Glazing source sought


MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Aug 10, 2005
Ok, so in the full realization that I'm likely to ruffle some feathers just for asking, I'm going to ask anyway. :-/

Does anyone know of the place where I can get OP-3 conservation acrylic in pre-cuts, size 22x28 in particular? I need too many of these to pay full freight retail on them (when you can even find them).

I apologize in advance for making anyone in the biz feel threatened in any way. I'm just trying to get along the same as anyone.

If you can't find a framing vendor, check "plastic fabricators" for wholesale plastic suppliers in the yellow pages. I have had a bit of luck doing that.
I don't see why you couldn't go to a plastics place and ask for a quantity discount. Lots of times stores will 'do a deal' if you are willing to commit to a large quantity of the same size. Of course, then you have to buy a bunch at the same time...
Hey Mike, do you think we could have a poll to find out how many Grumblers feel "threatened" by TheDoctah's inquiry?

Unless things are terribly slow in New Hampshire, I can't imagine framers are lining up for a chance to cut OP-3 to size. It cuts beautifully on a Fletcher 3000, but those 4'x8' sheets are pretty clumsy.

Our local plastics dealer carries OP-3 - even in the thicker versions we sometimes use for oversize projects. It's not just for framers any more (though I really don't know what else they use it for.)
I believe both Don Mar and Armel deliver to NH.

If you're doing that much art and framing, get a tax id # and buy wholesale from one of the framing vendors. (Larson won't do business with you, but others will.)

Our sponser United will ship acrylic to you in most standard sized. (I didn't look up that size specifically, but it wouldn't hurt to ask.)

Just get a company tax id.
Doctuh, DonMar sells pre-cut plexi in those sizes. And they deliver to NH. Only hitch you have to have a business store front and a sales tax number.

Cyro is in Sanford ME, where are you in NH? Sanford is just 10 miles from Rochester NH. If you don't want to pay for shipping then go pick it up yourself.
I don't know what Cyro's "requirements" are for selling to private people, I get their product through DonMar. But I would think if you wanted to buy direct from Cyro you could just call them yourself.
Yeah, what Bob and Cliff said.

Don Mar has a web site but you need an account number to log in. Try calling 800 556-7428, ext 196 and leave a voice mail for David Campion. He may be able to help.

I can’t seem to find Armel’s number, but they will call me this afternoon asking me for an order. If I don’t have customers when they call (and if I don’t forget) I’ll ask them for a quote. BTW, what quantities are you looking for?
I did come across Don Mar on my own, but lacking an account number I didn't get very far.

I'd be surprised if Cyro would sell direct to a consumer, and even if they did they'd probably sell full sheets which I have no facility to handle.

Bill- what's your store-front? I'm in Hudson.

As for quantities, I'm looking for something like a half-dozen at a time, though I'm flexible on this point. I did think about buying a full sheet and having it cut to 6 22x28 and 3 11x14, but I'm not sure where to go to get such work done around here.

Ron- ok, so I'm a little sensitive on the stepping on toes bit. :^/

thanks everyone for the helpful suggestions
No, not to pay freight on. :) To pay "full freight retail", i.e. full retail price. Of course I'm willing to pay shipping if I can find a distributor that sells direct.

For only one sheet at a time, cut up, go to your local glass retailer (the can usually get Cyro products). Pay him to cut it or cut it yourself, if you're too cheap. Otherwise rent a building, get a license, cutting equipment and buy real wholesale quantities.

Pat :D
The internet is a wonderous place, isn't it? I'm trying to think about how often I would give up my sources to someone in my gallery wanting to buy one full sheet of acrylic cut up into easy to handle pieces.

I freely admit, I give up too much info myself

I agree with Pat, if you're too cheap to pay retail ...........

I have a feeling that your local framer gave you a price you thought was too high so you decided to do it on your own. I hope that while doing your research you are finding that our prices cover our costs of doing business. I can only hope for your sake that after your local framer gave you the price you didn't slam the door when you grabbed your 6 "posters" off the design counter! You'd be surprised how many customers come back after "storming out". They like you, find out that the prices charged by the framer aren't as crazy as you thought. After all we had to pay for the plexi cutter, mat cutter, ......

Go back and get the job done by the framer, or ask the framer if they will sell you the "parts" for the job! I do sell some customers frames that are chopped, with plexi or glass, and full sheets of mat for them to cut on their own and put together themselves. I also have put artwork into customers frames and reused the scratched up glass that came with the frames. I don't like it, but I do it.

Framing, expensive yes, but not outrageously so once you figure out ALL the costs involved. Now go back to the framer, if the price is too high, or they won't "work with you", then go to another framer. Just like with auto shops and doctors, get a second opinion if you don't like the price quoted to you.

Don't take offense but may I suggest thet you become an informed consumer not be an ignorant one!

I'm writing this in a more tongue in cheek and freindly manner than text alone can portray because I am assuming that if you stepped into our hornet's nest and started stirring your stick around that you would be willing to get stung a little! We charge a lot because being in business we have learned that we need to, not because we necessarily want to.
Don't worry, Bob. I'd read enough in a few topics to know what I was getting myself into, and if I didn't have a thick enough skin to take the inevitable barbs tossed my way I wouldn't have registered in the first place.

