with practice but you may want to weigh up how much extra trouble and time you may spend on doing this yourself when you could possibly spend that time on your actual craft of photography against maybe speaking with your local framer about establishing a working relationship.
I'm fairly sure you could get just the frame from a framer which will be mitred to whatever size you want and pinned with an underpinner plus all the parts you'll need will also be available in one shop
ask about how to make any savings like buying in volumes of 5's 10 's etc .

I had an artist who brought everything into me , in the end as their plan to save some money cost them more than coming to me in the first place.

there are many framers on this forum who could also help you with supply
I'm not saying don't do it yourself but at least explore all options to see if you could make a saving and if it's worth the extra work.

best of luck with your plans
hope it all pans out
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Re: Framing with low-end equipment

Postby David McCormack » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:08 pm

Welcome to the forum Anthony :D

Before I got into professional framing I used to frame my photos to sell. I cut my own window-mounts and got a local framer to make frames to my standard sizes and cut glass & backs for me. I'd then assemble frames at home. Just a thought, but you could get a local framer to cut and join moulding for you? If you stick to a few sizes and moulding profiles you could build up a good working relationship.

Another idea is to get your chop moulding with a routing service. Basically the chop is supplied with little dovetail keys so all you have to do is insert the keys and glue up.

I can't really comment on the Benchmaster frame joiner as I've never used one but the strap clamp is a bit expensive. I favour Bessey Clamps myself. Also I think you would be better off with a Flecther Rigid Point Driver rather than the Inmes.

Hobby equipment is ok to a degree but if you have the space you would be better of buying a second hand professional under-pinner for joining your frames. They often come up on this forum or ebay.

Good luck and keep asking questions :D

Edit,
This foot operated CS88 underpinner is on ebay for £475 which is money well spent compared to the bench master hand tool for £210 from Lion, in my opinion. Many pro framers use this model including myself.
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Re: Framing with low-end equipment

Postby ashaughnessy » Fri Aug 10, 2018 4:19 pm

Thanks for those two replies. Saving money is a smaller part of my motivation. A much bigger motivation is to be able to say to customers "I make everything myself". Yes I know I'm not making the mouldings but to be able to say that I make the frames in this way will be very satisfying to me.
Anthony
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Re: Framing with low-end equipment

Postby Abacus » Fri Aug 10, 2018 8:33 pm

Use this, or an equivalent instead of mdf , easier to cut.

https://www.lionpic.co.uk/p/9467/Art-Ba ... -23-Sheets
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Re: Framing with low-end equipment

Postby Not your average framer » Fri Aug 10, 2018 10:13 pm

Probably the best combination of quality and value for money is going to be thise https://www.lionpic.co.uk/p/38207/Logan-F300-1-Studio-Joiner. It won't break the bank, it's easy and straight forward to use, plus it looks like it's made to last.

I have my doubts about buying budget tab guns when the Fletcher Terry guns do such a good job and seem to last forever. For your relatively light level of usage, you'll never wear it out. Yes it's more money, but it fires the tabs tight to the backing board and has plenty of clout to drive tabs in usually deeper into the moulding than the budget tab guns.

Add the two together and you've got a quality solution to your requirements for an amazingly good price.
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Re: Framing with low-end equipment

Postby prospero » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:26 am

Welcome Anthony. :D

What the others have said is wise counsel. If you are a professional then you need to produce professional results.
Hobby gear is OK as far as making stuff for yourself. You'll probably find that you waste a lot of time and a lot of
materials trying to get good results.

If you get a good used Morso guillotine and an underpinner then you will have saved a good deal of heartache. :D

Good equipment will serve you well and also keep it's resale value.
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Re: Framing with low-end equipment

Postby John Ranes II, CPF, GCF » Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:17 pm

ashaughnessy wrote:Thanks for those two replies. Saving money is a smaller part of my motivation. A much bigger motivation is to be able to say to customers "I make everything myself". Yes I know I'm not making the mouldings but to be able to say that I make the frames in this way will be very satisfying to me.
Anthony


Anthony,

The real question is do customers care about the fact that you made everything, or do they care more about the quality and professionalism of the finished product?

Truly when you stated a handful of frames per month, and low end equipment - I saw this as a conflict of interests. :wink:

Best of luck, BTW.

John
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Re: Framing with low-end equipment

Postby David McCormack » Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:12 pm

I would have thought this foot operated underpinner would be a better buy than the benchmaster hand pinner.

https://www.lionpic.co.uk/p/21688/Inmes ... nderpinner

No matter how few frames you make, if you are selling them to the public, then you are providing a professional service, so professional gear is called for. A better investment for sure :D

I know it is nice to say you have made everything yourself, but it will be your photography your customers are interested in. Are you already selling your work? If not, then I would definitely get frames made for you to start with and see if people want to buy your photography. Anyway, hope it goes well :D
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Re: Framing with low-end equipment

Postby Steve N » Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:02 am

I deal with artists and photographers a lot, also go to craft and art fairs,and local art exhibitions, I see a lot of artwork/photographs mounted and or framed, the ones that have been done by the artist, in reused, marked, dirty mounts, bad miters on the corner, dents in the frame, badly painted frames, looks like a charity shop frame, never seem to sell, I wonder why, it looks like IMHO that the artist dosn't care about their work, "just stick it in this old frame that will do". This type of artist/photographer often say " I don't want to spend much as I never sell anything!"
Presentation Is The Keyword here, if you have professional looking frames and mount, it will look like you actually care about your work and people will buy it, for a lot more than if it's in a rubbish/hobby/secondhand looking frame and mount.
Get in with a local framer, get your frames (including glass and backing, with flexy tabs already in) from him, as somebody else has said , buy 5 or 10 at a time, you can eve buy sheets of mountcard from them, then just cut the mounts(if they are good enough) and do all the assembling yourself, you will still have the sanctification of putting them together
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Re: Framing with low-end equipment

Postby prospero » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:24 pm

I've given the 'Steve' lecture to lots of budding artists. :clap:

"I can't afford 60 quid for a frame. I only sell them for 90...." :|

If they had a 60 quid frame they could sell them for 390 in many cases. (Not all... :lol: )
OK, they might not sell as many, but they wouldn't have to.

Some take my advice and some don't. :roll:

Better to have one good framed piece in a exhibition and the rest in plastic bags than 40 cheapo frames.
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