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Donmar Creations

Large Horizontal Frame Job

Stephen Enggass

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Joined
Aug 12, 2019
Messages
165
Hey all, I have a larger, 49” x 25”, horizontal floater frame. Typically I put the hanging wire attach points just shy of 1/3 down the vertical dimension. In this case I was planning on putting wire attach points at 8” from top. Is this the right approach? How much slack in wire for something of this size as well as being horizontal. Thanks.
 

Greg Fremstad

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Sep 4, 2002
Messages
911
Hang it on two hooks about 44" apart with the wire slack enough to go almost straight up from the anchor points on the frame. This will put the least amount of stress on both the frame and the wire. You can level it by moving the frame left or right and it it will stay that way.
 

tedh

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Nov 7, 2005
Messages
11,370
I’d recommend no wire on something this big. I would use two D-rings straight up on the sides, with a printed warning and a set of instructions on the back. The warning says: Do not use wire on this artwork, and the instructions tell how to install the wall hooks, which I provide.

Next time you’re in Michael’s, take a look at their jersey boxes. D-rings straight up with no wire. But, no warning, and no instructions. Customers buy them, install wire, hang them, and the D-rings pull out of the MDF frame, causing the box to fall and break, and sending them to me for a new frame.
 

neilframer

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
7,960
I’d recommend no wire on something this big. I would use two D-rings straight up on the sides, with a printed warning and a set of instructions on the back. The warning says: Do not use wire on this artwork, and the instructions tell how to install the wall hooks, which I provide.

Next time you’re in Michael’s, take a look at their jersey boxes. D-rings straight up with no wire. But, no warning, and no instructions. Customers buy them, install wire, hang them, and the D-rings pull out of the MDF frame, causing the box to fall and break, and sending them to me for a new frame.
I agree with this 100% and I do the same thing.
Wall buddies could also be used and the added plus with d rings and wall buddies is that the picture will always be level on the wall and there is no extra strain on the weight of the frame pulling the vertical legs sideways.

That said, it's amazing how many frames we get for repair where someone has strung a wire between the 2 vertical d- rings even when there is a label on the back saying "don't do this"....:shrug:
This is especially true with poly frames, d-rings and no wire.
Often people are intimidated about having to use a level if they do the hanging themselves so they try to cheat and put a wire on.
 
Last edited:

tedh

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Nov 7, 2005
Messages
11,370
Geez Neil, I forgot the Wall Buddies. Getting rusty, what with not having framed anything in over a month.
 
Donmar Creations

Larry Peterson

PFG, Picture Framing God
Resource Provider
Joined
Apr 8, 2003
Messages
8,276
I vote for Wall Buddies also
 

shayla

WOW Framer
Joined
Apr 5, 2008
Messages
31,198
And remember that if you ever use screws deeper than the float frame back, they need to be far enough in not to show from the front. Kind of goes without saying, but worth a mention.
 

neilframer

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
7,960
Geez Neil, I forgot the Wall Buddies. Getting rusty, what with not having framed anything in over a month.
I'm still sneaking into work these days...o_O
We are about ready to re-open with safeguards.

The good things about wall buddies is that the frame will never have to be straightened on the wall once it's leveled and hung and the wall buddies also reinforce the corners by tying the top of the frame to the sides as a corner brace.

As far as screws showing from the front, depending on what the floater reveal is, I always try to position any screws in the hangers with a floater so they are away from the reveal and behind the canvas so they will never show no matter how long the screws are.
(unless the screws are so long they go thru the front of the canvas...:shutup:...Don't do that...:icon9:)

I just measure from the outside of the floater and make sure the screws are well behind the canvas stretcher.
 
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wvframer

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Oct 9, 2007
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1,515
I have learned:
1. Customers will ignore even 6-inch letters telling them not to use wire.
2. And would rather see a teepee of wire above the frame than put a second nail/screw in the wall.

PS: and they will complain constantly that it won't hang straight. I think of Wallbuddies as being customer-proof. (kind of like those child-proof caps).
 

alacrity8

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Sep 22, 2009
Messages
732
As most customers have a hard time with D-Rings only, I would wire a frame that is 49" x 25"
I would likely add a vertical support (approximately 1x3) in the center to help keep the frame from bowing, and also as an anchor point for wire.
I would make 2 separate wires, one from the center to the left, and another from the center to the right.
This makes it impossible for the customer to hang the piece with one hook, and makes smaller sections of wire to limit the sag.

On wider pieces, I will add 2 vertical supports, and wire from them to the sides, but not to the middle.
I will also do this for wide Gallery Wraps (using the, hopefully, pre-existing vertical support/s)

Brian
 
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David Waldmann

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As most customers have a hard time with D-Rings only, I would wire a frame that is 49" x 25"
I would likely add a vertical support (approximately 1x3) in the center to help keep the frame from bowing, and also as an anchor point for wire.
I would make 2 separate wires, one from the center to the left, and another from the center to the right.
This makes it impossible for the customer to hang the piece with one hook, and makes smaller sections of wire to limit the sag.

