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Large-scale artwork support with hardboard-framing discussion/question

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Forum topic by Fragm3nt posted 03-01-2021 12:25 PM 642 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Fragm3nt

5 posts in 46 days


03-01-2021 12:25 PM

Topic tags/keywords: art frame wood framing hardboard experience skill

Hey guys,

I’m an artist & I’ve been using hardboard for years for fairly large artwork, and now im looking to approach more “muralistic” territory (5’x7’ to 8’x10’+) while continuing to use the material.

I want to kick some ideas around for the artwork support processing idea i have and see if anybody has additional ideas to my own and if what im thinking might pan out.

I’m “married” to Hardboard because its the only material thats remotely reasonable for regular use at these sizes (or example, dropcloth and anything similar and its set up just doesnt cut it for designer stuff here.). Its been used extensively in the past by large scale artists, so there’s a reputation. Other materials like ACM and plastics are off the table for either costs, accessibility or lack or archival quality, etc.

So, generally Hardboard is set up with artwork at scale by prepping the front by sanding and priming, typically after you’ve established a cradling, most often with the same types of lumber used with large canvases, (eg: good pine and fir, etc.) and finishing the edges for durability.

Here’s my deal: if im already getting so much hardboard for all this, is there any reasonable, and structually (these sizes can get heavy-ish) use strips of cut up Hardboard itself as cradle frame backing/battening here?

Gluing strips together with similar orientation to the lumber ive used conventionally is an idea i have had for this overall design, but I want to ask a bunch of actual seasoned wood workers if it’s pheasible proposition in any way.

——

The considerations and pressure hits with these guys when the sizes enhance and the weight goes up. Then, things like “flatness, and staying that way” follow. Chased by ways of actually hanging them with hardware or cleats. Edges with hardboard here are typically treated with wood glues to avoid damage and splaying.

I may in a position where lumber is the only logical option, but if strategic battening could work due to costs and somebody has a big-brain moment (I dont have many) please hit me with it.

Thanks yall


7 replies so far

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Aj2

3765 posts in 2853 days


#1 posted 03-01-2021 02:45 PM

It’s difficult to imagine a solution without seeing everything in person. I think you just might be up against something we all strive for. I want it large lite weight and flat.
Is their a reason your not working off a canvas stretched over a frame.
Good Luck

-- Aj

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sras

5950 posts in 4184 days


#2 posted 03-01-2021 03:23 PM

I’m not sure there would be any weight savings but the idea of a torsion box comes to mind. A google search on “torsion box construction” will illustrate the concept.

It may be that one could use thinner hardboard to recover some of the weight from the extra material.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

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Fragm3nt

5 posts in 46 days


#3 posted 03-01-2021 07:19 PM



I m not sure there would be any weight savings but the idea of a torsion box comes to mind. A google search on “torsion box construction” will illustrate the concept.

It may be that one could use thinner hardboard to recover some of the weight from the extra material.

- sras

Without having had given it a Google yet, it might just be helpful. If its something thatd obliviate some cross-member usage on a large scale, I could see some stability increase and weight saves.

Thank you for the recommendation, sras. I’ll check it out


It’s difficult to imagine a solution without seeing everything in person. I think you just might be up against something we all strive for. I want it large lite weight and flat.
Is their a reason your not working off a canvas stretched over a frame.
Good Luck

- Aj2

Right? Reading someone else say its a directive of many other creators at least makes me think ive got my head somewhat in the right direction. (Lol)

There’s a lot to the comparison and compromise to large scale stretched canvas and panels (hardboard), but a few key points are the cost, visual appeal and durability over time, with painting process being part and parcel of its use too.

Typically, you’re looking at around $650-1,000 for a havy-duty, big boy 12-20 oz. canvas from a supplier, not including shipping and construction when it gets home, whereas You’re chiming it at a grand total of about $70 from the hardware store for a hand made piece out of hardboard panel, if you know what you’re doing.

Also note the cost of either option in this case (art supports) logically has no reflection on actual quality in terms of archival-ability and overall structural integrity, and a great deal of artists actually recognize it as superior in those terms. The look too, imo, has a more modern presentation and i find lends itself to more modern work (i have a lot of stuff aimed at interior design.)

The labor element isn’t great on either if you’re making your own stuff, but hey it’s part of the fun. . . Right?

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splintergroup

4982 posts in 2277 days


#4 posted 03-01-2021 07:31 PM

I’d go the Steve approach, very flat, stiff, and light weight for the end product. I’d have a hard time finding any hardboard over a standard 4’ x 8’ sheet however.

For glued up stacks of hardboard vs, just using pine, pine wins. It’d take too much time laminating up hardboard strips to get the same effect as pine.

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Fragm3nt

5 posts in 46 days


#5 posted 03-01-2021 09:32 PM


I d go the Steve approach, very flat, stiff, and light weight for the end product. I d have a hard time finding any hardboard over a standard 4 x 8 sheet however.

For glued up stacks of hardboard vs, just using pine, pine wins. It d take too much time laminating up hardboard strips to get the same effect as pine.

- splintergroup

Yeap, I think you’re on the money there, splintergroup.

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Fragm3nt

5 posts in 46 days


#6 posted 03-01-2021 09:38 PM

Hopefully I’m uploading this right:

Ok, so here are just a couple examples of stuff, just to get some visuals going. The first 2 pieces are what i was doing a while back before I started refining edgework and thinking bigger formats.

The last piece is halfway done, in both the art and the frame up itself, and its been my guinea pig for some 5’x7’’s here soon.

I had to do the ‘ole slats and clamps+water trick to straighten up some mistakes and cupping on the corners, but its leaning in the right direction.

Fortunately, the weight of it falls right on what a more robust canvas of this size, with say double fill weave at 20oz. Might likely weigh., with the additional “pro” of not having to eventually re-stretch or key back up later (to be fair, you wouldnt have to anyway for a decade at worst anyway with good stuff and proper set-up.)

I could shave off a few oz or so by bringing a bevel via router/chisel on the interior struts. As excessive as that might seem here, again we are trying to ring out weight savings where we can.

Last off, as much as I prefer the more shallow orientation on this (last) cradle versus the top, black guy’s “gallery wrap” profile, I fear there will be pretty obvious diminished returns on it going huge, but I hope I wrong yet again.

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Fragm3nt

5 posts in 46 days


#7 posted 03-03-2021 12:35 AM

More food/thought, and please forgive the typos up top

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