1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. WELCOME Grumblers
    Backup is now done at 3PM EDT. You may find the server down for up to two minutes at that time.

Matboard Thickness

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by Sonny, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. Sonny

    Sonny CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I get calls every week about the thickness of different matboards and like so many other topics that have to do with matboards there is a lot of misinformation out there. I can only describe the paper industry in North America as totally confusing while the Europeans make it a little easier. Europe uses the grams per square meter method of measuring the basis weight of paper which does not rely on anything but a square meter of any paper. Here in good old North America we use pounds per ream. Now a ream is 500 sheets of paper but the paper sizes change depending on the type of paper you are looking at. A ream of text [matboard surface paper] is measured at 500 sheets of 25 x 38 inch sheets or about 3300 sq ft. Cover paper is measured at 20x26 inches times 500 sheets. Bristol,Bond,,Index, and Tag are all different sizes again. Basis weight has pretty much nothing to do with thickness only weight per 500 sheets. Thickness is also called caliper and as basis weight goes up usually caliper follows but most times weight is more important than caliper as paper is sold by the pound. Are you confused yet.
    it gets better. A ply is 15 points or 15 one thousandths of an inch. A 4 ply matboard [100% cotton Museum] is 4 x 15 or 60 points. This only really refers to museum boards in framing and really for no other reason than it is tradition. For the most part, Conservaton, Whitecore, and Creamcore are not measured in plys by manufacturers. They are nomally 50 to 55 points depending on who made them, how much they will sell for, and what they will be used for. That is just the way our industry has gone. We call some of our boards double thick. This means we put two cores together before laminating the surface and backing paper. This makes the caliper about 95 points which is less than a true 8 ply [120 point] museum board.
    Fsimard, Jim Miller and IFGL like this.
    American Picture Frame Academy 1-888-840-9605

    The American Picture Framing Academy Learn Picture Framing Now
  2. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Good to know. Thank you. When cut with the flatter bevel on a Wizard, those "double-thick" boards at 95/120 points may appear as thick as a true 8-ply cut with the steeper bevel of a straightline cutter.
    :cool: Rick
    Jim Miller likes this.
  3. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

  4. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    When I were a lad, at least when I first started framing, I would but imperial sheets from the
    local art supplies shop. These were classed as 4-sheet. About 1mm thick. When I got into the trade
    the default double imperial boards which were 6-sheet. About 1.5mm. Then there were limited selections of
    8-sheet, 10-sheet and 12-sheet. Sometime along the way this term disappeared.
    I think this harks back to the days when in order to build up a thick board they would laminate a few thin boards or 'sheets'.
  5. Sonny

    Sonny CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Sorry you took offence to my comment about the European standard. I did not realize I would make you fell the need use the word dodgy after my reference. In fact I use the gsm standard when ordering paper because I don't have to think about ream sizes and the mills in North America do the conversions. We also mark our thicknesses in our specifiers and not to split hairs but no matboards are exactly the thickness claimed on the box or in the specifier. Paper machines are not that accurate and we have to give the mills a tolerance. This is usually plus or minus 5%. Since there are so few mills left in the world that work with our industry we all must look the other way if they are 6 or 7% out of spec. Just the way it is.
  6. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Hey Sonny, no offense was taken at all, that's why I 'liked' your post, I was agreeing with you, I used to be confused myself on here when people were talking about plys.

    The Dodgy European bit was my sense of humour, perhaps it should have been green, it was posted as I was falling asleep....
    Keith L Hewitt and neilframer like this.
  7. Keith L Hewitt

    Keith L Hewitt MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Can I add my thoughts, Sonny says paper thickness in Europe is measured in Grams per square metre, or gM2 to use the agreed way of writing it. Entirely correct, but lets talk about mat boards

    Most European mount board makers only show thickness ( caliper ) in mm. ( or sometimes in microns ) same thing but 1.4mm is written as 1400 microns

    So to keep it simple
    15 points = 0.38mm
    55 point = 1.4mm
    60 point = 1.5mm
    80 point = 2.0mm
    120 point = 3.0mm

    I frequently get calls from Europeans who have bought some USA or Canadian made mat board and are asking me for example , Double Thick - what thickness is that?
    What's this 4 ply - how thick is it? They see a label saying 55 point - it means nothing to a European who only know mm, cms, and metres.

    The world is the market for mat board and by now all mfgs who export should take this seriously and label all packets with the thickness in parts of an inch and also in mm. so any framer in any country knows the thickness. With the use of CMC machines growing throughout the world, the framers need to know " How thick is the board they are about to cut"

    And to have a little dig at you Americans, did you know there are now only 3 countries n the world still using inches as their official measurement of size? And those 2 countries are Myanmar and Liberia !

