What's wrong with flexible tabs?

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Rainbow
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What's wrong with flexible tabs?

Post by Rainbow » Tue 01 Dec, 2020 8:04 pm

On a few occasions I've seen it mentioned that flexible tabs are either not liked, or not conservation standard. I've thought and thought about this but I still can't think why this should be. Can anyone enlighten me please!

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Re: What's wrong with flexible tabs?

Post by Not your average framer » Tue 01 Dec, 2020 8:32 pm

Flexible tab can be very useful, when framing some pastel drawings, where pastel is not fixed and you want to avoid the shock of the tab gun shaking some of the pastel pigment loose. By firing the tabs in with a substitute packing piece replacing the artwork, there is no danger of the tab gun shock affecting the pastel because it's not inside the frame. The flexible tabs can be the bent back and the packing piece removed and the art work then replaces the pack piece and the tabs are then bent back in to position and the backing board and tabs tape up as normal.

I can't see anything wrong with that from a conservation perspective. Why are flexible tabs considered as not being of conservation standard. I'm not trying to pick holes in this statement, I would just like to know why. Saying that flexible tabs are not liked, is not a prohibition, but for top quality bespoke work, I would much prefer to use rigid tabs instead. Some framers do not have facilities to use rigid tabs, does this mean that they are prohibited from undertaking conservation level work? I can't really see why this should be so!
Mark Lacey

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Re: What's wrong with flexible tabs?

Post by prospero » Wed 02 Dec, 2020 10:29 am

Come to think of it, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with them as far as I can see.

When it comes to conservation issues, the point/tabs don't really figure in the equation. As long as they hold fast
then everything is fine. I use Fletcher multipoints by default. Whatever your preference. :D
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Rainbow
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Re: What's wrong with flexible tabs?

Post by Rainbow » Wed 02 Dec, 2020 11:53 am

Thanks, Mark and Prospero. I read the conservation thing in an old thread:
David McCormack wrote:
Fri 24 Aug, 2012 8:48 pm
No undermount, hinged to windowmount with self adhesive tape, bendy points and no bumpers are all defo not conservation :shock:
David was a regular contributor when I first joined but he doesn't seem to have been around since earlier this year so I can't ask him why he thinks "bendy points" aren't conservation.

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Re: What's wrong with flexible tabs?

Post by Richard Photofusion » Wed 02 Dec, 2020 3:54 pm

They are psychotic little buggers who like nothing better than to try to rip your thumb open, when you try to take the frame apart.

Apart from that, nowt wrong.

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Re: What's wrong with flexible tabs?

Post by Tudor Rose » Wed 02 Dec, 2020 4:20 pm

Hi Rainbow

I haven't gone back to find his original post, but David may well have been referring to the Fine Art Trade Guild levels of framing and the different requirements of those. If he was, then that is one of the rules at Conservation level.

I thought it easiest to quote from the Guild GCF Study Guide:

"There is a wide choice of techniques for securing the backboard. The important thing is that the backboard is securely held in place and that your chosen method is designed for long-term use and will not gradually slip out of place. Because they are weaker by design, flexible points are not acceptable at Commended level framing and above."

So in those terms they are not acceptable if you are stating the work is done to the Guild standards for Commended, Conservation or Museum level framing. Primarily because the use of flexitabs gives less rigidity to the overall package than other methods such as framers points.

On a practical level we've often encountered older frames coming in for reframing where the flexitabs have fallen out, come loose or are broken, but those with framers points tend to have them still firmly in place. However, if you are providing frames where you know the customer wants to swap things around, then flexible points make much more sense. Like a lot of things in framing, it is horses for courses and we each pick the path that works for us and our own business and what best suits the particular job on the bench in front of us at the time.
Jo Palmer GCF(APF) Adv (Textile & Conservation)

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The Fine Art Trade Guild http://www.fineart.co.uk
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Re: What's wrong with flexible tabs?

Post by Not your average framer » Wed 02 Dec, 2020 4:38 pm

Hi jo,

I use a pneumatic flexi tab gun to fire both flexi tabs and semi rigid tabs, which are physical the same size as the flexi tabs, so I was just wonderibng if you have found that the semi rigid tabs are a problem as well.

Thanks,
Mark.
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Re: What's wrong with flexible tabs?

Post by Rainbow » Wed 02 Dec, 2020 8:54 pm

Like your description, Richard :lol:

Thank you very much for the explanation, Jo, it makes sense now.

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Re: What's wrong with flexible tabs?

Post by David McCormack » Tue 23 Mar, 2021 1:18 pm

Hi Rainbow,

Yes, I was referring to the FATG standards of not using flexible points in conservation level framing.

But I have nothing against bendy points and do use them at times. One time is when the rebate is too shallow and the back-board is flush with no room for any points. In this situation, I use rigid points to hold the glass package in place without the backboard and also fire in bendy points in between the rigid points, bend back, insert the backboard and bend them into position. The bendys are only holding the backboard in place and the rigid ones hold the glass package securely in place.

Well done if you understand any of that??! :giggle:
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Re: What's wrong with flexible tabs?

Post by pramsay13 » Tue 23 Mar, 2021 1:37 pm

I thought the same for a while, but I've had a few pieces in to reframe that had bendy points, even when large pieces.
On a few of these pieces the artwork / mount had popped out of the bendy tab and was now behind it. I think that's to do with them being shorter and flexible.
So although using them or not isn't conservation per se, they are included in the standards of framing as it makes more sense to use rigid points for stability.
That said I often use bendy points for artists if they are fitting their own artwork or if I know the customer wants to change photo in a few years.

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