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adhering double mats together

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Manny Costa

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Hi folks,

I swear I remember reading something about adhering double mat boards together on here but can't find the tread!

what is your go-to technique with adhering a double mat together?
is there anyone against the idea of using atg or pva glues around the entire edge of the outer mat window?

I'm creating an 8 ply RAG top mat with a 4ply RAG black mat trim.

thanks!
 
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Joe B

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Same as David Just a few dots, placement depends on width of mat. I never do it all the way to the outside, usually closer to the inside. If I had to take a guess, I do a dot of glue every 3-4 inches
You save a ton of money that way, so much less expensive than ATG tape. I do it the same way but I also use about 1/2" strip of ATG tape to the corners help maintain placement until the glue dries. I use ATG Turbo and 3M 924 ATG tape.
 
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Prospero

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I've used ½" d/s tape for 40 years and never had a failure.

I've tried an ATG and it's not so good. ATGs hate me. 😕 I have one but never use it.

I appreciate the wisdom of using glue spots, but I have an aversion to using anything wet and runny near mats. 😳
 

framah

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Funny... all I use is ATG.. for the entire time of my being in business...with no problems.

No idea why it fails for the rest of you.

So when you are doing a double mat on your computerized mat cutter that saves so much time cutting mats, you put dabs of glue and wait for it to dry before cutting the second mat?

I have an ATG gun right at the cutter and run it around the back of the first mat, lay down the second mat and press hard all the way around.
Seriously, never had one fail in over 28 years.
 

Larry Peterson

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I use 3/4" 924 ATG. None of the cheaper 987 or other stuff for me. Most of my stuff is also with a 3/16" FC Sink Mat. The combined mess is put under glass and weights for 24 hours or more. Never had a complaint of one failing.
 
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Joe B

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Funny... all I use is ATG.. for the entire time of my being in business...with no problems.
Before ATG Turbo Glue I only used ATG also with absolutely no failure - that I know of. My reason for using ATG Turbo glue is just way more economical than the tajpe, only takes a few minutes to set up, with dots easy to pop up and reposition the mat if necessary, and I have never had an issue with the glue holding the mats together.
 
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Ylva

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Funny... all I use is ATG.. for the entire time of my being in business...with no problems.

No idea why it fails for the rest of you.

So when you are doing a double mat on your computerized mat cutter that saves so much time cutting mats, you put dabs of glue and wait for it to dry before cutting the second mat?

I have an ATG gun right at the cutter and run it around the back of the first mat, lay down the second mat and press hard all the way around.
Seriously, never had one fail in over 28 years.
ATG has never failed for me, when I used it years ago. Glue is cheaper and mats are more easily separated if I ever have to separate them. (You know, when that stupid black speck shows up out of nowhere on the top mat when you're just done fitting the whole piece)

I do cut on my CMC but I don't cut double mats in one go. I actually cut it as 2 separate mats and then glue them together. A lot of times, if the blade plunges into the top mat, it might 'score' the surface of the second mat and there is a chance of that little reveal being peeled off.

(hope I explain that correctly LOL)
 

framah

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"A lot of times, if the blade plunges into the top mat, it might 'score' the surface of the second mat and there is a chance of that little reveal being peeled off."

Don't cut them from the front. Cutting from the back is the proper way to do it.

It cuts the top mat, you ATG the second mat onto the back of the top mat and then hit the cut button and it cuts the inner mat.
All from the back of the mats.

...and there is no hoping to get the mats aligned by hand. It is all done by the cutter.
 

RoboFramer

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So when you are doing a double mat on your computerized mat cutter that saves so much time cutting mats, you put dabs of glue and wait for it to dry before cutting the second mat?
No, you just ensure it's within the margins! Anyway - both mats (or as many as you like within reason actually) are put on the machine together. On the Valiani it cuts the top, prompts you to remove the fallout, cuts the next, and so on.

Dots of PVA (or whatever suitable water-based wet adhesive) with a maybe a small dab of DS/ATG tape each side so you can still work with it while the glue dries. Nobody can argue it's a better bond - if tape alone works for anyone and has always done, no problem, but I'm one it's failed on and Im also one that has had plenty of work from others it's failed on. Standard Operating Procedure No 22a :)
 

Jim Miller

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What's this about drying time? Using tiny dots of PVA or EVA glue to bond mat layers takes about a minute to set up enough to handle, and "ATG Turbo" takes about 30 seconds. And if that seems like too much time, it would be easy to use a couple of 1" spots of ATG to hold them together until the glue sets up.

