Category Archives: Blog

Polystyrene Cutting Tips

What is polystyrene? 

Polystyrene is one of the most widely used kinds of plastic in the world. It can be found in disposable cutlery, DVD cases, packing materials and drinking cups. 

What are some of the benefits of using polystyrene? 

  • It will not warp from changes in temperature or humidity. It is also waterproof and cannot be damaged by insects. 
  • It cuts and joins easier and faster than wood moulding, cutting down on manufacturing time and money.
  • All sticks are a uniform 9.5 ft. long, making ordering hassle-free. 
  • It is lighter than wood, so you save on shipping.
  • It costs less than wood; giving your customers an inexpensive, high quality alternative to wood your customers will appreciate

What type of saw do I need to use to cut your moulding? 

Polystyrene moulding can be cut by a regular wood saw. We recommend saw blades with less than 120 teeth, with a 36 tooth blade being ideal. Poly moulding cuts easily with no resistance so it is recommended to cut through it quickly. By using the appropriate blade and cutting technique you will not have to worry about the plastic melting. 

How many RPM’s should my saw be running at? 

Between 2,400 and 3,000 is the ideal range. If it is too low, the saw will build up heat and melt the moulding. If it is too high, it will cause your saw to vibrate and make uneven cuts. 

Can polystyrene moulding be cut using a chopper? 


What type of glue should I be using? 

You should be using some type of plastic glue. We also recommend Satellite City brand glue. For a less expensive alternative, PVC glue from any hardware store would work well, although it will take longer to dry (approx. 1 hour). 

Can I join the frame using an underpinner? 

Yes, you can join polystyrene frames just like you would with wood moulding. Make sure the pins are not too close to the edge of the frame corners as they can split. 

Did you know?

Fletcher-Terry’s interchangeable cutting head technology ensures the FSC Multi-Material Cutter never becomes obsolete, making the FSC an outstanding long-term investment value for your business.

Key Value Points:

  • Never Outdated – Cutting head solutions designed to meet ever-changing cutting demands – no matter what new substrates are introduced to market
  • Grow Your Business – Position your company to capitalize on market crossover trends for continued business growth
  • Work Smarter, Not Harder – Provides cutting efficiencies and speed; can be placed in the same room as a printer, saving valuable floor space
  • Save Money – Reduced cutting errors mean savings on material scrap costs

Product Highlights:

  • Cuts clean and debris-free; no secondary processing
  • Includes Laser Sight Line Cutting Guide, eliminating guess work and costly errors in pre-print or post-printing process
  • Mounts on wall or can be used free-standing
  • ACM V-Groove Cutting for fine adjustment increments and precise depth control
  • Ability to cut aluminum sheets up to .063″ in a single pass
Click for more information

See the FSC in Action:

How Mirrors Are Made

How mirrors are made

The conventional modern mirror is usually nothing more than a sheet of glass attached to a thin layer of metallic backing. It seems as if mirrors have been around forever in some form or another, but mirrors as we know them today haven’t been around that long. As early as a thousand years ago, mirrors were still polished discs of plain metal that cost more than most people of that era could afford: A peasant who wanted to see his or her reflection had to go look in a pond like everyone else — and had to stand in line to do it. Full-length mirrors are an even more recent invention. They’re only about 400 years old.

You’d think that four centuries would give people time to adjust to looking at themselves, but you’d have another thing coming. In a 2005 study at the University of Liverpool, a group of researchers asked subjects to predict when their reflection would appear as they walked past a mirror. Their answers were embarrassingly off. The same poor results came back when people were asked to judge the size of their heads in the mirror

The results of the Liverpool study suggest that humans simply aren’t intuitively equipped to deal with reflections, yet mirrors resonate deeply in the human psyche. They represent truth and illusion at the same time. They show us ourselves as we are — yet not quite — and we see a new world to explore behind the mirror that we can’t access. Perhaps these disorienting paradoxes are what make mirrors so central to both magic and science.

How mirrors work

When humans started making simple mirrors around 600 B.C., they used polished obsidian as a reflective surface. Eventually, they started to produce more sophisticated mirrors made of copper, bronze, silver, gold and even lead. However, because of the weight of the material, these mirrors were tiny by our standards: They rarely measured more than 8 inches (20 centimeters) in diameter and were used mostly for decoration. One exception was the Pharos, the lighthouse of Alexandria, whose large metal mirror reflected sunlight during the day and the fire used to mark the lighthouse at night.

Contemporary mirrors did not come into being until the late Middle Ages, and even then their manufacture was difficult and expensive. One of the problems involved was the fact that the sand used for glassmaking contained too many impurities to produce real clarity. In addition, the shock caused by the heat of adding molten metal for backing almost always broke the glass

It wasn’t until the Renaissance, when the Florentines invented a process for making low-temperature lead backing, that modern mirrors made their debut. These mirrors were finally clear enough for artists to use. For example, architect Filippo Brunelleschi created linear perspective with a mirror to give the illusion of depth of field. In addition, mirrors helped jump-start a new form of art: the self-portrait. Later, the Venetians would conquer the mirror-making trade with their glass-making techniques. Their secrets were so precious and the trade so lucrative that renegade craftsmen who tried to sell their knowledge to foreign workshops were often assassinated.

At this point, mirrors were still only affordable for the rich, but scientists had noticed some alternative uses for them in the meantime. As early as the 1660s, mathematicians noted that mirrors could potentially be used in telescopes instead of lenses; James Bradley used this knowledge to build the first reflecting telescope in 1721. Despite the importance of this discovery, the fact remained that both were cost-prohibitive.

The modern mirror is made by silvering, or spraying a thin layer of silver or aluminum onto the back of a sheet of glass. Justus Von Leibig invented the process in 1835, but most mirrors are made today by heating aluminum in a vacuum, which then bonds to the cooler glass. Mirrors are now used for all kinds of purposes, from LCD projection to lasers and car headlights.

Lumber Production Update

April, 2018

Continued poor weather across much of the country kept sawmills tight on logs, especially in the South, Midwest and parts of Appalachia. Lumber sales were steady, though a few contacts said Hard Maple was more available and that Red Oak may have reached its peak. One large southern manufacturer said inventories have gotten so low that it is seeing parts of the warehouse floor it hasn’t seen in years. Prices were steady to firmer for most items, with Ash, White Oak and Cherry leading the way. Ash sales were good, but the supply of logs is reportedly declining quickly.

Continue to check in on our What’s new page for updates on lumber production and how it will be affecting the picture frame industry

News from the West Coast Art & Frame Expo

Lots of new designs at the show!

Hope everyone who was there found something exciting to bring back home

Some photos of the various booths …

the folks at JJ (Klive and Stephanie) showing off their mouldings

Lineco Archival Products Booth
Underpinners, with Auto Saw in the background at the Fletcher-Terry AMP booth
Donna Working Hard at AMP