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Thread: picture framing moulder?

  1. #1
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    picture framing moulder?

    A friend of mine, who is not an avid woodworker, asked me about the possibility of making frame stock for pictures. He wants to make his own instead of buying from larger manufacturers. I suggested he look into the planer/moulders available. But, methinks, he will have to make a very substantial investment into a planer/moulder (about $1,000.00), plus a variety of knives and then the wood needed.
    Enneybody here with experience along these lines? Is his idea feasible for a sideline business or should I suggest he just forget it?

  2. #2
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    anything is doable with enough money........or time and patience.......
    moulders ain`t 200 bucks but some knifes are......some are more.
    the support equipment required to feed a moulder is something you failed to mention.....
    if this fellow is looking for a couple hundred feet a month then even a small moulder probably isn`t a good investment.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  3. #3
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    With molders like the W&H ($1200+) or Shop Fox ($1000), plus about $175 per set for the knives, unless he buys his own knife grinder (sorta like a key-making machine for $500+), he's gonna have a pretty big investment. Those are gonna be some pretty expensive picture frames!

    Unless he's planning on opening a commercial custom frame shop he'll never get his investment back. A couple thousand dollars will buy a pretty good bit of molding.

    Were I him, I'd think more about buying the molding, and less about buying the machinery to make it. What with cost of stock, cost of labor, and amortization of the machinery costs, there's a good reason those moldings are so expensive - but it'd still be cheaper in the long run than 'rolling your own.'
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  4. #4
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    Frank,

    I make a fair number of picture frames, but I don't sell 'em. I do them by hand on a router table. If I *were* selling them, I'd need a feeder... figure 500. And I'd get at least a shaper... another 500, plus a fair amount in cutters (I must have over 500 in router bits over the years). And I have to square the rough stock, which means table saw, jointer, and planer. Sometimes a bandsaw. And a *really* good miter sled.

    And even if you have all the tools, the stock is far from free...

    Given all that, I just don't see how he could compete with the big dogs. I know *I* never could...

    Thanks,

    Bill

    (ps. There's always one of these: http://orlando.craigslist.org/tls/908579728.html , but their ads make me just a tad skeptical...
    Last edited by Bill Lantry; 11-25-2008 at 06:51 PM.

  5. #5
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    hey frank, i bought a w&h about a year ago. $1850 if i remember correctly. shop fox makes a clone that is less and uses the same knives, but i'll put it to you this way, i had two separate distributors tell me this, "i'll sell it to you under one condition, WHEN it breaks, i don't have to fix it" that tells me something about the quality of that machine.

    i got a 3-1/2" crown moulding set and a 2" set of knives that i designed to cut 2 different profiles. those knives ran me 500 bucks.

    so i have roughly 2350 in equipment and can run 3 profiles, and that is before i buy the lumber and rip in on my table saw and possible run the edges on the planer depending on the profile.

    that was the long answer. the short is what others have said. he is probably better off buying the moulding and cutting it to make his own frames.

  6. #6
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    Tell him he going to need atleast 5k for a good selection of bits plus the molder. Then he going to need a miter saw, ts,planer and jointer. I can not see it being a positive thing uless he is looking at mass quanitys. Then again, he will need a production type equipment. Good luck.

  7. #7
    Frank...

    How've ya been?

    I'm not sure I got whether or not your friend wants to do this as a business, or just wants to make picture frame molding for himself. If a business, others have contributed more than I could. I have a sense that unless he combines it with a framing business he's going to be scratching to make a buck. Lots of picture frame molding already out there. But the framing itself...amazes me what picture framers get for a job.

    I'm a die-hard do-it-myself. I have a mat-cutter, which doubles as a glass cutter, and although I don't do a lot of this it's a hoot to frame a photo of my granddaughter or whatever, double mat it, make decorative cuts, etc. And of course I have to make my own molding. Because. I do what Bill does...make them on a router table. Some nice profiles available from MLCS and others, and if a wide frame is required combine cutters (and of course passes). Fun to do.

    So, if a business, I'm guessing a bunch of money and a bunch of headaches. If for personal projects, a good router table setup with some nice profile bits should do it. Well, okay, also a jointer, planer, and table saw with a good miter sled. And some clamps. And finishing supplies. And......

    Cheers.

  8. #8
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    I just seen his thread on a different site. He is looking to make 400'-500' per week.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al killian View Post
    I just seen his thread on a different site. He is looking to make 400'-500' per week.
    4-5 hundred feet of what profile?.......it`d be easier to offer sound advice.
    [SIZE="1"] associated with several importers and manufacturers.[/SIZE]

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Al killian View Post
    I just seen his thread on a different site. He is looking to make 400'-500' per week.
    This is someone else. My friend doesn't belong to a wood working forum. That's why I posted the question.

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