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The Most Useless Tool?

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Ron Eggers

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This is a counterpoint to Rob's "cool tool" thread - a thread about solutions for which there is no corresponding need. Our industry is full of them, because everyone knows picture framers will buy anything that looks interesting.

I thought the Lite Grip was in this category, but everyone I know who has used one thinks it's the best thing ever.

My most useless item is the Fletcher Wire Winder. I received three sets of these at a PPFA chapter event and I was really excited to try them out, though, honestly, wrapping wire was never one of the great problems in my shop.

None of the three sizes really work at all with the #3 Zerlon wire that I use nearly all the time. The largest of the wire winders works with #2 Zerlon, but not any better, faster or neater than my fingers.

I'm not picking on Fletcher. They make many of the best products in our business. But the Wire Winders are not worth what I paid for them (and they were free.)
 

Less

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That twirly tool designed for driving in screw eyes. Looks like a bent awl. ?

Think I tried it twice.

I'll sell it for the price of postage.

Of course, I pretty much feel the same way about ATG dispensers.

Don't think I've ever used my Pushmate.

[ 12-13-2003, 03:39 PM: Message edited by: lessafinger ]
 

Hobbes03

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On occasion, I think it is my tape measure.


-Mike.
 

wpfay

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I'd say "Mark", but sometimes he reads the Grumble.
 
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printmaker

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Originally posted by Ron Eggers:

My most useless item is the Fletcher Wire Winder ...I'm not picking on Fletcher....But the Wire Winders are not worth what I paid for them (and they were free.)
Funny, Ron...

As soon as I read the title of this posting I thought of those darn Fletcher Wire Winders...

I'm ashamed to admit that I actually purchased a set a while back. They were returned the next day.

I often wonder who, if anyone, ever "field tested" those things? ...

Perhaps they're marketed under the heading of: "Odds are that someone will buy 'em." If so, I've proven the theory correct. :(
 

Framerguy

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Back when I started framing. I bought this little triangular sheet of steel with ears bent up on 2 sides and holes drilled at increments across the face. I think it was supposed to be used to lay out mat margins or something like that but I could never figure out how to use the dumb thing.

Another fine tool that I purchased was a "Rollaruler"(?). It is a two sided ruler with about a 1" wide roller in the middle and it looks to this day like it would be a really useful tool for a frame shop. I just don't know what the use is yet! It has all sorts of holes in it and little circles cut out to measure "stuff" and it works really well for doing things but none of them pertain to framing. YOu can draw any sized circle up to about a foot radius with it and they come out perfect. It tracks in a straight line but so does my yard stick and the bar on my mat cutter.

I have a brand new glass cutter for my Fletcher oval cutter that I have never even mounted on the machine. I always use convex glass in oval frames and I think that flat oval glass looks like something out of a craft store. It looks good though.

Framerguy
 

Ron Eggers

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Does anyone (who will admit it) have one of those tools for thumping double mats that are ATGed together?
 

B. Newman

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Originally posted by Ron Eggers:
Does anyone (who will admit it) have one of those tools for thumping double mats that are ATGed together?
No, but I have a small antique wooden brayer (about an inch wide) that I run over the mats.


Oh, and Tom, my boss had one of those metal things for laying out mats. We actually used it in the days of straight edges and utility knives.

Betty

[ 12-13-2003, 05:17 PM: Message edited by: B. Newman ]
 

framah

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The last guy I had working for me.
Oh, and the Dahl cube I got. Supposed to cut v-grooves in a mat. What a piece of junk that was.
And these things I got that are supposed to lift my mat cutter bar. ..........ONLY KIDDING!!!
 
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Framerguy

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Originally posted by HannaFate:
That little red-handled dohickey that you are supposed to use to trim the paper off the back. It's right handed! I just use a stray razor blade. (they're everywhere!)
Hannafate,

Try that little red plastic dust cover trimmer, it works with used mat cutter blades (no special blades to buy), and it is ambidextrous. I am left handed and use it all the time. Somebody said that UMS isn't carrying it anymore but I am sure that you can find it available somewhere.

It's a sound investment! ;)

Framerguy
 

Framerguy

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Ron,

What the heck are you talking about??

I must have led a sheltered framing life up North 'cause I never heard of a "mat thumper".

