Am I seeing straight??


CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Jul 16, 2002
Wadsworth, Oh
Sometimes when I float mount things like certificates and I measure everything to make sure it is even. In the process of hinge mounting it, it will shift some. It will look straight to me but my husband can see that it is 1/8" off. I DON'T SEE IT. Unless I get the ruler out. Does anyone else have this problem? Am I going crazy?
A.Wise do you ware glasses? If so does your husband? And which of you has had them check most recently?LOL
But on a more serious note there are some documents that aren't printed completely parallel. Some times the borders are just a tad different at each end,which can be very deceptive when taking maesurements. I think this occurs from poor reproductions.Maybe that is what is happening.
You are lineing up one end and your husband is eyeing up the other.
Also how are you mounting these certificates? Are you useing the mylar corners or something similar? If so they may indeed move just slightly after you think they are secured.
The process between the eye and the brain is very complicated with many variations between people.
For instance:

There were some posts on cataract surgery, as we age we see more amber, and the surgery gives the person a bluish tone in the eye operated on for awhile until the brain catches up to the changes and both eyes learn to work together.

I'm very sensitive to crooked, but almost nothing is complelty straight or parallel, so I get used to seeing everything off. When it is straight, I can see it.

As a framer you are looking at differnt things such as clean, design, etc. but not crooked because you expect it to be straight. In my shop all pieces had to be examined by a second person after the fitiing was done. Fresh eyes.

I place things further down on the right than the left by at least 1/8th inch.

Do you square up your board? If you don't, when you cut it the mat, it will look off.
Fresh eyes. Good ruler. No drinking on the job. All these things are helpful in seeing stuff straight in the frame.
I have always been able to pick up when something is crooked, if the mat is not centered, the lip not even, and subtle differences in color. Maybe it's genetic. My father was an engineer (gun designer), and I've always tested high in mechanics. Even my 10 year old nephew seems to have the same traits. They may not seem connected, but I think they are. It could be the reason I am a very good picture framer with limited interest in art. My ability for use of color comes from my mother. She was craft oriented and owned a yarn and needlework shop for many years.

Funny I never thought of this before. I had always assumed my abilities for color and design were natural to me. Now that I really think about it, they were inherited.
I am so glad to see (no pun intended) that others have these problems. The mat is square and the document is square. The frame is chopped but I know it is even. It usually happens when I use hinge mounting on top of the matboard. It just bugs me that it looks straight to me and he can see it clear across the room. The eye stigmatism idea is interesting. I do have an eye stigmatism. I also recently started wearing glasses with bifocals so maybe I should start looking at them without my glasses on. I do try to measure with a metal ruler before mounting them and I put a weight on the document to hold it while I use the hinging paper. But I haven't been measuring them after it dries. I may have to start taking extra measurements in the process. Thanks for the replies I thought I was going crazy. How do you reply if a customer sees it crooked and you missed it?
Measure it, compliment the customers eye, and emediately take it back in the back and correct it!
Even if all you have to do is smack it a little to adjust the 1/8" sloop. Do it, fuss about then take it out there and get their new opinion.

Because you fixed it right then and there, their opinion of you just went up.

There is a worse problem or curse, it's being to see framing oops from across a dim lit restraunt.
My wife hates when I start REALLY looking at art in public. I can see a mat out 1/32 from 10'.

Lucky for me all of my framer accounts are excellent framers.

Looking at something upside down can make its flaws stand out as well.

I sometimes think people take things home, hang them up, then sit and stare at them for hours. I have had people bring things in and say, "I think this is crooked..." The item will measure out absolutely square.

I do "fix" these things by taking it in the back, shuffling around for a bit, and bringing the piece back out. The response is always, "OH, that's better!"

No charge.
Oooo. I can tell when something is crooked.

I had customer bring a piece back because it appeared to be crooked. It had to do with the 1/8" allowance and when the piece was fitted it must have been a humid day and the package was snug - not overtight - and when she brought it back - it was a dryer day and it was moving all over the place... I explained this and adjusted it. I still wonder if she thought I was nuts or not.
I always align stuff by eye. I read somewhere that the eye can discern differences between unequal sizes that are in the neighborhood of 1/500th of an inch – way more accurate than any finely tuned ruler.

I began to have trouble getting stuff equal and parallel when I tried switching to “progressive” eyeglasses. There was a definite field distortion at the edges of the glasses and everything looked curved. I had to switch back to my $9.95 2x magnification lenses that I got at CVS.
I've had customers actually pull a small metal ruler out of their pocket and measure their art just to see if I framed it straight.

Hanna, you mentioned the customers that bring things back, and mention that they think they look crooked. We had someone take home a frame job, and a week later they brought it back, because "It was Crooked". Guess what? It was EXACTLY STRAIGHT. The problem? The LJ frame was picing up the light differently in her home, then in our shop, and therefore it looked darker on one side, then the other. When we picked up the frame, and turned it to get the light to fall on it from a different angle, we could see the optical illution. She took it home, and hung it on a different wall. Perfectly happy, because we took the time to look at it with her. (AND we never made her feel bad about being wrong.)