New Picture Framing and Picture Hanging Products – February 2017

UK Picture Framing Supplies now has the following new products in stock for 2017 –

Hand Tools for Picture FramingHand Tools for Picture Framing

Some workshop hand tools at low prices including steel rulers, tape measures, bradawls, staple guns, screwdrivers, hex keys pliers and more.


Heavy Duty Safety Hook Zinc PlatedHeavy Duty Safety Hook Zinc Plated

A a heavy duty picture hook that limits quick removal of a frame. the hook allows the wire or hangers on the picture frame to slide into the hook. The clip then resists removal unless it is lifted and pulled at a certain angle.

Magnetic Picture Hooks and HangersMagnetic picture hooks and hangers

Some magnetic picture hooks, magnetic picture hangers and magnetic self adhesive tape for lightweight hanging applications on metal surfaces.


Gloves and Hand Protection Gloves and Hand Protection

Gloves and Hand protection, including disposable latex gloves and heavier duty gloves for tougher tasks around the workshop. Very useful when handling paint, dyes or inks.


Rubber Dust BlowerRubber Dust Blower

A rubber dust blower/puffer which can greatly help the removal of dust on a picture mount under the glass. Slightly lift the glazing and blow the dust spec away.


Staple Guns and StaplesStaple Gun

Some staple guns and staples which can be used for a variety of tasks, but are commonly used to attach a canvas print to a wooden stretching frame.


Parcel Tape Dispenser GunParcel Tape Dispenser Gun

A handy dispenser for parcel tape. Takes 50mm wide parcel tapes (both clear and brown). The end is always ready to use. As you finish your dispensing stroke a sharp serrated blade cuts the tape.


Plastic Cutting MatsPlastic Cutting Mats

We have a selection of cutting Mats available. The smooth surface allows fine blades to penetrate without blunting. It is ideal when trimming prints. Small cuts almost disappear.


corner clampClamps

Some general purpose workshop clamps. Very useful fro a variety of workshop tasks.


Resealable Poly Grip Seal BagsPoly Grip Seal Bags

A selection of general purpose poly grip seal bags.






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New Picture Framing and Picture Hanging Products – March 2016

New Picture Framing and Hanging Products 2016



We now have the following new picture framing and picture hanging products in stock –

High Quality Masking Tape 25mm x 50mHigh Quality Masking Tape

A quality masking tape, which tends to be thicker than most masking products currently used. Cream in colour, with an aggressive white adhesive system. This Masking Tape is ideal for wet painting and spray painting. It is used quite often as temporary tape during the creation of double mounts. Dimensions : 25mm x 50m.

Fillet TapeFillet Tape

Fillet Tape is a polyester double sided archival tape which acts as an acid barrier between the two surfaces it bonds. This Fillet Tape has a strong acid free adhesive which has very high tack making this a permanent tape which does not yellow over time. This Archival Tape is designed to attach the fillet or slip to the picture mount in the framing industry. Also works very well attaching and holding slips firmly to a frame. Not compatible with tape guns, but very easy to use. Dimensions : 6mm wide by 50m long.

Linen Hinging TapeLinen Tape

This is a white, gummed, acid free (pH 7 neutral) tape. This high quality textured Linen Tape is backed with water activated gum. The high thread count of the linen cloth gives this tape its strength. Gummed archival linen hinging tape is mainly used to hinge mounts(mats) to backing boards and is used widely in the framing and art conservation industries. Our Gummed Linen Archival Tape has a pH neutral, starch based adhesive which sets flat and has high tack. Size: 24mm wide, 20metres long.

Ph7-70 Double Sided ATG TapePh7-70 12mm ATG tape

Permanent adhesive, Ph neutral double sided tape 12mm x 30m. Conservation Ph neutral double sided tape ATG tape gun compatible although a tape gun is not required to use it. 12mm wide by 30m length. Ph neutral tapes are acid neutral, they use a water based acid neutral acrylic adhesive system which will not react with board or papers and can hence be used for conservation purposes. Will fit most Automatic Tape Guns (ATG) dispensers.

