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framing table surfaces

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by coppertop, Sep 6, 2012.

  1. coppertop

    coppertop Grumbler

    after much reading and listening, I am going to try coraplast, and even found black! but since its slick, do you also use something soft and 'carpety' for when you put a frame face down? to remind you, my situation is that my big table is my ONE table. so whatever it is, it'd be best to be easily moved, cleaned, etc.

    and one thing I can say is no matter what, getting this nicer mat cutter and this honker big table was worth it by itself. wow, good equipment is pretty nice!! :nuts: and its not even top of the line, just not the bottom sludge anymore! yipee! and you know what? I've been framing my own pieces for a show this week and I haven't even cussed!! not once, honest!
     
    888
  2. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    I'm doing what your doing......with coroplast..... à la Jim Miller

    One table is done and I'm ready to do the second.

    I wanted black but white is a lot cheaper.

    Doug
     
  3. coppertop

    coppertop Grumbler

    couple more add-on questions. please?

    so is that soft enough to not scratch frames? I even scored black! $20 for a full sheet. just so tickled! I get it next week when I go into the city.

    and do you use a anti static cloth or brush?? do you use a certain brand of putty/filler?

    and with the coraplast topper, do i then cut against something else, yes? I am finding that I need a cutting surface much less now that my mat cutter also has a device for cutting down papers/boards/foam, and for glass too. so just put something down when I cut, yes?



    I am so tickled to get answers from you here! thanks!
     
  4. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I always use carpet, but you have to be picky and not use any old carpet. Short pile 'kitchen' type is good. I've used it for years and no probs with shedding fibres. You should also pick one the right color. Not too bright and not with a jazzy pattern or it's very wearing on the eyeballs under bright lights. This is mainly for assembly, glass cleaning where you need to place the frame face-down.
    I also have a A0 cutting mat on a drawing board to do matting, line ruling and similar operations on.
     
  5. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    All of my shop's work tables are covered with white 4 mm fluted polypropylene (aka Coroplast). White is best because it reflects light and brightens the room, and it shows all kinds of debris, which can be easily cleaned off.

    The plastic sheet is very smooth and fairly soft, so it is less abrasive than paper/cardboard and will not scratch frames. It also makes a very good cutting surface. When the board gets cut up or too dirty to clean, we just turn it over and use the other side, usually after a few months of use. So, we can usually get 6 months of use out of a cover sheet, but a few of our "clean" tables have had their cover sheets for over a year. At $8-$12 per 48x96 sheet, I wouldn't hesitate to replace it when needed.

    Cardboard and paper coverings would be abrasive and that surface covering a table could easily sand the finish off of a wood frame dragged just a few inches. Carpeting harbors all kinds of debris, including aluminum particles (sawdust), glass shards, glue gobs, and putty. There is no way to effectively keep a carpet-covered table clean and, in my opinion, the cushy surface is too soft for some tasks.
     
  6. Frances M.

    Frances M. CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Our work tabletop is mdf, with matboard stapled over and brown kraft paper taped over the matboard. To "clean" the table we just tape fresh kraft paper - up to a pretty thick layer now! We can blow debris off with canned air or just put a loose piece of kraft paper under messy jobs.
     
  7. azoq

    azoq CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    We use our old release boards as a table surface topper. When the boards get removed from the drymount machine to be replaced, we put them aside and cut them down.

    The surface of the release board is soft, slick, easy to clean, and practically free since we're repurposing something we would have otherwise thrown away.
     
  8. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    Where do you find it at those prices? My framing supplier that makes my weekly delivery - the same one most of us use - charges $46 for a single sheet and $35/sheet for a box of 10. Mods - I show the price as I can't believe that any of us retail the stuff.

    Google shopping shows no local suppliers and all of the non-locals charge freight delivery.
     
  9. framer1

    framer1 CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Try a sign shop. Mine was $25 per sheet.
     
