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Framer to Framer


PFG, Picture Framing God
Nov 21, 2005
Carson City, Nevada
Theoretical question here, well, maybe not so theoretical, maybe just curious: If a fellow framer in the same town as you came to you and said her/his circle mat cutter is on the blink and needed ten circle mats cut, 18" on the outside, 15" circle, and she/he provided the matboard and didn't need them for a week or so, and you had a CMC and were a "FFranchise" frame shop and she/he was a small-business, one man/woman operation, and you had told her/him several times "if you ever need any help don't hesitate to ask", how would you charge him/her to cut them? Would $4 each sound fair to you? Just curious. :confused: Thanks.
If you do multi and charge for cutting a second oval what is you price for the second oval? That's what I would charge. They have to understand that they will pay something. Our software is set for $5 for each extra opening we cut.
We used to have a reciprocal arrangement with another frame shop in the area of wholesale cost plus 20% for materials e.g. mat board.

Occasionally, since she didn’t have an oval mat cutter, I would cut openings for her for $3.00 a pop.

Yeah, keep cordial relations with your competitor! Four bucks seems reasonable to me.
Psssst...I'm the she who needs to fix her oval mat cutter.....not the FF with the CMC....
Originally posted by Val:
Psssst...I'm the she who needs to fix her oval mat cutter.....not the FF with the CMC....
A fair price will always be good for both buyer and seller.
Thanks everyone. I think I'll just get off my lazy new you-know-what and fix my oval cutter. I was hoping this thread would motivate me to do that. It's one of those "how-cheap-can-you-do-these-10-frames" jobs that I dumbly bid too low, so it's a low profit margin to begin with. But a low profit margin is better than NO profit margin, right?? (see 2 other threads about that! A-hem!)

I need to get it up and running again anyway, but have had a hard time figuring out what's wrong with it....I inherited it "not working right". So...who here says this?...I need to "Just git-er done!!"
Four bucks each sounds in reason to me.

I have some Friends that are framers that I wouldn't charge them a dime. Then there are others around here I wouldn't cut anything for them at any price.

I would think that you could get 2 18" diameter mats per sheet. If so I would only charge 4 or 5 bucks per sheet, not per mat.
Not knowing anything about the CMC's, and how they handle full sheets, I ordered and would provide 40x60 matbd so I could get more per sheet at a better cost for me.

I'm with Jerry that if it were me with the CMC I probably wouldn't charge anything just for the cuts, to a fellow framer. There aren't many of us in this town, only one other that's privately owned, in fact.

I know, I know....but I can't afford a CMC right now!! Just gotta fix my oval cutter.
Knowing a little bit about CMC ownership goes a long way to understanding just how to approach them.

1) Pre-blank your boards [18x18 square]

That way the cutter doesn't have to burn blade cutting, as well as if it's leased... they get charged by the "corners" [every time the machine inserts the blade into a mat.

Circle mat = 1 corner/insert
square outside = 4 corners/inserts.

10 corners vs. 50 corners... and a lot of waste.

The four dollars is for the corner charge [or not], investment, time, they have it and you dont, and you are obviously not that close a friend.

We now cut things for another couple of framers because we can.

One mat... 5 minutes... come on, it was a good excuse to smooze....
ten mats... now we are talking some time out of my day... $40 sounds like you sort of covered my shop time.
Thanks. I also felt it was fair, and was aware of the per-corner charge, but I forgot about it.

It's been good for me to reflect on what I'd do versus what someone else would do, from a business standpoint, and realize that I can still be a nice guy and charge for my time/investment at the same time. I'm not saving $$ cutting corners by having someone else cutting corners for me! Even if they are circles!

And now I just need to unbury the thing and fix it, so I can sell more ovals instead of it being a dust-collector and me paying someone else to do for me what I could do for myself. Silent Partner in his "Sinking" thread got me thinking about that stuff.

Thanks for the motivation, y'all.