Double Sided ATG Tape 19mmDouble sided 19mm ATG tape

Double sided roll of adhesive tape. Suitable for ATG tape guns, although a tape gun is not required to use it. Size: 19mm wide by 33m long. Non acid free adhesive. We now stock both 12mm and 19mm versions.

ECO-25 Frame Backing Tape 38mm x 50mECO-25 38mm frame backing tape

A self-adhesive flexible sealing tape is used by many framers. It gives a cost effective yet attractive finish to the back of the frame. The flexibility of the ECO tapes, allow them to be easily shaped over the rebate steps at the back of the frame. ECO-25 tape is similar to ECO-15 tape in almost every aspect except that it is thicker, stronger, and more opaque, but also a bit more expensive.

Angled D Ring Hanger Bronze PlatedAngled D-Ring Hanger Bronze Plated

The Angled-D-Ring Hanger (one pair L+R) gives you the security of a two-screw fixing on all types of moulding, including narrow patterns. The D-ring is angled to give the correct alignment of the cord or wire, minimising stress in the frame.

Stretched Canvas Frame Picture StandStretched Canvas Frame Stands

A canvas frame picture stand for small stretched canvases up to around 300 x 300mm (12” x 12”). The stand fixes with one screw and is easily bent to make the stretched canvas print stand at any chosen angle. It is designed to fit into the hollow back of the canvas frame. Dimensions: 75mm x 15mm, zinc plated steel. Included with bumpers and screws.

Flat Graphics Panel Picture StandGraphics Panel Picture Stands

For making small and medium sized flat graphic panels of Aluminium, Acrylic, Di-Bond, Glass, Steel and similar free stand on a surface. The panel stand clips into the supplied steel self-adhesive base plate stuck onto the back of the panel. The stand is easily bent to fine adjust the standing angle. Dimensions: panel stand 75mm long, base plate is 80x40mm.

Frame Packaging, Cardboard Corners, Handy WrapHandy Wrap and Cardboard Protective Frame Corners

Packaging for picture frames, including handywrap, handy wrap handles, cardboard picture frame corner protectors and packaging tape. Useful for the packaging, protection and transportation of picture frames safely. Also useful for presentation of completed frames when ready to return to customer as it can create a professional touch.

Picture Perfect Magic Marker Frame Hanging SystemPicture Perfect Wireless Magic Marker Hanging System

Picture Perfect Wireless Magic Marker Hanging System™. Picture frame hanging made easy. Hang your picture frames quickly and easily with these benefits –
– Pictures are hung exactly where you want them, the first time and level
– No more measuring or marking, no pencils, tape measures, wire or calculations needed
– Eliminate guesswork and trial-and-error measuring
– Reduce wasted time
– No D-rings, saw-tooth hangers, picture cord or wire is required
– Position the framed art exactly where you want it
– Your framed artwork will remain safely and securely in place and permanently level
– Fits most wooden or plastic frames of => 16mm (5/8″) width


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Lightweight Self Adhesive Hangers for Mounted Prints and Photos

mounted_print_hanger_max_250g_1Lightweight self adhesive plastic hangers can be used for displaying mounted prints or mounted photographs eg during an exhibition. We currently have two hangers rated at 250 grams and 500 grams load –

Self Adhesive Plastic Hangers for Mounted Pictures – Max 250g

Self Adhesive Plastic Hangers for Mounted Pictures – Max 500g

These hangers are suitable for most hanging and displaying most mounted prints. The self adhesive pad stick onto the rear backing of a mounted print, and provides a loop that can be used to hang over a nail, screw, picture hook etc for display purposes. The hangers work well sticking to a cellophane wrap on the backside of the mounted print.

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New Products May 2015

We have started to add some new products to our range.

