Tuesday, February 16, 2010

No, It’s Not a Bunny
 - The Lowdown on Your Frame’s Rabbet

Every frame has a rabbet, which is the depth of the frame’s interior channel. The rabbet depth tells you how thick the items your framing can be. The thickness of your acrylic + your mat + your mounting board + your artwork must be equal to or less than the rabbet depth for your artwork “stack” to fit inside the frame.

When you browse our catalog (paper or online), be sure to check the profile illustration we provide, which shows the rabbet depth. The rabbet on a traditional wood molding is the recess on the back inside edge of the frame. Our metal frames have an enclosed rabbet or channel.

Clear as mud? Here’s a sample situation: Our standard & archival mounting boards are 1/8” (0.125) thick, standard acrylic is 3/32” (0.09375) thick and each 4-ply Crescent Select mat is 1/16” (0.0625) thick. This makes a “stack” 9/32” (0.28125) thick. Now add your art’s thickness. For prints or pictures, this might be nearly zero. For thicker papers, canvas, textured arts or mementos, this might add considerably to the artwork “stack.”

Now choose a frame with a rabbet depth greater than the artwork stack’s total thickness.

If using multiple mats, remember to add every mat to the “stack” and consider ordering all your mats from a single mat collection. This keeps measurements uniform. Also note the above is just a sample. If you choose a different acrylic, mat or mounting board, note their thickness. All the products in American Frame’s Essentials Handbook have these key measurements listed on paper and online.

Now that you’re a bunny—ehem, rabbet—expert, go find something cool to frame!


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