Flat File Corner - Tips, Questions, Answers, Etc.

Information on shipping, storing and repairing your art, plus your reviews on products for art collecting, making, storing, etc..

Postby Vipero96 on Fri Jul 04, 2014 4:27 pm

Let me give you a quick backdrop first.

When I talked to Dan (the videos), he told me he shrink wrapped his posters. He used heavy corrugated board, using black tape on all sides such that when he mounted his posters on them, he ended up with this 1/8" border on all sides. He would do one poster on each board. Notice on the film where it shows the back side of one of these, you can see the brown cardboard material on the back, with the upside down V shaped plastic hanger on the back. I was very interested in having some of my stuff shrinkwrapped, but Dan was going to have to charge me $40 per poster, and shipping from Canada was going to be tenuous at best, and likely very expensive. So, with 100+ posters,this was going to be totally impractical.

So....I started checking around, having decided I was going to try to do this myself. Of course that meant buying my own portable shrink-wrap machine. Let me say that unless you have, or intend to have, quite a few pieces to shrink wrap , the economics may not work out. But, for me, as it turned out, for what i wanted to do, it was well worth it.

Now, for the changes I made. First of all, I wanted a bigger border. So I planned this to get a 1/2" black border - for
posters on BOTH sides. I also wanted lighter material than cardboard - so I got foamcore board. Then, of course I found a shrink-wrap machine and went to work. And, of course, all materials had to be archival/conservation quality safe, and acid-free.

Here's what you would need:

3/8" Foam Core boards - if you're not doing anything too large, go with 30x40 pieces and have them cut down to 25x37 for your 24x36 prints, if that is what you mostly collect. That extra inch on each dimension provides the 1/2" border area for both sides of the board.

Black 2" Masking tape - in 60 yard rolls. Using with the 3/8" thick foamcore, this will leave you with 13/16" black tape on both sides of the board. The easiest way to do this is to make a couple of pencil marks on each side (top, bottom, right, left) so you can stretch out the black tape over the marks (best to have one on far right, and one on far left of each side
for lining up). Then you just cut the tape, press it down, flip it to the other side, press down the tape on the other side for that border. It's a little tedious, but it really works out well.

Scotch® Preservation Double-Coated Tape 889, 3/4-inch x 36 Yards, Roll (get at Amazon). After you've got your board taped up for borders, use just a very small little piece of this double-sided tape in each corner to mount poster or print to the foam board. This stuff comes off easily when removing poster, should you decide to sell it. Just press poster against it hard enough to keep it in place for slipping poster into shrink-wrap sleeve. Remember, you will have placed posters on BOTH sides (although, obviously, you don't have to).

Portable Shrink-wrap machine. This is just a home or office use portable machine with a shrink-wrap film roll at the top, and a "sealing" wand to crimp the open ends of the film at the edges of your poster. I'll get the particulars on this one and post next week when I'm back at work - but, it is a complete kit with machine, 36" wide roll of acid free film, and heat gun for shrinking.

Once you have both posters attached to the foam board, you're ready to shrink wrap. This takes a little practice, but you get the hang of it pretty quick. The main thing is, after you've gotten the poster encased with seals on all sides of the film, to be very careful with the heating gun so as not to burn a hole in the shrink film. In case you're wondering, to
date, after having done this about 80 times, I've had no situations where the poster or print was in danger of a burn. Remember, it's heating the loose shrink wrap film on top, not the print itself.

Anyway, that's basically it. I can do the economics on this (basic price per poster cost, all materials considered) next week, and post that up. I'll also have the information on exactly where to go for each of these items, which I researched thoroughly, and feel I got the best prices and materials available. And, no, I don't have any connection with any of the
vendors!

For a few pics I took just the other day, check these that I've got on PhotoBucket. Forgive me for the sorry quality - indoor photography is a pain!

http://s133.photobucket.com/user/viper96photos/slideshow/Shrink%20Wrapping%20Posters

Like I said, what I like best about this is that I can display nearly everything I own in one place (other than the framed ones on the walls). And another thing - if you decide you want to sell a poster, or otherwise do something with it, just quickly tear off the shrink-wrap film, remove the poster (perhaps use tweezers to take double-sided tape off), then re-shrink the poster again. Very little time lost or add'l effort spent.

If you have any questions, fire away. Hope this is helpful...
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Postby robbysalz on Mon Jul 07, 2014 10:49 am

Hey guys!

Here is a photo album with a pic of my current flatty plus some mock-ups of how I'd love to mod it.

The work it needs done is:

    media blasting (to remove old black paint)
    powdercoated clear or silver
    Build a base w/casters
    Chop the top and cover with a sheet of glass
    plastidip the handles orange (easy, DONE)

Does anyone have any advice before I begin the rest of my journey?
Specifically, does anyone recommend that I cut the top before or after getting the cabinet blasted+coated?
Also, if anyone in Dallas TX comes across this, do you know of any local shops that could help with the coating//procurement of glass?

