Opinions Wanted Noob - Not Noob - Seeks to Mat/Frame from Home as Hobby

maitai11

Grumbler in Training
Joined
Oct 21, 2018
Messages
5
Location
Nevada
Introduction: Hello fellow framers! I signed up on the Framer's Forum, only to find they're in the U.K. So, here I am and this is what I posted as my intro:

Greetings from Northern Nevada,

I look forward to meeting you all. I'm a firefighter/paramedic who just made his second year at the U.S. Navy's TOPGUN fighter pilot training facility in Fallon, NV.

I believe I want to begin matting and framing at home; more on that later.

Besides framing, I like to blow apart vintage American-made pocket watches, overhaul them, and bring them back to life - the greatest small machine of the 20th century. I also like to work on home, car, motorcycle and other projects that deal with mechanical things...I think I see a trend
icon_wink.gif


Ty Wilson is my favorite artist. I have an inscribed print that he dedicated me - my fifth work of his - we've become friends over the years. I used to work at a frame shop on base in Hawaii, but they do not have such a facility here at Naval Air Station Fallon. The new print can be found here: https://tywilson.com/collections/romance-prints/products/untitled-romantic-art-6

Thank you so much! The people who share on these forums are worth their weight in GOLD.

Kind regards,

Maitai

First Post with Questions: Again, here's what I initially posted on the other site. Thanks in advance ;)

Hi Everyone!

Second post here, please see my intro here: https://theframersforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=34&t=16847.

I used to have a DIY facility to work at, but alas, no more. I'm ready (and, quite frankly, I need to start) framing stuff from home...who knows, but it will be a hobby for the time being. I'm looking to get started, and good hobbyist equipment is what I'm after...that's where your recommendations could really help
icon_wink.gif


I've completed up through 18" x 24" prints and perhaps slightly larger mat/frame jobs (with the 3" or 4" additional mat, of course.) Ty Wilson is my favorite artist and also a good friend. My fifth print I get to frame by him will be Puppy Love, and you can view it here: https://tywilson.com/collections/romance-prints/products/untitled-romantic-art-6. Each of his other prints have mostly been done in a six-layered black lacquer frame with suede top mat and a quarter-inch reveal red mylar...the guy who showed me the technique was amazing. I will upload a frame/mat/print or two when I get a chance. What I need help with is picking good, reasonable, (not junk) equipment that will get me started...I have money to spend where it's necessary and prudent. Here's a little more information about my particular situation:

My Personal Resources
- I have matted and framed enough to do it myself...with a few "tools" like mat calculators, etc. - I know these are online. It's been awhile, but I'll be going veryslowly...
- I happen to have a little high-functioning autism, so I know **exactly** what I want when it comes to aesthetics...but I'm open to ideas, whether I use them, or not. However, when it comes to equipment, I'm all ears and will gladly accept any recommendation...thanks in advance
icon_wink.gif

- Compound miter saw, and the ability to safely use it.
- Drills/drivers
- An air upholstery stapler that MIGHT BE ABLE to be used...with different staples...for smaller work. I could also buy a new air tool to get the job done...just not sure what...
- An air compressor
- The makings of framing/matting such as double-sided tape, blades, rulers (although the mat cutters have those, I'm aware,) etc. Whatever I don't have that's small, I can pick up in town or online.

What I Think I Need
- If possible, a sturdy FOLDABLE/storable work surface/table. I currently only have a 6' long table, but it's not the correct height.
- A GOOD mat cutter
- 90-degree miter clamp so I can join/glue/staple or hammer joint fasteners into the corners of frames...I think I would need one that clamps onto the side of whatever table I use...I actually have a workbench that might be OK for assembling frames.

Additional Resources Available to Me
- I met a nice lady inside an "everything" store - they do mailing, FEDEX/UPS, property management, and PICTURE FRAMING, too. I can either get my materials from them, in Reno, or online. One thing I MAY ask is to work out some sort of per-use fee for using their vacuum press...I think they just might be open to the idea. If they're not, t-hinging will most-likely be the way I mount, going forward.
- Locally available frames (limited.) I'll buy by the foot and cut to my own standards
- Locally available mats (limited.) I'll buy full sheets of acid-free mat board/foam board, etc.