Self Adhesive Metal Plate Hangers for panels and boards

Self Adhesive Metal Panel HangersSelf Adhesive Metal Hangers for PanelsSelf adhesive metal plates for hanging graphic panels these come with the option of white or black adhesive, and can hang panels up to 2kg. These hangers usually work beast as a pair. Each hangers comes with 2 foam bumpers to allow the panel to sit parallel to the wall.


Security Hangers

T Screw Security Hanger  Kit for DrywallWe also now have T-Screw Security hangers for 12mm plasterboard (drywall) and T-Screw Security hangers for 24mm plasterboard (drywall). This adds to the already popular standard T-Screw Security Hanging Kits.


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Picture Frame Construction – Corner Joining With An Underpinner

A stack of joined framesPicture frames require precision cutting to achieve 45° mitred edges. This process is usually achieved by using a guillotine, which leaves perfectly smooth 45° edges.

The next step is to accurately join the four equal mitred edges together to form the frame.

Traditionally, this used to be done by hammering picture framing pins in from the sides of the frame and was not the most efficient way of creating perfect joins. You sometimes come across very old frames that have been joined this way and, although they have lasted a long time, their corners usually show gaps. Sometimes those gaps can be large as well as dangerous looking!



The industry standard method for joining picture frame corners these days is to use V-Nails (“V” shaped nails) to join the 45° corners together.

The V-nails have one sharp ‘V’ and one blunt ‘V’ end. The sharp end gets pushed into the 45° mitre wood corners. They are also designed to pull the joints together when inserted.

The industry uses underpinners to insert V-nails, and smaller types of over/under pinner are available for the hobby/enthusiast markets which do an equally good job, albeit perhaps at a slower pace.

V-nails themselves are made of hardened steel (for hard woods) and softer steel for soft woods. They come in a variety of heights to reflect the wide variety of moulding thicknesses available. They commonly come in 7 mm, 10 mm, 12 mm and 15 mm heights.

The strength of a picture frame joint comes from two main factors – the choice of V-nail size and also the adhesive that holds the join together. It’s really a combined effect.

glue on mitred joints of picture frame

PVA glue squeezed onto mitred joints of frame.

Wooden mouldings use PVA wood adhesive. Other types, like plastic mouldings, use other types of adhesive, eg fast bonding super glues.

To join a wooden frame moulding, the PVA glue is squeezed on to the mitred faces of wood. If these faces were joined like this, the glue would likely be squeezed up and onto the wooden face which is not desirable. This is especially so if you are using wood stains as the PVA leaves areas which resist wood stain penetration.

glue on mitred joints of picture frame

Smoothed PVA glue spread evenly on the surfaces.

To prevent this, and to create a nicely bonded joint, it is best to spread the glue out smoothly and thinly on each face you are about to join, working the glue into the grain. You should also make sure to wipe any excess glue off before joining. This ensures an optimally glued joint and reduces the possibility of the PVA creeping onto the face of the frame.

The mitre joints are now ready for the insertion of V-nails.

V-nail size is usually chosen based on the thickness of the moulding being used. A good rule of thumb is to choose a V-nail that goes somewhere between 2/3 and 3/4 of the depth of the moulding being used. If shorter V-nails are used, the joint may fail and start to open. If longer V-nails are used, you may actually punch through the front face of the frame, rendering it useless.

It is sometimes possible to use several different V-nail heights on one corner depending on the profile of the moulding. It is also possible with an underpinner to stack V-nails one on top of another, eg 2 x 10 mm V-nails go in to a 20 mm depth. This can provide some uses when you encounter deep rebate mouldings.

In this example I am using an Alfamachine minigraf underpinner to do the job. The V-nails are pushed up into the underside of the frame by a hardened steel head that is operated by a foot pedal. The upper cushioned pad descends and presses down firmly from above.

This process is repeated around every corner until the frame is completed. If  you don’t have an underpinner, the hand tool pinners/underpinner versions can be used in conjunction with clamps or strap clamps to do the same task.

