The meaning of picture frame moulding refers to the kind of shape that the profile of a picture frame has. So basically, the moulding of a frame is the form of its profile. It can either be quite complicated for antique frames or very simple for modern frames. The shape of the moulding on a decorated picture frame is given by the combination of the wood profile and the wood pulp decoration on top of it. Picture frame mouldings are usually manufactured by a length of 3 meters in Europe and 9 or 10 feet in the USA.
The moulding of a picture frame is realized by the use of a carpentry machine that allows picture frame manufacturers to produce about 300 meters of rods per hour. See a Youtube video of the machine in action. We are talking about a massive production of wood sticks ready to be decorated by wood pulp ornates on top of their mouldings. Certain models are not even decorated by ornates. They are just combinations of concave curves, convex curves, and flat surfaces that all together form the shape of the frame profile.
Antique frame mouldings are usually plenty of curves while modern ones are, most of the time, quite flat. The surfaces remain smooth and are finished by lacquer or gold and silver leaf.
Of course, there are several types of decorated mouldings for frames. Some of them are very complicated, and others are simpler, but in any case, there must be a process to get them fixed on the wood. To apply the wood pulp on the frame, you need machinery that squeezes the pulp under a heavy molded wheel, which stamps the ornates right where they have to be.
After a long dry process, the wood pulp gets solid and gets the same property of the wood. Even if it missings wood veins, it remains quite resistant to time. It is perfect for finishings by gold leaf, silver leaf, or lacquer.
We realize more than 1000 picture mouding profiles that you will able to see on our Catalog. Every profile is displayed with several combinations of finishings so that you can choose your favorite. We published their price in our Pricelist, where you can find the cost of every linear meter of frames.
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There are quite a few ways of cutting a picture frame moulding. Down below, we describe three different systems that framers use. We explain the pros and cons so that the reader can get a better understanding of the kinds of issues framers cope with. You find links to pages that show the use of any one of the described framing tools.
The first cutting system, the most common for framers with a shop, is the use of a Morso mitre guillotine. The Morso guillotine is a machine that allows you to cut a decent amount of frames per day with a pedal, so you don’t need electricity. It is a very manual machine, it’s not dangerous, but you need a certain space to store it.
The use of the Morso is handy because the framer doesn’t need an extraction system to get rid of wood dust. It makes no dust but just little wood chips than automatically flow down a bucket positioned under the blades. It is a clean tool, and it can be used anywhere, even at home.
The second most utilized system of cutting picture frame mouldings is a mitre saw. This latter system is very accurate, primarily if you use a professional machine. The less the quality of the miter saw, the less will be the quality of the join. The disadvantage of this system is the space that occupies a tool like this. It is massive, and it produces an enormous quantity of wood dust. The extraction system that comes with the machine is not enough to get rid of all the dirt. You will find yourself to the workshop clean for hours after its use.
The third way to cut a picture frame moulding is to use a miter box saw. This last is a convenient tool, but it can’t be used from professionals because the cutting procedure is quite slow. The pro of this system is that it is clean enough because of the manual method, and you won’t need electricity jus as for the Morso. It could be a good idea to have it in a shop to cut small pieces of frames without turning on a bigger mitre saw.
In conclusion, a good picture framer should use the three systems because there are specific picture frame moulding that has to be cut with small tools as the miter box saw, there are medium frames that have to be cut with a Morso guillotine, but there are large width picture frame moulding that needs the use of a bigger miter saw. Of course, you would take in count the number of frames to cut as well. For example, you won’t use a miter box saw to cut hundreds of frames, unless you want to get mad!
The very first thing that we have to take in count when we frame a painting is how big that is. Suppose the artwork is enormous, as 250 cms x 200 cms, you have to consider the use of a picture frame moulding with a wide section width. In this case, we suggest using a frame with a minimum of 12cms section width; otherwise, you can cope with several problems.
