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Help Hey Smartypants! Help me figure calculations to match patterns in corner

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by LeMieuxGalleries, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. LeMieuxGalleries

    LeMieuxGalleries CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Is there a way to figure out what length and/or width a frame needs to be to make the corners match in a design???? I have a 3.5 inch decorative moulding with a repeated pattern and the client would like the design to line up as much as possible. The artwork going into the frame has yet to be printed so I am able to direct them as to what size it should be. I've always just started cutting and matching the three corners as I go, letting the fourth fall as it may. If I have to do that I will, but if there is a magic calculation that can happen ahead of time, then they can go ahead and order the printing already. Maybe there's no such calculation...?
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  2. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Most of the time nothing works unless the custom measurement works exactly. If you need to do the best you can for appearance sake, waste a little wood and make the pattern symmetrical on opposite legs. Four corners don't match except by a lucky accident.
  3. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Take the O.D. of the frame rails and divide by the repeat pattern length to determine if a repeat is possible. A whole number (1.0, 2.0, 3.0) would be a candidate for a matching repeat. A fractional number (1.23, 2.4, 3.7) will not produce a repeat. The smaller the decimal the closer the match.
  4. LeMieuxGalleries

    LeMieuxGalleries CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Sorry, what is the O.D.??
  5. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    Is the repeating pattern symmetrical; i.e. is it a mirror image of itself if the frame is (virtually) folded in half in the center of a single pattern? If it is, then you can possibly match the corners.

    Take this one for instance:


    It is close, but not quite. No matter where you choose to "fold" it, one side is not the same as the other. If you choose to fold it over the gauge, the indicator and the knobs below it won't quite line up. If you fold it over the handle midway between the gauges, the wheels and other stuff won't line up. I can't find a place where it would be exactly symmetrical.

    If you can deal with close, the measure the length of the repeating pattern. It's more important that it be closer to symmetrical at the outside of the moulding than the inside. If you choose the gauge as your outside point of the pattern, you need to have your cut bisect the gauge at point so the two halves of the circle line up. Not easy to do. To me, this would not be candidate for this.

    Take the next two.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I don't think either of these two are candidate either. I don't think either can be cut to match up on one, let alone 4 corners. It looks like some attempt was made to try to match the second, but it's still off. In the first, it looks like they tried but the end result isn't good.

    If by chance you find a moulding that has an exactly symmetrical repeating pattern, then measure the length of the pattern. Let's say it's 2". Then the length of each cut has to be some multiple of that measurement. I believe that you would have to measure the outside dimensions for matching but I don't know if it will work inside as well.

    I don't do corner matching. I cut and put them together however looks best. You can probably get the top to look decent and possibly one of the bottom corners. The last will be a carp shoot.

    I think the only way you can get true matching is with a closed corner frame.
    LeMieuxGalleries and neilframer like this.
  6. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Outer Dimension.
    :cool: Rick
    LeMieuxGalleries likes this.
  7. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I believe there was an article in PFM magazine about pattern matching. Maybe do a search on their site.
    :cool: Rick
    LeMieuxGalleries likes this.
  8. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    I deal with this often.
    I don't really like using the "running pattern" approach, trying to make 3 corners match and then whatever on the fourth.
    On larger patterns, it will leave the pattern off center on at least 3 of the sides and a mismatched fourth corner and to me, it just doesn't look right.
    Usually we have to deal with an existing size and we can't alter the size to fit the pattern.
    Some patterns might be exact mirror images and other ones just run to the right or left and there's not much you can do about it.

    Another issue is that with some mouldings, Roma and sometimes LJ, you figure the pattern on one leg and cut the next leg and the pattern is a little wider apart or a little closer together.:oops:
    Also, you may have a double pattern, one large pattern on the outer part and a smaller pattern near the lip, like beads or dashes and dots.
    And, they are not necessarily made the same in conjunction with each other...:confused:

    I will usually start by figuring the OD and I put a tape measure on the moulding to see where I can center the pattern on each leg and I try to hit the pattern with the cut in the least "busy" area.
    I might then put a little piece of blue painter's tape to mark on the moulding where I want to cut.
    I cut the top leg first about an inch bigger than it needs to be.
    Then I see what I need to cut from each end to center the pattern.
    Then I cut a side leg a little bigger and cut from each end to center and see how it works with the top leg.
    Once I get the top and side figured, I just copy them for the remaining 2 sides (except, as I mentioned, sometimes they fool you and the pattern width varies..o_O)
    I always try to center the top and bottom legs because they are the most apparent when viewing.

