Level of quality of woods used for factory finished moulding

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Level of quality of woods used for factory finished moulding

Postby Not your average framer » Fri Jan 11, 2019 10:23 pm

Before I start, this is not a rant about suppliers, so please don't think that!

As many will know, I use quite a lot of unfinished mouldings and hand finish them to suit requirement, but this does not cater for all of the customers which come my way, so I fill the gap with some factory finished mouldings. However factory finished mouldings are don't as consistent as they were when I first got started. Also there were a greater variety of wood types used to produce factory finished mouldings in those days, but the range of wood types used these days is quite limited.

The result of much of this has brought about the situation where the quality of factory finished mouldings tends to be somewhat a lottery, where the results when you cut and join any particular moulding can be a complete disappointment and waste of time. I don't think I am asking anything unreasonable, when I want to have some degree of consistency from the mouldings I am buying. Why is everything all about price and not about quality anymore.

I can remember being able to buy factory finished mouldings produced from tulip wood and they were great. Are there any still available now? Not as far as I am aware. This seems a bit odd to me, most bare wood tulip mouldings are around 50% more expensive that either pine, of obeche and that should not add all that much to the overall price we have to pay for mouldings. Just about most factory mouldings are produced fro generally rather indifferent and somewhat random quality obeche, finger jointed pine of often inadequate quality bits mixed with other bits which should have been used for firewood, or that horrible so called pine from the far east.

Can anyone tell me, where I can buy some reliably consistent and generally useful factory finished moulding from in this present day? I don't mind pay a reasonable amount extra for mouldings worth stocking.
Mark Lacey

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Re: Level of quality of woods used for factory finished moul

Postby Rainbow » Sat Jan 12, 2019 12:07 am

Not your average framer wrote:I can remember being able to buy factory finished mouldings produced from tulip wood and they were great. Are there any still available now?

Wessex list some tulip wood mouldings but I'm not sure you'd class them as factory finished. I got a sample once for a customer who wanted a bare wood frame. It was a really nice colour and grain, but when I cut the sample length in two and tried to make a chevron, the glue would not stick. I trimmed the edges and tried again, same thing happened. I could only think that there must be a lot of oil in tulip wood which prevented the glue from binding so I had to abandon it. As an aside, this is one of the reasons why I prefer to get sample lengths to make up chevrons myself, so that I can see what the moulding is like to work with. I wish Wessex wasn't now making up chevrons themselves. It must cost quite a lot of money in terms of time, not to mention the labels and velcro that they're also sticking on. Obviously they've got their reasons but I'd much prefer to get lengths.
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Re: Level of quality of woods used for factory finished moul

Postby poliopete » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:09 am

Mark your questing regarding "where to buy consistent and generally useful factory finished mouldings" is very difficult to answer. I agree moulding quality has deteriorated over the years with less of the more suitable woods used. Although, R & H still do a range second to none.

As you say the supplies should not be blamed and I believe they all try and offer the best they can. To a certain extent, it's down to us to sort the "wheat from the chaff".

One of the things I have stopped lately is getting made up chevrons. I learn more about a moulding by buying a full length or two and cutting and joining myself. If it turns out to be a "pig in a poke" then I make a rim or two and stick it in the framed rejects/seconds box and at least get my money back.

Ed has posted recently about a range of moulding from Lion that meets all his required criterion.

Looking forward to what others have to say.
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Re: Level of quality of woods used for factory finished moul

Postby prospero » Sat Jan 12, 2019 11:50 am

You have to consider that moulding manufacturers make moulding that is targeted to certain markets. If it's designed
for the mass production ready-made frame market it only has to be a good as it needs to be. The percentages are tight
and if they can shave a few pence off by cutting a few corners, they will. So you get hard coatings and iffy wood.
Perversely, the factories that knock out cheap frames have equipment that will handle this carp moulding much better
than the indy framer.

I would agree wholeheartedly with Mark that the quality of wood has 'gone-off' considerably in the last 20 years or so.
A lot of this is due to increased environmental issues. Ramin used to be the go-to timber for smaller moulding, but imports
of raw timber are now severely restricted. Only a very few ready-milled profiles are available.

Oak and Ash is more common now than back in the day. It comes from sustainable sources.
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Re: Level of quality of woods used for factory finished moul

Postby Not your average framer » Sat Jan 12, 2019 8:29 pm

There are still a few smooth painted black moulding that I use on a regular basis that don't tend to have any payicular issues, but not every customer wants these and I'm not sure what wood these particular mouldings are made from. Primarily for basic budget priced jobs all I want is no hassle cutting, joining, finishing of the job.

I am planning on stepping up my usage of tulip wood mouldings when hand finishing, but that's not where I am encountering any significant issues.
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Re: Level of quality of woods used for factory finished moul

Postby poliopete » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:04 pm

Hi Mark
Have you looked at Wessex "Essentials" range?

I have recently obtained samples for the full range, (34) I like the contemporary profiles and the price, and so far I give the overall quality the thumbs up.
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Re: Level of quality of woods used for factory finished moul

Postby Not your average framer » Sun Jan 13, 2019 6:25 pm

Thanks Pete,

I had the Wessex/Frintons rep. came in on Friday and she is sending me a few samples, but from what I remember probably not from the essentials range. Simons also sent be a sample of one of their tulipwood mouldings which arrived on saturday, so I'm having a bit of a look aroud right now.

So far, I'm not making much progress of the most basic end of the factory finished mouldings and I am reluctantly considering the fact that I may be forced to do some quick and basic finishes on tulipwood as a substitute for factory finished mouldings, although this is what I particularly want to avoid.
Mark Lacey

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Re: Level of quality of woods used for factory finished moul

Postby Keith Hewitt » Mon Jan 14, 2019 5:20 am

Why don't some of the moulding distributors make a post and share their thoughts and opinions :?:

I'm quite sure they are reading this thread

Maybe because they are not for sharing with framers :giggle: :roll: :D :Slap:
I have visited framers in 83 countries - no two are the same.

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Re: Level of quality of woods used for factory finished moul

Postby Not your average framer » Mon Jan 14, 2019 6:49 pm

I made inquires with Wessex about their essentials range today, (as recommended by Pete). It sounds like this could be exactly what I am needing. They are sending me a leaflet and then it follow it up with a request for samples once I have decided which ones I will want. I rarely choose all the mouldings in any particular range for samples these days and only pick what I feel will sell for me.
Mark Lacey

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― Geoffrey Chaucer
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Re: Level of quality of woods used for factory finished moul

Postby Ed209 » Mon Jan 14, 2019 7:08 pm

Had good results myself so far with Wessex essentials range.
They do a nifty compact display thing with all the essential profiles on there.
Going to see if I can get some chevrons as well.




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