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double sided frame for antique document

Beauty, Brawn, and Brains: Wizard Z1 CMC

Norton's

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
7
Location
Saint Louis, MO
Hello all-

I have a client with an antique document about 11x14 who would like both sides to be visible. The idea is to display it as a pedestal type display, so the frame will stand upright on a wood base the client will provide and show all of both sides of the document. We're also looking for this to be as conservation grade as possible. We have not yet seen the document and have a meeting set with them a few days from now.

The idea is to frame the document in a double sided frame, or perhaps just attach two frames together, either by nesting one frame in a larger frame (one frame facing each direction) or attaching two frames together back-to-back.

The complication is showing the entirety of both sides and keeping the project as conservative as possible. We have two ideas to present the client:
1 - We encapsulate the document in mylar and float it between two sets of mats and Optium Museum plex. Then the frame goes around it.
2 - We use clear plastic corners to attach the document to a sheet of Optium Museum plex (assuming the document is sturdy enough to be held that way), and use spacers between another sheet of Optium Museum. Then the frame goes around it.

I have two questions:
1 - Does anyone know of a good double-sided frame manufacturer, so we don't need to build it ourselves? We've used Inline Ovals for years, and they said they could do it, but have not done one in the past.
2 - Doe anyone have a better idea of showing all of both sides of the document?

Thanks for your time,
Ty Norton, CPF
 

David Hewitt

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Feb 26, 2009
Messages
547
Location
Tennessee 931-202-2433
I have two questions:
1 - Does anyone know of a good double-sided frame manufacturer, so we don't need to build it ourselves? We've used Inline Ovals for years, and they said they could do it, but have not done one in the past.
2 - Doe anyone have a better idea of showing all of both sides of the documents.
Vermont Hardwoods can make to your design.
Wood notched, like for a stained glass item, assembled from bottom rail upwards. Secured from bottom of base, threw bottom, and up into side rails with wood screws.
Two frames of same, secured with alignment pins, and inserted rare earth magnets, back to back in frame backs. Base could possibly be made of same frame material.
Documents can be held in place using Rare Earth Magnets ( See Jim Miller's book, The Complete Guide to Shadowboxes and Framing Objects. )
 

MunnFrameworks

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Joined
Dec 2, 2013
Messages
164
We make a double sided frame to order for a few clients.
The frame is joined and finished after, so no seam is showing.
We leave a slot on the top of frame so the art is inserted as a package into top and a strip covers the opening
 

Norton's

Grumbler in Training
Thread starter
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
7
Location
Saint Louis, MO
David - Rare Earth Magnets are an interesting idea, I'll need to keep that in mind, and I'm going to look into Vermont Hardwoods custom double frame idea. Thanks!

MunnFrameworks - I'll DM you, thanks.
 
Vermont Hardwoods solid wood picture frame molding
Joined
Jun 25, 2020
Messages
16
Location
Cary, NC
Business
Frame Masters
So if you were to use the rare earth magnets, would you use one on each corner? and is there a size maximum to use them? I don't have a ton of experiance with them so i'm super curious!
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
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18,259
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Suburban Central Ohio
This is a good time to inform your customer that even the best framing does not provide perfect protection. Display in normal, climate-controlled conditions would expose the document to visible light, which is harmful radiation. Not quite as harmful as ultraviolet radiation, but still harmful. The damage from light exposure, which occurs over time, is permanent and irreversible.

I would suggest framing a high quality digital reproduction and placing the original in an inert, closed container. If you do that, then the preservation issues all go away, since the reproduction could be duplicated in the future. Your customer might appreciate having a digital file for the document, as well.

Another concern: Using rare earth magnets would be good for a reproduction, but I'm not sure I'd want to suspend a fragile, antique document using four tiny contact points. Are you sure the document's fibers are strong enough to withstand a moderate impact at the mounting points?

Here's a photo showing an 8-1/2" x 11" double-sided document (artificially "antiqued" reproduction) suspended using four pairs of 1/8" rare earth cube magnets. One set of four is glued to the inside of the verso glass using cyanoacrylate (SuperGlue) and the other set of four is held by magnetic attraction. For this project I used 1/4" FrameSpace between the sheets of glass.
LoRes 24-MagMnt-Assembled Back Glass.jpg
 
Last edited:

Nikodeumus

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Apr 21, 2015
Messages
935
Location
Comox, BC, Canada
I also have a questions about the use of rare earth magnets in framing.
(I haven't finished ready your book yet Jim, so apologies if you have covered this).
The holding strength of these magnets can be significant.

