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Making mat samples

bobtnailer

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Howdy, y'all!

We use a Wizard 8000 with Mat Designer software for cutting our mats (well, except for those we cut on the laser). I have just a handful of mats in stock that don't have corresponding samples. Most of these are either older or discontinued.

Is there an easy way to create the "L" shape of a mat sample on the MD program? The only way I see is to cut two squares, but that makes the cutting head follow the same path twice. My hope is that there's a way to just draw two lines for the inner angle of the sample. (I hope that makes sense!) I've looked around the program for something like a node editor, but it doesn't seem to have that feature. I can't imagine that it wouldn't have something like that, though.

Has anyone done that kind of work on this program before?

Thanks in advance! Y'all ROCK!!
 
888

tedh

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
If you can wait until tomorrow I have a solution at the store. I'm off today.

This was a major complaint of mine years ago: why in heck didn't Wizard include this template in their library?
 

RoboFramer

PFG, Picture Framing God
You could just cut a normal mat with 4" borders bottom and left and 1" borders top and right, then cut the 1" borders off by hand. If "the laser" is a manual mat cutter then it's even easier, cut the corner out of an 11" (or whatever) square with stops set to 4" or however wide you like your samples. I like this method best actually - I have the shape in my CMC software but it's a complete fall out therefore the outsides are bevelled, plus it's less economical.
 
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bobtnailer

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Beautiful!

Yes, tomorrow is perfect...there's zero rush on this. I'm just trying to get some of my older stuff organized so that I can run a "special" on it.

The overall vision is to turn our old/discontinued Crescent stock into cash, and to upgrade as much as possible to some nicer (and acid-free, where possible) mats. We have some repeat projects that may require us to keep some "regular" Crescent stock on hand, but I hope to keep that to a minimum.

I took a loose inventory of my mats last week, and found that I had a total of 81 full sheets, 20 of which were discontinued. I have corners for all of these except for the discontinued pieces.

I have 150 partial sheets (minimum of about 1/3 sheet, and some almost full sheets), with 44 discontinued pieces.

We have corners for almost all of our current stock, but almost none for our discontinued stock. That makes it a little hard to get rid of the old stuff, but your solution will solve that for us, too.

We'll probably run some sort of special between now and Christmas to help move some of the old material...something like a "25% off selected in-stock mats", or "50% off all discontinued mats". We'll figure that part out. We VERY seldom run any sort of special offers, so we'll see what looks like it will work for us. That should help us move the old stuff AND generate some new sales at the same time. :)
 

bobtnailer

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
You could just cut a normal mat with 4" borders bottom and left and 1" borders top and right, then cut the 1" borders off by hand. If "the laser" is a manual mat cutter then it's even easier, cut the corner out of an 11" (or whatever) square with stops set to 4" or however wide you like your samples.
The 4" / 1" border is definitely an improvement on my first idea of cutting two squares!

The laser really is a laser engraver/cutter (see attached pic). The only reason I hesitate to use it is that we're essentially cutting with fire. Unlike a mechanical knife or saw, the depth is controlled by speed and power settings. Mats are very different from one another, so we'd have to dial in the settings for each piece to keep from either charring the edges or not cutting all the way through. Using the Wizard will make much neater work of it.
 

Attachments

artfolio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I always found that the pale and more popular colour samples got grubby very quickly while the rest of the set was still quite usable

My easy solution was to simply cut a square matt with the same width borders as my other samples then use a Stanley knife to cut two samples out of the one matt.
 

alacrity8

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
I always make my samples (for discontinued and companies that don't like to spend money on samples) with a straight edge and utility knife.
Our CMC is a Wizard 8000. I prefer to not have beveled edges on my samples (except for 8 PLY). My hands like to not get daily paper cuts.

Brian
 

bobtnailer

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
I don't know that we have any 4-ply samples with bevels. The only reason that I would prefer to have them is that I can show the customer what they'll actually look like on their framed pieces.

One of my display racks is a wire frame, and the bevels would get damaged pretty quickly on it (unless I fashion a cover over the wires), so that's another consideration.
 

shayla

WOW Framer
I prefer most samples without bevels. It's easy to add an under mat to approximate a bevel, but hard to ignore that bright white edge when trying to show a reverse bevel design.
 

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
If you have a manual, straightline cutter, it would take about one minute to make a sample on that. Just trace an existing sample onto a blank of your desired sample, and make two cuts on the manual cutter. "No problem, lovely budgie."
:cool: Rick
 

bobtnailer

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
If you have a manual, straightline cutter, it would take about one minute to make a sample on that. Just trace an existing sample onto a blank of your desired sample, and make two cuts on the manual cutter. "No problem, lovely budgie."
:cool: Rick
The only manual cutter I have is a wall-mounted Fletcher F-3000, mainly used for cutting the outside dimensions of glazing and foam. I doubt that I'd be able to make display-quality inside corners on that one.

We used to have a tabletop cutter for cutting mat openings (beveled or straight), but it had been severely abused over its long life (I was at least the third owner). The shaft had a couple of bad spots, making it a pain in the bootie to make decent cuts. We replaced it with the Wizard 8000 a couple of years ago.

I could still use a straight edge and knife to make the cuts, but I really do like the beveled look, and I love using the Wizard. Without going into the specifics about my pro-Wizard-ness, let's just say that I'm a big time nerd.
 

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Just cut a mat on the Wizard with a 4-1/4" border. Then use your straightedge and utility knife to trim it to the size of your other samples, with straight-cut outside edges.
:cool: Rick
 

bobtnailer

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
I finally got all of the corners cut (I've never considered myself one to cut corners, but I obviously made an exception for this task) and put on my display racks.

My plan is to offer some percentage off regular price for all of my discontinued mats. We may also run a sale on all of (or some selection from) our in-stock regular Crescent mats. If this goes well, several things will happen:

1) Old/discontinued mats that I inherited from the previous shop will go away. They'll either be converted to cash, used on one of my freebie projects (I do some donation work for my area Masonic lodges), or be scrapped at the end of the year.

2) With the older/slower-moving mats gone, I'll have room and cash to buy new Crescent Select, Artique, and possibly Bainbridge mats to replace the old stuff. I doubt that we'll ever move completely away from the basic Crescent mats, but this will let us start using stuff that's more "fresh" than what we've carried before.

3) Mental health - I'll feel much better knowing that I don't have a bunch of stuff sitting on a shelf collecting dust and being a barrier between me and some $$$.

We may also look at doing this with some of our old moulding. We have hundreds of feet of inherited moulding that needs to become either cash or trash. A lot of it is from Aetna and RW Chang, neither of which is in the moulding business anymore (from what I've been told).

I'm not the "anxious" sort, but seeing stock that hasn't sold in YEARS pushes me in that direction...
 

alacrity8

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
We had some discontinued mats that I recently used as test mats for an odd shaped mat opening.
We also have 100+ sheets of Bainbridge Alpha mats that we don't regularly stock. I've been considering adding them to our line on a temporary discounted basis.

We have a Poster Special, that includes frame, glass, backer, fit and finish.
When we opened, it only included OEM metal moulding.
As the years have gone on, I've added some wood moulding that I find in a similar price range, and some discontinued moulding.
I've also made discontinued moulding, and small scrap pieces of current moulding into premade frame sizes.

Brian
 
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