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Home DIYer looking for some guidance on a project...

nmk

Grumbler in Training
Hello Grumblers and thanks in advance for your input. I am a DIYer hoping to take on a cool framing project. I would like to frame an antique Buddhist prayer book (pic attached). The overall dimensions are about 43 inches wide by 51 tall. The "bookends" (above and below the leaves in the pic) are 1.5 inches high at the highest point. They weigh about 12 to 16 ounces each.

I had planned the following and would love any input/advice from those who know more than I do. I plan to mount the items to 0.5 inch rigid foam insulation board (much cheaper, I think, than something like Gator Board and easily available at Home Depot - https://www.homedepot.com/p/Owens-Corning-FOAMULAR-1-2-in-x-4-ft-x-8-ft-R-3-Square-Edge-Rigid-Foam-Board-Insulation-Sheathing-36L/100320356) covered with a light colored linen fabric. Behind that, I planned to place pegboard (securely screwed to the insulation board), both for added stability and also to help with alignment of the many leaves to be mounted. The "bookends" will be secured directly to the insulation board/fabric with steel reinforced fishing leader wire (I understand regular fishing line can stretch over time) secured behind the pegboard with a crimp tube. The leaves will be mounted to foam board with linen t hinges and foam boards will, in turn, be mounted to the insulation board/fabric securely (maybe with the same fishing wire). With the pegboard and insulation board, I think the setup will be about 0.7 inches think.

I will need a deep rabbet frame, ideally about 3 inches or more, but 2.5 minimum especially if I use a rabbet depth extender. I'd like a quarter inch minimum between the acrylic and the item.

I planned UV acrylic for the front, but may upgrade to the museum quality acrylic depending on cost.

Any thoughts on the plan? Does it make sense? Are there easier ways to go about this? Particularly helpful would be comments on:
- Where to find sufficiently deep rabbet frames online - any suggestions?
- Suggestions on what to do for frame spacers

Thank you!Scroll.jpg
 
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David Hewitt

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
I commend you on your willingness to tackle such a project. But if you value the Prayer Book at all then you need the hands on involvement of a professional. Most all of the materials and procedures that you have mentioned would be detrimental to the Prayer Book.
IMHO your post needs much more communication then just a simple response.
 

JFeig

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
A couple of comments to your request.
  • most items from a home center were not designed for conservation picture framing. Some have added ingredients that are detrimental to preservation. Pegboard is made from HDFB (high density fiber board). There are all kinds of nasty chemicals used to manufacture this product.
  • linen tape is too strong. hinging materials should be weaker than the item being mounted.
  • there are procedures prescribed that have the concept of being reversible.
  • professionals have been trained in doing "no harm" to what is being framed.
  • I have taken many many classes and practiced on many things over my 35 years of experience as a picture framer.
  • Yes, you can be certified as a picture framer, much like a carpenter, mechanic, or plumber.
 
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Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
If your mounted items will be about .7" thick, what is the reason for using a 3" deep-rabbet frame? As you've described the project I guess a rabbet depth of 1-1/2" to 2" should be sufficient for that depth, which would be cheaper, easier to find, and easier to work with.

I suggest using real framing materials, such as boards made of cotton or virgin alpha cellulose fiber, buffered, and colored by pigments instead of dyes. If you prefer a fabric background, wash it thoroughly and rinse three times to be sure all detergent and sizing are removed.

The foam insulation board and pegboard would be chemically invasive; neither of those products is intended for long-term confinement in the closed environment of a properly-constructed frame package. For a rigid backing, I suggest using fluted polypropylene (aka Coroplast brand) or aluminum composite material (aka ACM). Both of these are sign-making products, which should be easily available in any metropolitan area.

For attachment of the pieces, I suggest you use polypropylene monofilament line, which is resistant to stretching and to damage from light. You have heard correctly that nylon monofilament can stretch under load, but the items in your project should not be heavy enough to impose sufficient force to cause stretching. Exposing nylon to light (visible, as well as UV) weakens it over time, and that may be the best reason not to use it. Steel wire attachments are commonly called "formed rod" mounts by framers. The steel is high-carbon spring steel (piano wire), which is somewhat more resistant to corrosion than ordinary steel. Anyway, most of us would cover is using matte black polyolefin shrink tubing, which should be available from most home-improvement stores and any electrical supplier. You can paint the mounts to match using inter-mixable acrylic airbrush colors.

