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Frame Measurements

Woodworks by John

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
For years, whenever I make a frame I'll automatically add 1/8" to the size of the canvas or panel and it's good to go. A recent client had some 4x6 and a 12x16 panel she needed frames for. Luckily she brought them in to look at corner samples and just for the heck of it, I measured them. Surprise, the panel was marked 12" x 16" but when I measured it it was actually 11 7/8" x 15 7/8"! I mentioned that to her and her reply was she wondered why another series of frames I made for her seemed to be a bit large! Now it has me worried so I measure each canvas/panel if possible. Canvas so far is always what it says, do panels vary by manufacturer? Just wondering if anyone else has run into this -- Thanks, John
 
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neilframer

PFG, Picture Framing God
For years, whenever I make a frame I'll automatically add 1/8" to the size of the canvas or panel and it's good to go. A recent client had some 4x6 and a 12x16 panel she needed frames for. Luckily she brought them in to look at corner samples and just for the heck of it, I measured them. Surprise, the panel was marked 12" x 16" but when I measured it it was actually 11 7/8" x 15 7/8"! I mentioned that to her and her reply was she wondered why another series of frames I made for her seemed to be a bit large! Now it has me worried so I measure each canvas/panel if possible. Canvas so far is always what it says, do panels vary by manufacturer? Just wondering if anyone else has run into this -- Thanks, John
The answer is "Yes"...;)
Mainly with a stretched canvas that is brought in already stretched, not so much with a panel.

I always measure in three places, top, middle, bottom and then diagonally corner to corner.
About 75% of the time when I measure diagonally on a canvas that is stretched but hasn't been in a frame, the canvas is out of square.
Or, the bars are bowed in the middle, sometimes as much as 3/8" on larger canvases because there isn't a middle brace.

This is important to note during the design process with the customer so that they realize that the canvas will probably have to be re-stretched (for an added charge), especially with a canvas going into a floater frame which will really show if a canvas isn't square.
 
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tedh

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Yes.
I tell all my artist customers to grab a ruler from the Ruler Department before heading over to the Canvas Panel Department, and measure the heck out of them.

I stock a range of ready-mades, and one of my customers drove 50 miles one way with his art, only to find that none of them fit. They were all slightly off size. Total waste of a trip.
 

artfolio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Yep, always measure everything, especially photographs. With digital cameras having several alternative formats these days the so-called "standard" sizes are often anything but.
 

Woodworks by John

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
The answer is "Yes"...;)
Mainly with a stretched canvas that is brought in already stretched, not so much with a panel.

I always measure in three places, top, middle, bottom and then diagonally corner to corner.
About 75% of the time when I measure diagonally on a canvas that is stretched but hasn't been in a frame, the canvas is out of square.
Or, the bars are bowed in the middle, sometimes as much as 3/8" on larger canvases because there isn't a middle brace.

This is important to note during the design process with the customer so that they realize that the canvas will probably have to be re-stretched (for an added charge), especially with a canvas going into a floater frame which will really show if a canvas isn't square.

Thanks Neil, luckily most canvas hasn't given me too many concerns; always easier to shim to fit than make the rabbet larger! Thought you might like to see this new Tabernacle frame I'm working on. Loosely based on Solomon's Temple so the bottom will be steps, most of the parts have been completed so we'll see how it goes! JMDrawing - 1.jpg
 

TurnerAssociatesdy

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Years ago, an artist called the warehouse I worked at needing a frame to be delivered same day. She gave me the measurements, I assured her it would be on our truck. I cut and joined the moulding. It was perfect. I got a call about 10 minutes before we were to close. She yelled and cursed at me stating the frame was cut wrong. I went down there on a Friday after work since I was sure it was right. I was right, she was wrong. However, she did continue to yell at me, while on the phone with another artist. She didn't get off the phone to talk to me. I offered to cut it down and rejoin the frame, at her charge. She was not happy.

I was a worker bee, however, my boss was good with letting me make choices. After being yelled, cursed, ignored, and her telling others I was wrong...she learned to measure twice before calling. After that she was much nicer.
 

prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Some canvases(and readymade frames) that are labelled 12X16 are actually 300x400mm. The Imperial size is an 'ish' term.

People use Imperial terminology because it's more familiar. Easier to say ten by eight than two hundred by two-hundred and fifty.

I always work in Metric though.

Personally, whatever system, I don't trust written measurements that I haven't taken myself. o_O
 

IFGL

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
It wasn't a metric panel was it? 16 x 12" metric equivalent is 300 x 400 mm

Oh ignore me Peter already put that.
 

tedh

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Sounds like IKEA to me.
 
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