Another 2 hand finished frames with photos of various stages.

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Of framing styles or techniques that rocked your boat, and also of those that didn't
Orde02
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Another 2 hand finished frames with photos of various stages.

Post by Orde02 » Tue 05 Nov, 2019 10:07 pm

Hello all

Spent a fair bit of time over the last couple of days working on the other 2 unfinished frames I got from a local framer

Thought I'd show the process I went through and the final result. Any comments or observations welcome.

Started off with two bare frames, paid particular attention to sanding the frames before I did anything, particularly the joins. Frames are to fit 9x7 inch artwork.


Image
6 coats of white gesso with light sanding after every 2 coats


Image
2 coats of red brown primer plus sanding


Image
3 coats of blackest black paint available
1 application of silver liquid leaf with slight distressing


Image
1 coat of beeswax and buffing to a soft sheen


Image
A lot of work but but happy with the final result.


Now I have to decide where to go from here. Continue to buy ready joined frames or buy some kind of underpinner and buy chopped mouldings online. Or perhaps pay for some training?

Regards

Matt

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Re: Another 2 hand finished frames with photos of various stages.

Post by Not your average framer » Tue 05 Nov, 2019 10:40 pm

That's a fully professional result. No if's, but's or maybe's, you have got there amazingly quickly. If you want to make you own frames, that's a whole different learning curve, but you've already produced an excellent result learning the hand finishing aspect of things. So it's time to think about how far to take the producing your own frames. At the lower expense end, you could be looking at hobby level equipment, or at a much higher expense level, you are looking at the proper professional equipment.

This is where you decide whether the commitment is worth what you want from it. All I can tell you is that you can get hooked on doing this this sort of thing and for many of us, there no turning back. If you are really enjoying this now, taking this to the next level, will probably be life changing. It certainly was for me and I have enjoyed every moment, but not all of us make a fortune being framers, so it's good to define what you want from this first. Hopefully, after that everything falls into place.

You're an artist, so I think that you will follow your heart. Enjoy!
Mark Lacey

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Re: Another 2 hand finished frames with photos of various stages.

Post by vintage frames » Wed 06 Nov, 2019 4:11 pm

Looking good now. You say you added 6 coats of gesso, sanding between every 2. Can I ask what sort of gesso you're using?

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Re: Another 2 hand finished frames with photos of various stages.

Post by prospero » Wed 06 Nov, 2019 4:28 pm

What can I say? Nailed it! :D

As for cutting your own frames, it would allow you to experiment and make more individual designs.

You don't really need an underpinner. Clamps and hammer and nails would do the job. As you are finishing after
joining, any 'divots' would get filled in alongside the finishing process.
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Re: Another 2 hand finished frames with photos of various stages.

Post by fusionframer » Wed 06 Nov, 2019 5:01 pm

Looks fantastic.

Also interested to know what gesso you used. I use liquitex, and the reason i ask is after 6 coats, i would have hidden the grain on the moulding.

Btw, i really like the frame with the grain, but interested to know.

Cheers

Nick
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Re: Another 2 hand finished frames with photos of various stages.

Post by Not your average framer » Wed 06 Nov, 2019 8:29 pm

You could always go on a basic training course and that would give you the chance to try out the proper equipment, before deciding if you want to take the plunge and invest in your own equipment.
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Re: Another 2 hand finished frames with photos of various stages.

Post by poliopete » Thu 07 Nov, 2019 8:01 am

Very nice job, congratulations :clap:

I am not so sure about still seeing the grain after all that gesso but I agree it looks interesting.

I also agree that if you are going to hand finish all your frames then you don't need an underpinner. You would not go far wrong using a Stanley 400 vise (American spelling) and side pinning. You can achieve very good results with a modest outlay. That's the way many of us started :giggle:

Keep up the good work and please keep posting the results.

Peter.

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Re: Another 2 hand finished frames with photos of various stages.

Post by Orde02 » Thu 07 Nov, 2019 9:00 am

Thanks for all the comments, they're always gratefully received.
The gesso is just a cheap Daler and Rowney white gesso from their graduate series bought from Hobbycraft. I normally buy a better quality gesso from an art shop but this stuff is ok. I thinned it down with water at about 70% gesso to 30% or there abouts and applied thinly.
I quite like the wood grain, I suppose it's just personal preference.

Has anyone used something like a Logan Studio joiner? I don't have any equipment at all so if I was going to buy a vice and nail frames together, wouldn't it be a good idea to buy a hobby grade tool that does the job?

Looking into training just now. I have worked in a framers before but it was years ago and I was only just a helper really. I did watch a lot of framing being done and joined a fair amount of frames but not the whole process

Matt

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Re: Another 2 hand finished frames with photos of various stages.

