What more can we possibly do?


WOW Framer
Jul 24, 2001
Buffalo, New York, USA/Fort Erie, Ontario, Canada
When a customer leaves my shop with a newly framed piece, I always point out the attached hanger and say "All you need is a hammer and a wall!" This always gets a good laugh, and I have always felt it emphasizes my point, which is - "Be sure to use the hanger I have provided NOT that nail falling half out of the jagged hole in the drywall..."

It has come to me recently, however, that a lot of the repair jobs I am doing are actually newly framed items which have never even made it onto the wall!

I wrote this down after the guy left off two huge frames that I had just done for him 2 weeks ago. They were chipped around the outside. Said he, "The frames were on the floor, leaning up against the piano and moisture must have come up through the floor boards because the frames slipped and fell over and the edges got chipped."

Aiiieee! What can we do? I have had folks wreck frames when the family dog tips it over, the glass gets broken when the husband trips over it, on and on!

Do we have to follow them home with our silver hammers and make sure the job is done correctly (and in a timely fashion!)?

What more can we possibly do to get that darned frame off of the floor and onto the wall???

How do you train your customers?
aaaahhhhh, another common problem! If you have correctly hooked a customer into becoming a 'framing junkie', then there will be more art framed than any one house has walls to display. Wrapping the frame in a plastic bag protects against flying coffee and light abrasion. Although we don't do it, those bubblewrap corners would protect against the framing getting boogered up from medium blows. But stupidity? That's tough to allow for! What if you did a follow-up call to find out how it looks hanging. Oh, you haven't hung it yet? Don't forget, most damage to framing happens before it gets onto the wall. (I made that up, but it sounds reasonable...)
Another subject in the realm of "not your problem". Even with the follow up call asking how the piece looks now that it's hanging on the wall (well, ummmm...great...looks great, yah.)
Our job is not to modify their behavior, just their choices while in the store.

Ellen, I like that, can I quote you?
The vast majority of broken-glass/busted-corner frames I get back still have the hook(s) in the little bag on the back, though I ALWAYS tell them about the hooks and why they should use them.

In some cases, I've had customers admit they had hung the frame on a thumbtack or a stick pin :eek:
'cause they didn't want to make a big hole in the wall!

(The big hole in the glass is MUCH more attractive.)
I don't attach the hanger to the wire. I hand it to them and say "Here is a hanger for the wall."
Still another good reason to use WallBuddies. Nobody is likely to try and use a thumbtack that's already in the wall. They would need at least two thumbtacks, appropriately spaced.

Bob, I think that's a great idea for those folks who are going straight home to hang the picture, but we both know that the rush order that HAD to be done in three days won't get hung for three months. By that time, I'll bet they won't have that hook in their hand any more.
On horizontal items, I will draw a diagram on the paper on the back. "Use two hooks" and arrows showing about how far apart the hooks should be.

On HEAVY items, that really should be hung on two hooks, and that could hurt someone when they fall, I will put mirror hangers on the back, with a warning on flourescent orange paper pasted on the back. "Do not use wire. For safety, use supplied hangers only."

I did a shadowbox of a football jersey for a guy, and put this warning on the back. His wife brought it back a week later, busted to bits. There was a wire on the back. She says, "I told him!"
I have another pet peev .While I havent as yet issued Wall Buddies I do normally hand out TWO J hooks with any frme larger than 16 ins. wide. I in struct them that useing two will lessen the stain on both the Zerlon( my choice) and the sides of the frame( their choice).

I recently did a Tulane Baseball Jersey and while I foldeed it so as to mak it smaller it still finished our at 31 ins .tall and 36 ins. wide. ( ihade carved the TU Logo in one corner and the Name TULANE on an oppseing corner of the top spaced double mat. The client had chossen a rather thin gold Wood LJ moulding much to my disagreement and I told them that sinec I was going to fill the back with Fome core and I would give them TWO Hooks it should be OK.

Wrong ! After three months it returned to the shop .the glas was gone the frame craked but everything else was aved( the carved mats and jersey),
I looked and the strap hanger on one side had split the moulding., causing the fall. I asked How many hangers they had hung it on .the lady said just one ,because her husband couldn't figure out how to align two. i asked how did it stay up for three months? she said ( but I'm not sure this is true) "oh no ! He left it prop against the wall for over two mnths and had only recently hung it on one."
I suggested the wall buddies she said it never figure it out.
i have redone the frame installing a strecher frame in the inside rear and attching it to the moulding adding a mat over the two frames and nialing to them. I then attached the New strap hangers to the strainer stock so as to not stress the moulding.and I have added TWO 60 lb j hooks to the rear of the frame.
I had resevations about this job to start but I warned if they followed the instruction it should be ok. But who was i kidding? Wanna bet they still don't follow instructions. I also have the wall buddies her just in case.LOL
I have had to repair 2 oversize jobs this month because th moulding was to thin. Yes we tried to explain this when the jobs were placed. But after years on the wall the customers hav long forgoten our warnings.

New policy when it comes to thin frames on large jobs. JUST SAY NO! Or frame it in metal then cap it with the thin wood frame. While I generally believe in selling the customer what the want, I don't want to be responsable for thier poor choices.
Originally posted by FrameMakers:
...frame it in metal then cap it with the thin wood frame. While I generally believe in selling the customer what the want, I don't want to be responsible for their poor choices.
Adding metal to the inside is a very good way to strengthen the frame. However, I find the biggest reason for the small frames with my customers is price. If I have someone pick out something I don't feel is structurally strong enough, we gotta keep looking at moulding samples.
On the subject of Wallbuddies. I've had two occasions where customers have brought back framed artwork that I've done for them, to either have glass up-graded or mats changed. These pieces had Wallbuddies attached.

