Top tip to cut perfect corners with the morso guillotine cutter

Poster frames

A Morso guillotine cutter is standard industry equipment picture framers use to cut corner joints of frames. Like all machine tools, it is only as good as the craftsperson is skilled at using it. Cutting flush corners with the Morso is never a function of the framer’s calf muscle strength.

When I started framing I couldn’t understand why my first corners were not meeting flush. My framing teacher couldn’t explain why either. It took me a lot of analysis to work it out and the solution turned out to be rather simple.

A framer’s natural instinct is to be economical with moulding and so when they make their first cut into a length of moulding they try to shave off as little as possible from one end.

A Morso has two very sharp cutting blades. The inner cutting surface is flat and the outer surface curved. To achieve a clean cut the framer needs to use both cutting blades to make the first cut.

If only one blade is used to make the cut the length of moulding is not secured by the other blade and as the outer cutting blade’s surface is curved the length of moulding moves a little in the direction of least resistance as the guillotine makes the cut.

That folks explains why the two cut surfaces of joints are often not flush. One of the cut edges has a slight curve in it as a result of the lateral movement of the moulding. Some wastage is therefore inevitable and desirable.

To sum it all up, instead of making the first cut with only one cutting blade picture framers should use both blades to make the first cut.

Need to frame a picture in Cambridge?

Picture framing online

There are fewer picture framers in Cambridge today than at any recent time. Retirement has seen to a few recently. Over 20 years of providing picture framing services within the city of Cambridge, Camframe looks forward to continuing to provide a complete bespoke framing service in Cambridgeshire for the foreseeable future.

Camframe is based at St Barnabas Press, a thriving artists printing and studio space. It’s the go-to place for advice on all framing solutions.

Black gloss picture frames

Photo Frames UK

Picture framers need to take extra care when handling high-gloss picture frames as they are prone to scratching. Handled with the right care they can be true stars, giving a glamourous twist to even the most uninteresting photographs.

How to mount a picture

Picture mounts UK

Mount card has a magical ability to transform even a simple scribble into a beautiful object of desire. Mount card has real power, it’s well known. But not any old mount will do. According to the grandmaster picture framer who taught me, every picture has its mount in waiting and every mount has its picture in waiting! The more I work with mount card the more I understand its magical nature.

Not only do mount-cards have great transformational power they also perform an essential function. Mount card keeps the paper away from the glass which allows air to flow freely across the paper’s surface, which in turn stops the build-up of moisture. In case you didn’t know, moisture doesn’t like paper, it has the rather nasty habit of damaging it.

Mount-card should be PH neutral. Lignin that is not treated and removed will react with the paper and produce acid, and acid doesn’t like paper either, it doesn’t care for beautiful scribbles even if they blemish the paper’s surface with spirit and beauty.

Frames must also not be sealed too tightly so as to restrict the circulation of air. And this is where a skilled pair of framer’s hands can make a difference.

That folks is just another day in the life of a well-put-together common-and-garden, mounted picture in a frame and also an explanation as to why paper turns brown over time.

Buy wooden picture frames online

Picture frames online

Choosing a frame

Wooden frames are ideal for framing fine art and are a popular frame choice. Hardwood molding in oak and ash are perfect for all types of fine art.

Fine art oil paintings on canvas are often framed with a simple wooden strip around the stretcher frame. This can be attached to the side of the canvas.

Another very attractive and also popular method to frame canvases is to place the canvas in an upside down wooden box style frame. This method allows a space to be created between the canvas edge and the frame. By using the frame upside down makes it easier to secure the canvas to the rebate.

There are custom frame moldings that are designed to achieve this effect but are manufactured in only a few colours and depths.

It is also very popular today not to frame at all. This might mean that the you only need to have the canvas stretched. A competent picture framer will be able to stretch the canvas so that only 3 mill of artwork runs around the edge on the side of the frame.

If the sides of canvas painted area are parallel then this is easy. If they are not, and this is often the case, then it is impossible to stretch the canvas so that equal widths of painted areas are seen on each side. In this case you might be forced to accept an uneven distribution of the painting along the edges, stretch the canvas so that the image covers the edges completely or have the canvas framed.

When the framer measures the canvas they will look to see if the edges are parallel. This can only be done by measuring one side of the painted area and looking along that edge to find where it varies.

Remember the framer is there to find solutions to every eventuality and they can easily be asked to paint the sides of the stretched canvas for you.

What range of mouldings can I choose from?

Poster frames

We stock a great range of frame mouldings and will go the extra mile to find the right frame choice for your artwork.