Have you been trying to make picture frames for a while now or have you just started recently?
Whether you're an experienced framer or a total newbie you might want to save some money. You can do so by purchasing used picture framing equipment instead of buying new tools. It's possible to save plenty of money but it is very important to choose the right gear to buy and to get your tools from reputable sources.
It can be a good idea to try to save some money by purchasing used equipment but it's also important to not buy just any old tools you can find. You will be able to find plenty of sellers on the Internet and in the classified advertisements. If you want to meet sellers in person you can visit various weekend markets. Please keep in mind that some used picture framing stuff can be a total waste of money instead of a sound investment.
There is a big difference between the type of tools you need if you are a professional custom framer and the type of tools you need if you just make frames for a hobby. Professionals generally lease or buy new framing equipment of the type they require rather than run the risk of getting something that is past its use by date.
Recently, I bought a vertical glass cutter from an online auction by placing a bid before I had a chance to go and view the item. The photograph looked good and I knew the brand was reliable because I had used one before. Little did I know that one of the cutting heads that is used to trim backing boards was missing and the manufacturer no longer serviced that model. It still cuts glass great but it would have been even better with the extra head.
You can not afford to buy worthless tools that can not be used for your picture framing projects and that's why you should always do your homework in relation to the machines you are trying to buy. Often it makes sense to visit professional framing shops and framing suppliers to ask if they have any second-hand equipment available. They will be able to understand your needs and meet your demands and you will get the opportunity to inspect the items before purchase. Everyone will be happy with such a deal since you will save money and they will make a new contact that they can help in the future.
You might wonder how old the framing tools can be before you end up getting worthless equipment. The age of the equipment does not really matter but the quality and reliability should. Well maintained tools are often better than newer tools that have been neglected. Some tools can be reconditioned. The old style C & H Matcutter is a good example of a reliable manual cutter but it does have problems when the brass bushings become worn with use. These bushings can easily be replaced often giving the machine many more years of life. With almost all modern professional picture framers using CMC computer controlled mat cutters there is an abundance of second-hand manual machines on the market. Depending on the type of picture framing you intend to do it would be worth considering a second-hand mat cutter over say a new Logan Mat cutter for hobby picture framers. I really like Logan cutters for people who want simplicity and only require low volume production but if you are a serious prospective custom framer then a used Fletcher or Keencut mat cutter would serve you better.
Try to find some quality used picture framing equipment that will be yours for only a small outlay. Remember though, you will soon forget the price if you are making quality picture frames and that's what you should focus on rather than saving a few dollars and earning a world of pain.