One of the common issues that framers face when trying to frame a more significant painting with a small profile is the bending of the sides of the frame. The only way to prevent this unpleasant circumstance is to build a picture frame moulding profile enough wide and high to support a big painting. This way, time and humidity won’t make the sides of your frame bend.
The second problem of the use of a small profile frame for a big painting is the weight of the final work. If you use a small profile is very unlikely that the joint corners will stand to a very heavyweight. The worse possible scenario, in this case, will be the broken frame down on the floor. This is even more true when it is a matter of framing a massive mirror. It would help if you built a wide profile frame. Common sense is gold, as you can’t have a recipe for that. You must be taking into count the kind of wood and the kind of system you are going to use to joint the four sides of the frame.
The most common width of profile frames is a number included between 2cms and 12cms. Frame factories usually don’t realize models much wider. That is when our company becomes a worldwide leader in supplying frames with a wide section width.
In the last two decades, we have been studying a system to create very large profile moulding frames at a low cost. Before this system, we would use an expensive traditional way. To create profiles, we would use a heavy carpentry machine starting from a unique thick and wide wooden board. This is a costly way to proceed because the number of rods to produce is usually a minimum quantity. There is, in fact, no always the need for such kind of tremendous profiles. They’re quite uncommon.
Our system is joining together several already made profile mouldings to create a bigger section width. You need some tools to accomplish that task because you have to adapt some profile to others, and of course, they don’t join together smoothly. With the right knowledge, we fix several pieces together, and we are able to build section width profiles up to 40 cms. We manage to realize them at a little cost because the rods are already there in our warehouse, and we have just to put them together.
We complete the joining process with a brand new finishing, which will cover the adaptations we’ve previously made. In the end, the picture frame moulding will look compact, robust, balanced, and ready to be cut for bigger paintings.
The rabbet is the part of the frame that overlaps the painting, and its depth is the measure to take in count to frame paintings quite thick. You see it in the back of the frame where you put the stretcher, and of course, it has a depth to receive the thickness of the stretcher. So, for example, if you have a painting with a stretcher 2cms thick, you must consider framing it with a frame with a minimum of 2cms rabbet depth; otherwise, part of the thickness of the stretcher would come out from the back of the frame.
The market offer picture frame moulding with standard rabbet depth. Usually, they are never going to overcome 2cms. Contrarily we supply to customers any size of rabbet depth because we can intervene on our already made frame sticks and change their rabbet size. Actually, we add to the moulding profiles a flat wood board on the back of the frame so that it can be higher as much as we need. That system does not just increase the rabbet depth but strengthens the frame structure as well.
Our customers can buy any one of the models displayed in the catalog with personalized rabbet depth. The price increases a bit because of the material we will add and because of the working hours. Our system is perfect for quite expensive frames and maybe not so useful for cheaper ones. It can surely be a convenient system if you want to modify a minimum quantity of picture frame mouldings. In the ladder case, the working time will be absorbed in the total price, and finally, you will pay almost the same price.
The rabbet usually is 1cms wide. That is a standard size the allows framers to fit in frames pretty much all the paintings. We usually cover 5mm of paining all around, and in the back of the frame, we let a space of 5mm to fix the artwork in the frame.
We can personalize the width of the rabbet. For example, if you wish to cover more than 5mm of painting, we will increase the overlap as you need. Contrarily if you need to show the whole artwork, we can reduce the width of the rabbet at a minimum of 3mm.
We realize a significant amount of picture frame moulding models. You find on our website a Catalog with more of 1000 profiles displayed with several finishings, styles, and shapes.
Since the very beginning of our production, we have been very engaged with antique picture frame moulding. Since then, we realize expensive and affordable reproductions for high-quality paintings.
In the last two decades, we start a production of cheap antique frame moulding for architects, interior designers, antique dealers, and private collectors who decide to save quite a bit of money. Our mission is to create good quality at a very reasonable price.
Recently we engaged with the manufacturing of modern picture frame moulding as well. We realize modern profiles in different measures and kinds of finishings. Every year we improve our vast selection of frames adding to the catalog new models.