Dec 11, 2010

Equipment setup for stretcher bar construction.

I am finally catching up from a busy fall schedule and apoligize for not posting any new Blogs since the summer.
The past year has seen quite a few requests from artists, enthusiests and pro photographers for stretcher bars with wholesale pricing.   Many of these folks print and wrap their own gallery wraps but do not want to get involved in the dirt and mess of cutting and assembly.
My previous setup for building stretcher bars was a nice miter saw with fence system and staple gun for assembly. Worked very well by the way. From start to finish less then 15 minutes to cut and assemble.
Still not fast enough to cost effectivly mass produce for the wholesale trade.
Knowing what new equipment costs to mass produce stretcher frames led me to my favorite used woodworking auction site. No not Ebay, Industrial Recovery Services in York, Pa.  Having owned my own cabinetry business for almost 25 years I can admit to being a full fledged tool junkie. So the hunt was on.

After several months  I found exactly what I was looking for a used CTD dual miter saw and ITW Amp underpinner. Both needed a little work so we went over both of them with a fine tooth comb and they are both restored like new. The dual saw can cut the left and right miter at the same time with the tap of the foot pedal.  The new air operated fence is excellent for a standard miter setup or measuring the inside rabbet when cutting picture frames. Time savings from the old way about 50%
The underpinner saves about the same amount of time and will enable us to start offering cost effective wood picture frames for our pano and large format mounting business.
Just set the controller,tap the foot pedal and the corner is finished stapled. Pretty slick.

Keep an eye out for further updates on our mounting and framing page. Wholesale prices for assembled stretcher frames or unassembled chops should be up shortly. If you would like to save a little on shipping,order chops. All you need is a staple gun and you can easily assemble them yourself. Call or email me personally for more information.

                                               Presently offering 2" and 1 1/2" deep bars

Jul 2, 2010

Printing on metal- Roof flashing metal that is!

We have been getting many requests of late for demonstrations of metal printing. So many in fact we have added it to our canvas printing and mounting workshop. This is a quick once over but will give you an idea of what we cover in depth here at the studio. When I started metal printing I purchased several 17" X 22" aluminum sheets from Book Smart Studio in Rochester, NY. excellent material although about $45.00 a sheet. I needed another alternative metal and started my search at my local roofing suppliers. On my first stop I was shown a roll of 12" X 32' of aluminum sheet metal roof flashing. This flashing does not have any protective finish applied and fit the bill perfectly. Cost about .75 a square foot. Thats less then most of the paper I print with. The first thing I did after getting it in the shop was to measure  the thickness. At .23in. it is comfortably less then the .30in. max material thickness limit on my Epson 7900 and 9900. With a straight edge and utility knive I scored and broke off a 12" X 18 piece. I have a small file which works really nice to remove the sharp edge and burr. After thoroughly cleaning and a light buffing with 0000 steel wool we are ready to apply the receptor coating with a foam brush. We use 2 coats of Inkaid and it takes a full 8 to 12 hours to dry between coats. After the second coat its ready to print. In this case I did the top sheet load on my Epson 7900. I set the borders in Lightroom to 1/2" which gives me a nice 11" X 17" print. The image I used here is from one of the overlooks at Bryce Canyon, Ut. I did not spray this print with a uv and moisture protectant but several quick coats of Clearstar would do the trick. I have Solux lighting in my gallery and these metal prints just glow when lit properly! To learn more sign up for one of our "One On One" printing and mounting workshops.

                                                 Scoring a 12" x 18" sheet from the roll.

                                 Applying print receptor coating Inkaid with foam brush.

Metal blank inserted ready to print.

Finished metal print ready to mount.

Jun 6, 2010

Our backyard studio gallery workshop.

              Our framing and mounting workshop.

I have been out of the studio for over a week and it is good to be home and back to work. Since closing our cabinetry business this past July it has been quite an effort to overhaul the entire shop into the printmaking studio gallery and new workshop. We removed all of our industrial level woodworking equipment. Large electric panels,several hundred feet of dust collection pipe including the 30hp exterior dust system it all went. After the large equipment was removed we spent about a month cleaning dust and believe you me there was quite abit.  We then installed a half dozen pieces of smaller woodworking equipment that are required for our framing and mounting work. Many of the panos we mount are on gatorboard which require the large sliding table saw. We can cut up a 4' X 10' sheet in less then 15 minutes. I took an extra day and built the 5' X 10' workbench you see in the back left of the photo. It comes in handy for assembling large 8 ft. panos and wet mounting canvas to gatorboard.
We have a beautiful facitily here in southeastern Pennsylvania and would love to have you come spend a day with us.  Our canvas workshops cover processing,printing and mounting for photographers of all levels from beginners to expert. We also offer custom workshops for your special printing or mounting interests. Printing with Epsons 7900 (24") and 9900 (44") everyone takes home a gallery wrapped 20"x 30"canvas image. 
In addition to our regular canvas workshops we will be adding a new pano mounting workshop later this summer. Please give us a call at  610-856-7095

     Miter saw system for cutting gallery stretcher bars.

                    Studio - Gallery- Workshop

May 21, 2010

My new Workshop Blog!

Our new Epson 9900 44" wide format printer
finishing a 36"x 92" pano for a client.

Welcome to my new workshop blog.  I hope to keep every one up to date on whats going on in the print studio as well as the lastest workshop updates. This past July I closed my cabinetry business operated out of this facility for the past 22 years.  We renovated the old showroom into a landscape and nature canvas gallery of my travel photography. The rest of the facility needed some rework but more cleaning then anything. Sawdust in a print studio is not a good thing. We have been open since Sept. of 09. offering fine art printing for photographers of all levels. We chose canvas as our primary media but print on everything from fine art papers to metallics and metal.
Our canvas printing and mounting workshops are presently offered as one on one or one on two so that we can cover our extensive program in a single day. Custom workshops for larger groups are also available.
We welcome everyone to stop by for a tour.  Please call for an appointment.
We will be announcing our new Canvas Pano Workshops in the next several weeks.

Our new studio workshop area.

April 2010 Canvas Workshop held in the studio.

Landscape and Nature Canvas Gallery

May 19, 2010

2010 Canvas Workshops

Demonstrating wet mounting canvas on gatorboard.

New to the East Coast, a state of the art studio/printing facility. We also offer canvas and panorama printing and mounting workshops. Come spend the day with us and learn all there is to know about canvas.

What our workshops cover:
• Image processing
• Selecting the right canvas
• Wide format printing with Epson's 7900 (24") and 9900 (44") K3 11-inkset printers
• Varnishing process using spray and roll coatings, UV and moisture protectants
• Cutting and assembling gallery stretcher frames
• Gallery wrapping by hand and by machine
• Canvas mounting to Gatorboard
• Canvas embellishment

Call 610.856.7095 or email us to schedule your class time. See location. Classes listed at left.