Holding In Frame Contents…
Most all frames require what is called a rabbet cut in the back used to hold in its contents securely. A rabbet cut can vary in size and depth depending on the content of the frame and specific requirements. The most common rabbet cut for a picture or photo frame is a 1/4″ rabbet with an extra 1/16″ standard variance for wiggle room in the contents. So the opening on the back of an 8″x10″ frame will actually measure 8-1/8″ x 10-1/8″. Other rabbet sizes can range from 1/8″ to 1″ and more depending on your framing needs. Contents can include but are not limited to, the backboard, glass, mat, and picture which could be a photo, paper artwork, tile, memorabilia, or canvas artwork.
For such contents involving paper, poster board, matting, glass, or even canvas board the standard depth of the rabbet cut will range from 3/8″ to 1/2″ depending on the overall thickness of combined contents. In rare cases, an increased depth may need consideration. When ordering a frame though, the dimensions of the picture, photo, or artwork are what’s required. Just keep in mind that in the case of a 1/4″ rabbet the viewing area will be reduced by that much on each edge.
(For example, an 8″x10″ picture after being mounted into a frame will have a viewing area of 7.5″x9.5″.)The image at the top right is a close-up of a corner for a better look at the rabbet cut. Shown to the left is a picture of the back of an entire frame. Although it says it’s a 1/4″ rabbet it actually ends up being 5/16″ to give that extra wiggle room to ensure a proper fit.
If you have any questions on how to get your content framed please feel free to contact me by email or by phone at (503) 267-5923.