What's Not on the Table, So-To-Speak
- For now, I'm just looking to get square/rectangular stuff done. No CNC machines or anything fancy like that YET. If I get bit by the bug, who knows? I've never done a shadow box, but I may at some point.

Ladies and gentlemen, I believe that's enough to get started. But I must say up front that I am beyond thankful for whatever advice, request for more info, and/or help folks like you (who share on these forums) give to people like me - who are just getting started and in need of this kind of assistance.

I look forward to communicating, and I'll try to dig up some photos of previous work I've done.

Many, many thanks to you all,

Maitai
 

maitai11

Grumbler in Training
Thread starter
Joined
Oct 21, 2018
Messages
5
Location
Nevada
Prospero,

I certainly hope so! This should be a little more agreeable than the U.K. if for no other reason that sourcing equipment will be in dollars, instead of pounds ;)
 

framah

PFG, Picture Framing God
Joined
Mar 15, 2001
Messages
9,840
Location
Degobah
Business
death star driver
May i suggest finding and taking a framing class?
I think you will learn alot of the little things you need to do this job the best you can as well as sources of pretty much everything you need.

You should also consider asking to open a frame shop on your base seeing as how they don't have one now. You'd be an instant hit!!

Paul Cascio on here gives classes all the time all over the place. Look him up and see what he has going in your area.
 

Keith L Hewitt

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Forum Donor
Joined
May 26, 2006
Messages
1,376
Location
Bollington England
Business
Mfg & exporting mat boards
As a Brit, who read your post on our Framers Forum, am I allowed to suggest you come to Las Vegas end of Jan
And experience the worlds best picture framing show
Held at Paris Hotel - see the ad.
https://s19.a2zinc.net/clients/ezhobbypub/wcaf19/public/enter.aspx
And you are lucky - its only a 1 hour flight from Fallon to LAS.

For me its a about 16 hours and 2 flights, but still worth it
 

maitai11

Grumbler in Training
Thread starter
Joined
Oct 21, 2018
Messages
5
Location
Nevada
Hi Framah ;)

Do I detect a fellow New Englander?

Already taken a class and done several projects...I'm really looking for the equipment side of the house (primarily a work surface and mat cutter. I was browsing one site and they had something like 20 different models! I'm hoping to draw off of the wide breadth of experienced framers to kind of narrow it down :)

Asking to open up a frame shop on base is a really interesting idea! I may just have to pursue that suggestion - we never know until we ask. I would not be able to personally staff it myself, because I work 72 hours total per week as a firefighter, and I find my days off extremely valuable time-wise. Gotta leave sometime, right??? :)

I'll keep Paul Cascio in mind and look him up. Thanks for the tip.

I really appreciate your input!

Maitai
 

maitai11

Grumbler in Training
Thread starter
Joined
Oct 21, 2018
Messages
5
Location
Nevada
Keith,

Thank you for the invite - I appreciate you taking the time to read my post across the pond, so to speak - and WOW, you're coming all that way to Vegas! Unfortunately, our vacation time is planned out way in advance, so I will not be able to attend. It might be a bit advanced for what I'm trying to accomplish here, which is to buy the equipment I mentioned in the original post - to narrow it down and decide on something decent that won't be junk - or have gold inlay, either ;)

Enjoy Vegas, Keith! Many thanks for chiming in.

Best regards,

Maitai
 

Prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jul 16, 2007
Messages
19,583
Location
The Grand Duchy of Lincolnyshire
As for equipment, it's mostly a case of "Buy cheap and you buy twice". There is a huge difference between
professional kit and hobby stuff. Pro equipment is built to last, so looking around for used equipment is an idea.
I bought a C&H matcutter back in the '80s and it's still giving good service. As is my chopper and underpinner. :D

Remember, you are still paying the full price for materials and using inferior equipment will result in a lot of
spoiled matboard/moulding. o_O
 