Post by prospero » Thu 07 Nov, 2019 12:25 pm

I use Daler Rowney Black acrylic gesso for black finishes. :D

If you are happy (and why not?) with the grain that's fine. I prefer to fill the pores first (on hardwoods) with filler simply
because it gives you more control. Occasionally you get a bit of atypical grain or a knot which sticks out like a sore thumb
and ruins the finish. For the same reason I (hardly) ever show the wood even if I want a 'woody' frame. Obeche/Ayous is quite
bland. I use a solid basecoat and apply a faux grain finish on top by dragging a darker transparent colour on top with dry brush.
Sounds daft, but it works. With practice you can imitate more exotic grain patterns.
Also, if your frame includes sections of gilding, open grain may be undesirable in those areas.
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Re: Another 2 hand finished frames with photos of various stages.

Post by Not your average framer » Thu 07 Nov, 2019 7:16 pm

You say that Obeche is quite bland. It anything that an understatement. I can't say that I'm much of a fan of Obeche at all. It can be hard work infusing a customer for a largely characterless type of wood and those little flecks in grain are seen on too many cheap frames. To properly fill, rub down and lose all of those flecks, which otherwise will show through the final finish is really laborious and can take quite a chunk out of your profit margin.

I prefer to pay the extra and buy a different type of wood that much simpler to a quality finish on in less time. I like Tulip, Limewood and Koto quite a lot these days. You are rather limited in the different moulding profiles in such wood, but there are often way around this. Why do so many more interesting moulding profile shapes how to only be available only in Obeche?
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Re: Another 2 hand finished frames with photos of various stages.

Post by prospero » Fri 08 Nov, 2019 10:38 am

Mark.:lol: You are right saying that grain filling is laborious. I've just done 30-odd and some are 4' x 3' and 4.5" wide. :?
Plus.... Most had liners which needed to same treatment.
I got though about 5Kg of filler.

But.... Most of these are stacked frames and to blend the elements together the joins have to be 'grouted' to give a smooth
unified look. Any little niggly bits made good in the process. (And big niggly bits) So the this process is combined with grain
filling. I find that if you do a thorough job on this then the subsequent priming/top coating needs little sanding - just a quick
tickle with a sanding pad or power sander on the flat parts. I use Screwfix 'No-Nonsense' fine surface filler. Cheap and does the job.
I have several old brushes and I dip them in water a swirl them round in the filler in the manner of a shaving brush. I trick is
to get the right consistency. Too wet and it doesn't really fill the pores. Too thick and it is hard work. Then while it's drying I
wipe it over with a J cloth and 'polish' it into the surface. If you take your time doing this it only needs a light sanding to remove
any nibs and flatten any raised grain areas. Once you have that sorted the rest is downhill. :D
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Re: Another 2 hand finished frames with photos of various stages.

Post by Not your average framer » Fri 08 Nov, 2019 4:26 pm

I like to avoid as much sanding as possible by using the bare minimum of filling by applying whatever is used for filling with a brush and trying to get the best result before sanding is even consided.. Big holes that need filling are often filled with two part wood filler, which although it sets quite quickly is still hardening after it sets. Before it hardens completely, I plane off the surplus filler with my Stanley type 90 bull nosed woodplane.

The filler literally comes off in layer just like wood and just needs a very gentle once over with very fine sandpaper to give it a key before starting to hand finish the frame. I rather be vacuuming up the shavings than lots of dust.

Sometimes repairing an old frame involves burying hidden wood screws, which for me usually a last resort and it can be preferable to used a stepped drill bit called a screw-sinker and the cover the screw with a wooden plug cut with a plug cutter. I don't like repairs to be in anyway detectable after the work is completed and this is particular important family hairlooms ane anyyhing with a bit of antiquity
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Re: Another 2 hand finished frames with photos of various stages.

Post by vintage frames » Fri 08 Nov, 2019 6:56 pm

Good old obeche is the sort of work-horse for the hand finishing trade. I suppose most of the profiles are cut in obeche because it's so easy to machine and economical on a cost of weight to volume. And then a lot of the profiles are used in the gilding trade where just a few coats of gesso will fill up and completly cover the grain. One drawback is the relative weight lightness of the finished frames. I've now started to use pine for my gilded frames as it makes for a heavier and much more substantial feel to the finished frame. After a bit of initial nervousness regarding shrinkage and loose knots, I'm now more confident on using it further. The trouble with making gilded frames is that any errors are hidden and don't show up until the very end of a very lenghty process.
Using obeche for a wood finished effect is a bit more limiting. You can do some interesting effects if you try hard enough. The first hand finished frames I ever made were bought up by Mulberry for their homewares dept. They were a simulation of an old mahogany finish on frames of plain obeche, distressed, stained, pigmented and varnished.
There is now a certain enthusiasm for ebonised finishes. Obeche is a pretty lousy base because of it's flecky grain pattern. Gesso will cover it up but you then lose the woody nature to the frame. As always there are ways around. Instead of all the fillers, gessos and sanding, sticking down a simple veneer of cheap grade rosewood will give a beautiful sharp grain pattern beneath layers of transparent black varnish. Contact adhesive is your friend for that. Now you will have a frame that looks like black ebony.
Mind you, those of a certain age will remember the universal qualities of ramin.
Lots of useful hints there - if anyone bothers to notice.

