If you're cutting ONLY fillets, look at the Frame Square Fillet chopper at about $150.00 but you're limited as to the width you can cut. With the introduction of wider fillets from companys like Larson Juhl, you may need the Micro Mitre fillet chopper (about $200.00)
The Morso is a GREAT chopper if you need a full size chopper but if you're looking for a fillet chopper exclusively, pass up the "hand-held" and make the $200.00 investment...you will pay for it in just a couple of jobs!
I had become dissatisfied with the cuts from my beloved FrameSquare so I phoned the company. There was dead silence when I answered his question about how long it had been since I'd changed blades, but that's another story. They have a new base with what he calls an indexed fence that allows you to cut the larger LJ fillets in perfect "bites." I tried it and it works. They were extremely helpful--I believe I spoke with the "inventor" of the thing, Richard Huntley. Never heard of the other cutter for $200. or might have tried it instead. We bought our FrameSquare five years ago. My redo with new base, two new blade sets, etc. ran about $70. And you're right: bag the handcutters: they can't give a truly professional cut everytime.
Boy, I wish this conversation had taken place about 2 weeks ago. I just bought a second hand cutter because the first one wasn't cutting the fillets properly. Neither is the second one. Where can I get the FrameSquare Fillet Chopper, or Micro Mitre fillet chopper? If either of these comes through LJ and you have another supplier please give me the other supplier. thanks.
Barbara: I'll look up the direct number and post it. I'd sure check on United's price before LJ's, though. Of course, buying it directly could be better, but maybe not. If you have a Decor or PFM Source Book, it's in there under fillet cutters (or something.) Anyway, that's where I got the number. But in the spirit of Santa, I'll find it and post it here. Merry, merry!
Since we're talking fillets does anyone employ any special pricing on this item. Most fillets require additional labor time for fitting, levelling out the back etc. Do you markup the same as a regular moulding, or add in any additional labor cost? Do you price according to the frame size or the mat window size?
Woody: We charge about the same markup for fillets as we do for frames. (Frames also require additional labor, remember!) How to price the fillet is determined by where it's going, ie., if it's going on the frame charge for the U.I. of the frame. If it's going in the mat opening, charge for the U.I. of the frame opening, remembering to add for allowance. If you charge extra, I would charge for materials used in build - up, or you could use a flat labor charge (hourly?) for the additional labor. Good luck on selling those fillets!
To an extent, I agree with whidbey... distibutors charge for fillets like a frame and so should you. They are more labor intensive than a normal frame in my opinion especially if they are to fit into a mat. Think about it...it's a wood frame that YOU have to size, chop, and assemble or WORSE, pay CHOP PRICE for so why not have the same (if not higher) mark up on the fillet than on a normal frame.
I do over 20 fillets per week. What I've learned over the years is the cost of the fillet is minor compaired to the labor and there is more waste in fitting. To simplify pricing I charge 7.00 per foot based on the outside dimensions of the mat for any fillet up costing from .00 - 1.50 per foot which cover 98% of fillet jobs. I also find it easier for a salesperson to sell and price right. I call that the KISS method.
[This message has been edited by framer (edited 12-29-98).]
Framer. I think you're right, which is why I asked the question in the first place. Usually at this time of the year I try spotlight some oif the specific things I am doing in an effort to improve that area for the coming year. I usually price my fillets much as I do mouldings but find that the labor and waste are generally greater than on regular mouldings. For this reason this is one area I intend to change as soon as I'm back in my shop. Fillets are a great add on to any job but they must be profitable relative to cost and labor or we're just spinning our wheels. Does anyone else use the faux fillets from Vickie Schober (I'm out of town so can't check that spelling)? I find they add a tremendous look to certain jobs and look terrific with mat and wood fillet combinations...not to mention the boost they give to tickets.
framer: so if fillet is $1.50 foot lineal, osd of mat is 16x20=36 ui=7' (going by memory there), cost would be $49.? What do you charge for the wide LJ fillets that cost $2.50 lineal? I'm in agreement with all: fillets well executed take a lot of time and know-how. Really would like to know about your charges on the wide ones.