  10. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Up until a few years ago I was paying $ 4.25 per 4X8 foot sheet of white coroplast 4mm when buying in lots of 20 sheets from sign shop distributors. Now the $ 8-12.00 price depending on quantity is more the norm.

    I prefer black coroplast for a fit up table because it easily show up any smudges or dust on glass.

    I normally do not cut against the coroplast because it will cut almost as easily as soft butter and the cut slits can be very sharp and damage the surface of moulding and even mats. My ideal is to use a self healing cutting mat but a scrap of matboard will work too.

    The coroplast, if uncut and clean, is a relatively non-abrasive material. It is always wise to lift off the surface when turning though.

    Coroplast can be made "like new" with a two step process if it is uncut. Clean with glass cleaner, let dry, then clean with acetone. Glass cleaner or acetone will take every mark off the surface... even most of red marker stains.
     
  11. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I use white tile board, 1/8" mdf with a white glossy finish. It's cheap, $10 for 48x96, has zero abrasiveness, and lasts a long time.
     
  12. blackiris

    blackiris SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I've been using coroplast forever..... but I still find that I put the kraft paper down when fitting....:shrug:

    Carpet just hoards little pieces of glass and slivers from hellllll............... :cry:
     
  13. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Mine don't. Sometimes get a few cat hairs. Where do all these slivers come from? :icon21:
     
  14. Grahame Case

    Grahame Case Grumbler

    we've just shifted to using these : [​IMG]


    we used to use carpet tiles, but caused damage to frames from fine glass particles and other debris trapped in the pile
     
  15. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    That's my bathroom floor Grahame. :)
     
  16. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    That's the translucent archival type marketed by Bainbridge through framing distributors. It is good for preservation framing applications, but we don't need that quality for our worktables.

    Buy the standard sign-making type, which comes in many colors. Check with the plastic sheet & tube industrial distributors in your area. National & regional chains such as Cadillac Plastics, Piedmont Plastics, and Grimco might be good sources.
     
  17. hangupsgallery

    hangupsgallery MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Seems like small shards of glass or small pieces of debris would tend to scratch frame faces more readily on hard surfaces more than on soft carpet. We have been using carpet since the beginning of time and have zero issues.

    Every now and then, we either blow the surface off or use a hand vacuum to clean. The carpet we have now has been on the table for over ten years. It's just a low pile, industrial carpet....in fact, it's the same carpet that we have on the floor of the shop.

    It's very easy on delicate frame finishes, super with all types of coated glass.
     
  18. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Maybe, but Coroplast is not a hard surface, and it is very smooth. The glass shards and other potentially-harmful debris are quite visible, and may be dusted or blown off in a wink. Being able to easily see the potential hazards is an advantage. In my experience, carpet hides them.
     
  19. Grahame Case

    Grahame Case Grumbler

    We have had issues in the past with small bits of glass scratching frame surfaces on the hard desk tops, but have found they gather less dust. We just have a strict rule to keep the desk clean and that we always blow the desk with the blowdown gun between assembly jobs.


    The last carpet tiles had been down for 4 years and when we removed them fom the desk top the amount of dust that was trapped in them was unreal.
     
  20. stcstc

    stcstc SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    i have these rubberised tiles the kind that are on the floor in kid play area on one bench, great for cleaning glass on, but will mark white paint finish frames

    other bench has 8*4 toughens saftey glass top with white mdf underneath

    fantastic for keeping clean, doent tent to mark cos its very smooth, and can cut rolls of prints down to size without a cutting mat

    in the process of designing a lightbox to put under the glass at the moment which will make it much better for trimming etc
     
  21. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    A smooth surface will allow you to see glass and other sharp debris. But..... if you don't see them they will at least sink into a carpet pile and be less likely to do damage. I would never assemble stuff on the same surface I'd been cutting glass on anyway. :p
     
