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Review of the GOframe canvas display system

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Review of the GOframe canvas stretching system

A simple way to frame your own canvas prints


Keith has been having a look at the GOframe mounting system from Innova. The system consists of pre-cut wooden frame sections and assembly jigs that allow for simple attachment and stretching of a canvas, with no specialist tools.

The GOframe was looked at whilst Keith was testing the Epson SC-P7000 printer for a review.

Keith has also written a short review of the Innova IFA-56 glossy polycotton canvas used for this test.

canvas print on wall

Canvas prints

Making your own Canvas ‘Gallery wrap’ or ‘Box frame’ mount for canvas prints takes some skill and appropriate tools. It’s not something I really want to do for larger prints and I have a nearby picture framer who is happy mounting (and delivering) 10 foot long canvases to our commercial clients.

Some time ago I looked at the JetMaster system from Innova – ideal for displays at trade shows and the like, but a little lightweight for print sales. Whilst testing some papers for our P7000 printer review, Innova asked if I’d like to try out the GOframe. The samples came via Fine Art FOTO in the UK.

What is the GOframe System

You need a single set of 4 plastic guides for the system, and then whatever length bars needed for the print size you want to make.

Some archival glue is included and a blade for trimming the canvas.

There are also some thinner strips of wood, used for reinforcing the corners.

Bars come in a range of lengths from 4″ to 36″ and these ones are 1.5 inches wide.

With the edge wrap, you need canvas that is 3 inches oversize for the print you are making (1.5 inches on each edge)

The example I’m showing here is a 16″ x 20″ print. It’s of a photo Karen wanted for her office, that I took in California a few years ago.

canvas print on printer

The Canvas is on a 24″ roll, so it was easy to print a 23″ x 19″ version, cropped from the original frame. This also had the advantage that I didn’t need to extend the image in any way to allow for the edges.

I’ve fitted the four bars into the plastic holders – this is best carried out on a smooth clean surface.

Note the position of the yellow plastic strips, that protect the sticky area underneath them.

parts needed for framing

The white sticky coating is revealed.

peel off protective tape

The canvas is oversize, so I’ve marked the corners of the image underneath (hold it up to the light and the corners are visible).

prepare back of canvas

The clips hold the bars quite well, so there is no difficulty placing the bars on to the back of the canvas in one go

place bars on canvas

The clips also let you line up the corners quite easily

lining up the corners of the wooden bars

The clips also keep the bars slightly off the surface of the canvas, letting you line things up more carefully before sticking the bars in position.

Press the bars down firmly onto the canvas and remove the guides.

removing the plastic guides

Next up, trim the edges.

Be sure to use some cardboard or other material that you don’t mind cutting.

trim excess canvas

Then trim the corners.

trim corners of canvas

The corners then need another cut.

cut corners for folding

These tabs are then folded up and attached to the sticky area on the ends of the bars.

fold up corner tabs

Take some care with this, since it’s part of what gives the prints a good looking finish.

folded corner tabs

You can also see where I was a little careless with trimming one edge (the first I tried). Clean this up before proceeding.

Some archival glue is provided in the basic kit. Run this along the entire inner edge – you don’t need much, just a good even line.

apply some glue to edges

Fold up two sides to make the first box corner.

Take some care that the edges are nicely lined up and put in one of the metal clips.

These are easy to push in by hand – they are not nails and do not need a hammer!

metal clips hold corners in place

All four corners locked and the print takes on a nice solid feel.

rear view of canvas mount

Finish off with the corner braces – these simply clip into the ready cut slots.

corner brace

Turn the print over and admire your work…

completed box frame canvas

Finishing prints

The canvas in this case is Innova IFA-56, a glossy finish 390gsm polycotton canvas. It takes stretching well and shows no signs of cracking or damage where folded.

For normal domestic use, I’m happy with the print as-is, but you might want to look at varnishing in some form, especially with matte finish canvases.

Conclusions

Once you’ve made one or two of these framed prints, it is a very easy system to work with, probably taking little more time than you’ve taken to read through this review.

It’s not a competition though, so do take care with the corners, since that’s a feature that helps give these frames a high quality look.

There is a slightly different, more heavy duty version of the GOframe system that has bars available from 8 to 60 inches, and a more lightweight version with 1.25″ width bars.

Here’s the print in Karen’s office – I believe the gull has a name…

box frame canvas print on wall

Summary

A very easy to use canvas framing system that has the flexibility to cover a wide range of print sizes.

Check the Innova GOframe information page to see the latest versions of the system available.

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4 Comments
  • Smithy | Sep 19, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Hi, another quick question if I may regarding the Seagull. I notice that in the GOframe instructions you are directed to trim off excess canvas flush with the back, i.e. where the canvas touches the wall behind. I was wondering if it still sticks firmly after all this time, not lifting?

    Hopefully not lifting or peeling up at all, otherwise it would be better to leave the excess on and staple it down onto the rear of the wooden frame.

    Just bought my first ever roll of canvas and have my first customer waiting, so I want to get it right. It is a small sample size, but given that it’s been up on the wall for a year and a half, it does offer excellent feedback (almost a mini-aardenburg!)

    Cheers,

    smithy.

    • Keith Cooper | Sep 19, 2017 at 7:43 pm

      No lifting of the canvas at all – stapling would give added assurance, but I wouldn’t bother myself

  • Smithy | Sep 10, 2017 at 10:57 pm

    Hello Keith (and anyone else reading and who cares to jump in), thanks for another very helpful review, a year and a half on. The technicalities of constructing the GoFrame are well documented on the Innova website, so I was particularly interested in your thoughts.

    There is one question I do have though: as canvas is intended to be stretched over the frame, to give a nice taught finish, is the canvas actually stretched here, it seems to me that it’s not. As the canvas is ‘only’ held by glue, I guess it couldn’t take stretching. The main thing is that the finished item doesn’t look loose, and as you haven’t mentioned that, I assume the finish is ‘good enough’.

    I have an Epson P800 and I view this as a great way to explore producing larger prints without the hassle of needing to mat and frame, my only concern would be that they look professional (enough). And actually, how is the Gull canvas a year and a half after your review?

    Btw, the gull looks fab on the office wall!

    Smithy.

    • Keith Cooper | Sep 11, 2017 at 7:54 am

      I did wonder about tension in the canvas. It seems that as you fold the blocks together it does tighten the canvas to some degree.

      The print is still hanging in Karen’s office and hasn’t sagged or loosened up in any way. I’ve made a few other (larger ones) for when Karen re-decorated our bedroom and they look very good.

      That said, I don’t tend to see my work reproduced on Canvas very often, so it’s a small sample size ;-)

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