Framerguy
 

Barb Pelton

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When I saw this heading I immediately thought of the mat whacker. Is that what it's called?
FGII, I can't believe you've never seen it in the UMS catalogue.
I laughed out loud the first time I saw it. Knowing me, I'd have to hunt for it for 10 minutes before I could whack my mats together.

Boy I hope I don't get one of those for Christmas.

Also, I rarely use the very expensive Seal perforater I purchased. I think there should be a rental program for those, seeing as how I only use it once every 18 months or so.

I purchased a little vacuum to suck fuzzies out of a frame. It sounded like a good idea....
 

Brian Lehr

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Ron, it's called a "mat smacker" and yes, United sells it. I've never bought one - I find my fist works quite well enough. I use one of those rolla-rulers to see if small art has perpendicular sides and to lay out french mats.
But for useless tools, I vote for my old fillet trimmer, my old thumbnailer, and my very old logan three step oval cutter - all dust collectors.
There are more, but...
B.
 
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Ron Eggers

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I find my fist works quite well enough.
Brian, my thoughts, exactly. But, remembering the response to someone mentioning the usefulness of their Palm (PDA), I was reluctant to say it on The Grumble.
 

jframe

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The ATG removers with the wooden handle and some sort of white rubbery material that is supposed to do the job. :rolleyes:
 

wpfay

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As a matter of clarification, the "Mark" in my first post is my employee, not to be confused with other "Mark's" that also might read the Grumble. Sorry if there has been any confusion.
 

gemsmom

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The only thing I've ever bought, and never use, is the ATG gun.
 
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Bogframe

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I use my matsmacker every day and I love it, it saves my fist and prevents skin oil from getting on my white mats. (no jokes, please, I wash my hands more times a day than a sugreon) The most useless toll I have ever used was a fillet trimmer that looked like a mutant pair of pruning shears.
 

Kit

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Originally posted by Barb Pelton:
.

Also, I rarely use the very expensive Seal perforater I purchased.
I wish I had known that earlier, Barb. It would have saved me two years of bugging Ron to send me the one he was sure he had somewhere in his basement.

That story has a happy ending. Ron found the perf tool (still in it's original box) and I received it in the mail as a Halloween present.

<marquee>THANKS, RON!!! THANKS, RON!!! THANKS, RON!!!</marquee>

I do alot of canvas texture laminate on open edition posters and use it at least once a week.

Kit
 

Framerguy

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Kit,

And you can roll that little beastie up and down your arm over a mosquito bite to take the sting out!

(It also increases your pore count if you use a little more pressure.)


FGII

Edit:

It's raining here on the Panhandle today and I am stuck in the house so prepare yourselves for some "Warped" frankenthreading on ALL forums!! :eek:

[ 12-14-2003, 01:25 PM: Message edited by: Framerguy ]
 

JRB

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Lion Miter Trimmer, does a nice job of cleaning up the miter, but it does change the size. Thing just ended up on a shelf years ago, brand new, covered in dust.

John
 
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tnframer408

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Ron: Twas I on the PDA. And just bought the new Tugsten T3. Way cool, but you have to like that sorta thing, plus really use them. Use mine for virtually ewverything and the T3 is so powerful, it's replaincg a laptop computer..

My least used tool is a Flethcer matcutter--five years old, used about four times. Use my Wizard constantly so have little use for it.

O and a multiple-adjustable miter vise--like for doing multiple-sided frames.
 

Maryann

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okay. I'll admit it. I use a mat smacker. My mother in law has a piece that she had framed about 40 years ago. There is a handprint on the piece that is getting darker with time. I figure it is from oils that were transferred to the piece from the framer's hand when it was being framed. I also wash my hands a million times a day and often wear gloves when I handle anything.
To get back to the topic - useless tools - the ATG remover. It never works for me.

[ 12-15-2003, 09:02 AM: Message edited by: Maryann ]
 

Ylva

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Just had fun reading this old thread.

I actually use the Fletcher wire winder. I have 2 sets but only use the green one. One of them broke just now, and I was trying to replace it. Cannot be found. So if anyone still has this completely useless thingy, I'd take it!

wire winder.jpg
 

JFeig

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It can be done Jim, however the cost of design and printing would exceed the price people would possibly be willing to pay. I do have a set that I could duplicate in 3-D CAD. I am not sure that they would hold up with most of the consumer filament being used.
 