A pile of underpinned, assembled wooden frames can be seen in the first image of this page. For this particular moulding, I used single 15 mm V-nails at three spacings along the mitre.

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How To Hang A Picture Frame From A Picture Rail

picture rail hook brass plated

A brass plated picture rail hook

Picture rails offer an easy way for you to hang pictures on a wall without the need for creating screw or nail holes for picture hooks. This can be useful when you want to frequently change the picture frames that are on display.

Picture rails can be made from wood, plaster and metal. Traditionally they are found in older properties with high ceilings.

Picture rail hooks are the most common method used for hanging a picture from a picture rail. The hooks come in a variety of sizes, styles and colours, but all generally do the same thing ie. provide an attachment hook for a cord, wire or cable to drop down for a frame to be attached to. Picture rail contours can vary so each will have a picture rail hook that work best with it in terms of size and shape.

How to hang a picture frame from a picture rail with a picture rail hook

Picture Rail SystemThe diagram on the left shows how to hang a picture frame from a traditional style picture rail. The dimensions in the vertical direction have been compressed for indicative purposes. In reality the cord or wire can run much further down the wall.

A picture rail hook used with the picture rail allows you to create a suspended hook from the picture rail where you can attach a cord, wire or cable to. (The larger hooked end of the picture rail hook goes over the picture rail).

The suspended cord, wire or cable then attaches to the rear of the picture frame. This can be done using D-Rings or simple Screw Eyes screwed into the rear of the frame allowing the picture frame to be securely held.

Attachment of the cord closer to the top of the frame will hold the frame flatter to the wall which is good if the pictures will be displayed at eye level. Attachment of the cord closer to the middle of the frame will cause the frame to tilt forward, which is good if the pictures are to be hung above eye level.

There are different ways to suspend your picture frame from a picture rail with cord or wire. The following diagram shows a few of these alternatives –

Picture Rail Hanging OptionsThe choice can come down to aesthetic appearance, but lets discuss the merits of each method –

Frame A : Would likely require the frame to have a picture cord or wire strung between both sides of the frame with D-Rings or alternatively have some type of hanger attached at the top edge of the frame (could increase bowing of that frame edge). This option may prove difficult to hold position on the wall ie. it may need to be adjusted/straightened quite a lot. Another point to note is that the whole weight of the frame is placed onto one picture rail hook.

Frame B: This method has a more evenly distributed load over two points on the picture rail and picture frame. This method of hanging would likely require some adjustable secure hangers attached to the back of the frame and used in conjunction with the picture wire, cable or suspenders in order to fine tune position and straighten the picture. The whole weight of the frame will be evenly distributed between the two picture rail hooks as well as two points on the frame.

Frame C: This method is by far the easiest option to use. It has only has one connection with the picture rail, but allows easy adjustment of the angle that the frame hangs at. Only one length of cord or wire is used, with no requirements for knots or loops on the picture rail hook. However, the whole weight of the frame is placed on one picture rail hook. The cord can be attached to each side of the frame back with Screw Eyes or D-Rings.

Picture Rail Hooks and Accessories can be found here


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Mounting and framing needlework – a tapestry

Framed tapestryI recently had a tapestry frame that I had produced for a customer a few years ago back in the framing workshop for the replacement of  the existing front mount board with an new lighter cream coloured one. The process allowed me to re-examine and photograph my previous work for inclusion and discussion in this article.

Needlework or stitched artwork is created on a variety of substrate materials, ranging from thick holed loose weaved canvas, to narrow weaved canvas, to cotton or finer more densely packed textiles. There are also some needleworks that have no substrate like laces, and these require different mounting techniques to other stitched works.

A stretched tapestry on foam board backing

A stretched tapestry on foam board backing

Mounting needlework

To mount and frame most needlework  created on a textile or meshed canvas substrate (like tapestries or cross-stitching), stretching of the fabric is required over a rigid material in order to flatten it’s surface (remove wrinkles, and distortions) and make it more presentable as a piece of artwork.

