starter pack for conservation framing

Kim Chi

Grumbler in Training
Apr 1, 2004
I'm seriously considering starting a conservation framing business in the next few months. I've been recommended the following equipment:

Morso F Mitre Guillotine
Cassese Underpinner (CS89 or CS299)
Fletcher 2100
Fletcher 3100

It is unlikely to be a high volume business for the first year, but the revenue should be OK. Is this a good combination, or is there a better one? I'm more interested initially in providing the conservation aspect than the physical framing itself, which I can outsource for the first 3 months while I get the business going.

And finally, are second hand models worth considering. If yes, what to look out for (I know that covers a lot of things, but an overview doesn't hurt).

Thanks to all who reply

If your emphasis is going to be on conservation framing, the materials and procedures you use will be more important than the cutting and joining equipment.

A couple of comments, anyway. Depending on the mouldings you expect to cut, a saw may be more flexible. Many of us use both but, if I had only one, I'd take a simple miter saw with a measuring and clamping table over a chopper.

Cassesse underpinners were a standard a few years ago. I think Euro, and maybe some others, have displaced the Cassesse in terms of popularity, but availability of parts and service in your area might be the most critical factor.

Can't argue with the two Fletcher products you mentioned.
Hi Kim

Welcome to the Grumble.

Good choices

I’m currently updating all or most of my equipment.

Morso F…great choice you cannot go wrong……I have seen some framing from you part of the world returned Irish people who worked there….from what I have seen it is unlikely you will need a saw……I have a new Morso F on order…think about a spare set of blades and the left arm support.

The Fletcher 2100 has been updated to the 2200 recently again a great choice….I have mine on order….delivery is expected in Ireland late April.

Cassese CS 89 should be more than adequate for a small production shop…..remember you will need a compressor with it…….the CS 299 is a great machine……do you really need that level of machine !!!
I have opted to buy the CS 88 it is the manual version of the CS 89, I have never liked pneumatic underpinners….I feel that you lose that last bit of control with a pneumatic machine….no room for any errors in the moulding……a manual machine allows for some final tweaking….my opinion for what it is worth….my choice of machine is been made on operation requirements…….not a financial requirement… can use the CS 88 or 89 for moulding up to 95mm……over that you are in a different market.

The Fletcher 3100 is the choice of many/most framers in Ireland it is by far the leading machine.
I had a wall mounted cutting machine which I got rid of…..I learned to cut on a bench and was never able to make the transition to a wall cutter……I may have another go at it later this year.

You will be safe enough buying the Morso second hand and possible the Fletcher 3100….try and buy your Mount Cutter and Underpinner new…….

Best of luck with your new venture

Sites of interest PPFA FACTS
As Ron said, nothing you mentioned is directly related to conservation.

I opened about a year and a half ago. I started with a used miter saw with Clearmount scale, a new 2100, a used C&H wallmount cutter, a new CS89, and a new Jun-air silent compressor.

I tried a chopper and just liked the feel of the saw better. For a manual mat cutter, you should buy what you're comfortable using. The 2100 or 2200 seems to be the most popular. Now that the 2200 is out, you can still find some "deals" on "leftover" 2100, although I think they're going fast.

I like the Fletcher 3000 better than the 3100 because I don't really have a need for cutting heavy board. However, I found the used C&H and it has been more than up to the job.

From my point of view, (assuming you can find them) I would buy the saw/chopper and the wall cutter used and the mat cutter and underpinner/compressor new. Obviously, you can find these other things used and in good condition, but I like new when accuracy is critical.

BTW, I would recommend a sander! :)