One-offs....

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One-offs....

Postby cleaver » Sun Mar 17, 2019 1:46 pm

Hi All,

Sad man that I am, I really enjoy The Antiques Road Trip (especially when the Scots bloke, Paul Laidlaw, is on it).

On an episode last week, one of them bought a picture frame which was made from the very tip of an old wooden plane propeller. It looked stunning, with a period photo in it.

Just wondering whether anyone on the forum ever gets inspired to do one-offs? I expect it's a 'no', as I doubt customers would stump up for such items, plus it could be a stack of work for something that's hard to repeat/do a run of (which would also scupper the 'one-off' bit :head: )

Anyway, just curious!!
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Re: One-offs....

Postby Not your average framer » Sun Mar 17, 2019 2:42 pm

Well yes, that is sort of! I make up all sorts of things, mostly for my own amusement. Lots of customers are looking for something that's unusual and not "run of the mill". Unless it's something really special, it will need to be priced to interest someone as an impulse sale, so mostly it needs to be something that won't take much time, or cost too much to make.

Around where I am, things that sell well are mostly old fashioned, or rustic looking and definitely not mass produced looking. You need to think "out of the box" a little and it doesn't do any harm having a look on ebay to see what people are buying, for some good ideas. Semi-rough sawn timber, which has been washed with thinned down chalky paint and then waxed is often popular, I try to make this sort of thing look a bit grubby and knocked about.

i don't use stuff like pallet wood, it's not that easy to make it look saleable, I'm more into buying busted bits of furniture from the local auctions. Don't buy anything that other people want, you want the stuff that the auctioneer is glad to be rid of, but make sure that it is worth cutting up for some useful proper wood.

I cut up the wood mostly using my table saw. I make semi-rough sawn wood by dragging it backwards across a band saw blade at an angle and then lightly sanding it, so it's not too rough. This should be quick and easy, don't spend too time on this, or you'll spoil the effect and too much labour means less profit.

I use compressed air nail guns and hidden dowels to fix butt joints together. Little mirrors with small shelves, or small storage compartments are also popular. Nails are usually hidden a bit by the painted and distressed finish, my compressor is set to a pressure that will slightly sink the nail below the surface of the wood. The final bit of wax part fills the nail hole and dust soon sticks to the wax.
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Re: One-offs....

Postby cleaver » Sun Mar 17, 2019 3:28 pm

I thought you might, Mark!

So pleased to hear it, too. Aside from the dosh selling the items brings, what a marvellous way to showcase your skills and imagination.

Yes, I expect one has to ensure an item is 'repeatable', if at all possible. Imagine creating something stunning, but the raw materials/item are like hen's teeth (or rocking horse, er,.... :oops: ).

Something like that propeller tip I mentioned must be a real show-stopper in the window.

Hope you're on the mend, Mark (sorry, you must me sick of hearing that :head: )!!
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Re: One-offs....

Postby Not your average framer » Sun Mar 17, 2019 4:04 pm

Are you thinking about doing stuff like this?
Mark Lacey

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Re: One-offs....

Postby prospero » Sun Mar 17, 2019 7:33 pm

This is a one-off. :D

It's made from old planks that came from the house next door and are probably 200+ years old. They had been standing against
my shed for the last 20 years in the wind and rain. Last summer during the hot spell they dried out very well so I took them inside
and looked at slicing them up into viable pieces to make a frame out of. As it happened, a job came in that would take a frame of the
'driftwoody' ilk so I had a go. The boards were quite crumbly on the outside but in the middle they were sound as a bell. I knocked off
all the loose bits and applied a good soaking of woodworm treatment, although I suspect the woodworm that munched it expired in the
19th century.

All in all I was pleased with the result. Might do another one day..... :D

DDfishframe001.jpg
DDfishframe001.jpg (93.14 KiB) Viewed 116 times


DDfishframe002.jpg
DDfishframe002.jpg (208.26 KiB) Viewed 116 times
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Re: One-offs....

Postby cleaver » Sun Mar 17, 2019 8:59 pm

Not at this stage, Mark!

Right now, I’ve got my work cut out learning all the craft skills, physics and judgement calls that go into traditional and straightforward picture framing.

But that little example I mentioned really charmed me, and opened my eyes to how a frame can be as significant and beautiful as its contents.

I also love how people like you, prospero and others on here use your imagination to transform pretty ordinary frames (and even chunks of blown-down garden fence) with Dremels, bike chains and heaven knows what else.

Sure, ‘pimping’ frames can be thrifty, but there’s more to why most of you do it, I’m certain.

Got to pull my finger out this week and finish painting my workspace, move the Morso upstairs, and start getting glue on my fingers. :clap:
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Re: One-offs....

Postby cleaver » Sun Mar 17, 2019 9:22 pm

prospero, stunning, resourceful and annoyingly ingenious as usual!

I love how you didn't care about having (or not being able to achieve) water-tight mitres; you can see daylight through the one top left!

I sometimes wonder whether some framers (none I’ve seen on here :D ) get overly hung up and OCD about such things. Sure, on most mouldings, a mitre should be as tight as (insert favourite comedy analogy) or it’s just plain wrong. But as you know, having gaps on this frame is authentic, interesting and feels right.

I’ll have to do some framing examples for my website before I get much older :shock: , and am toying with the idea of framing a 1970s punk rock artefact with a mount that looks like it was cut out with a Stanley knife after 8 pints of lager. Sure, framing purists might wince, but I think that could be so apt for the subject.

Well done, Peter, lovely piece of work.
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Re: One-offs....

Postby prospero » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:40 pm

:lol: The corners of the manky parts are not actually joined at all. They are screwed to a subframe behind which is half-lap jointed.
If I wanted to I could remove them. The mitres actually meet up a lot better than I thought they would. The gaps add to the effect IMHO. :wink:
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