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Mary Beth van der Horst

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I've spent far too much time between last night and this morning wondering wtf a mat smacker looks like. If International Moulding had pics on their site for everything, I wouldn't be sitting here still in stupefied wonderment. But also just... wear gloves? Press down with another scrap of matboard, foamboard, any piece of release paper blowing around in the gale of chaos?!
 

wpfay

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Mary Beth, It's something you don't need. A stick with a rubberized foot on one end used to make pressure sensitive ATG work when making a multi-level mat. Use ATG Turbo glue instead, no smacking needed.

Back to useless tools...
Many years ago someone made a dust cover trimmer that was stupid expensive. I saw it at the Decor Expo show in Atlanta. It was beautifully machined and actually did what it was supposed to do, but no better than a hand held single edge razor blade. And the cost was approaching $200.00 if I remember correctly. I think David Hewitt has one that he won in a give away. I know of no one that purchased one.
 

wpfay

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Well, after a little searching I found that their links are no longer active, and that they were a mere $70.00 each. Still too rich for my blood. I also found some Grumblers who actually purchased some of them.
 
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Mike Labbe

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A mat smacker? :)
 

Larry Peterson

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I took a quick look today for mine. Buried somewhere in the useless detritus somewhere. Haven't missed it, not sure if I ever used it. Took a quick look online for a pic but for once theGoogle failed.
 

Rick Granick

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Many years ago someone made a dust cover trimmer that was stupid expensive. I saw it at the Decor Expo show in Atlanta. It was beautifully machined and actually did what it was supposed to do, but no better than a hand held single edge razor blade. And the cost was approaching $200.00 if I remember correctly. I think David Hewitt has one that he won in a give away. I know of no one that purchased one.
I remember that. It had a colorful anodized finish, similar to what they used to use on Phaedra mat cutters. I thought it looked cool, but as you say, nothing does a better job than a handheld blade. I can trim 1/6" away from the edge, using the outside of the frame to guide my hand.
:cool: Rick
 
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Framar

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What a trip down memory lane!

Other than the mat smacker, I dumbest tool I ever saw offered in DECOR was a pillow, operated by air, which raised and lowered your mat cutter bar; I think it was called the Shoulder Saver.

I have a huge Keeton with a heavy oak bar, and after I killed my shoulder many years ago, cutting a whole whack of multiple opening mats for a couple hundred seed packets, I ended up making my own version of a Shoulder Saver. I attached a wire to the ceiling with a spring in the middle and then attached this to my cutter bar. So I never have to lift it anymore - just press down. And I made a wooden pedal, also attached to a wire, to clamp the bar down when I really needed extra pressure.
 

David Hewitt

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I would like to see a photo of such an expensive trimmer.

I just use razor blade as well. No need to try to insert new blade and I have plenty around everywhere.
Made of aluminum and stainless steel, the colors are anodized.
I believe the first ones were priced at $200.00 , then priced at $70.00 to see if there was a market for mass production.
The machine work was excellent for its intention. I never really used it, but I sure do like to look at it. Im retired now, but this tool I kept. Like some of our framing projects, it's just over the top. Definitely deserves first place as far as design and quality.
The last two photos are of a tool used for consistent wire placement, placing wire at 1,2,3,4 inches from top of frame.

BC105943-F2BE-4CEB-9B67-D119948CF12A_1_201_a.jpeg 4582FC5B-9132-4A58-A432-91D1934E375D_1_201_a.jpeg 0A921AF2-5585-4E7F-89CD-AFB15DFADA34_1_201_a.jpeg E03CAF98-1590-4133-A252-C143E2F90BAA_1_201_a.jpeg DC1B7C53-EA9A-431B-8360-65CE1C2E5851_1_201_a.jpeg D8A48F5E-91CE-42AC-B536-3B291EE10617_1_201_a.jpeg
 
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wpfay

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The wire hanger gauge isn't useless though. I made one as well, which looks like a "T" square from an old drafting table, from some leftover basswood. It gets plenty of use. IMG_0715.jpg
 
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Framar

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I hope Google hasn't now labeled you as someone who searches for images of mate smackers!
LOL. Reminds me of the time I flummoxed the Google by accidentally adding an extra letter into my search for "bird deterrents" (when I was having the woodpecker problem) and instead began a search for "bride deterrents." :CRAZED:
 
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