On wider pieces, I will add 2 vertical supports, and wire from them to the sides, but not to the middle.
I will also do this for wide Gallery Wraps (using the, hopefully, pre-existing vertical support/s)

Brian
Interesting concept.

I would still go with wall buddies though, if the customer is installing it.
 

CHolt

Grumbler
Joined
Nov 20, 2012
Messages
37
The main reason to avoid hanging frames on tight wires is because the force exerted inwards on the sides can cause the top and bottom rails to bow. If that happens it looks like the work is defective and can potentially pop the miters. Wall buddies are the best solution for the problem if you are not hanging the piece by yourself.

I had a practice of wrapping the art with a cardboard sheet to protect the front. If it was going to hang from Wall Buddies I would poke a hole with my awl through the top corners of the cardboard corresponding to where the Wall Buddy hooks should be placed on the wall. When I unwrapped the frame at the counter I could show the customer how to hold the cardboard template against the wall and make a pencil mark on the wall where the hooks should go.
 

DVieau2

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Oct 26, 2004
Messages
8,994
I had an unhappy customer experience with wall buddies.
The brackets were mounted fine.
The hooks were in the correct place.
As the customer was sliding the art down on the hooks the bracket made a tear in the wall paper. Lucky it was hidden behind the art.
Those hooks aren't the greatest for catching the saw tooth edge on the first or second time.
I've still use wall buddies occasionally but only when I'm doing the installation. Much prefer z bar if I'm doing the work.
 

Ylva

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Never thought of that but can see how that happens. I don’t use wall buddies much, but will advise customer to be careful to avoid scratching wall or tearing wall paper
 

framah

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Mar 15, 2001
Messages
8,694
But, Ylva.. you shouldn't HAVE to advise the customer about that.
If something can go wrong, we can be pretty assured the customer will figure out how to do it wrong.

I agree with DVieau2, Z bars are MUCH better as well as spreading the weight load out over a larger area of both the wall and the frame.

Wires, single point in the wall
D rings, 2 points in the wall
Wall buddies, also 2 points in the wall

Z bars, screws every 2 to 4 " along the length of both the wall and the frame.
Along the 49" length of the frame, one can hit 2 wall studs with screws. whereas none of the other choices assure that you will hit a stud.
For large, heavy frames, this is very important.
 
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neilframer

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Jan 27, 2010
Messages
7,960
I use Z bar cleats often.
We also use wooden cleats that we make for dibond and plexi mounts with strainers.
In the case of the OP, he is hanging a 25" x 49" horizontal floater.
No glass, most likely a canvas, not much weight so I wouldn't have a problem with a 2 point hanging system in that case.
With wall buddies you can use the supplied hooks or you can use 2 screws with anchors.
 

Larry Peterson

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Apr 8, 2003
Messages
8,276
Along the 49" length of the frame, one can hit 2 wall studs with screws. whereas none of the other choices assure that you will hit a stud.
Except in ancient houses like mine with thick plaster walls where it is darn near impossible to find a stud by any of the usual methods. Stud finders are worthless here. Since 16" OC didn't exist back in the day, the distance between studs is any ones guess. The only way I know is drilling holes along the wall and trying to discern between lath and studs. Not a good idea in ancient plaster.
 

alacrity8

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Joined
Sep 22, 2009
Messages
732
But, Ylva.. you shouldn't HAVE to advise the customer about that.
If something can go wrong, we can be pretty assured the customer will figure out how to do it wrong.

I agree with DVieau2, Z bars are MUCH better as well as spreading the weight load out over a larger area of both the wall and the frame.

Wires, single point in the wall
D rings, 2 points in the wall
Wall buddies, also 2 points in the wall

Z bars, screws every 2 to 4 " along the length of both the wall and the frame.
Along the 49" length of the frame, one can hit 2 wall studs with screws. whereas none of the other choices assure that you will hit a stud.
For large, heavy frames, this is very important.
We always advise customers to use 2 hooks on wire, so if they listen, 2 points on the wall.

A few years ago, I had a customer come in to learn how to hang a picture.
He claimed to be a science professor.
I showed him step by step how to measure where he wanted the picture, and install hooks in the wall.
He cam,e back a few days later to complain about me not being clear enough.
He claims to have tried to hammer the hook into the wall through the framed art.
Shattered the glass, obviously.
Very weird interactions.

Brian
 

Ylva

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:faintthud:Customers can be a bit clueless. I try to prevent as much potential damage as I can. Same as selling museum glass, I always point out, that yes, there will be some reflection, there is glass in it after all.

:faintthud:
 

Larry Peterson

PFG, Picture Framing God
Resource Provider
Joined
Apr 8, 2003
Messages
8,276
We always advise customers to use 2 hooks on wire, so if they listen, 2 points on the wall.

A few years ago, I had a customer come in to learn how to hang a picture.
He claimed to be a science professor.
I showed him step by step how to measure where he wanted the picture, and install hooks in the wall.
He cam,e back a few days later to complain about me not being clear enough.
He claims to have tried to hammer the hook into the wall through the framed art.
Shattered the glass, obviously.
Very weird interactions.

Brian
He didn't happen to go to school here?

 
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