To those of you who claim that ATG has never failed in your frames, I ask: How would you know if it did? Would a customer notice if a 1/4"-1/4"-1/4"-1/4" mat exposure shifted over time to become 3/16"-1/4"-5/16"-1/4" over time? Maybe not. So, would slight shifting of the mats matter? Opinions may differ...
 

Ylva

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"A lot of times, if the blade plunges into the top mat, it might 'score' the surface of the second mat and there is a chance of that little reveal being peeled off."

Don't cut them from the front. Cutting from the back is the proper way to do it.

It cuts the top mat, you ATG the second mat onto the back of the top mat and then hit the cut button and it cuts the inner mat.
All from the back of the mats.

...and there is no hoping to get the mats aligned by hand. It is all done by the cutter.

So what do you do for a reversed bevel?

I prefer to cut both mats separately. I can align perfectly because I am using glue, so it gives me a little time before making it a permanent bond.
 
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Manny Costa

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Thanks, guys.

I used the Linco PVA glue and it definitely created a good bond... one thing I'll say is that if the 8ply mating has a bit of a bow before or after. which I noticed on my mine... you will have a gap until you place the glass on top. ill have to take another look when it's hung verticle and the weight of the glass is shifted vertically. Because I used a black inner 4 ply, it's really hard to see. Next time I'll definitely try to move as close as possible to the edge with the glue. I was just dreading the idea of squeeze out the first go at it... but seems small daps is sufficient

I honestly feel using ATG tape is a better idea in a sense where you can get really close to the edge.. but I don't fully trust the longevity and was also contemplating the idea on how we're essentially adhering the whole parameter in place.. so say if the bond was too good. can cockling develop when the matting expands or contracts?

I don't have years of experience with this type of presentation, so it's all theory for me atm.

the way I was taught to cut double mats is to:

cut the top mat first
cut the second board slightly smaller( i did 1/4'' smaller so that there's 1/8''spacing all around
adhere the top mat to the second board
place the drop-off window with double-sided tape so that you have stability( minimal tape as possible)
cut the second mat using the top mat edge as reference.
remove the double-sided tape carefully to reuse the drop-off window for future projects.

mmc represent!
 

Larry Peterson

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cut the top mat first
cut the second board slightly smaller( i did 1/4'' smaller so that there's 1/8''spacing all around
adhere the top mat to the second board
place the drop-off window with double-sided tape so that you have stability( minimal tape as possible)
cut the second mat using the top mat edge as reference.
remove the double-sided tape carefully to reuse the drop-off window for future projects.

One point to add to that. Putting the drop out back with tape isn't to provide stability when cutting. Its to prevent tear out. That's why you use a slip sheet to cut the top mat but not the bottom mat. The slip sheet provides tear out protection on the top mat and the drop out provides tear out protection on the bottom mat.

Cut a mat with out a slip sheet and you will see tear out. Its more visible in this picture of wood but do the same with a mat and it will be there.

011211024_01-tablesaw-tearout-main.jpg
 

David Hewitt

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What's this about drying time? Using tiny dots of PVA or EVA glue to bond mat layers takes about a minute to set up enough to handle, and "ATG Turbo" takes about 30 seconds. And if that seems like too much time, it would be easy to use a couple of 1" spots of ATG to hold them together until the glue sets up.

To those of you who claim that ATG has never failed in your frames, I ask: How would you know if it did? Would a customer notice if a 1/4"-1/4"-1/4"-1/4" mat exposure shifted over time to become 3/16"-1/4"-5/16"-1/4" over time? Maybe not. So, would slight shifting of the mats matter? Opinions may differ...
If you do business in say Florida, you would know all about ATG failure. As Jack Nicholson said in the movie Bucket List, never trust a f..t, same goes for ATG.
 

