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Question Equipment for New Shop - Cost

zamber

Grumbler in Training
In order to be serious in starting a framing shop, how much does it cost for the proper framing equipment? Please take into consideration any new shop will be slow at first and an owner would have more time on his hands. Is the Logan equipment good enough to get started with, and then buy better equipment as time goes on and it gets busier?
 
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FramerInTraining

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Logan’s are no good IMHO. I’d rather buy professional grade equipment either new or close to new. The last thing you need at a new business is bad equipment or inconsistent performance.
 

FramerInTraining

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Also, I bought a used underpinner using a broker who posts in this group a lot. The machine was supposed to be “refurnished” by the importer in the US. That was very false and I ended up getting burned. There was no help mediating the issue with the sale.

I wouldn’t trust used equipment brokers.

Back to your original question, $25k should cover you for a solid set of new equipment. Take out a loan or put it on credit cards if you don’t want to use cash. You’d save yourself a bunch of headaches.
 

tedh

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Let's look at this from another direction: if you could give us a budget, we could give you some good advice on how to get the most out of it.
 

Paul Cascio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Wow, FramerInTraining, you're certainly entitled to your opinion, but that's a rather broad brush you're painting with. It's unfortunate you had a bad experience with a piece of used equipment, or with a particular dealer, but I disagree with your blanket assessment. As for Logan, a company whose mat cutters our school has and continues to use: Yes, they make some products that are merely hobbyist level, and are priced accordingly, but their 800 Series "Platinum Edge" mat cutters are, IMO, one of the best in the industry, and a great value too.

For many years, I sold, repaired and reconditioned used framing equipment. I've also counseled our students on how to find and purchase, and sometimes to avoid, used equipment through brokers, Craigslist, Ebay, and other sources. Here's my thoughts on used equipment.

Most framing equipment is pretty simple stuff. This includes mat cutters, glass and board cutters, moulding choppers, saw systems designed for framing, and mechanical mounting presses. Frame joiners are somewhat more complicated but tremendously reliable. Also, one must keep in mind that framers are generally very meticulous people who take care of their tools. This is not to say that all used equipment is good equipment -- some is too old and/or obsolete; some is poorly maintained; some is worn out. However, every piece of framing equipment becomes used the day after you buy it, and every framer is employing used equipment of various age, quality and degree of wear. Visit any frameshop and you're likely to find gear that's a decade, or more, old.

Purchasing used equipment can save beginning, and experienced, framers a substantial amount of money. It also leaves you with additional capital that can be used for other expenses. This is not to say that if you have substantial financial resources, or are simply uncomfortable with the idea of buying used, that you shouldn't consider buying new, but it's not mandatory, and one shouldn't feel intimidated about buying equipment simply because it's not new.
 
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FramerInTraining

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
I am going to rephrase here and say that starting a business with poor or inadequate machinery is a recipe for disaster.
 

Ylva

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I think spending when you can’t afford it is a sure recipe for disaster.

What is your budget?
How is your set up? Do you cut your own moulding. Joint your own frames? Do you know how to cut mats on a manual cutter?

I would not skimp on a mat cutter. I’d buy chop until you can afford a good saw system.
I would not skimp on a joiner. Buy the best you can afford.

Personally, I invested in a POS system. I did buy a cmc so I could handle the workload without needing an employee.

No one can tell you how to run your business. We can only tell you how we run our own.
 

FramerCat

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
What kind of budget do you have? I have a couple of frame shops worth of stuff in storage and I like taking long road trips. I could even help you set it up and show you how it all works. I've got Logans. I've got C+Hs. I've got Fletchers. I have and have used all brands of equipment on a regular basis. It all depends on the equipment and your feel for that equipment. Try them all out and see what you like and don't like.

Ed
 

zamber

Grumbler in Training
Also, I bought a used underpinner using a broker who posts in this group a lot. The machine was supposed to be “refurnished” by the importer in the US. That was very false and I ended up getting burned. There was no help mediating the issue with the sale.

I wouldn’t trust used equipment brokers.

Back to your original question, $25k should cover you for a solid set of new equipment. Take out a loan or put it on credit cards if you don’t want to use cash. You’d save yourself a bunch of headaches.
Does that $25,000 include an automated CMC mat cutter? Is this amount for a store that is busy all day creating frames, getting a lot of use out of it?
What about to start with a Fletcher cutter, a decent saw, and the rest of the equipment simple to be replaced as business improves? This would be in a cheap location with the assumption that there will be few customers at first.
 

framestudio

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Let's talk about what basic equipment is needed to get started.
Manual 48 inch mat cutter
Wall glass & material cutter
Drymount press
Underpinner
Miter saw with proper measuring system
I'm a fan of used equipment and think you get everything on this list for around $6000.
Craig's List is a great local source for used picture framing equipment. I see you from Georgia you should take a look at http://www.pictureframingequipment.com/ out of Atlanta. I've purchased a few goodies from him and always check his website.
 

prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
One thing to remember: If you buy inferior equipment you are still buying materials full price.
You can easily ruin $$$$$s worth of moulding/matboard on iffy kit. Enough to have got pro
level machinery in the first place.