The distressing thing was finding wire strung between the wallbuddies. Kind of defeats the purpose. But in their defense, when I started using wallbuddies, more often than not, I would just put them on, and not explain them to the customer. After seeing what some of them were doing, I now tell everyone why I use them and how to hang them. I guess it goes along with helping to educate the customer.

I find the biggest reason for the small frames with my customers is price.
Yes and it's almost always cheaper to use a properly sized frame rather than 2 frames.
Speaking of WallBuddies AND protecting framed art in transit:

My default package now includes WallBuddies and a corrugated template, sized to the outside of the frame, with two holes punched for hook placement. I tape the bag of hooks to the template and, following customer inspection on pick-up, use the roll of shrink wrap (the 5" stuff that comes on a spool) to secure the cardboard to the face of the frame to protect the glass.

Other than hanging it myself, this is as close as I can get to idiot-proof. People tell me they appreciate it, and they affirm that by asking for it the next time they come in.
The two amazing things ( other than my awefull typing,LOL) was that the thinner wood frame Cost MORE than the sturdyer Metal frame.
And the lady just came in a few minutes ago and was very pleased with the adaptions and wrote down the instructions abot the double J-Hook hanging .(I hate to admitt it but I have some strong suspicions about the way the frame fell???)
On the topic of Wall Buddies is ther a width moulding that is too thin for their use? the reason i ask is the gauge of the screws .I have seen some mouldings that the screw or screw -eye is almost 1/3 the thickness of the wood. But LJ technical support is where i got the suggestion about the strainer stock reenforcement and they suggested moveing any hangers up closer to the top. So the Wall Buddies would be the optimal accomodation of that recomendation and they also said they were better because they not only held the side legs at a higer point but they also held the top width as well.
When the customer INSISTS on that thin stock, the price doubles because of the strainer stock that is the same price of the frame stock. Weird how that happens.

When they go with a logically sized frame the price is respective of my respect of their choice.

Still don't use buddies. Call me bull headed, but I still believe in education. Oh yeah, the little bag with the two J-hooks are still stapled to the wire some 23 years later..... they just remind me of flea market art.

Give me wire and or Frame Mould on the walls.

Give me wire and or Frame Mould on the walls.
Isn't Frame Mold the stuff we have to scrap of the back of old jobs
What is Frame Mould, anyway? Please enlighten..

That spelling looks right to me, but my good American education got severely sidetracked with some pesky British school system overseas. Now, I just never know when to throuw that "u" in there...
On the topic of Wall Buddies is ther a width moulding that is too thin for their use? the reason i ask is the gauge of the screws .I have seen some mouldings that the screw or screw -eye is almost 1/3 the thickness of the wood.
Buddy, the attachment plate on the large WallBuddies is about 3/8" wide, so you wouldn't want to use it on a moulding much narrower than that. I often use them on narrow, double-rabbet shadowboxes, like L-J 568WO, and I just make sure the screws are long-enough to go into the thicker part of the frame - beneath the back rabbet.

I don't use the screws from WallBuddies. In fact, they're sold separately. I keep an assortment of #4 sheet metal screws from 1/4" (rarely used) to 3/4". I probably use 1/2" most often.

You don't normally need particularly long or large-gage screws since you can put up to six of them in the large WallBuddies. (I usually use just four.)

For mouldings narrower than 3/8" (why would we have them on the wall?) I'll use Flangers - but only on very small pieces.
Thanks Ron .I agree with not haveing moulding thinner than 3/8 ins. the problem I sighted with the large (31 X 36)Jersey frame was 5/8 inch at the rabbet ,and the 2 screw strap hanger split the moulding when hung on one hook.
There is a musician (former leader of the group Hüsker Dü) named Bob Mould. As far as I know he doesn't do any framing.
:cool: Rick

Some of us live in "Lathe and Plaster" land. If you pound a nail through the plaster, you usually just break a large chunk of it loose from the wood lathe underneath. (I just use a pnumatic nailer and it happens so fast, I don't have time to think and the lath......never mind)

So to stop the populous from distroying the walls, a type of "crown" moulding was created that is attached to the wall anywhere from 1" down from an 8' ceiling to setting at the 7' height on a 9' or 10' ceiling.

A brass (typical) "s" hook loops over the rounded top edge of the moulding, and wire/rope is passed through the lower smaller hook which supports a picture frame. Unlike my wife, who supports a picture framer.

If this is not all clear, Iwill try to take and post pictures of this ancient ritual. We sell into this neighborhood, about 300-400 hooks a year. Some guy just bought 50.

Seems like the 'picture rail'that was almost a standard fitting in houses over here ,certainly, up to up to World War 2.
I can sympathise completely with Baer over hanging pictures or mirrors onto lathe and plaster walls. If you cannot find the wooden uprights supporting the lathes yyou can have a problem. Not being a woodworker I don't have a pneumatic hammer soooo....when I can't locate the upright or when I can, and the client then says "I think A little this way please" ,I have developed a very loud cough at the moment the hammer meets the nail/pin and an even louder clearing of the throat when the plaster behind the lathes starts to fall down inside the wall!
Thanks Baer! I'll be off to the tool shop this week.