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Donmar Creations

Invisible hinges

NYJim

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
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Aug 16, 2006
Messages
151
Hello,

I need to float a big vertical Chinese art. Art on paper and paper is almost transparent. What kind of hinges can I use for floating the art so it's not visible thought the paper. If any..?
The size is about 15 wide by 40 inches high

Thank you
 

David Hewitt

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
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Feb 26, 2009
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387
Mulberry paper and paste. the paper is offered in multiple thickness for preferred strength, the thinest paper would be the least transparent.
Magnets is another option. Your item is large, narrow, and thin, maybe a thin strip of paper across the top for reenforcement then the hinges, would help reenforce and aid in transparency problem.
Since it floating, you could mount it on a board say 1" smaller and wrap hinges around to the back, put some small hinges on sides and bottom for support if the art were to be carried sideways or upside down.
 

shayla

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You might already be adept at float-hinging, but just sharing so it's here. Great hinging tips:


Also, I'm guessing that what's meant by 'the least transparent' in post #2, is that the thinnest paper would show through the least.
The thinnest paper is the most transparent of mulberry papers.

Another also: You'll want to make sure that the float backing and hinges match well enough so as not to contrast with one another.
 

Jim Miller

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Hinges and other adhesive attachments on thin, translucent papers are risky. What happens if the paper cockles due to the localized moisture, or if the hinges show through? When I made that mistake, I ended up paying for a conservator to fix it.

A DCO using fine mesh fabric (Crepeline) or acrylic would be non-adhesive, completely reversible, minimally-invasive, and fairly easy to construct.
 

wpfay

Angry Badger
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I agree with Jim on this one.
Any attempt to hinge this is going to add thickness and opacity at the point of contact even if the hinging technique is perfect.
Accepting that limitation, the idea of alternate no-attachment techniques becomes an easier sell.
I like the magnets and have used them with particularly fragile art with great results.
 
Donmar Creations

Joe B

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What Jim said and Wally said but if you do hinge it... Chinese art paper is generally thin rice paper and unless you use a very thin mulberry hinge you will be able to see it. One thing for sure, never use Methyl Cellulose to hinge this type of art because Methyl Cellulose is to wet and will for sure cockle the art at the hinge location. I do frame a lot of original Asian Art and I use rice paste and hand torn 12g mulberry hinges. I apply the paste to the hinge and let it start drying before applying the hinge to the art. When the paste turns a little dull looking instead of shiny it is generally dry enough, you do not want it so dry that it won't stick. Apply the hinge and use blotter paper to pull the rest of the excess moisture out of the hinge and then cover the hinge with a dry blotter paper, a reemay or holly tex piece, a flat piece of acrylic and then 2 paper weights per hinge. I leave it set overnight to be assured that it is dry but that is overkill, if you wait an hour the hinge will more than likely be dry enough. I don't generally have an issue with cockleing but then again, very thin rice paper is hard to hide the hinge or to keep it flat and to not cockle. Like Jim say, it can be a mistake especially if you haven't done it before, don't try it on a customer's piece of art without first having plenty of practice.
 

shayla

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I agree with Jim on this one.
Any attempt to hinge this is going to add thickness and opacity at the point of contact even if the hinging technique is perfect.
Accepting that limitation, the idea of alternate no-attachment techniques becomes an easier sell.
I like the magnets and have used them with particularly fragile art with great results.
I love the idea of magnets, but always wondered about the fade circle that will surely develop from where they are.
Do your customers who choose magnets not mind this happening? And what do you glue the back magnet with?
 

bruce papier

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Not to sound like a parrot, but the non-adhesive solutions are probably the best. If not that, try the lightest mulberry paper you can find with a 7 to 1 mix of 91% rubbing alcohol and Klucel G.
 

framah

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If the art is hung where it is humid, will the magnets eventually rust enough to stain the paper?
Was there any thought about that?
 

wpfay

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For all concerns involving the use of magnets, I suggest this book.
IMG_0133.jpg
 
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Joe B

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If not that, try the lightest mulberry paper you can find with a 7 to 1 mix of 91% rubbing alcohol and Klucel G.
Not knowing a that much about Klucel G. can you explain this product a little. With the rubbing alcohol I believe the evaporation would be quick so there may be a bit less cockle but I would be concerned about the quality and longevity of the adhesive. It would be interesting to try but I do personally believe more in the tried and true natural products like rich or wheat paste. More information would be appreciated.
 

Joe B

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For all concerns involving the use of magnets, I suggest this book.
Wally, can you get that book through the PPFA book store?
 

Greg Fremstad

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Sep 4, 2002
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The art will expand/contract between the magnets depending on the humidity content of the art and backing which may differ. Guaranteed buckling. I've found the best weight for hinging is an infant's cotton sock filled with rice. Can be microwaved to dry the rice to help the hinge dry. Just the right amount of weight. Too much and the moisture will buckle the art under the hinges. You want contact - not pressure.
 
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Jim Miller

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The art will expand/contract between the magnets depending on the humidity content of the art and backing which may differ.
This is important information and framers need to understand how differing or changing internal conditions affect a framing package.