And I'm working on becoming an informed consumer, believe me. Why do you think I'm here? :)

I haven't taken my prints to a custom framer, for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is I enjoy doing it myself. Additionally, if I do it myself I can afford to use better materials and still save money. (Naturally I don't have to pay myself for my own time, which would get expensive.) Presumably there will come a time when volume dictates that I not do all my own framing. I hope to have established a relationship with a local framer by then. In the meantime, I'm happy to do my own.

And as far as being "too cheap" goes, who among you doesn't try to get the best deals on the best quality raw materials? Or do you just buy from the first available place, regardless of price? Does that make you "cheap", or does that make you a good business person?
I won't fault you for being frugal, but I might challenge the claim that your are a business least in our realm.
As far as I can see you are a hobbiest and there are companies that sell to hobbiests at prices well below what you would expect to pay in a retail establishment.
I can think of a couple of suppliers that will sell you cut pieces of OP-3 through their catalogs or at their web site. These companies specialize in archival products for framers and conservators and are fairly easily located on the Internet. They deal with both wholesale and retail clients.

Otherwise you will have to do your dealings with a framer, 'cause most distributors won't deal with an unlicensed home-based hobbiest. Not trying to be mean-spirtied here, just stating fact.
You are an Engineer!~ The phone book the answers are all right there!~ Or you can send me a certified check for $150 and I will send you a list of some suppliers!~ I think you will find that after you pay shipping you are only marginally saving what you might pay for it locally in such small quanities!~ Just call it a consultation fee!~ Deduct it from your taxes!~

Spending a dollar to save $.20 I have grown and don't do that any more!~ LOL

Good luck!~
Bill- what's your store-front? I'm in Hudson.
No foolin'? I'm on Route 102 in Litchfield. Call me at 883-9285. I haven't heard from Armel today, but I just called Don Mar for a quote for 10-22 x 28 sheets of OP3.
6 22x28s is to large a quantity to pay "full freight retail"?

Heck, that's only 30 sq ft. If I don't hit my 200' mark every month, I loose my 15% discount.

So Doctarh? What kind of discount did you expect?

Bill Henry, let us know if he ever shows up?
All six of your 22 X 28 can be cut from one sheet of 48 x 96 material. That really isn't a large order. What do you think is a good price? Just curious.
re: Baer

>If I don't hit my 200' mark every month, I loose my 15% discount.

So, Baer, is that a 15% discount on full retail, or a 15% discount off the wholesale price? ;)

re: Lois

Well, $39 + shipping strikes me as rather costly; making it the most expensive single component of the finished artwork. I'd be looking to pay on the order of half that price.
Is that $39 per piece of for all 6?? We pay +$100 for a full sheet of OP3 - and it's gone up quite a bit over the last 12 months. I hope you're not looking for all 6 for $39+ shipping.

When using acrylic it's NOT uncommon for it to be the most expensive component of a framed piece - but QUALITY comes at a PRICE after all.

No, Tony, that was the per piece price, putting the total cost at ~$240 for the 6 pieces. I'm frugal, not unreasonable.

I would say that having 6 pieces cut to size at the price you are stating is a very good price for a hobbyist with no purchase histore with a supplier. Cut to size prices are always higher.....even for professional framers. I doubt that anyone can or will match that price. Just wait a week and lets see what the price will be as the price of oil keeps on going.

You stated that "I'm frugal, not unreasonable"......

I think you have two words transposed in your request!
The equivilant of $39 each sounds like a price I might consider if there was to be a suitable volume and I passed the full sheets along to you to cut yourself. However, you're wanting to buy from a distributor, not a store. If you do find a distributor to sell to you in the low quantity that you want and also cut the materials for you that distributor has to know that you'll be returning any piece you think has a defect in it. If you buy wholesale full sheets and cut the material yourself you have to cut around any imperfections - there goes your perfect yield. If you actually find someone to agree to your terms I'd bet they lose money on the proposition once it's said and done.
Some distributors sell a minimum of five 4'x8' sheets of OP-3. Then they might deliver it in the middle of the night and lean it against your front door.

That's why they're called distributors instead of retailers.
Bill Henry, let us know if he ever shows up?
Yes, Baer, he stopped by last evening. We reached an equitable accommodation. Doctah seems like a reasonable guy – for an engineer.
Originally posted by TheDoctah:
Well, $39 + shipping strikes me as rather costly; making it the most expensive single component of the finished artwork.
Simple more expensive frames.

$39.00 sounds like a pretty good price to me for pre-cut 22x28 OP-3. Works out to $9.11/SF which is well below retail.
Originally posted by Bill Henry:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Bill Henry, let us know if he ever shows up?
Doctah seems like a reasonable guy – for an engineer. </font>[/QUOTE]

So it's the French revolution.... There is a preist, a teacher, and an engineer waiting to be shaved by the guilliotine.

The preist turns down a hood and lays down face up so he can see where he is going.
The blade races down and stops short by about 3 feet.
The powers that be decide that it is devine intervetion and release the preist.

The teacher, being a good student repeats the preists performance with the same results. The blade stops short and of coarse, is released.

The engineer, who has only been paying half attention lays down on his back and looks up along the ways...... and just before the headsman pulls the lever... he cries out, "WAIT, I think I see the problem."