[Black] Cheap Moulding vs. "Competative" Edge moulding

Baer Charlton

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
May 24, 2004
A few months ago I asked about how people felt about cheap import black moulding with a shell that chips easy vs. a moulding with good to superior working qualities....but about $1.50 vs. 96 cents...

Well, last we we ordered in 60' of that $.96 stuff. :mad:
I changed to fresh blades (flat ground thank you very much). :mad:

Chopped and joined
then started puttying.

Remember, this is suppossed to cost very little because there is no margin in this kind of frame.

As I carefully puttied, the shell became a gernade. The more I touched, the uglier it got.

This is after I had only been able to get 7' of usable out of 60'.

The replacement moulding came today. Same blades.

20x24" frame... 8' stick. These are waste pieces.

Guess that's why I ordered a box. Zero putty.

I agree Baer, I sell alot of metal Neilson Profile 97 for that reason.

I hate putty and avoid it like the plague. I used to work for this guy that bought the cheapest molding on the face of the earth and blamed me if the corners chiped out.

Between the mess, the time, and the potential for staining your cloths and or artwork, it's just not worth saving .50 cents.

I don't buy any box profile unless they are willing to send me a 1' to 2' sample for free. If it cuts and joins well, I'll create a sample for the wall and order the box.
I agree no more of those cheap and chip mouldings all out, better pay more but it cuts soft, join easy and clean, looks superior.
Excellent idea 1' or 2' sample for free before ordering a box.
A few months ago I asked about how people felt about cheap import black moulding with a shell that chips easy vs. a moulding with good to superior working qualities....but about $1.50 vs. 96 cents...

I don't know how they can sell any of that chippy moulding. Yes, it's only 2/3 the price, but the price is so small compared to the labor involved it doesn't make economic sense. Let's say you use 10 ft of it on a frame; the difference is only $5. How much extra labor do you think you have to have before it become uneconomical to use the "cheap" stuff? If you're paying $25/hr fully burdened for your labor to cut and join the frame, that's 12 minutes to hit the break even point.
And who's to say what it looks like after the customer takes it out of your shop and bangs it around???

Dave Makielski
But Dave, isn't that when they bring it back and say "No, it was beat up this way with the cracked glass when I picked it up..." :D
I would just tell them I didn't charge extra for the "distressing".

Dave Makielski
If you want cheap, I suggest buying plastic. It's lower on the price scale, but better quality, and works much better than cheap wood.

For example, the similar-looking plastic alternative to your $0.96 cheap wood pictured might cost $0.38. And if you buy several boxes, it might go as low as $0.20 per foot.

No chips. No warps. No knots. No waste.
I can't imagine paying .96 for that black moulding; we'd pay between .30 and .50 for cheap black that size, closer to .30. We just bought 400ft of a larger black for .50. $200 for a lot of moulding and a lot of inexpensive frames, well worth the effort to learn how to cut it and it can be cut. I don't care what the moulding smells like being cut.

If you're going to use cheap moulding, you have to make concessions to cutting it. We use a really good saw and very sharp blades (our blades go about 100 frames before being cycled off for sharpening. We have a system and it works.

I agree with Jim Miller, plastic is probably better. We used it in the past, but the stuff was first generation and flimsy in large lengths. I've heard the newer stuff is a lot better and we'll be looking for lines in Atlanta.

We're always looking for ways to lower the ticket price for framing. The reasons we haven't adopted plastic before now is that we know how to cut and join wood moulding and we don't have a lot of experience with the newer plastics. Also, we've been able to get wood moulding for less than the plastic we've been offered so far. We buy a lot of inexpenseve moulding and we've found very, very few patterns we can't cut well. Anyone interested in our system has only to ask.
Or if your in the area, just make an appoinment. It will be well worth your time. Warren is an excelent host.

"This is after I had only been able to get 7' of usable out of 60'."

Now you're not bending the truth there just a weeeee little bit are you?
Warren, I have to agree with Jay, crap is crap. No matter how good your equipment is, your still cutting crap. I have seen box molding with profiles an 1/8 of an inch off on width. I dealt with moulding stock made of two different types of wood so the v-nail goes through on side quicker than the other and leave a bad join. I've seen chip outs so bad, they look like the profile of a steak knives with brand new saw blades and backing up every cut.

My daddy taught me at a very young age, "You are only as good as your tools and equipment." I don't buy cheap tools, cheap supplies, cheap liquor, or go out with cheap women, they all will make you pay for it in the end.
That may be the McAllen 25 talking. Had a good week, cheers.
Jay, If you think skreed marks on the back wall as well and bin rattle chips on the front lip are usable.... you're welcome to it. Even the distributor didn't have to see it... he'd been getting it back all week... the mfg in asia had done the bad deed.

I don't have time to futz around figuring out how to hold my tongue just right as I rub the inside of my ear and only look through my left eye as I slowly chop the cheap moulding..... no thanks

To me, it makes as much sense as going into late November with a wall of LaMarsh samples....I don't do roulette with business.