A good matcutter. A chopper. A basic manual underpinner. A few hand tools and you're good to go.
A wall cutter is nice, but you can manage without. As your sales volume increases you can buy as you need.

Consider buying chops for a while.

Also, bear in mind that good equipment tends to hold it's resale value. 😉
 

Tammy Loveall

Grumbler in Training
I purchased a framing business last year with all used equipment and has worked very well for me. The only thing I had to do was re-calibrate my Eclipse (which actually helped me get to know the machine better).

I gave the business 1 year, made a lot of money. However, now I have decided to sell the business and the equipment. I have eclipse mat cutter, underpinner, dry mount press, fletcher cutter. If interested I will send pictures and a video of everything working! (517) 927-0300
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
In order to be serious in starting a framing shop, how much does it cost for the proper framing equipment?
Starting serious framing shop involves considerably more than "proper framing equipment". For some additional matters to consider, the the first seven videos in the new Framing Academy by Artglass are about starting out...business plan, efficient shop layout, suppliers, and yes, cost ranges for different equipment choices. for various types of framing businesses. You need to register, but it is free.
 
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Tammy Loveall

Grumbler in Training
I am selling my equipment that all work very well. I have everything you need to do the framing. Eclipse Mat cutter w/computer and software, Fletcher glass/mat cutter, Dry Mount Press, Underpinner, tools, etc. Everything has been well maintained and works very well. I am negotiable! Everything for $9,000 (includes an inventory of glass, acrylic, mat boards, corners, etc.). I have pictures and a video of everything that works! I am located in Mid Michigan and the owner would need to schedule moving all equipment. I used Kingsley Moving and they did a great job! Call me or text me (517) 927-0300. tammy@framingcreations.net
 

David Hewitt

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Starting serious framing shop involves considerably more than "proper framing equipment". For some additional matters to consider, the the first seven videos in the new Framing Academy by Artglass are about starting out...business plan, efficient shop layout, suppliers, and yes, cost ranges for different equipment choices. for various types of framing businesses. You need to register, but it is free.
I clicked on Framing Academy by Artglass, This is Exciting!! (Post #13)
 

Mike Labbe

Member, Former moderator team volunteer
We started with used equipment, and had a positive experience. We started with pricing point of sale (POS) software, from day 1. The vices, underpinner, fletcher 3000, drymount press, and many other things were bought used and a fraction of the price. (and they're still in use 17 years later). We bought a new Esterly wall mat cutter when we opened, but replaced that with a Wizard 8000 several years later. (we bought the Wizard outright, on a cash back 0% interest card and paid it off in a bout 18 months) We since bought a new Valiani BC CMC in 2019, and the Wizard is now a spare (We probably should sell her, because we don't need 2!). You can def find CMC's for sale from shops that are upgrading or closing, and they tend to last a long time. I suggest looking for a local shop, so you don't have to pay for shipping. The vnailer was eventually replaced, but the previous one (Pistorius) is still in use at another shop. We started with a $99 compressor, and went through a few of those before we got a better quality silent one - which has now been going over 12 years.

Good luck!
 

Bob Carter

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
think about your first car-new or used? Affordability dictates almost all decisions. Plenty of well-cared equipment available; two good options posted here. Our first store included mix of new/used. CMC-Leasing probably be best

but, most importantly-ensure funds are available to pay for great education. Either at trade shows or Jim's link. knowing how to use any equipment, used or new, goes way beyond the owners manual

Bottom line: I would pay half price for a good used matcutter and spend the other half on a great class by Jim Miller on Mounting or Shadowboxes than buy a 'new' anything.
 

tedh

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Time is money: spend it on The Grumble. Every one of us here has found solutions to problems bothering framers.

And, spend time finding deals. There's no reason to buy new, when there is so much great stuff out there looking for new owners.

My Morso pneumatic: bought used, 1995, still going strong.
Hot Press: bought used, 1997, still good, but could use a bit more vacuum
17-year-old Wizard, a workhorse
3 saws over 15 years old
Fletcher glass cutter, bought well-used 1997: as good as new
The C&H cutters, all good.
 

tedh

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
If you have a "cheap location" you'll be spending more on marketing to bring in new customers, and you'll have to be innovative in whatever marketing you do. Fortunately, this has been discussed frequently on The Grumble.

Using the term "marketing", I found this:

 
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