Thanks guys.
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Postby johndv on Sat Jul 12, 2014 10:49 am

Anyone ever buy a flat file from Amazon or one of the sellers listing on Amazon? Just wondering how they ship it...how protected it is, is it boxed with padding somehow?
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Postby heefageLA on Thu Jul 24, 2014 12:27 pm

Noob here.
Im looking for my first flat file and want to know what dimensions you guys recommend.
As of now all my prints are framed and on the walls, but id like to purchase more and store in a flat file.

Im thinking 48 x 36 maybe... id like to have it somewhat oversized as to not buy a print and then my file be too small.
Thanks for any input.
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Postby iambillyg on Thu Jul 24, 2014 2:05 pm

Looking at Safco's website:

Small would be about 40x26.
Medium would be 43x31.5.

It really depends on what you collect and how much space you have. If you don't collect Horkey or theatrical one-sheets, the small will do just fine, as it will hold up to 24x36 size prints. However, if you think you'll pick up something larger, go for the medium. The trick will be finding one on Craigslist that meets your needs. Definitely measure ahead of time and figure out how much space you have. Buying too large can be a hassle for a number of reasons.
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Postby jjbehren on Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:04 pm

iambillyg wrote:the small will do just fine, as it will hold up to 24x36 size prints.


I'd hold out for a medium. I have a small and a medium and the medium is so much better. There is very little wiggle room in the small. It's very nice to not have to worry about squeezing prints in there. The small is just too tight.
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Postby ctankep on Sun Aug 10, 2014 10:36 am

Thanks a ton for this thread! Was looking for some simple bags to slide some prints in for temp storage before framing, and those frame destination bags should do just that.

Since I don't have a ton of room for a flat file, and am always looking to figure out dual/multiple uses for things, I decided to add flat storage to a cheap IKEA desk, underneath the desk top. It's not ideal, but it'll do for now.

DESK
---
TOP - TORNLIDEN - http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20240626/ - JUST under 24" deep, so the shelf underneath will stick out a little bit.
LEGS - BORGFINN - http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/20146105/ - the wooden legs are key, easy to attach the shelf brackets to

SHELF underneath desk
---
3-4x - FABIAN - http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/46693309/ - these steel brackets match the steel leg brackets nicely

I attached the shelf brackets in an upward position to the legs on either side, facing into the table. Beforehand, I centered another shelf (sans brackets) to bridge the two side shelves (forms a wide H) for some middle support. I haven't yet, but I think I'm going to place another shelf to even out the layers and get it to a |-|-| formation (the dashes are the bridging shelf). I didn't cut any of the shelves down from 28" as I don't mind the shelf sticking out in the front and back, but to each their own.

Overall, since I already had the desk for nightly/weekend coding projects, only $24 has gone into adding this little area. Not too shabby.
Last edited by ctankep on Sun Aug 10, 2014 11:59 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby iambillyg on Sun Aug 10, 2014 11:10 am

Two of your IKEA links aren't yielding results. Do you have a photo of the finished set up?
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Postby ctankep on Sun Aug 10, 2014 11:59 am

Shoot, updated with the IKEA names. I'll try and take some pics today, it's a bit of a shitshow down there right now.
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Postby ctankep on Sun Aug 10, 2014 6:06 pm

Desk, with added shelf underneath
Image

Closeup on shelf and bracket
Image

There's not much room, maybe 1.5 inches? Hoping this restriction will force me to limit what I can and can't snag..
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Postby Riley75 on Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:41 am

WOW-

Just passing through, as a newer member- and trying to figure out how and where to store my art.

All of the info I just crammed into my brain is very helpful. Craigslist certainly has some good deals-

I don't have any huge collection, or even one worth much, so I may attempt to build something to store them.

Just thanking everyone for the info, and the pictures and the advice!

- Kristen
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Postby johndv on Mon Aug 11, 2014 7:15 pm

Another option from the Martha Stewart collection...glass top, anyone?

http://www.homedecorators.com/P/Martha_ ... tors_Base/

Pretty decent option, IMO. 4 drawers + extra storage underneath. Not to mention the nice glass "display" top. Decent price, as well.
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Postby dasher12 on Mon Aug 11, 2014 9:42 pm

Anybody bought one of these yet? Really tempting for that price and free shipping.

Although the reviews seem like it takes a long time to put it together where I live right now I think a steel flat file takes up too much room and this might be just right. I think I remember somebody saying it doesn't fit all prints though like bigger Horkeys ?
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Postby johndv on Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:01 pm

The glass top model and a couple other martha stewart flat files will hold up to 24x36. So if you need larger, that's the drawback of going with these models. Plus assembly time. However, end product is a nice piece of furniture.
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Postby FinalKickstand on Mon Aug 11, 2014 10:12 pm

johndv wrote:Another option from the Martha Stewart collection...glass top, anyone?

http://www.homedecorators.com/P/Martha_ ... tors_Base/

Pretty decent option, IMO. 4 drawers + extra storage underneath. Not to mention the nice glass "display" top. Decent price, as well.


Man I wanna catch one of these sales when I actually have funds for one. I'd love to buy the cement gray.
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