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Super Wide Conservation

HB

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Any ideas for framing an original 12 foot wide x 4 feet high collector poster. There is an existing vertical joint in the middle that has been joined with tape.

My only thought is severing them into two units and using acrylic with spacers! No text at the joint but the main image would be a bit elongated (distorted) with the framing in the middle.

Any ideas would be really appreciated!
 

wpfay

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How many people do you have to work on this? If it is in a single frame, I would guess a minimum of 4 and more likely 6 would be needed. Something to consider.
Logistics is the other challenge on both the supply side and delivery.
Degree of conservation? You say collectible, but most collectibles aren't unless in pristine condition. What are the client's expectations?
Welcome back HB, you have been away for a while.
Give us some more info to work with on this one.
 
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wvframer

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Custom run moulding can be long enough to accommodate this poster. LJ has some 12-foot sticks that come out of Ashland, but they would not be long enough! Most profiles could probably be spliced, but I don't know how effective that could be.

Talk to David Waldmann at Vermont Hardwoods. He can probably come up with the length you need.

I think you could use coroplast that was joined, then adhere pieces with the corrugations going the opposite direction and get a firm backing

I haven't ever done it, but I was told once of a job where the two pieces of gator were joined, the seam was filled with wood filler, and a layer of thick paper was adhered to achieve a smooth surface. This was for a display for a concert, so preservation was not a consideration.

I think you might have to use mulitple layers to get far enough away from the wood fibers in the gator. You might be able to avoid that problem by using half-inch acid-free foam board topped by rag paper.

But the best move is probably separating them. The customer will become less resistant to this idea once you compare the costs!
 

nikodeumus

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See if you can convey the idea to the customer that a diptych type design might be a good solution?
I did a google image search for "diptych", here are some ideas that might get the design juices flowing....
(Obviously tailored to your particular needs.)

accretion-encaustic-ruth-maude-e1529847803558.jpg 496x273.jpg unnamed.jpg
 

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Ylva

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I think the biggest challenge is finding plexi for this size. Not sure what the largest size is in any conservation grade.

There won’t be many framers who could handle a job like this probably. I would have to rearrange a lot in order to accommodate that 12’ and I would charge for that time as well. Plus time spent on researching where to get the materials.

I’m curious as to which movie....
 

Framar

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Miranda Smith just finished up a 12 meter long frame. I believe she described joined together three pieces of acrylic and they had to hire a flatbed truck to deliver it to the destination. The frame job ended up weighing over 100 kilos.
 

prospero

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I read somewhere recently that large sizes of Optimum Museum acrylic can be got 'seamed', that
is several pieces joined together with invisible joins. Dread to think of the cost and transport logistics.

As for large boards, they can be built up in two layers with the joints staggered.

The actual frame is the least problem. As suggested, oversize lengths can be milled to order. Or using
a stacked combination of butt-jointed lengths the joined can be staggered so one element acts as a 'splint'
to the other. Apply your own finish to bare wood simplifies the job (easier to touch up when you knock it).

The most important thing is having lots of room. About three times more than you think you are going to need. 🤣
 

HB

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How many people do you have to work on this? If it is in a single frame, I would guess a minimum of 4 and more likely 6 would be needed. Something to consider.
Logistics is the other challenge on both the supply side and delivery.
Degree of conservation? You say collectible, but most collectibles aren't unless in pristine condition. What are the client's expectations?
Welcome back HB, you have been away for a while.
Give us some more info to work with on this one.
Thanks for the 'welcome back' - ya its been a while, busy finishing off my now nearly complete Employee manual & production manual & office manual & sales manual!!!
Image isn't in the best condition & so far I just received a phone call on it.
 

HB

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Thanks for all your ideas - will post if I get the job!
 

alacrity8

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I've worked on Canvas that size, but never anything needing glass or plexi.
Depending on the design of the frame, you may be able to butt join as mentioned, and hide the joint with a decorative element.

Best of luck

Brian
 
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David Waldmann

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I read somewhere recently that large sizes of Optimum Museum acrylic can be got 'seamed', that
is several pieces joined together with invisible joins. Dread to think of the cost and transport logistics.
Yes, acrylic can be seamed. It's not completely invisible, but pretty close if done well. One aspect to consider if doing so is the expansion/contraction issue, as acrylic moves quite a bit with temperature. You will have to advise the customer of recommended temperature range, allow enough allowance and a wide enough rabbet to cover all that. You would do well to get the customers' agreement in writing* that they understand the may be problems with the acrylic popping out of the frame, or bowing/breaking the frame if the temperature range is exceeded.