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Re: Another 2 hand finished frames with photos of various stages.

Post by Orde02 » Fri 08 Nov, 2019 7:34 pm

I'm reading it all and taking notice!

:D :D :D

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Re: Another 2 hand finished frames with photos of various stages.

Post by Not your average framer » Fri 08 Nov, 2019 8:47 pm

Pine is a real favorite with me for certain uses, in particularly for stacked moulding frames, when using profiles in pine which are not to badly affected with knots. There are some pine moulding that hardly ever seem to have any knots at all, while there seem to be some profiles that have lots of knots in them. I've made inquires about this and I don't think I've necessarily got the whole story, but it is said that some manufacturers are using a selected grade of pine, while others are using un-selected pine instead.

I wonder if that's true. Pete Bingham has said that it's two different varieties of pine. Apparently the stuff with hardly any knots is Estonian pine and the knotty stuff is known as Quebec yellow pine even if it does not come from anywhere near Quebec. I cheat a bit when it comes to dealing with knots and heat up the wood at the site of the knot until the resin come bubbling out. Then scrape off the hot sticky resin and remove any further resin with white spirit on a rag. The knotty pine is known to be more resinous and often has a darker colouring, it also darkens faster as it ages.

The thinking is that by heat the knot until no more resin is able to come out, it is more likely to stay that way and not have any resin leaking out at a later date. Then I fill the area where the knot is and sand it flat and smooth. Pine is a resinous wood and I have read that resinous woods have an increased possibilty of twisting spliting and bowing. In industry, one way of solving this problem is to laminate pine so that different bits of pine all glued together will be opposing the tendancy to do this in each laminated bit.

I look upon stacking the different moulding profiles together as doing much the same thing, where not every profile is trying to distort in the same way as the adjacent moulding profiles. I like my stacked mouldings nicely fitted together, glued and pinned, or stapled together to ensure that these stacked mouldings are united in to one integrated profile and hopefully there will be no movement between these individual mouldings to cause any cracks to appear in the applied surface finish.

Where possible I prefer to cut around knots, as not to include then in the finished frame. I don't consider Pine as inferior wood to Obeche, but even perhaps it's the other way round. Some stacked moulding profiles do in fact get finished by staining, varnishing, washing and distressing and the fact that are stacked from a number of different mouldings is not noticeable in any way whatsoever. I like pine very much.

I have had one customer think that a piece of unfinished Obeche sitting of the bench was MDF. Like I said it's a characterless wood!
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Re: Another 2 hand finished frames with photos of various stages.

Post by prospero » Sat 09 Nov, 2019 12:46 am

This frame was done with a thick base of black gesso which was worked to leave random swirly brushmarks.
The grain is totally buried under the gesso.
psegblackframe003.jpg
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Re: Another 2 hand finished frames with photos of various stages.

Post by prospero » Sat 09 Nov, 2019 12:49 am

On a slight tangent... I it's amazing how the most unlikely materials can look very classy. :D
HF001.jpg
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Re: Another 2 hand finished frames with photos of various stages.

Post by fusionframer » Sat 09 Nov, 2019 9:45 am

I use southern yellow pine a fair bit for joinery. It is far denser than standard pines and spruces (similar to western red cedar) and machines well. It is not particularly knotty in my experience, but i have not seen it advertised as used for pre made mouldings, so this is more relevant to "vintage frames" who i know machines his mouldings on a spindle moulder.

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Re: Another 2 hand finished frames with photos of various stages.

Post by Not your average framer » Sat 09 Nov, 2019 10:37 am

It is amazing what you learn on this forum.
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Re: Another 2 hand finished frames with photos of various stages.

Post by prospero » Sat 09 Nov, 2019 10:41 am

The old ornate gilded frames were all on pine carcasses, at least I've never seen one on hardwood. I them there days the
timber was maybe better quality from the typical available today, but some of these frames have timber that is a bit ropey.
No wonder they buried it under gesso and twiddly bits. :lol:
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