Rabbet: A measurement of frame depth

Framing is more (or less, really) than a game of inches. Framing is all about fractions of inches. Creating the ideal framing package requires precise measurements.
(It’s why our proprietary PrecisionCut™ technology, which cuts frames, mats, and mounting board to within 1/16th of an inch, is so important and valuable.)
For all of the metal and wood picture frames for paintings, photos, works on paper and other items that are available on AmericanFrame.com, we list each of the pertinent dimensions needed to determine the exact right frame for any project.
 
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The three key dimensions are:
1) height
2) width
3) rabbet.
Rabbet?
Yes, rabbet, or the R measurement.
 
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Generally, a rabbet – or rebate, as it’s called in other countries – is defined as a recess or groove cut into the edge of a piece of machinable material, usually wood. In a frame, the rabbet is the inner channel that holds all of the elements making up your frame system: art; mat board; backing board; and acrylic (also known as plexiglass or glazing).
Your frame’s rabbet must be deep enough to accommodate all of those elements when stacked on top of one another.
The rabbet can get tricky.
Works on paper are usually thin. They can sometimes present a framing challenge not because a frame’s rabbet isn’t deep enough, but is too deep. The elements within a frame should never slide or shift. Excess space should be eliminated. A standard set of spring clips typically provided with your frame may not be enough to render your frame elements motionless. Additional backing board may be called for. And among the many picture framing supplies we offer are framer points, which can hold your art and other elements securely within the frame. Point drivers are used to simplify the task.
At American Frame, we’re always ready to provide you more information and advice. Feel free to contact us anytime.