CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
May 27, 2001
Omaha, NE
This may seem like a silly question, but is there a preferred or recommended method to use when splicing a mat?

I avoid splicing mats because I haven't found a way to do it invisibly. If the work is within the 40x60 oversize dimensions, we talk the customer into a color that's availabel that size.

For jobs larger than 40x60, I generally use acrylic or polyfulte with a fabric covering, and float mount it. If an opening is required, foam center board and polyflute both work nicely.
I have spliced large mats occasionally but it isn't the easiest thing to get right. If the dimensions allow it, you can cut a V groove at an angle in the top and bottom rail of the mat to coincide with each other (make it look like the V groove is continued from top to bottom in a straight line.)

I did a couple of suedes and inlaid a strip of contrasting suede (green suede with a brown suede strip) at an angle much as described above.

I haven't had much luck with lapping paper faced mats so the joint doesn't show though. It is very difficult to hide that cut line, much like hiding an overcut, ya know.)

I usually do what Jim suggested and try to find an oversized mat that the customer likes and go from there.

Suedes are a little bit easier to join than paper faced mats if you can't get the customer to consider an oversized mat.

I have done three differnt methods,two of which have already been suggested .I have lapped a normal bevel and a reversed bevel, I have made the intersection look like a v-groove, and I have used decrotive geometric pieces of matting ( matching colors or contrasting colors) to cover the seam .
The most difficult is the opposeing bevel thing ,since it is all but impoosible to not see the seam,(especially by the one doing the matting ot if you tell someone else. When you know it is there your eye goes almost automatically straight to it.
I have spliced segments to form v-grooves in a decrotive pattern( e.g- i ahve added small segments on the bias to form musical scale lines and then cut out notes on these lines to appear like sheet music for a N.O. Jazz and Heritage poster .I have also cut small tiangle shaped segments that covered the seem and then matched them on the non-spliced sides.( this was done for Lion fish drawing that was done on a full sheet of Illustration board).I have also matched the pattern of an African Rafia Cloth and used the segments of the pattern to extend the mat on all sides since the cloth was 3.5 feet wide by 7 feet long.
In my humble opinion the key is to not try to hide the seam but to icorporat eit into the design. Or as My old friend Bill Parie would say "Paint It Red' when you try to hide it it looks like an error ,no matter how good of a job you 've done.
I have concealed a mis-cut on a very involed oriental mat design by bringing the two opposeing bevels together and putting a small dab of glue on a strip of release paper and draged it through the splice ,then covering the splice with another piece of release paper and brunishing the seam and then weighting it until dried.I can still find it every time but it has hung on the wall for over 10 years and no one has seen it yet.( in fact if you look at my Gallery of design pictures and you see the oriental design that is itand i'll bet you didn't see the splice)LOL

I can never say this enough.

The minute you finally get the concept of hand wrapping fabric mats . . . the term "over-sized" only will apply to a mat larger than a 48x96 sheet of Gatorboard. Of course, there are a few fabrics that only come 47" wide.... :D

and FE-64 only comes 10' long for a net 9'2" leg of a liner-mat.
I hope this doesn't look Vain,but if you go to the design segment and bring up Ceative Stuff

You will see a few of my pride and joys. If you go to the third image on my post ,you will notice a Mosaic insert in the upper left hand corner of the 3D bevel. The mosaic is made up of all spliced pieces of mat. One of the main keys to this was to cut the companion pieces with out moveing the guides on the cutters and then reverseing the bevels on matching shapes.( yes that is right this was done before CMCs)

I am showing this not as an example of how to extend a mat through spliceing but to show that if incorporated into the design it is entirely possible to splice and not notice the SEAMS. You are looking at them but you don't notice them.

The same concept is possible on a smaller scale done on the boaders to ADD lenght and width to a mat.

Now with CMCs this is even easier ,since they duplicate cuts more precisely.

This is very labor intensive But it is possible to hide the seams. However i do agree with Baer that fabric cwrapping is the easiest way to acheive hidden splices.
I have also spliced at the corners. Many time the dimension is only need to be larger in one direction ie. 44x56. Cut 4 strips overlap the corners and cut through both layers in one cutting. Glue and tape as above.
Well I cant find the framer in search on the grumble that helped me out with a over sized mat cutting it on my 48in. Fetcher,
(Without having to dissembling it). Worked great. I thought I would have to hand cut with my old college day Dexter. Thanks grumblers. This is the one of best resources for me. So back to work I go .I need help locating some prints. Dose any one have a poster (not a photo) of Lance Armstrong signed by him? Also a self-portrait of Omar Vicqual signed and numbered. Thanks you, Kim