Framar

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I cut mats on a old fashioned Keeton Kutter and use the following procedure:

Cut top mat, adhere bottom mat with a squiggle of Frank's Fabric Glue applied on the back of the top mat (down the middle - staying away from the inner and outer edges), flip over, insert knock-out with a couple of inches of ATG (depending on how large the mat is) - Frank's dries instantly - have never seen a mat warp or any evidence of "moisture" showing on the top mat, even with four-ply.

Stopped using ATG because Frank's cost is way less.
 

Rick Granick

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...Glue applied on the back of the top mat (down the middle - staying away from the inner and outer edges)...
Just curious as to why you put the glue right down the middle. I usually put it fairly close to the mat opening so that there are no gaps between the layers.
:cool: Rick
 
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Framar

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I put it down the middle in case the mats have to be taken apart - this way the inner mat does not get wrecked. Too many years of Kramer the Framer with his closely applied ATG or white glue next to the opening. Why ruin one mat when you can ruin two?

And I shudder to think how many mounted limited edition prints had mats ATG's to them by the same method - as close to the edge as you can get so the mat does not raise up!

Oy vey.
 

Jim Miller

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... one thing I'll say is that if the 8ply mating has a bit of a bow before or after. which I noticed on my mine... you will have a gap until you place the glass on top. ...Next time I'll definitely try to move as close as possible to the edge with the glue. I was just dreading the idea of squeeze out the first go at it... but seems small daps is sufficient
If your boards warp or bow, then you are using waaaay too much glue. If you use tiny dots about 3"-4" apart, about 1/2" past the top mat's window, it will not warp or bow, the glue will set up quickly, it will hold the mats together forever - no accidental separating. But if you want, you can pop the mats apart without damaging them in the future.
I honestly feel using ATG tape is a better idea in a sense where you can get really close to the edge.. but I don't fully trust the longevity and was also contemplating the idea on how we're essentially adhering the whole parameter in place.. so say if the bond was too good. can cockling develop when the matting expands or contracts?
You are right to question the longevity of any pressure-sensitive adhesive, especially if its bond is not adequately activated by pressure.

Rapid, radical expansion & contraction can occur on mats in a frame hanging on the wall, if exposed to natural light through a window, or when the HVAC system cycles on and off. And in that case, the top mat - in contact with the glass - expands and contracts much more and more quickly than mats underneath, because paper is a very good insulator.

Dots of hard-setting glue will hold mat layers together securely, but ATG is gummy enough to flow and fail after several expansion/contraction cycles over time. You can prove this for yourself in shop experiments.
 

Rick Granick

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I put it down the middle in case the mats have to be taken apart - this way the inner mat does not get wrecked. Too many years of Kramer the Framer with his closely applied ATG or white glue next to the opening. Why ruin one mat when you can ruin two?
I have a cake icing spreader (looks like a big palette knife with a thin, somewhat flexible blade) that works well for detaching stuck-together mats. The blade is thin enough that you can work from inside the opening if you need to, as long as the adhesive isn't right at the edge.
:popc: Rick
 

Larry Peterson

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I use either a butter knife or a 1.5" putty knife. Whichever one I can locate first. ;)

I suppose it depends on whether the last thing you were doing was buttering your toast or spreading the Spackle 😜 .
 
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Rick Granick

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I have a couple of antique butter knives too that come in handy for this or similar tasks. The blade is sturdier than the one I mentioned, but still fairly thin, and the end is rounded.
 

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I keep a plain old kitchen knife in the tool holder on my finishing table for bending bendable framing points and in my instructions that go with every frame, let people know that using a kitchen or butter knife is far easier on the fingers than using your fingernails to bend the points.
 

neilframer

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I should add that it isn't the tape in the ATG I have a problem with but the gun itself. Maybe it's just
me, but I've tried several guns and they all hated me. 🤨
I use ATG tape every day but I don't use a gun and I haven't used a gun in about 20 years.
We get the larger rolls of 924 and 969 at work.
I might be the only one of the 8 people I work with who doesn't use the gun.

I don't have to load a gun and I don't have to unload a gun (which can get jammed up).
I just use the rolls with my hands.
I stick one end down and then pull to the end pressing my finger over it, peel the backing and I get perfectly straight lines.
Kind of like what car painters do when they mask for pinstripes.
 

