Art Business News

If you can’t read ’em … frame ’em

If you can’t read ’em … frame ’em – he frames …

Fred Schneider

A customer approached me recently with an unusual problem. He is an avid collector of vintage books, which he displays within his home, Unfortunately, several of his more sentimental titles are in an extremely fragile condition, Any contact from rubbing, handling or even dust might ruin their appearance, He asked if there was a way to show the books without upsetting his current shelf display. My solution was to frame them, creating functional bookends to protect the beautiful old volumes.

Our first step was to decide on an appropriate arrangement. After doing so, I measured the book stacks to determine the frame size. In this case. I stacked and assembled the bookends using Framerica’s Boxer moulding in a Dark Walnut Rustic Pine finish. The moulding was cut to a size of 9 1/2 by 19 3/4 inches, using two Nos. 92004, one No. 93004 and a cap of No. 91004, Each bookend measures 6 3/8 inches in depth.

After fitting each box with Plexiglas, I lined each with Crescent Black Core Matboard No. 6989 Raven Black (mounted onto 1/8-inch foam core).

The next step was to make a shelf for each bookend, which would serve to hold a second layer of books. To do so, I measured the inside depth and width of the shadow boxes to determine the appropriate shelf size–in this case 6 1/4 by 9 1/4 inches. To construct the shelves, I used Framerica’s No. 72004 cut with the moulding turned vertically in the saw then joined so the outside diameter of the frames measured exactly 6 1/4 by 9 1/4 inches. Since the shelves would have to support a good amount of weight, I cut Masonite rather than foam board to fit tightly into them. I affixed Crescent Raven Black mat No. 989 to the Masonite before attaching the package onto the shelves using strips of ATG tape. I then nailed the shelves into position in the shadow boxes, mat side up, driving 1 1/4-inch nails into each side. When attaching the shelves, I used a foamcore spacer as a guide to ensure the shelf would sit squarely within the box. To prevent the nails from showing, I inserted each from the underside of the shelf into the frame.

To complete the job, I cut backing boards of Crescent Mat No 989 Raven Black to fit into the back rabbets of the bookends. I then used flexi points instead of traditional staples to allow easy access for re-arranging or replacing the books.

Finally, as a finishing touch, I applied felt to the bottoms of the frames so the bookends would not scratch the display surface. The customer was thrilled.

Fred is a 15-year employee of County Frame in Long Island, N Y., and has been framing for more than 25 years. If you would like to share your ideas, please contact him at (631) 567-8889 or via e-mail at

COPYRIGHT 2003 Advanstar Communications, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2004 Gale Group