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Thread: Checkerboard mat on drum head

  1. #1
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    Jim Miller, MCPF, GCF's Avatar
    ARTFRAME, Inc.
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    Checkerboard mat on drum head

    The checkerboard mat on this drum head was a lot harder to make than I thought it would be. I cut 1" squares out of black matboard and glued them to a solid background of white. The positioning template I cut on the CMC made it go more quickly, but it was still a labor-intensive task.

    How would you create a checkerboard mat?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Photo-Foltz Drum Head A11401-LoRes.jpg  
    Jim Miller, MCPF, GCF

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    Gregory K. Norris, CPF's Avatar
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    Re: Checkerboard mat on drum head

    I made one a couple of years ago on my Wizard with each square inlaid. This was necessary since I was making a working chess board. The colors were the colors of the New England Patriots. (The squares that appear black are actually dark blue). If I were doing it again, I would have made the mat that framed the squares wider.

    It is topped with Optium since it was intended to be used regularly.

    Calculating the blade width was a bear. I didn't have any kind of tool that could measure that fine, so it was trial & error. Yours looks really good!

    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
    Registered Rick Granick's Avatar
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    Re: Checkerboard mat on drum head

    That looks great, Jim. Looks like that was signed by members of Cheap Trick. As I don't see the head's rim, I assume it is behind the hole in the matting through which the head protrudes. Is that right?
    Rick

    I have mounted a couple of drum heads by making little clips out of Infinity hangers.

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    Jim Miller, MCPF, GCF's Avatar
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    Re: Checkerboard mat on drum head

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Granick View Post
    As I don't see the head's rim, I assume it is behind the hole in the matting through which the head protrudes. Is that right?
    Yes, that's right. The sink mount consists of two foam board layers beneath the window mat, with circles cut to make an interference-fit just tight enough to keep the drum head from rotating. The foam board touches only the aluminum rim and two layers of conservation board separate the foam board from the plastic drum head's Sharpie-Marker autographs, so I'm not concerned about the chemistry. The customer knows they'll fade from visible light exposure over time, anyway - we've had that conversation several times before.

    When the customer specifically asked for a 3-dimensional checkerboard mat, I said "Oh, sure, we can do that, no problem" before thinking through the labor involved. I've made several inlaid checkerboards previously, such as Gregory describes. In the old days, manual cutting of the squares was a touchy task, but the CMC makes quick work of cutting perfect squares, so they fit together neatly. However, in this case, having to glue each black square onto the solid sheet of white required very careful placement. A skew of just a couple of degrees would be quite noticeable.

    I included an up-charge of $40 for the checkerboard, but it should have been more. To make accurate placement easier, I cut a template mat with a diagonal zigzag 'staircase' design. Also, I ran the checkerboard-design cutting file with the blade barely scratching the surface of the white mat to lay out the grid. The template and the scratched surface made placement easy enough, but those provisions would not have been needed for an inlaid assembly.
    Jim Miller, MCPF, GCF

  5. #5
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    Jim Miller, MCPF, GCF's Avatar
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    Re: Checkerboard mat on drum head

    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory K. Norris, CPF View Post
    Calculating the blade width was a bear. I didn't have any kind of tool that could measure that fine, so it was trial & error.
    I didn't realize that could be an issue. If you were to cut 1" squares, wouldn't the squares be exactly 1" square?
    Jim Miller, MCPF, GCF

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    Gregory K. Norris, CPF's Avatar
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    Re: Checkerboard mat on drum head

    Jim, yes, of course just making consistent squares works. And once assembled a check of measurements would have made cutting the outer mat a snap. But....I came at it from the opposite direction, trying to make the beveled squares fit into an outer mat. For some reason, I thought the outside measurement needed to be an even number of inches. I can't remember why, probably because I think like an English major.

    Seems crazy even to me at this distance. (In other words, I made the problem harder than it needed to be!)

    All the same, I learned a lot about the Wizard and dusted off some math skills, so it was a learning experience.

    One of the great benefits of PPFA is being able to consult with framers who are "wired" to look at problems in a different way than I do. If I place even minimum wage value on my time, I save the amount of my dues many times over each year by not reinventing the wheel.

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    Minoxy, LLC
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    Re: Checkerboard mat on drum head

    I would have taken alternating 1" strips of black and the white boards glued to paper as a method of joining and then cut them into 1" strips. The new strips could then be alternated, one strip would then be rotated to form the checkerboard pattern. This is how checkerboard wood cutting boards are made.
    Jerome Feig CPF®
    http://www.minoxy.com

  9. #8
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    Jim Miller, MCPF, GCF's Avatar
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    Re: Checkerboard mat on drum head

    Thanks for sharing the alternating-strip-and-slice method Jerry. I had not thought of that, but it makes perfect sense for an inlaid design of wood or matboard. However, I don't think it would work for the overlaid design.
    Jim Miller, MCPF, GCF

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