Your plan to use 99% UV filtering acrylic or Museum Optium Acrylic is good. Also, be sure to close the back of the frame completely using lignin-free paper, board, or fabric.

All of these suggestions would be appropriate for consumer-retail "preservation" framing.
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Question: Do the leaves have images/text on both sides? If a double-sided presentation would be useful, you could easily attach all of the pieces between properly-spaced sheets of UV-filtering glass or acrylic using rare-earth magnets. One pair of 1/8" square magnet cubes in each corner would probably be strong enough to hold the pages, but the book-ends might need 1/4" cubes. Attach a set of the magnets to the verso (back) glazing by cyanoacrylate (aka Super Glue) and install each piece between those and a mating set of magnets.

In this sort of see-through design, you could take the frame off the wall to view the back of the pieces.

Are you sure you don't want to work with a professional framer?
:shrug:
 

alacrity8

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
I would not recommend this for a first framing project.
As others have mentioned, there are a lot of steps here.
Many of which can be done better.
If you really want to do this yourself, work up to it.
Use framing grade materials.
 

framah

PFG, Picture Framing God
I feel sorry for the framer in the future who gets this package and is asked to somehow fix it. :faintthud:

Please, don't do any of the things you listed. Buddha would not smile on you if you do it as you posted.

Remember Karma? :shutup:
 

artfolio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I can only add my wholehearted agreement with what the others have already said.

Don't take it personally but you are really trying to run before you have learned to walk.

Mounting those book leaves will be tricky and doing so in a safe and reversible manner which will keep them flat and looking tidy would be a real challenge for a skilled framer. Handling and mounting old paper like that is a skill which only comes with years of experience.

Just one hypothetical example:

You lick and stick your linen tape to a leaf. As it dries the paper puckers and the outline of the tape shows through the front of the paper. Now what are you going to do? Apply water to the back of the tape to soften the adhesive and peel it off? But the glue is still sticky and peeling the tape off may well tear the paper, especially if some of that water has dampened it. With the tape removed the outline is still there and you have to get rid of the residual adhesive, again without damaging that fragile and now probably damp paper. My (27 years experience) hands are sweating thinking about it. No kidding, at that stage I would be swallowing my pride and begging my conservator to rescue me.

Do yourself a favour and start out by framing simple, replaceable items like photographs at least until you have mastered the basics of this craft and read the many and varied mounting ideas you will find on this site before tackling the advanced stuff.
 

Ylva

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Simply put. This is not a diy project. You are talking about an antique, with probably quite some value to it. Unless you know exactly what not to do, don’t attempt this.

It sounds like you might not have access to the proper materials. Work with a framer.
 

nmk

Grumbler in Training
Thank you all very much for your input. When all the experts seem to be saying the same thing I suppose I should take heed. While there's a certain satisfaction that comes from seeing the fruits of your own labor, maybe this piece (yes @Ylva, definitely antique and probably having some value) isn't the one to cut my teeth on.

@Jim Miller - Yes, the leaves are double-sided as are the bookends. I like the idea of a double-sided piece but I think it will be large enough that taking it off the wall and turning it around would be impractical. Plus, one side is certainly more decorative/ decorated than the other. The bookends are made of wood and about 1.5 inch thick. That, in addition to the 0.7 inch backing, is the reason I felt I needed a deep rabbet frame.

I have great respect for the experience that goes into professional work of any kind and I would have no problem working with a professional framer. I must admit however that the estimate scared me: $4000 to $6000. Ouch!
 
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framah

PFG, Picture Framing God
I must admit however that the estimate scared me: $4000 to $6000. Ouch!

I'd do it for half that!!! 👍 :thumbsup::shutup:

...unless you decide to use Optium Acrylic, then, yeah, you're back up to that amount.
 
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prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Those are delicate and precious items. The basic precept for this kind of job is to be able to remove the
items from the framing at a later date and not be able to tell they had ever been framed. I matters not
that you probably never do it -the thing is that anything you do to them that alters them in any way is
a BIG no-no. I wouldn't go near them with any sort of glue. And definitely not linen hinges. A hinge should
always be weaker than the item it's attached to. That is just by-the-way. Don't stick anything to them.
There are ways and means of non-invasive support. See above. 👆

The physical frame is mostly an afterthought.