Differences of moisture content during the mounting & framing process could cause problems regardless of the attachment method. Over time, temperature and humidity conditions tend to equalize inside a frame, but even so, any future episodes of rapid or radical changes of ambient temperature and/or humidity could cause serious problems, especially inside a frame that is not properly closed.

A primary benefit of a tightly-closed framing package is that it slows the rate of internal changes of temperature and humidity, and minimizes the expansion/contraction cycles. Further, if the hygroscopic framing materials are all fully-acclimated to normal ambient conditions before and after mounting, and if the frame is properly fitted with glazing, insulating filler/backing and tight dustcover, and if it is displayed in climate-controlled conditions, all is well. In that situation, properly-padded/isolated magnetic mounts should be satisfactory. Hinges are somewhat flexible and more forgiving than the hard hold of magnetic mounts. DCO mounting would also be satisfactory.

Unfortunately, most consumers and some framers do not understand the hazards of temperature and humidity changes, especially when extreme, and that lack of understanding can be harmful to the framing. For example, if a frame is exposed to extreme ambient changes during transport or storage - such as when it is taken from a 75-degree-F air-conditioned gallery and placed in the 150-degree-F trunk of a customer's car, and then later taken into the customer's air-conditioned home, tight frame closure and insulating packaging provide significant slowing of expansion & contraction from the radical & rapid environmental changes outside the frame.
 
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Frances M.

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
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Apr 10, 2006
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351
I'm about to do a similar piece - experimenting with Klucel-G and very very thin mulberry paper/tissue to repair a couple of tears. Still have to work with it a bit but no cockling of any paper so far, as alcohol is the solvent.
 

Frances M.

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Joined
Apr 10, 2006
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351
Not to sound like a parrot, but the non-adhesive solutions are probably the best. If not that, try the lightest mulberry paper you can find with a 7 to 1 mix of 91% rubbing alcohol and Klucel G.
I cannot get my hands on 91% Isopropyl and hate to spend a ton of money for 99% Isopropyl alcohol by the gallon online. I worked a bit with the 71% that I can find, in a 5 to 1 solution. Mixed well, making a very thick gel. Experimenting with printer paper, the "hinges" seemed very strong when pulled on (shear?) but it was possible, though not super easy, to peel the hinge.

Not having much more to go on that your very informative posts, does that sound about normal? Does the percentage of alcohol matter that much in the actual strength of the pasted hinge or is just consistency factor? With your 7 to 1 mix, do you get thinner, more spreadable paste?

The project I have is a long narrow oriental painting which is of nothing more than sentimental value to the executive to whom it was given by a Chinese associate and which traveled home in a suitcase. There are some tears and they want it floated and the non-cockling aspect of the Klucel-G sounds like the perfect thing.
 

Joe B

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Another question about Klucel G is, will the hinges be easy to remove without damage to the art? There have been times when I have had to remove hinges and with rice paste of wheat paste that is not to much of a problem except when the hinge is installed on real spongy paper.
 

David Hewitt

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
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I'm guessing that what's meant by 'the least transparent' in post #2, is that the thinnest paper would show through the least.
The thinnest paper is the most transparent of mulberry papers.
Thanks Shayla for pointing out my error, I did mean most transparent, not least.
 
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wvframer

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Hugh Phibbs has written about Klucel G. There is an earlier thread (last year) on it here:

I have not had an opportunity to experiment with it, but it was on my shortlist before I had to shut down.

I think that if you search out Isopropyl alcohol, you can find out the differences in the alcohol content. I think it is likely that the amount of liquid that is not alcohol would be water and that might be in issue in some cases since the point of the Klucel G is to reduce the amount of moisture.

I can readily find 91% alcohol at my local drug store at a few dollars a quart.

One question in my mind is what is denatured alcohol denatured with? That should be nearly 99% alcohol and readily available at hardware stores. I use it in working with finishes and I think the only non-alcohol ingredient is something to make it unpalatable for drinking.
 

bruce papier

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
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Apr 25, 2011
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I don't have any info on using less than 91% because, up until the corona virus, it was so easy to find I never had to experiment with anything different. What I do know is a 7 to 1 mixture gives me a spreadable gel that hasn't cause cockling on any hinge / paper combination I've tried it on. I stuck a 62 gram mulberry hinge to a piece of Kleenex with no puckers. I wouldn't want to try to separate the two, but I have separated the hinge from normal weight papers using both alcohol and water (Klucel G dissolves with either) and haven't had any problems. I can't say if that would be true of the very light paper we are discussing here.

As far as adhesive strength goes, I think the Klucel G may be a little weaker than starch paste, but I haven't run into an instance where it seemed too weak for the piece I used it on. I will say that I've had a couple pieces where the hinge just didn't stick at all because of the composition of the paper. In those cases, the Klucel G failed right away.
 

Joe B

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As far as adhesive strength goes, I think the Klucel G may be a little weaker than starch paste, but I haven't run into an instance where it seemed too weak for the piece I used it on. I will say that I've had a couple pieces where the hinge just didn't stick at all because of the composition of the paper. In those cases, the Klucel G failed right away.
Thank you, this is the information that I was looking for. I like the idea of alcohol being used because of the fast evaporation. I believe I will pick up some Klucel G just to do my own research.
 
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