  22. MitchelC

    MitchelC MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I started using carpet almost year ago and have been using it ever since. I have no problem with scratching frames when i put then upside down. No glass is ever cut on the carpet anyway... i use a wall mounted glass cutter i made myself. To keep the carpet clean, about once a month i bring it outside, and shake it clean and blow it out with a blowgun. I didn't have to do so yet, but, the carpet can also be washed (hose it down and using DAWN). This is how i keep the 3' x 4' piece of carpet clean which is located on the OUTSIDE of the entrance door which comes in handy on wet rainy days. :party:
     
  23. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    Maybe it's a 'you have to be there" kind of thing, but I can't image using coroplast, matboard, release boards, foam core or other things like these on my fitting tables, especially those that are stapled down. I can't see moving frames around face down on these things without scratching the finish.

    My fitting tables are carpeted and my vnailer table is carpeted with a layer of fleece over that. All are stapled, but all the staples are on the bottom or side. There are no staples on top. My mat cutter and glass table is carpeted but a large part of the table is covered by one of those self healing cutter mats ( http://www.amazon.com/Fiskars-24-Inch-36-Inch-Healing-Cutting/dp/B000YZASYO ). Frames are never on the mat cutter/glass table.

    Glass is not cut on the fitting tables and the carpet/fleece is vacuumed/blown off far more often than the carpets at home. Never, ever scratched a frame.

    So youse guys are telling me that you can slide your frames around face down on all of these various toppers without harming the finish??????????

    I can be convinced but I am good with carpet and fleece for now.
     
  24. Jeff K

    Jeff K CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    "wet rainy days."

    What are these "wet rainy days" you speak of?

    Jeff K
     
  25. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    [​IMG]
     
  26. CAframer

    CAframer SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I never place or slide a frame face down on the bench - I always use a sheet of regular foamboard on top of the bench and place the frame face down on it - that way I don't have to lift the frame to rotate it - just turn the foamboard like a lazy susan - it's easy to see that the foamboard is clean, and it's cheap to replace if it gets dirty - and I have several pieces next to the bench in different sizes to suit whatever I am working on.

    For when I am working on really big frames - I have three 40x60 sheets tape hinged together to make a 120x60 lazy susan - because it is hinged it is easy to store or to use as an 80x60 for mid sized frames.

    This way it makes no difference whether the bench is covered in carpet, paper, polyflute, or whatever :)
     
  27. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    Since all my frames are similar (yawn) and since I get a lot of orders for a bunch of the same frame, I have a tendency to have many frames on my fitting tables at once. I have two fitting tables and depending on the size, I can have anywhere from 8-16 frames in progress on them. Since everything is similar, it's very productive to be working on them together.

    I don't have the space to put foam core on top of the table surface - that's why I need the carpet. Frames don't get rotated - I don't have the need for that - but as I'm fitting more frames on the table, they get move, sometimes slid, around.

    Today was typical; I did 11 Value Frames (see my site for what a Value Frame is) using three different mouldings - all the mouldings were 1 3/16" to 1 1/2" flat mouldings; two bunches were black and one bunch was a walnut finish. I cut and joined all eleven first and placed them on the fitting table, next cut acrylic for the bunch and then cut the foam core backings and placed the bendable framing points. Then bumpers were applied, stickers added, the frames turned around (picked up and turned, not rotated since I don't have room for that) and hang tabs (for opening the back) was added to the foam core backing and the saw tooth hangers were screwed in. The frames were all turned over, inspected, hangers, instructions and business cards attached and off to be packed and shipped they went.

    My environment is more a production one than a one frame at a time setup. When I had a storefront, I only had room for a single table that had to be for everything, mats, glass, fitting, et all. I was constantly scrambling between frames so something like you described might have worked for me then.

    Now I have 2 4x8 fitting tables, a 4x8 mat cutting/glass table, a 4x4 table next to the vnailer, a 4x8 open frame staging table, a 2.5' x 7' workbench for shipping and wood working and a 4x7 off feed table for the table saw (for acrylic). With the number of frames in progress at once, I need the entire fitting and vnailing tables to be covered by a non-scratching substanc.
     
888

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