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Thread: Re: When to use 8 ply mat board

  1. #1

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    Re: When to use 8 ply mat board

    I have some largish prints that I will exhibit locally. The print sizes are nominal 16x23 and 23x34. I don't really know at what size I should use 8 ply mat board. I have been regularly exhibiting prints up to 16x20 (matted and framed to 20x26) using 4 ply mats and the Neilson standard frames. These look good but I am not sure about going any larger. I might be able to get away with staying with the 4 ply mats for the 16x23 prints but I really doubt that this will work with the 23x34 prints. For these I am considering to use the Neilson Standard plus three frames and 8 ply board. Also what sizes would work for the overall mat and frame dimensions for these print sizes? If anyone who is working in these sizes and is familar with the Neilson frames can give some feedback I would appreciate it. Framing and matting prints at this size is an expensive proposition and I don't want to be in the position of ordering materials that won't work for me. All dimensions are in inches. Thanks in advance. Art

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2006
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    Brooklyn, NY
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    48

    Re: When to use 8 ply mat board

    8ply looks great with any size print, even small prints. I think the issue is one of cost. If I could afford to mat everything under 8ply, I probably would.

    If you have two prints in the same show, I'd mat them both the same way--especially if they're from a single series. Once a print hits 16x20 or larger, I think 8ply looks much better than 4ply. I don't see a technical need to go with 8ply aside from aesthetics if the matting, mounting and framing are done well. I've got a series of prints that are 4"x38", and they were all matted with 4ply board; a similar series printed at 5"x50" looked wrong with 4ply board so I did it with 8ply.

    Don't forget that 8ply is harder to work with, so if you're cutting it yourself, expect a couple of more flubbed sheets than usual. If you're paying to have it done, expect it to cost more.

    -m

  3. #3
    Scott Davis
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    May 2002
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    Re: When to use 8 ply mat board

    If you can afford the 8-ply, use it on all of them. In my opinion, it always looks better, IF done right. That said, the margin for error with 8-ply is less because it magnifies any issues with the cutting of the window.

  4. #4

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    Re: When to use 8 ply mat board

    anyone have any feedback on the frame selection?

  5. #5
    Scott Davis
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    Re: When to use 8 ply mat board

    I would go with something a little more substantial than a standard Nielsen frame- the skinny profile starts to look flimsy and cheap at that size. For the 16x23 prints I would use a 24x32 or even 24x36 frame, and then choose a frame with at least 1/2-3/4" if not a full inch width and depth. Nielsen makes some aluminum frames with a nice wide face and reasonable depth that are not TOO expensive, and you can also find pre-made wood frames that will fit the bill nicely, probably cheaper than the metal frames.

  6. #6
    Drew Wiley
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    SF Bay area, CA
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    7,482

    Re: When to use 8 ply mat board

    The whole point of the overmat is to provide air space between the print and glazing.
    It doesn't matter how big the print is. If the print is drymounted or otherwise firmly
    attached to its backing, you can use 4-ply just fine. 8-ply is more appropriate when
    you have a print on watercolor paper which is hinged to the backing and will ripple
    and risk contact with the glazing. Otherwise it's simply an esthetic decision. 8-ply is
    expensive and hard to cut. If you can afford it and like the look, go ahead, but it's
    rarely necessary for a protection standpoint.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 1999
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    139

    Re: When to use 8 ply mat board

    I have been using 1/8 plexi for my smaller prints. What thickness should I use for these larger ones?

  8. #8

    Re: When to use 8 ply mat board

    Quote Originally Posted by Arthur Nichols View Post
    I have some largish prints that I will exhibit locally. The print sizes are nominal 16x23 and 23x34. I don't really know at what size I should use 8 ply mat board. I have been regularly exhibiting prints up to 16x20 (matted and framed to 20x26) using 4 ply mats and the Neilson standard frames. These look good but I am not sure about going any larger. I might be able to get away with staying with the 4 ply mats for the 16x23 prints but I really doubt that this will work with the 23x34 prints. For these I am considering to use the Neilson Standard plus three frames and 8 ply board. Also what sizes would work for the overall mat and frame dimensions for these print sizes? If anyone who is working in these sizes and is familar with the Neilson frames can give some feedback I would appreciate it. Framing and matting prints at this size is an expensive proposition and I don't want to be in the position of ordering materials that won't work for me. All dimensions are in inches. Thanks in advance. Art
    I was wondering if i should use 4 or 8ply on a 8.5" x 25" pano with a 2.5" x 2" border?

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