Some framing businesses can refuse to do needlework mounting and framing because of the extra time involved in the process of stretching. A needlework framing job can take an hour or more of extra time (plus extra materials) to complete compared to a regular paper based artwork framing job. As a result, the framer has to take this into account in the frame price, which in turn can lead to quite expensive framing jobs for the owner!

Laced tapestry stretched over 5mm white foam board

Laced tapestry stretched over foam board

Stretching the needlework

One method of stretching the needlework is to stretch it over a 5mm thick piece of white conservation foam board. The white foam board face will ensure that the stitch work looks bright and clear (especially if it is a slightly transparent white material). The 5mm thickness of the foam board is enough to provide suitable rigidity for the stretching process.

The needlework has to be pinned down into position, and then laced similarly to shoe laces but in both horizontal and vertical directions. The ends are tied away and it should resemble a criss-cross laced pattern on the back as shown in the image on the right. The choice of lacing should be suitable for the material being stretched. In this case a thicker cord has been used as there are wide holes in the tapestries open weave canvas substrate.

Foam board recess on rear of mount

Foam board recess on rear of mount

The mount

The mount used for surrounding a needlework, should have a foam board surround on its back side, shaped to fit the stretched and laced needlework. The mount bevel edge is sized to overlap the foam board so it is not seen. It also should hide the rougher edges of the stretched tapestry artwork. The mount itself is a triple mount which keeps the raised texture of the tapestry off of the glass surface.

Stretched tapestry sitting into foam board mount recess

Stretched tapestry sitting into foam board mount recess

Finishing the frame

Once the needlework has been stretched, it can then be placed into the mount and will look like the image on the right. There should be no slack between the stretched needlework and the surrounding foam board. This will prevent the stretched needlework from moving within the mount. It’s now time to replace the backing board and finish the frame off.



Reassembled frame with backing board attached

Reassembled frame with backing board attached

The frame back is completed with backing tape, several canvas offset clamps (as the thick mount is deeper than the frame rebate), D-Rings, felt pads and low stretch picture cord.

The finished frame front is shown in the first picture in this article.


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Picture mount over-cuts and undercuts

What exactly is an over-cut or undercut picture mount? What is it that creates these effects? How do you stop them from occurring? What level of under/over cut is acceptable?

An over-cut picture mount

Over cut picture mount

An over-cut picture mount

An over-cut refers to a picture mount that has blade cut over-runs this can be in either one or two directions at any corner. this effect is shown in the picture on the right. In this example the over cut to the right side of the image has happened due of the start point on the mount cutter blade being set too early, the one to the bottom of the picture is due to the end stop on the mount cutter being set too late.

In the case of an over cut mount, whether it is perceived acceptable or not will depend on how bad the over-cuts look to the naked eye. They can be burnished down with a burnishing bone which can smooth  them down to unnoticeable levels. However, badly over-cut mount corners (>1.5mm or so) will not be acceptable and will render the mount scrap.

An undercut picture mount

Under cut picture mount

An undercut picture mount

An undercut picture mount refers to a mount that has blade undercuts and as a result will leave a incompletely cut mount centre that won’t drop out. This undercutting can occur in both directions depending on the blade entry and exit point settings. In the image shown, this particular undercut is caused by the blade entry point having been set too late.

Undercuts (provided they are not too large) can usually be remedied by carefully taking a spare mount cutter blade by hand and holding it at approximately 45o and completing the cuts manually. What you should not be tempted to do is just pull the undercut paper ‘tag’ away, as this can lead to facing paper tears which will likely make the picture mount corner visually unappealing and you may have to start with a new fresh mount board and cut the mount again.

So what defines a perfectly cut picture mount? The ultimate goal is to cut a picture mount in which the centre falls away with no visible over or under cuts. ie the entry points of the blade will exactly coincide with the exit point as seen from the front of the mount.