Sorry for lame answer. I hope you don't take this amiss, but it's not a project for a newbie. 🙂
 

framah

PFG, Picture Framing God
Well... I'm noticing that if i order a custom cut of Optium 6mm , we are looking at close to $2,000 retail.

...THEN we have the rest of this job and it really does head very close to the $4,000 price.
 

alacrity8

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
If you are not concerned about the weight, Museum Glass is available up to 48" x 68".
Not cheap, but a heck of a lot less than Optium Acrylic.
 
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artfolio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Well... I'm noticing that if i order a custom cut of Optium 6mm , we are looking at close to $2,000 retail.

...THEN we have the rest of this job and it really does head very close to the $4,000 price.
That price seems over the top for any glazing material.:nuts:

Just what is this stuff made of and does anyone ever use it??
 

prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Just for interest, I checked the price of Optimum Acrylic from a UK supplier.
A full sheet came out at a shade under 5000GBP. People around here don't pay that for a car. :faintthud:
 

neilframer

PFG, Picture Framing God
Just for interest, I checked the price of Optimum Acrylic from a UK supplier.
A full sheet came out at a shade under 5000GBP. People around here don't pay that for a car. :faintthud:
We use Optium occasionally and the left over "scraps" are like gold to be sold on other jobs at full retail.
 
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Such a cool object, OP! I'm sooo glad you're reconsidering this project, though. Home projects are great for items with no real monetary or personal value. Even if you knew exactly what you were doing and you had easy access to all of the appropriate materials, the number of things that could go wrong with this project are really high.

We did a project very similar to this years back and we worked with an acrylics fabricator to have made an acrylic back with clear acrylic pockets or inserts for each item. An acrylic hood was then attached over the whole front of the package. It was a beautiful piece but it was not inexpensive.
 

prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
In one way it's good that the absolute top end glazing is available. One day somebody might stroll
in with a artwork worth $$$$$$$$$$$$$s, where only the best is acceptable. 🙂
 

nmk

Grumbler in Training
Well @Jim Miller, my copy of your book just arrived in the mail yesterday and I'm soaking up what I can.

I got another estimate on the project from another local professional framer. It was much less expensive - which was good - but he proposed linen t hinges for the leaves. After reading all your comments above, I think I should run. What do you think?

Both shops from which I got estimates have a real dearth of options for deep rabbet frames. Does anyone have suggestions for where I might find a good selection online? Both framers indicated a willingness to source a frame if I could provide model #.

Thanks for your advice everyone.
 

framah

PFG, Picture Framing God
Well.. PictureWoods makes a pretty deep moulding AND makes extenders in the same wood or the same finish.

They are in Colorado but I use them all the time and i'm up here in Maine.
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Well @Jim Miller, my copy of your book just arrived in the mail yesterday and I'm soaking up what I can.

I got another estimate on the project from another local professional framer. It was much less expensive - which was good - but he proposed linen t hinges for the leaves. After reading all your comments above, I think I should run. What do you think?
Linen T-hinges? Well, nobody's perfect; a lot of framers would tell you (incorrectly) that gummed linen hinges are suitable for preservation framing. If you are otherwise satisfied with that framer's proposal, maybe you could get him to use a better, non-adhesive mounting provision.
 

shayla

WOW Framer
Hi, nmk! Welcome to the Grumble. I'm curious why you're wanting a frame so deep. Are the prayer book covers deeper than they appear here, or are you just liking the idea of a super deep frame?
 

wpfay

Angry Badger
Why not frame the pieces individually in a way that you could see the back of the pieces? Then make a larger presentation board that the individual frames are hung from/mounted to. The leaves could be encapsulated in clear film (avoiding attachments completely) and placed in a "sandwich" mat with glazing on both sides. The two end pieces could be presented in acrylic vitrines (Wilson should chime in on that).
The individual frames would be preservation grade, but the larger display board need not be.
Yes, "acrylic vitrine" is probably an oxymoron.
 

nmk

Grumbler in Training
@wpfay, interesting idea but I'm not sure I can picture it. Would you be able to post a pic or direct me to one that approximates what you're describing? Thanks!
 

Ylva

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Any frame 2 inches or deeper would work. There are also extensions or you could build out and use any moulding you’d like.
Personally, anyone recommending linen hinges for something like this, I’d run.
Ask a lot of questions. Find the framer you want to work with. No adhesives would be my number one priority. Completely reversible is what you need.
Cheaper might in the end cost you more
 
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