Making picture frames - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 02-02-2016, 03:09 PM Thread Starter
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Making picture frames

Hi me again
I was wondering about making picture frames and see if i could sell them. Then when i get better at this try and start a little business for it.
Any one have there own business and how do you go about it.
Any help would be great.
Thank you all for being here to help.

God Bless
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post #2 of 12 Old 02-02-2016, 03:16 PM
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If you are going into the business you will probably need to invest in a picture frame cutter. http://www.allart.co.nz/services.htm You can buy the molding however simpler frames you might invest in a shaper or molder to make the molding yourself.
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post #3 of 12 Old 02-02-2016, 10:57 PM
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I don't have a picture frame cutter or shaper, & sell every one I make. I also make them on the scroll saw. I guess I'm on a tight enough budget, & my clientele is happy w/our work, I don't reckon I need them fancy tools. Its all in what you're wanting to do with your frames. IMO.

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post #4 of 12 Old 02-03-2016, 04:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sawdust703 View Post
I don't have a picture frame cutter or shaper, & sell every one I make. I also make them on the scroll saw. I guess I'm on a tight enough budget, & my clientele is happy w/our work, I don't reckon I need them fancy tools. Its all in what you're wanting to do with your frames. IMO.

Good to see your pleased with what you are ding and enjoy it but:there's always a but.How much time and materials are you putting into each frame and how much profit are you receiving?Most of the guys I see doing something like this are putting way to many hours in building the product and selling for to little to make any profit.
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post #5 of 12 Old 02-03-2016, 07:12 PM
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patriot46,

There is forum dedicated to picture framing industry called, The Picture Framers Grumble.

http://www.thegrumble.com/index.php

They can help you get started.
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post #6 of 12 Old 02-03-2016, 11:52 PM
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I don't deny, mako, there is always a "but" as you say. Then there is the other side of the coin. Like I said before, my budget is tight enough I'm not able to afford all those fancy tools. I'm able to produce satisfactory results with the tools I have already invested in. I'm not claiming to be any better than the next guy. All I I'm saying is not all of us can afford all that fancy equipment. It'd be nice to have, but the first thing in my world is the ability to justify it. I make enough frames to justify the equipment I have. To go into a business of nothing but making frames, not for me. I have other projects, other woodworking endeavors to pursue, but, I appreciate your concern.

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post #7 of 12 Old 02-04-2016, 09:46 AM
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Patriot 40 any endeavor like making picture frames can be done several ways I imagine Steve means well but it's your pocketbook not his start small and build your clientele and slowly invest in equipment.Well tuned miter saw , A pin nailer A router can get you started.imagination is your biggest asset.
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post #8 of 12 Old 02-04-2016, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by John Langley View Post
Patriot 40 any endeavor like making picture frames can be done several ways I imagine Steve means well but it's your pocketbook not his start small and build your clientele and slowly invest in equipment.Well tuned miter saw , A pin nailer A router can get you started.imagination is your biggest asset.
Excellent advice, be very carefully tooling your shop with specialized equipment to make a specific product, particularly a product with an already saturated market.

Unless your product is unique your competition is Walmart, Amazon, Ebay and literally hundreds of Etsy stores.

With the tools mentioned by John Langley you can easily diversify and protect your investment.

The time to purchase specialized tools is when you are established and need them to become more efficient.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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Last edited by FrankC; 02-04-2016 at 11:06 AM.
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post #9 of 12 Old 02-04-2016, 08:04 PM
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Be careful. Putting out a shingle can transform something you love into something you loathe. I have countless stories of friends (and one or two of my own) that loved their hobby but hated thier business. Make sure you are willing to invest a lot of time into a successful business. If you plan to make a REAL go of it (as in 'for a living'), then you must maximize output and minimize time and movements.

If you will enter the fine framing market, it is very much in line to purchase or build a framing jig:

https://www.google.com/search?q=pict...HdHoCscQsAQIQA

An accurate mitering machine (I preferred a table saw and sled):

https://www.google.com/search?q=pict...Ha0XCegQsAQISA

I also ended up with a miter trimmer for enhanced accuracy (this is an example of one): http://www.grizzly.com/products/Miter-Trimmer/G1690

You will also need a couple of brad or point nailers, an air compressor to run them, and a host of little things, markers and fillers that make building frames fast and ACCURATE. The art world doesn't like open miters, uneven seams and shoddy construction around their prized treasures.

However, if you will be making pallet wood or rustic frames, then it might be acceptable to have a slightly open miter on one corner, or an unfilled nail hole.

My wife had a framing shop for many years. I made most of her frames and she mounted the artwork. I used mostly prefinished frame stock, as milling and finishing raw stock was simply too time consuming. We still have mat and glass cutters, a dry mount vacuum press, and a storage room full of foam core and mat board.

The problem most fine framers have now are the large chain stores (Hobby Lobby, Micheal's, Craft 2000, etc...). They can buy bulk prefinished framing materials by the truckload. We cannot. The wife now only frames for family and friends. She even retired me and goes to Hobby Lobby for custom frames (I'm a grumpy employee).

My advice is to see if you have a sustainable market before you dive in head first. If you are in a place where the big dogs haven't infiltrated yet, you might make a go of it. Otherwise, I would suggest doing it as a nice gift for family and friends. Good luck.
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Another $000,000,000.02 worth of advice,
Mark
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post #10 of 12 Old 02-04-2016, 08:25 PM
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It's not just the frames....

Mark aka Shop Rat said:
My wife had a framing shop for many years. I made most of her frames and she mounted the artwork. I used mostly prefinished frame stock, as milling and finishing raw stock was simply too time consuming. We still have mat and glass cutters, a dry mount vacuum press, and a storage room full of foam core and mat board.
:smile3:

You will need all sorts of mat boards, and a way to cut them accurately to size and nailers etc. The 2 framing stores I've been in cater to artists, photographers or high end customers who want pretty specific frames and mats. They had 2 entire walls full of frame samples and color swatches for the mat boards which they had to stock also. A connection to an art galley or two would be beneficial.

Oil paintings and watercolor paintings are framed differently. Water colors usually have one or more mats and are not square cut edges but cut on a 45 degrees bevel, impossible to do without a bevel mat cutter. Oil paintings are usually just surrounded by the frame only, no mats. The frames can get massive. There are metal frames as well as glass for the protection of the artwork. There is non-glare glass which all needs to be cut to size.... and stocked.

You will need racks for storage of the works ready to be framed AND for those that are finished, which takes a lot of space.

Go to a framing store and take a good look around and speak to the sales people or owners. It ain't all that easy to break into the framing market. At least one frame shop failed in our small town, despite being on a well traveled main route in the center of town.

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #11 of 12 Old 02-04-2016, 09:51 PM
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Picture framing is like lawn care, the market is already well saturated. Statistically, for most people looking to get into the market at this point is a long shot.

If you like working with wood but don't want to work for someone else my best advice would be a general WW business. Most WW's who do it for a living don't just make one thing.
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post #12 of 12 Old 02-05-2016, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for the great advice
That is something to think about .Maybe i will start off just trying to learn how to make
Picture frames and then try building something a little bigger. I just want to learn how to become better at woodworking.
Maybe some day if i live long enough i can get better at it you guys are the best thank you all
so much for being here fro me and others that want to learn.
Thank you
God Bless

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