How achievable is this?

On a mount cutter there are usually several criteria that can affect whether you produce the perfectly mount or not. They include –

  • Blade depth
  • Security of blade (how well is it held in place ie. if its not tightly secured,  it may get pulled out further when you start to cut. This is especially true with thicker mount boards!)
  • Thickness variations of the mount board (changes from board to board, or supplier to supplier)
  • Accurate offset calculations for start and stop points for a particular mount board.
  • Squareness of the mount board edges and corners
  • Uneven hand pressure when pulling the mount cutter head to do the cut.

Changes in any one of the above criteria can lead to over-cut or undercut picture mounts.

A mount cutter can be fine tuned, but will likely need to be adjusted for every different type of mount board cut even though they are all for example labelled as say 1.4mm. I have seen +/-15% thickness differences between mount boards of a certain specified thickness. The thickness also varies with the texture of their facing papers too, heavily patterned boards can add an extra 0.2-0.4mm thickness, where as flat finishes can be more spot on at 1.4mm. Ideally you really need to create a test mount to fine tune the mount cutter based on the board that you want to make the final mount from, this can be done on a smaller piece of mount board to avoid wastage. How many times you choose to do a fine tune of the mount cutter will boil down to how much mount board you want to waste (in test mounts) and how much of a perfectionist you are.

What is an acceptable level of over-cuts and undercuts? The following table summarises what I generally go by –

 Size of over/under cut 0-0.5mm 0.5-1.5mm =>2mm
Undercuts perfect mount acceptable but will likely need manual intervention with a blade to finish it May be retrievable with a blade, but keeping the blade in a straight line at 45o by hand may be difficult
Over-cuts perfect mount acceptable mount, burnish any ragged over-cut edges away unacceptable mount visually




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Creating a Multi-Aperture Picture Mount

A finished multi aperture mountA multi-aperture picture mount is a mount that has multiple openings to accommodate more than one picture in the same mount (and ultimately in the same picture frame). It can be used to group similarly themed photographs or pieces of artwork together. Openings can also be made (if desired) to place titles into the mount which can describe the content.

A multi-aperture mount can be created using even the most basic of mount cutter systems.

The majority of work involved in making a multi-aperture mount should be focused on the planning stage. A well planned approach, including an accurately calculated mount size, choice of board colour, and a detailed sketched outline is required to eliminate potential errors (and wasted board) before any cutting is ever done.

Planning a multi aperture mount

Good planning of the multi-aperture mount is critical to success.

In the following example of a multi-aperture mount I have 3 similarly sized small photographs of a dog. More complex variations of photos, eg all differently sized, would require an even more careful planning and measuring.

In this particular case, there is a straightforward choice of either horizontal or vertical placement of the photos with no title. The customer had chosen vertical placement so I planned around this. Sometimes, although not always, the order of the photos or artworks will be important so it is always best to check with the customer. You can lay the photos on to a piece of mount board to help you with your choice of layout as well as choice of mount board colour. In this case I am just using a whitish cream colour, but quite often more colourful boards work well too. You will just need to experiment!

Planning a multi aperture dimensions

The sketch of your plan is important to list all the spacings and sizes as well as providing a visualisation of your project.

After you have created your layout and chosen the colour of mount board, the next step is to plan it with a sketch. I usually just do a rough and ready drawing on a scrap piece of paper or mount board. In this case, I have measured the photos (cropped) to be 95 x 95 mm each and I want to lay them out with a 30 mm internal gap between each one. The spacing to the outside of the mount should be double this value to look correct. I have also added in 5 mm extra per side making it 65 mm spacing to allow for the 5 mm of rebate of the frame. This will mean that the visible mount (after being framed) will be 60 mm around each outside edge.

I then add up the totals in each dimension (65+95+30+95+30+95+65) = 475 mm in height and (65+95+65) = 225 mm in width. This will be my outside edge mount size. I will then cut both my mount and backing boards down to this size.

