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Work table surface

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by pbsoho, Jul 6, 2014.

  1. pbsoho

    pbsoho Grumbler in Training

    I have seen in some shops a type of polymer surface that they use on their work tables.

    It's a plastic sheet, looks almost like white plexi, however, it doesn't really scratch or anything when they do trimming on top of it.

    They cut on it and clean it with windex rather than using a whole bunch of paper on top of paper.

    Does anyone know what this is called and/or where to get it?
  2. stcstc

    stcstc SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    if its what i think your describing its using in the caring industry to make tops

    not sure what its call though
  3. Lafontsee

    Lafontsee CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Most likely what you are seeing is Sintra. It is available from sign supply places.

  4. ryantischerphoto

    ryantischerphoto Grumbler

    I put a thin carpet on my tables that works well to protect my inkjet canvasses from scratching as well as frames, etc. Got it from home depot, I think its technically an outdoor carpet of sorts and comes in rolls in several colors, easily covers a 4'x8' table, but not sure on exact size...pretty cheap too. Might not hold up the best if you're doing a lot of cutting into it though, but would be fairly cheap to replace after a while.
  5. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    What is the Caring Industry? Health care?

    I have seen really thick plastics used in restaurant and meat cutting. I would think it was like a really thick plastic sheet that could take a lot of cutting. 3/4 to 1 inch thick ABS plastic would last a long time. We used to use ABS plastics for modifying wheelchairs, it comes in many thicknesses and colors. Easy to form as it becomes pliable with heat.
  6. stcstc

    stcstc SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    oh sorry catering industry
  7. Artistic Framer

    Artistic Framer CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    It's a "self healing cutting mat". They're great for general work surfaces, but you'll still need something softer to fit pieces on (clean cardboard or packing blanket) as small pieces of the plastic can stick up occasionally. Here's a link, but just google it and you'll find lots of options.

  8. ArmyFramer

    ArmyFramer MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I use the same stuff. Replace it about every 4-6 months, depending on how much cutting I do on it. Cost is around $15 for 6x8.
  9. imaluma

    imaluma SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I don't like carpet, too easy for small bits of debris to get trapped and scratch something.
  10. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    Actually, preventing scratching is exactly why I use carpet.

    I have read a number of threads over the years about people using Sintra or other hard surface for their fitting tables and I don't understand why your frames aren't scratched or damaged by such a hard surface, especially given that the frames can be moved/slid around while being worked on.

    On my 4x4 cutting/joining table I use carpet which is then covered by a layer of of fleece. I want this table to be as soft as possible as the pieces are moved around a lot while cutting/joining.

    On my two 4x8 fitting tables, I use low nap carpet. All the tables are vacuumed as needed so I have never had a case of a frame being damaged on the carpet. I replace the carpet as needed. I just replaced one on one of the fitting tables that was about 4 years old and the only reason it got replaced is that a heat gun had melted the carpet in a few places.

    I also have a 4x8 table for my mat cutter and glass cleaning. It is also carpet covered with a 2x3 self healing cutting mat. I don't remember the name, but I clean glass on a discontinued Fletcher accordion like apparatus that has bumpers on it to lay the glass on.

    When I do something that might leave some debris that could damage a frame, the carpet is vacuumed immediately. I have a wall mounted shop vac right next to the framing and cutting/joining tables so it is convenient to vacuum at will.

    But someone please explain to me how a hard surface like Sintra doesn't ding/scratch/mar frames. I don't seem to get it. :shrug:
  11. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I agree with Larry. I've used carpet-covered tables ever since I started framing in the early 70s. Keep it clean and you have no problem. For very delicate frames I roll out a sheet of soft plastic (about the same thickness as a shower curtain liner) over the carpet for extra smoothness.
    One caution: I would avoid the cheap indoor-outdoor carpet from HD that Ryan mentioned, as some of those shed fibers that get into frame packages. Spend a little more and get something good quality (even a remnant). You're going to have it for years.
    :cool: Rick
  12. David N Waldmann

    David N Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    If it's clean (like your carpet), there is nothing that can scratch.

    We use phenolic sheet* for our joining surface - we set the moulding up upside down, flat on the material, and hammer the Hoffmann dovetail wedges in. If you try to use a softer surface, the alignment can go off. Never had a complaint yet.

    *its hardness makes maple look like a feather pillow, and the surface is almost as smooth as glass.
  13. Terry Scidmore CPF

    Terry Scidmore CPF MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I use polyflute on my fitting tables. It is like plastic corrugated cardboard. It has give to it, is easy to wipe clean, and is fairly inexpensive. I believe Jim Miller uses it as well. I get it from sign making shops. It comes in 4 x 8 sheets, about 3/16 thick. It is also like coroplast - if you use this in your framing. This is the generic version.

    Perhaps this is what people have meant, rather than Sintra.

    Sintra is not a good surface for a table top. It is hard, has no "give", and scratches easily. I also have Sintra on several tables that are not used for fitting.
  14. couture's gallery

    couture's gallery PFG, Picture Framing God

    We used the self healing surface which we bought a roll of (4 ft x 4 yd ) and it worked great. Similar to the self healing mat in the above thread but much cheaper and more industrial strength. it has a translucent surface and a grid can be also be purchased to lay under it for quick measurements. Ordered it from a sign supply place but can't remember the exact name of the stuff. Cleaned well with glass cleaner and healed most cuts to a smooth original surface. Should be the catalogs of any major sign supplier.
  15. stcstc

    stcstc SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    my main workbench is 36mm of mdf with 8mm toughened glass on top, means can cut directly on it, glue doesnt stick, no particles
  16. Cavalier

    Cavalier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    We wrapped our table with muslin over thin packing filler (like the stuff used to wrap moulding from one's distributors.) That's been working beautifully on our end.
  17. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I use Coroplast too. Love it! You can't cut on it, but it easily becomes pristine again by wiping it once with glass cleaner and ocassionally wiping it down with acetone to get any ink or paint off off it.

    I just ordered black Coroplast to try. I've found that fitting on a black surface makes it much easier to see any dust on glass, etc.
  18. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Only potential problem I can see with Coroplast is that the cut edge can be very sharp. I would probably tape it.
    :cool: Rick

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