picture frame joining

Using Tabs & Point Drivers to Secure Frame Backing Board

Inmes Points DriverThe contents of a picture frame – including the glass/mountboard/artwork/backing board “sandwich” – is commonly secured into the back recess of a picture frame using picture framing tabs and points. The points can be manually pushed in with a screwdriver (certainly an easier task with a soft wooden moulding), or pushed in with a point fixing tool, or can be fired in with point drivers (tab guns).

Flexi framer tab
Flexi framer tab

The tabs and points themselves come in a variety of styles (triangular, narrow with a point), sizes and rigidity (flexible, semi-rigid, rigid). The more rigid points won’t bend easily and will help to securely hold the contents of a frame in place (in conjunction with a brown frame backing tapes). Flexible points/tabs can be bent (without removal of the tabs from the frame) which allows easy access to the contents of a frame (say to change the artwork, mount or remove some dust), before bending the points flat again to re-secure the contents.

Points Driver Firing Points into Back of FramePoint drivers are a fast way to drive points into the rebate at the back of the picture frame and are a must-have tool for any framer from a keen hobbyist to a small workshop based framing business. Some industrial point drivers can be pneumatic but are larger and designed for larger volume production environments.

Handheld point drivers are spring-loaded, easy to set up and fired by pulling the hand trigger which drives a point into the side of the frame rebate. Complete frames can be secured with multiple points driven in around the frame in an operation that can often be achieved in under one minute.Picture Frame Back Finishing with Points

The Inmes Fi-150M Point Driver is one such manual points driver. It takes 15mm long flexi-points/tabs (UKPFS822) or semi-rigid points/tabs (UKPFS823). It has a sturdy die-cast body, with a soft grip handle, easy front loading and adjustable firing pressure to suit different hardnesses of woods.

You can buy an Inmes Points Driver with some sample points from us here.

picture framing information

Picture Framing : How to finish the back of a picture frame

Picture Frame Back CompletedThis how to guide shows how you seal and finish the back of a picture or photo frame prior to hanging or selling.

The purpose of finishing the back of a frame is to –

  • Seal it to prevent dust, mites and damp from entering the mount/artwork/under the glass
  • Make it appear professional and neat to the eye
  • Provide hanging points to hang the picture
  • Provide stability from motion and wall protection

The assumption in this article is that you already have a picture frame either custom made or pre-made with glazing, mount and backing board cut to size and attached. The backing board should also be able to provide some degree of moisture protection eg aqua board or similar.

Equipment Required –

The methodology for finishing the back of a picture frame is as follows –

Step 1 :

Secure the backing board, mount, artwork, and glazing ‘sandwich’ in to frame rebate with flexi points, semi rigid points or other similar framer’s points and tabs. these can be fired in with a tab gun or manually pushed in.Picture Frame Back Finishing with Points

Step 2 :

Use a picture frame backing tape like self adhesive ECO-15 or ECo-25 tape on each edge to make the dust seal. Trim the tape with a craft knife after completing each side, being careful not to damage the side of the frame.Picture Frame Back Finishing with TapeAfter taping and trimming the tape edge on all four edges it should look like this –

Picture Frame Back Finished with Tape

Step 3 :

Measure the sides of the frame 1/3 of the way down from top edge, mark with a pencil or bradawl, then create a shallow starting hole in the frame with the bradawl. Repeat on other side of frame so you have two matching holes for starting a screw thread on each side of the frame moulding.

Picture Frame Back Finishing D-ring Measuring

Step 4 :

Attach a D-Ring to each side of the frame using a pan headed screw to hole it in place.

Picture Frame Back Finishing D-Ring Attachment

The frame should now be ready to attach picture cord or wire.

Picture Frame Back Finishing D-Ring Attachment

Step 5 : Attach cord to each d-ring and secure in place by use of a knot. Preferably one that tightens on itself under tension. Details of one picture framing knot can be found in this article.Picture Frame Back Finishing with Cord

Step 6: Attach two felt or other similar bumper pads to each lower corner of the frame. This will help stop the frame moving on the wall as well as help prevent the frame from marking the wall. It will also create an air gap and allow air to circulate behind the frame.

Picture Frame Back Completed

The picture frame backing process is complete and it’s time to hang your picture on the wall!