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Forum Donor
Joined
Jun 30, 1999
Messages
19,518
Location
Cincinnati, OH
Welcome to the Grumble. I agree with Prospero's advice. Check on the Commercial forum here, as good used equipment is posted frequently. There are also a couple of companies that buy and sell used framing equipment.
As for work surface, you pretty much have to build that yourself. If you make your tabletop high enough for comfortable working, you should have space underneath to store matboards vertically, resting on their long sides. For many of us, space is at a premium, and I have built my fixtures to serve multiple purposes. If you use the Grumble's search function, you should find discussions of shop fixtures and workspaces.
:cool: Rick
 

Grey Owl

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Joined
Nov 2, 2007
Messages
2,587
Location
Lakewood, CO
As a Brit, who read your post on our Framers Forum, am I allowed to suggest you come to Las Vegas end of Jan
And experience the worlds best picture framing show
Held at Paris Hotel - see the ad.
https://s19.a2zinc.net/clients/ezhobbypub/wcaf19/public/enter.aspx
And you are lucky - its only a 1 hour flight from Fallon to LAS.

For me its a about 16 hours and 2 flights, but still worth it
Great that you will be coming this year. Looking forward to seeing you again, young mat.
 

alacrity8

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Forum Donor
Joined
Sep 22, 2009
Messages
1,454
Location
Albany, NY
I'd probably suggest used professional equipment.
As mentioned above, the Commercial Forum has listings.
I've personally used Skyline Pictures at http://www.skylinepictures.com/Used_Framing_Equipment.htm and https://aimequipmentcompany.com/
Some of the Picture Frame Suppliers will work with home based framers, and some will not.
Some of the Picture Frame Suppliers make weekly deliveries, while others will ship.
If you can find one that will work with you, and makes deliveries to your are, that will save you quite a bit.
I'm not sure who you might talk to in your part of the country.
Some Moulding Suppliers only sell moulding, while others sell supplies and equipment.
There are a few companies that sell only smaller supplies from screws up to clamps. 888 Manufacturing at https://888mfgcorp.com/ comes to mind, as well as United Manucturing, which is now a division of Decor Moulding, at https://www.unitedmfrs.com/
For Corner Clamps, We've gotten some from 888 Mfg as well as at a local salvage yard.

Brian
 

Dave

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Joined
Jun 11, 2004
Messages
13,355
Location
Edwardsburg, MI
You might also consider ordering chops instead of length until you find a really good price on a saw you want. Less room, less waste and less shipping cost if you can't get delivery from a local vendor. You pay a bit more for chops, but it might be a better solution at your beginning volume.
 

maitai11

Grumbler in Training
Thread starter
Joined
Oct 21, 2018
Messages
5
Location
Nevada
Hi Everyone!

First of all, I'm so sorry to not have replied sooner...it's been one hellacious week, so I just wanted to get that right out there.

While I am not going to jump right into framing immediately, all of this information you've given me will be an asset. The concomitant effect will absolutely move me in the right direction - and I have all of you to thank. Oh, and just FYI, I have a great Craftsman electric compound mitre saw that I've owned for at least a decade, and I am very happy with the way it cuts - not to mention the inclusion of the laser line. It chops - and I mean accurately - every single time.

To give you a better idea of what projects I have presently - or coming down the pike - are: A recently rebuilt (paint job and finish) motorcycle project; next, I'll be swapping out the interior (not seat covers) to leather instead of cloth in my 2014 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup. I have custom-cut colored/designed/even logo'd leather upholstery - with heated seats - to make the truck that much better ;) Additionally, I'm starting up working with my vintage pocket watch overhaul hobby, and I am also looking into 3D printing. OH, and I work full-time 72 hours per week at my firefighter/paramedic job ;) Now, one might say there isn't enough time, but there actually is because off how the shifts are scheduled. Essentially, I get four days out of seven off per week. Most times, I'm off 72 hours straight - so there IS time to get my fingers into all these different pies, and when I'm done with the motorcycle (minor finishing stuff) and pickup truck jobs, I'll have time to do framing, watchmaking, and 3D printing as I like.

Again, thanks to all the golden angels who helped by submitting their opinions on my request.

Kind regards,

Maitai
 
Top