Let's say that the original item is placed in a display as pictured above.
As Jim warns, the impact point at the time the magnets are placed could potentially cause harm to the delicate paper.

Now lets' say that at some time in the future the client decided for whatever reason that they want to remove the item.
(Perhaps to be digitized. Which I think we all agree should be done at this time, whether or not the original item is framed, or a copy of it).

Isn't there an even greater risk of damage trying to remove very strong rare earth magnets from a suspended piece of very delicate paper?
There would be sheering action if the magnets are separated by sliding, or pinching action if the magnets are tilted apart.
It seems that eIther action would likely cause some form of stress on the paper fibres.
These actions could potentially result in tears, scuffs or dents.
Is this a real concern, or am I overthinking that?

Question #2, are all rare earth magnets safe for direct contact with all kinds of paper, textiles, etc.?
I have seen rare earth magnets with various kinds of finished appearance.
Are they coated with something to make them shiny?
If so, what is the coating and is it safe for direct contact?
Should the magnets be coated, or lined with inert material by the framer?
If so, what is recommended?

Hmm...I think I better go home and finish reading your books Jim. 🤓
But maybe you could address these questions for anyone who doesn't' have them yet?
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
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Suburban Central Ohio
Hi Nik!

Question #1
You are correct about the strength of rare earth magnets potentially causing damage to fragile items. However, the 1/8" cubes are small enough that they can be separated easily by sliding them apart.

Question #2
The document shown above is a reproduction on new paper, and it is easily replaceable, so the magnets are in direct contact on both sides. However, if this were an original document, I would have included separators of some kind between the magnets and the paper. Possible materials for the separators could be heavy paper, Mylar-D, or maybe Glassine. None of these materials would qualify as a chemical barrier, but would provide resistance to abrasion, and at least some filtration of the chemistry for a while.

Hope that helps.
:thumbsup:

PS: Not much in the books about magnets. Sorry. :shrug:
 

Nikodeumus

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Apr 21, 2015
Messages
935
Location
Comox, BC, Canada
Hi Nik!

Question #1
You are correct about the strength of rare earth magnets potentially causing damage to fragile items. However, the 1/8" cubes are small enough that they can be separated easily by sliding them apart.

Question #2
The document shown above is a reproduction on new paper, and it is easily replaceable, so the magnets are in direct contact on both sides. However, if this were an original document, I would have included separators of some kind between the magnets and the paper. Possible materials for the separators could be heavy paper, Mylar-D, or maybe Glassine. None of these materials would qualify as a chemical barrier, but would provide resistance to abrasion, and at least some filtration of the chemistry for a while.

Hope that helps.
:thumbsup:

PS: Not much in the books about magnets. Sorry. :shrug:
Thanks once again for sharing your knowledge.
I have been thinking of trying magnet mounts, now I can do so with some better understanding.
 
Direct Contact Overlays DCO Book by James Miller

Norton's

Grumbler in Training
Thread starter
Joined
Jan 31, 2012
Messages
7
Location
Saint Louis, MO
Hi all, thanks for your interest in contributions to this thread.

The document is on a thick vellum and aside from the folded areas, pretty strong, so I'm confident that it will hold up pretty well, under the stress of the magnets. I was considered adding some Mylar (or glassine which is a good idea I hadn't considered) to the side of the magnet in contact with the document as a safety precaution. The magnets (2 sizes on order now) are nickel coated, so corrosion resistant. The document is also pretty large, it's a horizontal, about 24 x 16, so I plan on using several magnets across the top, not sure how many until they arrive.

Also, this document will be displayed in a history museum. My client is the owner of the document, so we're framing it for him, but he's going to loan it to a local history museum, so I'm leaving the issues of UV light & HVAC filtering pollutants to them. We've already pointed out that the ideal storage for this document is in an acid free box. For our part, we'll be putting it between 2 sheets of Optium Museum (with an air gap between). We're having a digital copy made for the client, but we're framing the original for display.
 
Direct Contact Overlays DCO Book by James Miller
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