foamboard for spacers in deep box frame

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foamboard for spacers in deep box frame

Postby daveym » Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:54 am

I was previously informed on here that an alternative option for econospacers in a deep box frame would be foamboard. I've looked at a a previous post some years ago where someone asked a similar question but just wanted to know a few details that were not mentioned.

I require 5mm thick and 20mm width spacers but econospcers as far as aware only go up to 9.5mm thickness so I'm left thinking that foamboard is the only way to go. I can buy 5mm thick foamboard but I've been having real problems cutting it so that all 4 sides are equal especially when metting at the corner area as this is stillvisible within frame. When slotting them around edges the corners don't meet flush and there might be 0.5mm difference between the edge of one foam board meeting the corner of another foamboard so the back print doesn't sit correctly due to small gaps. This also looks unprofessional. when I press the foamboard into the sides of the frame, even though I'm using as little pressure as possible I can see noticable edges along parts of the foam that have slightly scuffed. Is there any particular method to use when cutting foamboard for accuracy and to avod scuffs when placing into a frame?

I'm also trying to find a 20mm metal ruler as this would give a more accurate cut considering my foamboard width will be 20mm as I guess the minimal inaccuracy in each of my cuts is down to using a standard ruler and maybe just being out by the smallest margin. I can't seem to find a 20mm metal ruler anywhere online so if anyone has seen one before this would be a bonus.

I look forward to any hearing from anyone.

thanks
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Re: foamboard for spacers in deep box frame

Postby Justintime » Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:33 am

I have recently bought a keencut ruler, it's non slip and has a bar that your blade runs along, rather than the steel edge of the ruler, very satisfying.
When using foam spacers, I face them with an appropriate coloured mountboard and then cut them.
I place the bottom and top first, then the sides.
I use atg with a few tiny dabs of pva for backup.
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Re: foamboard for spacers in deep box frame

Postby Justintime » Sun Jun 16, 2019 9:37 am

I find a Stanley type blade better for this than a scalpel as scalpel will waver in the foam board.
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Re: foamboard for spacers in deep box frame

Postby Steve N » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:25 pm

If you have a mountcutter, just set the border width to 20mm and use the straight cutter to cut the foamcore

I use the paper covered wood spacers that Wessex, D&J Simons sell, they sell them in different widths, or just use the wood ones then you paint them
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Re: foamboard for spacers in deep box frame

Postby daveym » Sun Jun 16, 2019 12:47 pm

Thank you all for your replies. Sorry i dont know how to highlight a particular reply in this post but with regards to using the keencut ruler you mention that you face the foam with mountboard. Does this mean you just stick mount board to surface of foam with for example double sided tape then cut both foamboard and mount board together? I can understand that if that is the case. I'm using a particular Stanley knife and metal ruler so not sure if suitable to do mount board with foam. I would probably prefer yo use 400gsm card but thinking that is still quite tough to cut through if stuck to foam.
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Re: foamboard for spacers in deep box frame

Postby Justintime » Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:07 pm

Yes, I'm describing when I make a shadow box and want the sides to be the same colour as the back (the mountboard that the piece is mounted/floated too.)
Yes I atg/double sided tape the mountboard offcut to the foam board offcut, measure and cut to fit, top and bottom to fit the frame and sides to fit between the top n bottom pieces.
I cut using many strokes over and over until you are through the board then the foam. The keencut ruler is designed to stop you cutting into the metal ruler and blunting the blade so quickly and it stops the ruler slipping. I also saw it demonstrated to do washlines with, perfect for supporting the brush.
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Re: foamboard for spacers in deep box frame

Postby daveym » Sun Jun 16, 2019 1:43 pm

Is atg tape the best to use for applying foamboard to inside of frame or will any good double sided tape work. I don't have an atg tape gun and don't really want to purchase one just yet so can I still use the tape without gun or is it only made to work with the gun?
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Re: foamboard for spacers in deep box frame

Postby Justintime » Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:04 pm

Any good double sided tape will be fine, the atg gun just makes it easier. I give the rebates a quick wipe over with an alcohol wipe first, removes dust and grease, but that's just me. Most of my frames are hand finished so likely to have some residual dust.
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Re: foamboard for spacers in deep box frame