*It probably won't do you any good if it ended up going to court, but it may prevent you from going to court just because they know they signed off it.
 

wpfay

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With something of this scale there are always maintenance issues that are well beyond the issues in basic framing. Even with all due diligence, there will be needed follow-up. I would engage a conservator/preservator consult before moving forward with this. There may be expectations from the client that need to be mitigated. Remember to charge for your time should this not pan out.
 

David Waldmann

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David Hewitt

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I could not find the article, (Thought it was in PFM) but years back (maybe 8-10 years) there was an article about framing I believe the Titanic, by a museum, and as I recall, it was 4' x 24'. They joined the Acrylic (three 4'x8' sheets) with J-Lar.
Well about that time we take on a job that was for an 8' x 8' shadowbox. Well I did the recipe offered in the article, which was to butt up the Acylic sheets, lightly mist the seam with soapy water, (like window tinting) and squeegee on the J-Lar. (I think we did both sides.) It worked like charm and is still holding up to this day.
 

Joe B

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Remember to charge for your time should this not pan out.
Just a few questions - How many framers charge for their time if a project doesn't pan out? I never have, though there have been many times I wish I would have. I figure it is just the cost of doing business, you get some and you loose some, generally I get them but like Ylva said, some I have wish that I didn't get. If I get the job then I do ad the additional time to the project but if I don't get the job I don't feel right to charge. For you that do charge, do you make up a invoice/contract? When do you make up the contract - by phone? email? text? do they come in? I'm really interested to find out how many framers do charge for time for projects they don't get and how they go about charging....
 

wpfay

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Joe, I made that comment because this is an extraordinary project and could eat up a ton of time just figuring out what to quote.
It isn't like a normal design quote where you can plug the numbers into your POS software and render a number. Even multiple corporate quote take little time. Those are commonly done with no fee attached.
Conservators I work with have an assessment fee. Contractors, architects, designers, etc. have retainer fees. All are applied to the project if accepted, but are non-refundable. I don't think it is unreasonable to ask for a retainer to cover the time you spend working on the logistics of a special job like this. If it were the kind of thing you do everyday, then quoting wouldn't be as time consuming, but I don't know anyone that does these on even a regular basis.
I will add that it would be a good idea to qualify the client in advance. If a ballpark figure can be attained quickly, and the client agrees to the parameters of the budget, then you can get down to the details, after having taken a deposit.

I have done a couple real large pieces over the years, but never beyond the maximum size sheet acrylic available. The sizes are kinda burned in my brain; 117 5/8" X 71", 54" X 114" and 48" X 111" were the largest. Two required custom milling and finishing, but the acrylic was cut from a single sheet of 72" X 120" in all instances.
 

Joe B

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Thank you Wally. I have had a few that I have had to bring to a Conservator, those I do charge for mileage, time and the Conservator's fee. I was just wondering if that is the normal process to charge for larger pieces that take more time to figure out for the estimate. I just never have charged for that time, except I do add the fee in if I get the job, and now wish that I had because sometimes I've had a few hours into estimating the cost of framing and then didn't get the job.

I have to think about this a little more and figure out how I will handle this - geez, you making me use my melon for more than just a hat rack :oops:.
 

wvframer

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Thanks, Munn. That is going right into my specialty products file! :)
 
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Ylva

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Charging for time, depends.

A week or two ago, a customer came in with 4 pieces, water damage and needed quote for insurance. I did charge for that. I told her that half of it would be reimbursed if she decided to place the order.

Not a problem, and she did place the order a few days later.

For a good regular customer, I would not worry too much about it.

I would start with a ballpark price, just a quick quote to see if customers expectations are wacko and with the understanding that it is not the actual quote. I would explain further that I would be more than happy to quote more accurately, but would need a deposit as it is time consuming and I charge for my time.
 

wpfay

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I have been an advocate for a design fee for a while. Maybe not for every poster special, but once the design process begins to take on more time than you can recover from the job.
This would be applicable to tire kickers, and their ilk. Clients of record are somewhat numb to the sticker shock.
In this particular instance, I would qualify the customer with a price range for the completed job. I already know where I would be resourcing the materials, and can get price quotes for that plus any estimated freight costs fairly quickly.
 

Joe B

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A week or two ago, a customer came in with 4 pieces, water damage and needed quote for insurance
Absolutely - I have done smoke/fire damage and water damage quotes that I do charge for. A couple of times I even had the insurance company contact me to authorized payment for doing a quote. It took a while to get paid but it all worked out and price wasn't an issue.

