help with hinging


Grumbler in Training
Apr 13, 2006
I was wondering if anyone could give some suggestions on hinging. I am floating prints on 365 gsm paper using gummed linen tape with a pass through hinge. I've run into some problems where the hinge can be seen as a raised area through the paper. I use a very minute amount of water applied with a q-tip and wait a few seconds until it soaks into the tape and is matte in appearance. I then apply light pressure using a hardcover book as a weight. Any ideas on what I am doing wrong?

These pieces need to be shipped so I am warry about using paper hinges.
You might want to check out the short video on Nori hinging paste on the FrameTek web pages as well as the article on hinging found under the pull-down menu titled "Free Info". Remember that the hinge must be the weak link and linen is waaaaay too strong to be a weak link. Linen hinges are also hardley reversable without a trip to the a paper conservator. $$$$$ Also important, regardless of what the museum types say, it is always a good idea to have slack (loose) safety hinges at the bottom (and sometimes even the sides on larger or heavier pieces) to keep the primary (top) hinges from going into the "Peel Mode" as the frame is turned sideways or upsidedown. (As in shipping). Don't practice on customers art.
Originally posted by rdanielson:
I am floating prints on 365 gsm paper using gummed linen tape with a pass through hinge.
linen tape is the problem. It is too strong. Torn paper hinges should be used. And yes, you are correct in attaching the hinges after they have dried a bit.
And the linen tape has nice straight sharp edges, that and its thickness is causing the embossing/debossing.

You need a jumbo hinge: Tear the hinges about 2x the length you need. Fold almost in half and apply Nori paste to the shorter part, fold over, blot and let dry. Now you have a double-thick hinge.

Apply to the art with more Nori attaching the tapered end to the work. If applied properly, blotted well and allowed to dry long enough under weight they'll hold with no problems.
Originally posted by rdanielson:

These pieces need to be shipped so I am warry about using paper hinges.
There in lies the problem.

If you use traditional hinging paper odds are you will be getting a phone call from the receiver of the frame package.

The method I have adopted is to use ArtCare Restore cut slightly smaller than the art. Mount the artwork to the board and use a good acrylic tape as pass through hinges. This method will give you a 3/16 in float. Make sure you have the rabbet depth to accommodate the extra layer of board.

Make sure you use the labels for reversing instructions inside the frame package.
Glue with Hugh Phibbs micro dot system along with his perimeter hinges. And not even UPS will be able to dislodge them.
Hinging Hinging.
Anytime moisture is added to paper, the paper expands from the water. The true secret to good hinging is weighting down the hinge while it is drying. (well, one of the secrets) the weight used must be perfectly flat. Scraps of 8 play mat board cut to size have a very flat surface and a weight could set on top of it until the hinge is dry. A book may not apply pressure by itself sufficient to the specific area. (hope that makes sense)Linen tape also has lots of adhesive which can 'fill' the spaces between the paper fibers. (leaving a slight ridge)
Also, there is no getting around the sharp line that linen tape creates.
Feathered, strong paper hinges with hearty rice or wheat starch paste, brushed onto the hinge works well.
Do not hurry the hinging. Apply to the art, blot them with a dry blotter card...put the wieghts on and wait. (could be an hour before they are dry)
Also, my opinion after using micro dot hinges for quit a while, they may not be the best choice for art that will travel if the art is floated.

rdanielson, you are wise to be wary of shipping float-mounted, hinged paper. Float mounting does not provide the support that over-matting does. The art paper can move forward and side-to-side with no restriction other than the hinges. USe plenty of hinges, but make sure the ones on sides and bottom are loose enough to allow expansion & contraction of the paper.

If you use hinge material that is stronger than the art paper, such as linen tape, then impact or side-stresses during handling could cause the art paper to tear away from the hinges. If you use Japanese paper, which is much better for the purpose, then the same sort of stresses could tear away the hinges.

But in any case, a properly-applied hinge probably would not fail by its paste. As Shan Linde (Where in the world have you been all this time?) points out, the micro-dot method is a bit weaker than overall pasting, but that is because less surface area of the papers is pasted. It would still be the paper that fails, not the paste itself.

For hinging practice, I suggest using the cheapest copy-machine paper you can find. It might cockle if you just breathe on it.
Hinging is a very complex and tricky subject and
more can be found, about it at, if you go the the articles index and the preservation supplements.
To begin, using liquid water to activate the glue
on the linen tape makes it hard to control the moisture. Hinges made with cooked starch paste and
Japanese tissue help, since the moisture is contained in the paste and thus, is more controlable. Hand drying the hinges, once they are
applied, with dried blotter paper can also help.
Microdot application of the paste is also useful,
but with thicker papers, lager dots, made with a
nail brush will hold better.

Originally posted by preservator:
...using liquid water to activate ...
You gotta love that!
Originally posted by HB:
</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by preservator:
...using liquid water to activate ...
You gotta love that! </font>[/QUOTE]It's easier to apply than solid water!

Glad I am not the only one to see some humor in that!

Give the guy a
break, you can get frozen (solid)
water and you can get water
vapour. But
What I want to know, and this has been bugging me
some time..... How
come all
Hugh's postings are laid out
I just want to emphasize the use of good appropriately heavy and perfectly flat weights and the time it takes to let your hinges dry...take your time. i like to let them sit overnight if I can. And your hinging paper should not be as heavy as the paper the art is made on. first time here and I love it already!

Once you know the secret, then you will
understand that for some, it is just
easier to post this way.

Personally I find it more conducive to
the same way that I post and type my
e-mails. The constraints of many different
formatted e-mail sites preclude me from
knowing how they will be received, and
therefore it is preferable to format my
typing, instead of the e-mail handling
software to format the appearance for me.

"Liquid" water is also known as "free"
water, as opposed to water inherent in
the mix of the paste, which is "Bound".

Hygroscopic articles such as paper are
highly absorbent to "Free" water, yet
are not as quick to wick up Bound water
because of the chemical or physical bind

Which is the reason for Micro-dot or even
Macro-dot paste patterns as opposed to
the good old "slap some on and press".

And definitely better than the "lick and