Measuring the mount plan on the back of the mount board

Measuring spacings for one of the apertures. Measurements should be referenced to the outside board edge not cumulatively to each other.

Once I have the front mount board I can start to measure and draw the pencil plan on the back side of the board (always use pencils, you can erase the lines to make changes, and they don’t leak ink!).

Note: when you sketch on the back of the board, be aware that it will be the mirror image of what will appear on the front. In my example, it won’t be any different, but if you have different sized images it is something that needs to be taken into account).

Multi aperture mount with cutout pattern shaded

The fully planned and measured mount back with apertures shaded and ready to cut them out.

Measurement and drawing of a  65 mm edge is done by starting from the outside of each edge of the mount board. Measurements should be referenced to the outside board edge not to each drawn line as errors can have a cumulative effect. We measure inwards to include the pencil outline for each mount aperture. Once you have completed this exercise you should have something that shows where all the aperture cut-outs will be.  I usually shade these areas in to highlight them as there can be so many lines sketched out that you can easily get confused when doing the actual bevelled cuts into the mount board with the mount cutter.

It’s time to start cutting the mounts – you can use any mount cutter to do this, but some of the more sophisticated systems can actually be harder to use with multi aperture mounts as you will have to rotate the mount 360 degrees when cutting out each aperture. This can be an issue with bigger or longer multi-aperture mounts which can be obstructed by some of the larger mount cutters’ arms and stops. For this reason, I generally use a hand held mount cutter system which gives me the room and flexibility that I need to move the mount around unrestrictedly whilst cutting it. In this case I am using a short Logan Adapt-a-rule with a pull cutter head. Remember while mount cutting that, as with every other mount cut, you have to use a slip mat behind the mount to cut into at all times. This is easy to forget as you move the multi aperture mount around, but failing to do so will result in bad cuts and bevels.

Multi aperture mount with apertures being cut

Starting to cut out the mount apertures one by one.

I then start to cut each aperture out. It is important to always focus on one aperture at a time. After cutting one opening out, I make a point of using masking tape to stick each cut out aperture back in temporarily to the mount to preserve each mount bevel as I continue to work on the other apertures. This approach also provides a flat surface for the mount cutter to operate on.

Multi aperture mount with apertures cut

The finished mount minus the photos.

When cutting a multi-aperture mount, it is easy to get distracted and cut the wrong line or edge. To avoid this I use the following rule – make sure each of my shaded aperture patches is always visible to the right of the mount cutter head before doing a cut. If you don’t follow this approach, you could end up cutting a few reverse bevels, which would mean a complete restart.

After cutting the 3 apertures out, the mount now looks like the picture on the left (with backing board behind it in this case). The backing board should be attached to the front mount along its longest edge (for stability purposes) with ph7-70 acid free conservation mounting tape. Creating a hinged mount.

Fitting photos to mount with T hinges

Fitting the photos to mount with T hinges

Its now time to add in the photographs. Each photograph can be stuck down with two T-hinges per photo. Alignment/positioning of the photo with the mount can be checked before permanently holding them in place with the T- hinges.

Once this is completed, the multi-aperture mount is now finished and is ready to be framed.

Examples of multi-aperture mounts –

Wedding multi aperture mount

A wedding themed multi aperture mount

1. A wedding multi-aperture mount with title added and framed. A simple layout, but balanced geometrically with a centrally placed title opening. It is also important to make the title look good using a nice font and printed on high quality, textured paper rather than cheap bright white printer paper.



A complex 3d wartime memorabilia multi aperture mount

A wartime memorabilia themed multi-aperture mount

2. A complex 3D multi-aperture mount to display wartime memorabilia. In this case I had the challenge of creating 3 apertures, one to accommodate a pencil sketch, but two more for the 3D objects (wartime medals and a military service book).

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Picture frame glass cleaning explored

I recently had the opportunity to confront head on an issue that had become apparent while cleaning some ageing 2mm float glass. It made me explore the possibilities as well as finding a solution!