Thank you both for the information, I have to put a little more thought into it, I am going to find a way to charge but also not spook the customer away.
 

wvframer

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Charging for the time was never a big issue before since I was in the store anyway. It was rare to waste a lot of time on someone tire-kicking. They usually have said so upfront, and as long as I had the time I considered educating them a service to all.

I have always billed for insurance quotes because the companies happily pay for it. In the rare case when they won't, I sometimes make a friend by writing it off.

Now, however, I am spending a lot of time doing research and design. Since the inquiries are coming in via email, Facebook, and website, there is no way to pre-qualify them. But I have learned that those who don't supply good contact information with their inquiry are likely to waste a lot of time.

I have been looking at pre-qualifying them by charging a nominal sum on my website to schedule an appointment to discuss their work. This would apply to purchase.

I have also been thinking about limiting design time that does not result in an order. Maybe a statement that the first 20 minutes are free, then x-amount thereafter but applied to an order. Whatever happens next, I have decided that it will be by appointment only going forward. This is another way to eliminate tire-kicking.

My thinking about this is that my time is valuable. But it is not fair to increase the costs for all customers to cover the cost of the uneducated customers who are contacting me by email, etc.

My plumber, electrician, etc. are all charging me for their time. I pay for that time whether they do any work for me or not. They are getting paid to look and advise me. One plumber would not enter the building until I put $100 in his hand. This was in addition to the charges for the work.

When I bought window coverings, the deal was they would show up at the appointed time and bill me for $100, which would be the deposit on my order or compensation for the time if I decided not to purchase.

Doing this will probably cause some people to walk. That used to worry me. Now, though I still enjoy a lot of the work, I am not so hungry as to waste time on people looking to spend less than $100. I am happy to help my regulars who need an inexpensive job once in a while, but I no longer want to work for people who are so price-conscious that they take the fun out of it.

I am the last full-service independent framer in miles and miles. They can go to a big box or me. When I was 40 and there we 8 frame shops in the area I was hungrier.

As a profession, we need to be thinking about placing more value on our time and expertise.
 

David Waldmann

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My thinking about this is that my time is valuable.

Doing this will probably cause some people to walk.

As a profession, we need to be thinking about placing more value on our time and expertise.
Hey, all you newbies, some real nuggets here if you want to be around 10-20-30 years from now.
 
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Larry Peterson

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Hey, all you newbies, some real nuggets here if you want to be around 10-20-30 years from now.

Just what I need at 73. Stuff to keep me around another 30 years. :beer:
 

Ylva

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You know you will be Larry!

I’m with Greg on this. I don’t need to make every sale anymore. It has resulted in better profit and less wasted time.
I will adopt the by appointment as well. Not for everything, but certainly a day here or there.

I don’t know what life will be like in a few months. I’ll adept to whatever that many be. I don’t want to go back to 7 day work weeks anymore
 

CHolt

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I'm afraid it will be of little help since the Seattle Musuem of Art is currently closed, but your problem reminded me of this installation that I saw while visiting last December.

I'm having a little trouble remembering specifically, but I believe that this installation consists of 6 large watercolors on washi mounted 3 across and 2 up inside of an enormous wall vitrine.

I hope this can serve as a clue to your solution.

Try thinking of the solution as a front loading wall mounted case rather than a back loading frame. Possibly you could consult with a glazing contractor for on site glazing installation.
 
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CB Art & Framing

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What if you use 2 separate frames but paint the 2 “center” legs to match the portion of the poster they intersect?
 
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wvframer

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Well I did the recipe offered in the article, which was to butt up the Acylic sheets, lightly mist the seam with soapy water, (like window tinting) and squeegee on the J-Lar. (I think we did both sides.) It worked like charm and is still holding up to this day.
David, is that the clear polypropylene packing tape? Was the soap film to aid in the placement of the tape? I would love to see some pictures of this being done if anybody runs across that article!
 

wvframer

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Thanks, David. That is the tape I was thinking about. I would never have thought of that in a million years. I am going to experiment with this. :)
 

Lafontsee

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Another thought that I don't think has been mentioned... If it is indeed two pieces, you could frame them separately in thin metal frames and put a larger frame around both pieces. There would be a thin line separating the halves, but you would have savings in the material cost of the acrylic. (The additional cost of the aluminum frames might just make it a wash, though.)

An additional advantage could be in transporting it. You could get the larger outer frame with dovetail routed miters and assemble that on site around the two smaller inner frames.

Good Luck!
James
 
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