    When you have a smaller "busy" pattern, it's not that big a deal and not as noticeable if it doesn't match perfectly.

    Here's a pretty busy pattern that I worked with.
    I centered the turtles on each leg with no "half turtles" in the corners...
    Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 1.51.29 PM.png Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 1.51.54 PM.png
    Here's a very large pattern where I centered it and then I did a little carving and touch up in the corners to blend the pattern...
    Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 2.17.20 PM.png
    All that said, there really is no exact formula, it's just using your eyes to get the best result.
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
  9. LeMieuxGalleries

    LeMieuxGalleries CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Y'all have given me a lot to think about thank you. It is a Roma moulding but seems like it's pretty accurately repeated. I get not trying to match up designs all the time, but I can see why with this one the client would prefer it not be a total miss, especially on the areas where the medallion upload_2018-11-9_16-4-1.png pattern is largest.

  10. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    As I mentioned, especially with Roma, you might find that not every medallion is exactly the same and the distance between the medallions might not be the same along the length or from stick to stick if it takes more than one stick.
    On that style of pattern, I try to just have the same distance from the medallion to the corner on the top and bottom and then a matching distance (or close to it if possible) to the corner on the sides as you have in your picture.
    Screen Shot 2018-11-09 at 3.12.00 PM.png

    The medallion is the largest thing that you see and the rest can be less of an issue.
    You just don't want to have a medallion chopped in half in a corner if possible.

    Usually, I don't have the option to change a size to fit a pattern.
    Good luck with your challenge.

    Normally I wouldn't be on the Grumble except at night but I had to security install 40 large pictures in a medical building yesterday so I was given a paid day off today for a 3 day weekend.:D
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2018
    LeMieuxGalleries likes this.
  11. LeMieuxGalleries

    LeMieuxGalleries CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    I appreciate your input! It makes sense to cut according to placement of medallions and let the tiny details fall as they may.
    Rick Granick likes this.
  12. artfolio

    artfolio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Some very handy hints here: I always found it easier to do where there was a lower relief pattern or, at least occasional flattish areas where the cuts could fall. A bit of colouring and filling usually produced an acceptable result. Remember that very few people (other than framers) actually peer critically at the corners.

    I did once try pattern matching but it is extremely fiddly because of the kerf of the cut - each corner had to be cut a little too long then pared back a smidgeon at a time until it lined up and, yes, the last one was still not quite right. I could have probably completed a three or four frames in the time it took just to cut this one.
    shayla and neilframer like this.
  13. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    Yes, I'm with you on that.;)
    But then, that's why we make the Big Bucks $$$o_O:oops::rolleyes:
  14. CB Art & Framing

    CB Art & Framing SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I dont worry about matching pattern, just match corners, well 3 out of 4. Took me almost 30 years to figure this out.
  15. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    I think that we are on the same page, Colin.
    Every job is another interesting situation...;)
    It's all good.
  16. Philliam Phulgor

    Philliam Phulgor CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Just a little "after the game's over" input. When I am requested to match corners I converse with the client to make sure they have realistic expectations and I try to spell them out very clearly. I also politely explain that this does waste moulding and has a time element that must be considered. This means that whatever the result, and I will not give them a bad result, but perfection is elusive and they must agree that it may be near impossible and I am more than willing to try for them. Next, I will always charge, at a minimum, anywhere from 2 to 4 extra feet, plus, at a minimum, an hour of labor on top of customary charges. I want the customer to know the excellent service I am providing them comes with a cost.
    I didn't see that mentioned in this thread and thought it very important to bring up.
    Other than that, a lot of well-thought out and experienced answers from all of you Master Grumblers.
    Rick Granick and MATTHEW HALE like this.
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