Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Great Framing Tool

Great Tool

I love my picture framing tools. They certainly make my life a lot easier. One of my favorite framing tools is the ATG gun, or the Adhesive Transfer Gun, made by 3M. (Also called: Scotch® ATG 752 Adhesive Applicator)

The ATG gun has an extended roller that lets you keep an eye on the adhesive as it goes down. The gun enables you to run a thin double-stick tape along the edge of a frame in preparation for applying dust covers, matting artwork or mounting photos.

It lists for $60, but I've used mine for 20 years, so it's a great investment. Tape comes in rolls of 1/2 in. and 3/4 in. wide though I've never needed anything wider than the ½ in.. A roll of tape runs $6 but the price per roll reduces when you buy a box of 12.

I use this ATG tape along the back of my wood frames and then apply brown paper as a dust cover. Trim off the excess brown paper and you have a neat, professional backing. None of that white glue for me!

How to do it: You hold the frame firmly, depress the trigger of the gun and drag the gun towards you. It leaves a trail of tape along the frame. Cut brown paper a bit larger than the back of your frame, then line it up with the far end of the frame. Pull the paper taut towards you and press it in place. Pull the paper taut to each side and press down. ATG is very sticky so you need to ensure that paper is in place before burnishing it down.

Take a blade, or special tool made to trim paper off a frame (a dust cover trimmer), and cut towards you. Make sure you do this slowly because you don't want the blade to slip off and cut you or to slice into the side of the frame. I pinch a straight blade between my fingers and trim the opposite side first, but I've been doing this for a while.

I give instructions, workshops, and sell these tools, so feel free to ask me any questions and I'll help you out.

~~~Geraldine  "A bad workman blames his tools."


  1. By the way, credit goes to Jodi for helping me out with taking photos of framing tools - both as photographer and as a tool model:)

    ~~~ Geraldine