Postby Steve N » Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:16 pm

Justintime wrote
"Yes, I'm describing when I make a shadow box and want the sides to be the same colour as the back (the mountboard that the piece is mounted/floated too.)
Yes I atg/double sided tape the mountboard offcut to the foam board offcut, measure and cut to fit, top and bottom to fit the frame and sides to fit between the top n bottom pieces.
I cut using many strokes over and over until you are through the board then the foam. The keencut ruler is designed to stop you cutting into the metal ruler and blunting the blade so quickly and it stops the ruler slipping. I also saw it demonstrated to do washlines with, perfect for supporting the brush."


Sorry that's not the way I would do it, first only use a few bits of ATG tape or double sided tape and PVA glue between the ATG tape, just to hold the spacer in place while the PVA glue dries, as ATG/Double sided tape is likely to dries out and you will find the spacers at the top of the frame will sag and show. Also do it as two separate operations, cut and stick in the foamcore spacers, make them slightly smaller than the finished width, so if 20mm is the width make them say 18mm, then you don't have to be accurate, then cut the mountcard spacers, to the finished size, stick these to the foamcore in the same way, a few bits of ATG tape and PVA glue.
Of course if you use paper covered wood sapacers, you can glue them in the same way
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Re: foamboard for spacers in deep box frame

Postby Justintime » Sun Jun 16, 2019 2:23 pm

Justintime wrote: I use atg with a few tiny dabs of pva for backup.

Totally agree about the pva. My techniques are evolving and thanks to you, improving! :clap:
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Re: foamboard for spacers in deep box frame

Postby poliopete » Sun Jun 16, 2019 3:14 pm

Covering the Foamboard spacer with stripes of appropriate mountboard is the way I do it and it is a way of using up the board that would otherwise be waste :wink:

I too always use double stick tape and PVA glue because the tape holds the spacer in place while the glue cures. I find the tape easy to use without a gun particularly dj Simmons as the backing peels off effortlessly.

The way Justin explains positioning the spacers is the way to do it. I believe it was christened the "Stone Henge" method by Roboframer as the sides support the top to prevent the top spacer falling down in the event of glue failure. If you spiral the spacers around the rebate it's called the Catherine wheel method.

The way I cut the Foamboard is with a heavy straight edge and a sharp utility knife.

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Re: foamboard for spacers in deep box frame

Postby Not your average framer » Sun Jun 16, 2019 4:28 pm

Use wooden spacer from Simons, Wessex, or Rose & Hollis, there all more or less the same, so it whoever I am ordering from at that time. I also have a table saw, so if I've got some suitable sized obeche off cuts, then I make my own spacers insead. I don't mind using the paper wrapped spacer, or painting my own, but I'm not all that keen on foam board spacers after have seen what can happen to some foam board spaces after a few years.

Wooden spacers suit me just fine!

When push comes to shove, have made foam board spacer, although foam board is not my preferred choice and I don't mind cutting them to width on my Systen 4000, which works well with a nice sharp new blade.
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Re: foamboard for spacers in deep box frame

Postby prospero » Sun Jun 16, 2019 5:23 pm

Rose&Hollis do a 4.5mm x 19mm Obeche strip. (Also 25mm, 12mm and 6mm)

If you stick a facing of mountboard to it, you have the perfect spacer.

Only one end needs to be cut neatly if you use the Catherine wheel method. Cut the neat end of the mountboard before you
slice it into strips, and make sure it protrudes just a small amount over the end. This way it will butt up to the corner nicely
and no gaps.

A crude diagram....

catherine wheel method.jpg
catherine wheel method.jpg (18.22 KiB) Viewed 240 times


Start with placing the first piece - but don't fix it. This is just to allow you to locate the second piece (adjacent to the first).
All the pieces should be slightly shorter than the rebate size less the width of the spacer. Fix the second piece permanently.
Remove the first (unfixed) piece and work you way round, this time fixing the pieces and making sure the 'neat' ends are snugly
butted up to the previous one. When you have done three you can locate the first piece.

A bit mind-boggling but it all makes sense if you think about it. Promise. :lol:
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