I've just gotten another contract to make some poster frames. I had quite a
few problems with the last batch, and I thought I'd see what kind of Wreck
wisdom I can scratch up before I embark on another disaster.
As background, these are Lord of the Rings movie posters, all about 27" x
38". They're mounted to a piece of cardboard that's just slightly smaller
than the poster itself, and wrapped in some kind of super clear shrink
wrap. The customer isn't willing to pay for glass or such, so they want a
plain wooden frame to go around these things, using the stock shrink wrap
to protect them.
The last round of frames were about 1" wide, made from KD walnut. I
discovered the term "case hardening" on that project. Some of them
literally bent into a bow shape as soon as they came out the tail end of
I'll try to avoid case hardened wood next time, but I'm also thinking that
increasing the width to 2" (or more?) would mitigate those effects
Getting the posters into the frames was a real mess. I cut some corner
triangles out of scrap and brad nailed them on the backs. It was difficult
to get the posters into the frames without screwing them up, but it was
just as difficult to try to get the slightly warped cardboard to behave
while nailing the triangles on after the fact.
To fix that last problem, I'm thinking about keeping the outside dimension
of the frames about the same as the first batch, and putting the extra
width toward the inside. That would cover the small margin of exposed
cardboard better, and it would keep things simpler because all parts could
swap around randomly. I'm thinking about cutting/routing/whatever a slit
in the top to admit the poster, and routing a groove around the inside of
the other three sides. Assemble the frame, drop the poster in through the
top, and presto.
The problem with this last idea is that every one of these posters is a
different size. They don't vary by much, but they vary by plenty enough to
cause me problems. I'd have to make individual frame sets with different
depths of grooves, or else go for the largest size and shim the smaller
posters out somehow.
Finally, rigidity. The posters hanging on the wall right now are looking
pretty dismal to me because the warped cardboard has actually shoved the
wood out of line. The frames are bowing away from the wall. I'm thinking
about the only way I might hope to fix that is to nail a piece of plywood
across the entire back. Problem is, I don't want to use 3/4" ply, but
everything smaller is usually slightly bowed in the store. I'm afraid if I
use 1/4" or whatever, the bow of the plywood will just add to my
frustration, since there's nothing to pull *it*
into line. (Not unless I
nail the whole effing thing to the wall anyway.)
Michael McIntyre ---- Silvan < email@example.com>
Linux fanatic, and certified Geek; registered Linux user #243621
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