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Question What do you cover your work tables with?

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by Verdaccio, May 19, 2016.

  1. Verdaccio

    Verdaccio MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I am using scrap mat board that I replace every 6 months or so...but I thought I would poll people to see what you cover/protect your work tables with?

    Anyone using that sort of short carpet? What do you think of it as a work surface?

    What do you use? :)
  2. Verdaccio

    Verdaccio MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I did an expanded search on this topic using a search term like "carpet" over "work table" and found some good answers, but if anyone wants to weigh in, please do! :)
  3. framestudio

    framestudio CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I used batting covered with cotton duck fabric. I use a piece of kraft paper once the frames have puddy for final fitting.
    It gets changed out twice a year. I have more trouble with slicing it with a razor blade then getting to dirty.
  4. echavez123

    echavez123 MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Using a sheet of Coroplast taped down at edges of table, then throwing a blanket (Goodwill) on top to protect frames during assembly. Every once in a while, the blanket with Trout fish design gets replaced with a Michael Jordan Space Jam blanket to add a little variety you know.
    Chris Chewning, FM Framer and shayla like this.
  5. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    Short nap carpet for me. I can slide frames round without worrying about damage and cut things on it. I use cheap low nap carpet. I replace it every few years and staple it on the sides of the table. I vacuum it every so often or when it needs it. I have never damaged a frame front. When I do buy a new piece, I usually get A 6x9 remnant. I'm sure how you folks that use mat board, Sinatra or other hard surfaced board can work on a frame without marring the finish.

    At any time, I can have from 2-14 (about the limit for my 2 4x8 tables) frames in progress on my two fitting tables so I'm not a fan of placing individual pieces of felt or other soft materiel under each frame. Covering the entire table works best for me
    prospero likes this.
  6. Al B

    Al B CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    indoor/outdoor carpet on the table covered with old sheet - wash the sheet when needed
  7. skye

    skye MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    short nap carpet and I use old release paper on top... like frame studio I slice the da*n paper more than it gets dirty.
  8. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Mostly I use carpet. Short nap 'kitchen' type stuff. It's worth being a bit picky with it. Good quality stuff
    will shed no hairs. It also worth buying the right color too. Bright colors with a jazzy patterns are very wearing
    on the eyes under bright lighting. Plainer the better.

    I use this for glass cleaning and face-down assembly. For mat construction I have a A0 drawing board with a
    green cutting mat on top. It's worth noting that although cutting mats are great for cutting on I wouldn't advise
    placing frames face-down on them. They are surprisingly abrasive and will scuff delicate finishes if the frames
    are slid about on them. Especially after they have had a bit of use. This also goes for some cardboard.

    The bench where I do hand-finishing also has carpet but it's got absolutely filthy and encrusted with paint.
    This normally isn't a problem as it's a dedicated mucky bench. But if I need a extra clean bench I have a small
    roll of clean carpet ready to create a temp clean bench at a moments notice.
  9. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    The least expensive indoor/outdoor carpet Home Depot sells. Have it on design tables and all work tables and have been using the same type for nearly 4 decades. I throw a piece of the kraft paper from glass boxes on it for cleaning glass. If it gets filler wax on it I use K2r spot cleaner to remove the wax.
  10. Justan2

    Justan2 Guest

    I used to use matting board but got tired of cutting that stuff to ribbons after what seemed like each session.

    Then I found out about a so-called self healing mat for my work table. The mat is about 3/8” thick and off white in color. It’s made of a polyuethane variant and is one of the best tools I’ve ever had. You can do nearly anything with it short of running large power saws into the surface, and you can clean it with anything from a wet sponge to a sharp chisel.

    Of course it isn’t really self healing (none are) but has a minor texture and the end result is there are next to no marks that cause my utility knife blades to deflect even after probably thousands of cuts.

    When needed the entire top can be lifted and rolled or laid flat against a wall. Conveniently, the surface does not leave any marks on framing materials. It akin to a really. really large plastic cutting board. These are available up to 4’ x 12’ iirc. The one I bought is 4’ x 10’. It was about $200 delivered. Such a deal!

    Haven't used any old matting board since.
  11. Chris Chewning

    Chris Chewning True Grumbler

    FramerKat likes this.
  12. FramerKat

    FramerKat CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I use sheets of foam core board and do any "dirty work" or cutting on other surfaces. This way, the surface of the foam board stays relatively clean and being that it is fairly "squishy" gives a forgiving work area. I also NEVER slide the face of a frame around on the table. Had used carpeting in the past, but had issues with staples and slivers of glass hiding in the fibers that would damage frames. I do, however, have fond memories of one shop where I would literally stand up on the table to vacuum the carpeting ;).
    Chris Chewning likes this.
  13. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    I have a wall mounted shop vac with a 16 foot hose 3 feet from my two fitting tables. Takes just a few seconds to turn it on and have at the tables. I'm 6' 2" so I can reach across my 4x8 fitting tables in one pass with the vac. Plus I have an air hose right at the tables so I can blow off any loose stuff.

    I am almost 100% acrylic, but when I do cut glass, I do it on my Fletcher 3100 at the mat table.

    I don't recall ever scratching a frame on the fitting tables and sometimes I have as many as 14 on the two tables face down.
    FramerKat likes this.
  14. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I have tried so many different covers. I don't like carpet because it gets dirty and dusty and collects little scraps of carp that can easily scratch the frame. I don't care for Coroplast because it squishes down and becomes uneven, same with foam core. I have been using 1/4" ABS (Acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene) now for a couple of years on 1 of my fitting tables and have not had to change it. It still looks really good, is easy to clean, and even hides the little cuts I have put in it. It will be easy to change because I have it screwed onto my table with stainless steel screws that are countersunk. This is by far the best cover I have ever had. The initial cost is up there, about $70.00 for a 4' X 8' sheet, but after try the carpet, coroplast, foam core, & mat board I figure this is a savings just on time I save by not having to change it out. Just my thought. Joe B
    monkey and shayla like this.

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