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Frame Measurements

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by Woodworks by John, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. Woodworks by John

    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
    prospero likes this.
  2. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    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.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2019
  3. tedh

    tedh SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    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.
    Woodworks by John likes this.
  4. artfolio

    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.
    shayla and Woodworks by John like this.
  5. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    That doesn't surprise me. The vendor is selling "nominal sized" products just like the lumber industry. That way they can get more panels per sheet of material. The difference is the 1/2 of the kerf of the blades.
    shayla and Woodworks by John like this.
  6. Woodworks by John

    Woodworks by John CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    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
    blueeyes, Dave, neilframer and 2 others like this.
  7. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    We say a lot of art materials are measured in Chinese Inches. So much is made in China that sometimes the conversion from metric to inches is a little off.
    Woodworks by John and tedh like this.
  8. TurnerAssociatesdy

    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.
    Woodworks by John likes this.
  9. prospero

    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
    nettie ott likes this.
  10. IFGL

    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.
  11. tedh

    tedh SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Sounds like IKEA to me.
    IFGL likes this.

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