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I am with you guys! I HATE those awful guns. Clumsy, wasteful, terrible things they are for sure.

Only problem with using the tape by hand, though, is its occasional tendency to switch the carrier paper from the top to the bottom.

But still way easier than dealing with those blasted guns.

:icon45:
 
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framah

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I find the only time I have a problem with an ATG gun is if I go too fast. They work better at a slower speed than zoooom.
 

Rick Granick

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I use the gun to apply tabs of ATG along with dots of PVA glue ("ATG Turbo" or Cornerweld) for sticking multiple mat layers together. I find that the guns are not a problem if they are kept free of ATG residue. This is easier with 987 ATG because it is less goopy than 924.

For applying the dust cover I usually use ATG Turbo glue. On large frames I first use a couple of dabs of ATG per frame rail to keep the paper from sliding around as I smooth it onto the glue bead.

But for those projects that require me to use ATG for applying the dustcover, I do pretty much what Neil described:
I stick one end down and then pull to the end pressing my finger over it, peel the backing and I get perfectly straight lines....
EXCEPT that I use 3/4" 987 ATG and hand-apply it with half its width past the edge of the frame rail; then use a razor blade to slice off the protruding part, holding the blade at an angle and drawing it against the upper corner of the frame's outside back edge as a straightedge, stopping about 1mm before the end so it doesn't curl up. I then take this second half and apply it to the opposite side. Then repeat the process for the remaining two opposite sides. This gives a nicely applied 3/8" band of ATG all around. That's all you really need. It is quick and easy, and saves 50% of the cost of the ATG tape. I usually only do this for frames that have a finish on the back that doesn't allow glue to adhere properly.
:cool: Rick
 

Rick Granick

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Oh, yes. It's easy. The only thing is, since the adhesive is on the outside of the exposed part of the roll, you have to protect it when the roll is sitting around so it doesn't pick up debris. I do this by using the leader at the beginning of the roll. When I start a new roll, I snip off the leader with scissors and save it. Then after applying the tape, I tuck the end of the leader under a bit of the exposed end of the roll, and wrap the rest of it around the roll until next time.
:cool: Rick
 
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I was pretty nifty with the old ATG gun - I regularly asked mats "Do you feel lucky ..... PUNK" before rapidly applying 3 or 4 half inch strips of tape, spinning the gun around my finger, blowing the end of it and slipping it in to my apron pocket.

I would often appear in the shop with my hand hovering over the handle "Leroy, ah've come fer mah gal"

.
 

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I cut the top mat face down on my CMC, then run a PVA bead around it place the uncut bottom mat on top, start the vacuum bed, then cut the bottom mount, by the time the CMC has cut the aperture and external the vacuum has dried the glue, easy peasy lemon squeezy!!
 

Jim Miller

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I cut the top mat face down on my CMC, then run a PVA bead around it place the uncut bottom mat on top, start the vacuum bed, then cut the bottom mount, by the time the CMC has cut the aperture and external the vacuum has dried the glue, easy peasy lemon squeezy!!
That works, but if you apply tiny dots of glue instead of running a bead all around the window, it sets up even faster, and you can separate the layers more easily in the future, if that's ever necessary. The glue dots "pop" apart like snaps.
 

Rick Granick

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I was pretty nifty with the old ATG gun - I regularly asked mats "Do you feel lucky ..... PUNK" before rapidly applying 3 or 4 half inch strips of tape, spinning the gun around my finger, blowing the end of it and slipping it in to my apron pocket.

I would often appear in the shop with my hand hovering over the handle "Leroy, ah've come fer mah gal"

.
And I'll bet when you walked into the saloon, there was a bandaged bear wielding a six-gun and saying, "I'm lookin' for the man who shot my paw."
:beer: Rick
 

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From my own experience, cut 2 boards slightly large. Mark the window on 1, then quickly spread organic paste ca. 2” from the lines ONLY, then put the other board on top. Weight. Wait 20 mins. Cut as desired.



With paste instead of a synthetic adhesive, the boards seem to meld into each other, instead of that nasty shiny line between the two boards, so 2 colours of boards work well.



I’ve done this. The way -it took me years to discover- is to keep things as dry as possible, or the boards will warp.



Stay safe
 
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