    That’s right, the three countries which are not using the metric system are Liberia, Myanmar and of course… the United States of America. Why is the United States so keen on preserving the imperial system? In short, Americans don’t hate the metric system – they hate change, just like the rest of world. But in an ever-connected world, can the US afford not to line up to a standard that everybody else seems to adhere to?
    Jim Miller likes this.
  8. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    What if you change that to Miles and Gallons?

    Because we are big bullies and do what we want. Obviously.

    On a less cynical note, I don't understand why/how either. Seems stupid on so many levels. But if it's worked this long it will probably work as long as we want it to.
  9. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    I sorta wish we would also. Change is a biatch but in some things we are making strides.

    When I took Physics in high school and college, I couldn't imagine getting through it without metrics. Such quaint formulas like Newton meters per seconds squared would be a such fun. And anything using volumes would be even more fun.

    A simple formula like density equals mass divided by volume can get real messy. With 50 kilos of mass and 2 meters^3 of volume we have 25 kilograms/meters cubed. Now covert that to pounds and cubic feet. Give up. Its 1.5606990143997 pound/foot^3. Don't ask me how. That's your homework assignment for tonight. At least I gave you the answer. Of course I cheated and Googled it.

    Here are some other answers to the same question.

    density(d) =25 kilogram/meter^3
    density(d) =0.025 gram/centimeter^3
    density(d)=25000 gram/meter^3
    density(d)=0.025 gram/milliliter
    density(d)=0.0025 kilogram/deciliter
    density(d)=0.025 kilogram/liter
    density(d)=25000 milligram/liter
    density(d)=24.97118425222 ounce/foot^3
    density(d)=0.014450916836685 ounce/inch^3
    density(d)=1.5606990143997 pound/foot^3
    density(d)=2.0044834039759 pound/bushel UK
    density(d)=1.942221384322 pound/bushel US
    density(d)=0.25056042499474 pound/gallon UK
    density(d)=0.20863511185225 pound/gallon US
    density(d)=0.00090318230033502 pound/inch^3
    density(d)=42.138873407207 pound/yard^3
    density(d)=0.025 ton metric/meter^3
    density(d)=0.048508008336501 slug/foot^3
    density(d)=0.000028071764067989 slug/inch^3

    Note that all the metric answers are just a matter of moving the decimal place. Not so for the others. Fun, huh? :p

    And many us of are used to metrics for things like car maintenance and equipment from overseas. When I need the next wrench up from a 13/64", I have to think before I reach for the 7/32". With metrics no thought required to reach for the 17mm after the 16mm doesn't fit. How many of us have both metric and SAE wrenches?
    IFGL likes this.
  10. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    One of my favorite old sketches from Sat. Night Live, this was in the 1970s, when the US was considering going metric.
    :cool: Rick
  11. Terry Hart cpf

    Terry Hart cpf SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    And then there's the question of where to set depth on the Wizard cutting head dial for a given board...
  12. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    How did we end up discussing quantum physics from on a thread about mat board thickness?
    blueeyes and Keith L Hewitt like this.
  13. Keith L Hewitt

    Keith L Hewitt MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Thank you Terry, that's exactly the point I was trying to make. I am seeing Wizard in places not seen before, where English is not their mother tongue.
    Jim Miller likes this.
  14. Jared Davis CPF GCF

    Jared Davis CPF GCF MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    In working extensively with CMC's - here in Australia I've found that due to the significant variance in thicknesses between different brands and types of matboards - we regularly use digital vernier calipers to accurately measure the thickness of each type and brand when configuring CMC's.

    When I do this, some framers are amazed at the variance in thickness between what one manufacturer calls either '4 ply' or '8 ply' compared to another's.

    This can become quite involved when a framer uses multiple (ie: every!) brand and type of matboard - and they want consistently perfect cuts.

    I must say, it's somewhat a challenge to re-wire my brain to temporarily work in imperial measurements when I'm working in the US. Its a relief when I come back home to work in native metric measurements again! I can't understand why a progressive country like the US can't change over to metric like the rest of the planet?


  15. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Growing up with the metric system, the US system never made any sense to me. I learned to use both now, but still prefer metric.

    Now what about Fahrenheit and Celsius????
  16. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Sorry 104° sounds a lot hotter than 40°. :D

    We are also used to 0° being really cold...
  17. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    LOL, so it's just a matter of pretend? :p
  18. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I use mm all the time for things like depth of spacers for shadowbox frames, aligning text on diplomas with mat openings, etc.
    :cool: Rick
  19. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Strange, but if someone gives me measurements in cm say 63.5cm I have no idea how long.
    But if they say 635mm I know straight away it's about 2ft and a bit. ;)
    FM Framer likes this.
  20. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Easy peasy. Just convert cm to meters (.635) and take off the decimal. Even this dumb American knows that!
  21. FM Framer

    FM Framer CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    And then there is the giant world of vehicular tyres/tires - they combine both systems of measurement - talk about confusing.........
  22. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I use both, mostly because half my family are Americans, Celsius is based on water freezing and boiling point at standard atmospheric pressure (which I am sure you know), but this does make it quite easy to quantify a temperature, 0 is ice cold water 100 is boiling water, this gives you a very good indication what 40 will feel like.

