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Beginner's CNC router for producing frames for art paintings

1842 Views 11 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  ger21
Dear friends,

I am looking into the possibility to find a solution for framing art paintings from a museum. It needs ~1000 meters of frames (from 30 cm to 1.8 meters long per side and up to 7 cm wide). The frame shall have leafs lines semispheres etc that will make the painting stand out. Will be glad if anoyone with experience in CNC wood engraving may provide advice.

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welcome to the forum, Vladd.
that is quite a project: one kilometer, 3/4s of a mile in wood frames. wow.
then, after routing, all that sanding, priming and painting (and gold leaf, if you decide to go that route).
more information needed to be specific of what you are asking, please.
you say the paintings are "from" a museum - where will they go after they are framed ?
We would like to organize a shop for this project and invest into tools (a small amount, 1-3k USD) to get this job done in a 2-5 years span, no hurry. The paintings will be taken "from" the museum will be returned there. A professional will work with our tools, so this will be a small investment into a common work.
if you could encourage the "professionals" that will be working with you to be a part of this conversation, you may obtain the most accurate responses (even if you have to be the interpreter).
framing is a learned art - finishing is another art - the CNC itself, well, that is different.
Question: is purchasing framing material wholesale from a company that is already producing these designs an option ?
You will likely need to add another zero to your budget for the CNC part of this project. If your tools, including CNC, are to be $3k or less then that's going to be a small and fairly flimsy (i.e. very flexible) CNC that will take hours to even get one linear foot cut, let alone the job size you mentioned. Even a stout machine that costs $10k won't do that sort of carving quickly but it would at least give you repeatable results that won't require a lot of hand work after the CNC does its cutting.
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Welcome to the forum Vladd.
there are times where the frame is more valuable than the painting - for a reason. with intricate designs like that, the programming of the frame design into the CAD software alone could be a daunting task. you need to be very good at computer drawing. there are individuals with highly sophistaced expensive equipment that can digitally scan in the artwork (you have to send them the frame) and convert it directly to useable files for you and your CNC. i have done it and it is worth every penny.

as said, doubt the price range you mentioned is going to do it for you. x10 maybe... but, doable!

good luck, keep us updated!
If all you plan on using the CNC for would be decorative framework, I would think it might be worth building one yourself that that would be narrow but extra-long so you could produce long pieces of the framework for each setup. If you will use it for other things then a standard production model machine would be best. Either way, you are looking at around 4X or more what you want to pay for one. This one job would more than pay for the machine, tooling and add-ons needed for the machine many times over.
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Welcome to the forum @Vladd

That sounds like a task requiring a large investment?
It would be cheaper to buy the frames. A LOT cheaper.
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