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Lisa Fiore
06-15-2010, 10:52 AM
For those of you who like to frame pastels without matting, and would rather not spend a fortune at a frame shop--where do you find spacers? Are they difficult to attach? Can they be used with ready-made frames like those found at Blicks? I'm hoping to paint some larger pieces and am intimidated by the framing problem/cost. (by "larger", I mean 18x24, nothing huge!!)Thanks!!! :)

Devonlass
06-15-2010, 11:27 AM
I always frame without a mat and use Econospace from Frametek. I get quite a large amount which comes in a very long tube (about 6 ft long), it seemed like a lot of spacers when it arrived, but it's surprising how quickly you get through it, I'm about ready to buy some more. When you think about it,a frame 18 x 24 will use 6 ft of spacer. They can be used with ready made frames, but you will need to have at least a half inch rabbet, I get pleine air frames from ASW Express, which I have found to be the most economical (especially if you order 10 at a time). If you do a search on this forum for "spacers" you will get a wealth of information.

Potoma
06-15-2010, 11:53 AM
I use spacers that adhere to the glass, the Econospacer. There's another type that fits tightly on the glass instead.

I like the Econospacer (I get them from Jerry's for about $50) b/c you can control where it is stuck, meaning that you can expand the edges of the glass a bit, as glass is often smaller than I like. Hope that makes sense. Basically, I find them flexible for my needs.

DAK723
06-15-2010, 01:16 PM
I buy mine from the local frame shops. They usually sell them in approx. 5' strips. I get the type that sticks right on the glass (they have a peel-off strip), and they are very easy to apply. They can be purchased on the web - and you can get different depths and colors (usually clear or black). I have no problems with pre-made frames - the rabbet is always large enough.

Here's a link to Frametek's econospace - on the same page are links to the framespace (the one that wraps around the glass) and more info:

http://www.frametek.com/HTML/EconoSpace/

Don

Deborah Secor
06-15-2010, 02:30 PM
I know it's a little off-topic, but if the rabbet depth is just a little too shallow you can add canvas offsets to your frame. They come in different depths and look like this (http://framewareinc.com/store/framing-hardware/canvas-offset-clips/canvas-offset-clips.html).

Deborah

PeggyB
06-15-2010, 02:54 PM
EconoSpace & FrameSpace come in 5' lengths and "tubes" of 100' (20 lengths). As mentioned, EconoSpace has an adhesive strip and is easy to use. However, you have a choice of sticking it to the glass (as they recommend) or the frame if the surface of the wood (or metal) is relatively smooth. Sometimes placing it on the frame is an advantage if you need or want a sixteenth more room between the artwork and glass; one side of the EconoSpace is 3/16" wide.

FrameSpace is another choice. It fits over the edge of the glass, but is sometimes a bit difficult to get in place for anyone unaccustomed to working with glass. I like it because if the glass breaks it is easy to reuse the FrameSpace. EconoSpace often does not want to be removed from whatever it is stuck to, and doesn't want to securely stick to a new surface. FrameSpace is a bit more expensive, but not by much.

Either of the spacers come in a variety of widths, but not all supppliers carry all sizes. If you get the 1/8" and need to have it wider you can stack two strips on top of one another if it is Econospace. They also come in clear or black color. I ususally buy EconoSpace in both colors in 1/8 inch width, but also have Framespace 1/2 inch in black.

As Deborah mentioned, the width of the rabbet isn't as critical if you use RabbetSpacers or offset clips. It just takes a bit longer to finish the framing if you have to use these items.

Peggy

DaveMak
06-15-2010, 03:22 PM
... However, you have a choice of sticking it to the glass (as they recommend) or the frame if the surface of the wood (or metal) is relatively smooth. Sometimes placing it on the frame is an advantage if you need or want a sixteenth more room between the artwork and glass; one side of the EconoSpace is 3/16" wide.

Peggy

Actually the spacer should not be adhered to wood since the bond will eventually fail. Spacers should always be adhered to the glass or, in the case of a metal frame, they can be adhered to the frame.

Also, the top spacer should extend all the way from the upper left corner of the rabbet to the upper right corner of the rabbet. The two sides are then put into place and act as columns to provide support to the top spacer so that if the adhesive ever fails it won't fall. The bottom spacer is then put along the bottom rail against the two side spacers.

PeggyB
06-15-2010, 03:38 PM
Actually the spacer should not be adhered to wood since the bond will eventually fail. Spacers should always be adhered to the glass or, in the case of a metal frame, they can be adhered to the frame.

Also, the top spacer should extend all the way from the upper left corner of the rabbet to the upper right corner of the rabbet. The two sides are then put into place and act as columns to provide support to the top spacer so that if the adhesive ever fails it won't fall. The bottom spacer is then put along the bottom rail against the two side spacers.

Perhaps this is another instance of regional humidity or lack thereof. I have a piece hanging in my house that is probably going on 20 years old that is just fine (I just checked it). Your caution is good though, and I know the manufacturer recommends putting it only on the glass.

Thanks too for explaining the positioning of the spacers. That's exactly how I do it too, but only because I thought it might hold. If the side adhesive fails, there goes the theory. :lol: Truth be told, I've never had the adhesive fail and I've been framing for almost 30 years (I think before the spacers were available! :eek: ) .

Peggy

Devonlass
06-15-2010, 03:38 PM
Thanks DaveMak. I use spacers all the time, but I've never been careful of the order in which I adhere them to the glass. What you said makes perfect sense and I'll bear that in mind in future.

Tom Perry
06-15-2010, 03:47 PM
I use strips of balsa. I paint them with lacquer and miter the corners. A small dab of adhesive in the middle of the strip keeps them from shifting as the frame is assembled.

The balsa is easily cut to size with an xacto miter saw and box. The balsa is relatively inexpensive. and can be found in most hobby shops.

I suppose I favor it because I have a huge stock of it left over from my past hobby of building flying model aircraft.

Lisa Fiore
06-16-2010, 09:46 AM
Thanks so much everyone for all of the great info!! I'm going to try out the econospacer. I really appreciate all of your input!

DGrau
06-16-2010, 12:26 PM
Perhaps this is another instance of regional humidity or lack thereof. I have a piece hanging in my house that is probably going on 20 years old that is just fine (I just checked it). Your caution is good though, and I know the manufacturer recommends putting it only on the glass.

Thanks too for explaining the positioning of the spacers. That's exactly how I do it too, but only because I thought it might hold. If the side adhesive fails, there goes the theory. :lol: Truth be told, I've never had the adhesive fail and I've been framing for almost 30 years (I think before the spacers were available! :eek: ) .

Peggy
if you miter cut the spacers all at a 45 degree angle (like frames are made) wouldn't that solve all of the potential problems of loss of adhesion?

DGrau
06-16-2010, 01:58 PM
if you miter cut the spacers all at a 45 degree angle (like frames are made) wouldn't that solve all of the potential problems of loss of adhesion?
upon reflection even a square cut wouldn't actually be able to tip if cut close to a tight fit, it would only be able to slide.

PeggyB
06-16-2010, 03:33 PM
upon reflection even a square cut wouldn't actually be able to tip if cut close to a tight fit, it would only be able to slide.

Yup! I agree Dan. Cutting this material at exactly 45 degrees for a tight fit wouldn't be easy for the average bear.... I highly suspect the "secret" is a tight fit, but not so tight it buldges, is the key; not necessarily how they are placed. When I do adhere it to the surface I make certain I press very firmly on the EconoSpace to be certain it won't come off.

Peggy