1st most 95% of the fillets I do cost less then a dollar. Larger more expensive filets would be priced whatever I figure it's worth and what I can get. 9 - 12 per foot is not out of reason. The size thing is a little different to. I would figure the length on a 16x20 at 6 feet for a fillet.
Le, I think the actual working is about ther same. The advantage of a fillet cutter for me is that it is portable. My chopper is in a moulding "room" where I store moulding and have my saw etc. I can take the fillet cutter right to the fitting table in another area and work right there. I use just the cutter, finding the measuring arm to be inaccurate and just in the way. I use mine in conjunction with a "mitre true" that gives as really fine mitre.
Deja vu all over: couldn't figure out this thread until I reread the dates. Dumb. In answer to the question about shave/fit, I've become pretty good at using the measuring device on my FrameSquare. Almost always, it takes just one measurement, one cut. But I always allow just a tiny smidgen--maybe 1/64th--long, and cut the long side first so to have it to use if I screw up. I've upped my prices on fillets this year, and like the results.
Yes in a vise. That is the larger fillets which are more like frames. I try not to sell the others but if the fillet is cut to fit square and the mat is also, it generally works fine. I also tend to only use fabric mats with fillets and that allows some play. I use the end of the mat I've cut off to do a quick sample fit. I was trying to be a bit facetious.
[This message has been edited by JPete (edited 01-03-2000).]
Not to put too fine a point on what was meant to be a facetious remark, by using the end of the piece of mat you cut off, do you mean the fallout? In which case, it would be, at that point, too late as the opening would be made. I think I'm missing something here of value, as I, too, use the shave, fit, shave, fit, shave too much, start over, method.
If JP can do that, (and she probably can) she also probably teaches at frame school. Maybe the reference to "end" or "fallout" stuff is the fillet end? Shave/fit works: I HATE that start over thing! Or how about you get it to fit what seems to be PURR-fectly--before glue--glue the danged thing, and sure enough, there's this teensy little gap in one mitre. Cuss, swear........
Mel, next time I'll try a Fletcher, provided I have enough life to actually NEED another one
ATG tape is available in adhesives that are stronger than the usual 924 tape that we all use to attach mats etc. Our supplier steered us to a really strong one which we use to attach filets to the mats. Now we don't need glue as well as ATG. Ask your supplier.
Cutting filets became easier after we installed our Fletcher F-6100 computer mat cutter. The mat opening is eactly square and the opposite sides are exactly the same length. The computer mat cutter cuts the opening without any influence from the outside edges of the mat board.
No, I don't teach at a school. Just learned from experience. I'll try explaining!
The ends or sides. Cut a 24x36 from a 32x40.
1. cut off the end so you have a 36" length.
2. Cut that end to exactly 24", the piece you are using should be 4"x24".
3. Use that piece to cut your sample to fit the end.
4. This will only have an opening on one side, it will be u shaped. Set your stops, the mat guide at the width you want and the end stops 1/8 inch longer cutting from the top of the mat, you will not need the guide to cut the open part of the u, flip over and finish this cut with a sharp blade as you would for a complete mat but it is only a partial mat.
5. Check it and it should fit that end fillet piece or both end pieces.
6. Now cut off the excess for your 24 side and repeat. If one of these doesn't fit, adjust your stops accordingly.
Now if your cutter is not cutting square raid the hubbies workshop or go buy a good square and adjust that baby so it is. Please don't ask me to explain how to do that. lol. Tip of the day.....mat measuring guides are never square but the cutting guide and your board should be.
[This message has been edited by JPete (edited 01-04-2000).]
[This message has been edited by JPete (edited 01-04-2000).]
Well, JPete, you should teach. It took me a few days to find time to do it mentally, but I get it now. One more question: If the mat guide isn't exactly square, how can the mat cutter be square? Are we talking about the same things--the guide is the guide, and the mat cutter is the thing with the blade in it on the bar that clamps down onto the mat?
I'll quite bugging you and go to work and try this procedure in real life which may answer my question.
Mel, the guide I'm talking about being square is the short one which helps measure the width of the mat. The other guide is the long bar we use to cut the board size. Some people don't have the latter. That one is difficult to keep square.