The problem : the 2mm float glass that is commonly used in picture framing is normally supplied in a bulk quantity to the picture framing shop. Bulk can be upwards of 50-100 sheets at a time, which is difficult heavy work to shift all at once. The glass is supplied usually in 1.2m x 0.92m size sheets. They come with a large piece of very thin white paper sandwiched between each glass sheet which offers some scratch protection during transport.

Glass mottling from paper residue

Glass mottling from paper residue (click image to enlarge)

The downside to having these sheets of thin white protection paper is that they are very susceptible to moisture ingress and if not immediately stored in a non damp environment can themselves wick moisture up into the face of the glass sheets leaving a residue on the glass surface. The residue looks like a very faint mottling effect. It is also almost invisible unless viewed at an angle under artificial lighting conditions.

This residue has proven very problematic to remove, resistant to just about every common glass cleaner, and a glass supplier once told me, “Once it’s there, nothing can take it off”. Up until this week, I believed him!

Having received a large delivery of glass quite some time ago, and having chosen to store it in a convenient but slightly damper environment, I proceeded to immediately remove all of the paper from between the sheets when it first arrived. I erroneously though that this would take care of the issue, but now that I’m coming to the end of the supply, I have found that this same glass mottling effect is still prevalent despite the absence of the paper. I can deduce from this that the paper must leave some residue on the glass which remains even after it has been removed. This lingering residue then appears to react to dampness which hardens into the slightly visually mottled effect, resembling a faint “etched” like appearance.

I had previously found no glass cleaner that could clean it. I was convinced it was surface contamination rather than an actual ‘etching’ effect, because I found that you could actually remove some of it with a flat sharp blade. I found that this worked even better when the blade was combined with some glass cleaner as a lubricant. However using the blades could have the downside of leaving hairline scratches on the glass which is a non-starter with picture framing. I had to find another solution to clean these sheets or risk having to throw them out completely.

To start with, I identified that the mottling effect was only happening on one face of the glass. This I surmised was likely due to the paper surfaces having one face different from the other, and one side being prone to leaving the residue. I then tried a few different methods of removal listed in the table below along with the outcomes –

Methods tested  Results
Greenline Glass CleanerGreenline Glass and Stainless Steel cleaner No visible removal of mottling
Greenline Glass CleanerGreenline Glass and Stainless Steel cleaner + mount cutter blade surface scape Partial or whole removal of mottling but with risk of fine glass scratches and slight streaking.
Selden glass cleanerSelden Glass & VDU cleaner No visible removal of mottling
Mr Muscle glass cleanerMr Muscle Window and Glass cleaner No visible removal of mottling
zest_it_solventZest-it solvent No visible removal of mottling
white vinegarTesco White Wine vinegar Used raw, undiluted led to immediate removal of surface mottling, although sometimes required a light second finishing wipe. Then cleaned with a final standard ph-neutral glass cleaner clean afterwards.

As you can see, the only really reliable approach was found using one of the oldest known glass cleaning substances – undiluted vinegar and kitchen roll. The effect was immediate and repeatable with clean kitchen roll used to wipe it off.

Cleaned glass ready for picture frame

Cleaned glass ready for picture frame (click to enlarge image)

Now this raises another issue in that vinegar is essentially acetic acid with water, and has a ph of 4-5 (acidic). It also has the usual pungent vinegar smell, which is hardly going to appeal to anyone picking up a picture frame!

To avoid leaving acidic residues which could in turn affect the longevity of the mount and artwork, I gave the glass a thorough dry before applying two coats (and clean off) with my regular glass cleaner which has a more ph-neutral rating and a much less pungent smell.

Top tip: If you have to use this technique to clean your glass, just remember to clear away all the vinegar soaked kitchen towels as well as the vinegar bottle before the customers arrive to pick their frames up, other wise they might just think they turned up at the local chip shop!



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