    To keep the thread on track, mount board will be thicker and generally harder to cut when wet and at 40°c, I don't recommend putting it on your cmc :)
  23. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    Canada is still using Imperial in foods, the construction industry, picture framing, and more, (sports), in spite of the zealots who tried to beat us into submission in the early '80s. I don't want to subvert this thread, though.

    Here's an aside: matboard measurements are not exactly perfect. A 32x40 may not be, and a 90 degree corner also may not be.
  24. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    No one seems to want to answer. Come on - why does the UK still use Miles and Gallons in automotive (at least) use?
  25. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    At least they got rid of (at least I think they got rid of ) the farthing, Ha'penny, penny, thrupenny bit, sixpence, shilling, two bob bit, half crown, ten bob note, guinea, Sovereign, groat, quid and probably some others. I'm sure some of the olefolk from across the pond can add a few more.
  26. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    The gallons has gone, fuel has been sold in litres for years, road signs were left in miles for a couple of reasons, ££££ was the first the second was to stop confusion on the roads untill the majority of road users had been schooled in the metric system (at school) there's still more older people driving that were taught the Imperial system, than younger whom were taught metric.
  27. Keith L Hewitt

    Keith L Hewitt MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    IFGL (aka Darren) beat me to me to it.☺ It's been litres for ages here.
    In Ireland there was a time when all cars showed kph (kilometres per hour) but road signs still in miles.
    And there were signs on the recently built motorways " IF YOU CAN READ THIS YOU ARE TRAVELING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION"
    Which was also confusing to anyone going in the right direction, as all they saw was a large blank sign !

    Back to mount board thickness, I will post a picture of my micrometer later
  28. Keith L Hewitt

    Keith L Hewitt MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    This is just too good, to just get a simple like
    An American framer who uses mm all the time WOW. :D
    A few Brits and even the odd Ozzie will be hugely impressed.
    Is this the first sign of the USA framing industry going metric:rolleyes:
  29. Keith L Hewitt

    Keith L Hewitt MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Micrometer for TG..jpg Micrometer for TG..jpg

    This is my micrometer, measures thickness in mm.
    And as you can see mat boards that are sold in Europe as 1.4mm,( aka 55 point) actually are 1.4mm.... exactly :eek:
    This accuracy makes it so much easier when using a CMC, or probably any mat cutter.
    IFGL likes this.
  30. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Then why do you still use "miles per gallon" when talking about fuel economy?
  31. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Because that's what my ford car reports to me, I probably could change it but have never bothered to look, my Epson printers report paper left in ft, I only recently changed that to metric.

  32. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Yes it's easy enough, but not intuitive to me. There's a difference between hearing and knowing and hearing and having to think about it. :(

    btw. Uncle Keith. The road signs in the South of Ireland are in Km. Which is great because you seem to get where you are going much quicker. :D

    There are signs near the ferry ports saying "Acthung! Links Fahren". For some reason only in German. :rolleyes:

    To get back to matboard thickness, us non-CMC types don't fret too much about it.
  33. Terry Hart cpf

    Terry Hart cpf SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    What do the numbers on the depth dial of my Wizard correspond to? I kind of miss my old 5000 where you could manually check blade depth against a board.
  34. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Not sure about the wizard dial, but my Valiani dial is in 10ths of a millimeter :)
  35. MarkyW

    MarkyW SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    (I did a preview and your photo didn't show, maybe it will when I actually post)

    This brings up another oddity and your picture shows both.

    Why do they use commas for decimal points? What's up with that?
  36. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    ...and periods for thousands separators...

    ...and the day before the month...

    ...and oh never mind. Some things just have no good reason.
  37. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Keith's pictures show two different formats because the two lables are for different markets, the one on the right will be for the UK, the left one will be from where the board was manufactured.
    Keith L Hewitt likes this.
  38. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    To my knowledge the US date format is a bit of an oddball with most countries going for a simpler approach dd mm yy or yy mm dd going from smallest to largest or largest to smallest, to me yy mm dd makes the most sense for example 17. 4. 23 04:16 that way it's largest to smallest all the way down the line, the same as writing any number down.
    Keith L Hewitt likes this.
  39. Keith L Hewitt

    Keith L Hewitt MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Rather than worrying about whether the girl at the mills sample office has used a dot or a comma, more to the point European framers get to use a mat board that's actually the thickness of what it says on the label.
    Which must make it so much easier when using a CMC.
  40. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    It certainly helps :)
    Keith L Hewitt likes this.
  41. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Like it's difficult to get to know your brands? :D
American Picture Frame Academy 1-888-840-9605

The American Picture Framing Academy Learn Picture Framing Now

Share This Page

Wizard Ad