Better Price than Light Impressions? : LUSENET : Large format photography : One Thread

I like to buy precut mount board in standard sizes so that I don't have to cut down 32x40 full sheets. Besides, I have no easy way to do that. So I have been buying from Light Impressions for years. Most other shops I have checked out on line or by catalog don't seem to have precut standard sizes like Light Impressions does.

But my last order from Light Impressions was over $500 (a several years supply) and that seems very expensive. Does anyone know a better source for acid-free, good quality, precut mount board?

Conversely, does anyone have a recommendation on a reasonable matt cutter big enough to cut down 32x40 board? I use a Logan Compact now which suits me fine for even up to 28x34 matts. But it won't do straight cuts as long as 40".


-- John Hennessy (, August 12, 2001


to cut down board try a DAHLE 36" cutter-i have a 30" and it is precise and easy to use. another more convenient approach would be to buy the 32x40 board wholesale and find a local printshop witha hydrolic cutter and pay a small amount for them to cut down the board. you probably already use an acid free non bufferred board but if not it is much superior to a bufferred board. also, you can find thse at pretty good prices from the local distrubutor as opposed to outlets that typically mark these items up. good luck

-- robert lyons (, August 12, 2001.

Try Superior Archival Materials at 1-888-857-1722.

Their mat board is far, far superior to the stuff Light Impressions sells.

Michael A. Smith

-- Michael A. Smith (, August 12, 2001.

I usually buy from a local guy who has good stuff at great prices. In my searches, I came across I spoke to them once about buying a mat cutter, and was very impressed.


-- Dave Willis (, August 13, 2001.

I saw Michael Smith's article on ArtCare board and found it quite persuasive. On the other hand, the board is quite a bit more expensive than the similar products from Light Impressions. Is there any reason one couldn't save money by using the ArtCare board only for the backing and using cheaper board for the overmat? It seems that the advantages of ArtCare (as I understand them) wouldn't really apply to the overmat.

-- Chris Patti (, August 13, 2001.

My local Calumet (San Francisco) sells their 4 ply "Crescent" brand slightly cheaper than Light Impressions' "Westminster" brand. I suspect they're made by the same company. Although I think they only offer non- buffered acid free- or at least that's all I've seen in stock.

-- Allan Fontanilla (, August 13, 2001.

You will save some money buy using Light Impressions Exeter board versus Westminister (about $12 on a 25 sheet package of 16x20/4 ply). You can spend even less buy purchasing full-size (32x40) sheets of Crescent board from Daniel Smith or Dick Blick. You need about 6-7 full-size sheets to get the equivalent of a 25 sheet package, and each sheet is about $6.25. Thus, cutting full-size Crescent board will save about $14 over Light Impressions Exeter board.

I don't have any sense of the archival implications of using less expensive boards such as Crescent. As far as cutting larger boards, compact mat cutting systems are normally too small. You could use a larger system or simply cut with a long strait edge and a sharp exacto knife with a new blade. (I took apart my compact Logan cutter and I use the strait edge from that system.) I would also cut down the short length of the board first to produce two 32x20 sheets. Use two additional cuts to get four 16x20's. Good luck.


-- Dave Willison (, August 13, 2001.

Hi John,

The Logan Simplex 750 Plus mat cutter has a 40" cutting board. Compared to what you might pay for professional equipment with comparable features, it is reasonably priced.

As far as Light Impressions is concerned, I have been very satisfied with the people who take their telephone orders, their prompt delivery, and excellent customer relations: they immediately replaced a defective frame for me at no cost and when an order was abnormally delayed made a partial refund. Their sales and bulk discounts (esp. in combintation with a sale) can make a big difference for a large order. So, I think I've gotten my money's worth. But of course the question of whether this or that board material is superior is another matter altogether. Best, Nick.

-- Nick Jones (, August 13, 2001.

Almost any framing shop will cut mat boards and windows in whatever size and material you specify. Obviously price and quality vary from shop to shop.

-- Brian Ellis (, August 13, 2001.

John, we deal with alot of different suppliers for archival materials (including LI)'s a short list (not inclusive) of other vendors...Gaylord Brothers, University Products, Hollinger, the Metal Edge, Archivart, TALAS, and Conservation Resources International. You can order sheets or cut boards from just about all these places. If you're looking for Archivart boards, try CRI. CRI carries the Artcare boards in addition to an extensive line of papers & enclosure materials, including the Microchamber papers, Lig Free II & Silversafe products. Look for boards & papers that state that they have passed the PAT test. This is the ANSI/ISO standard for photo storage materials.

-- DK Thompson (, August 13, 2001.

John, Try the Logan 401 Intermediate Cutter for your full size sheets. I use it with great success and ease. Also, for fun an giggles :o) try comparing board prices you get from your mail order with Hobby Lobby prices. When I figured in shipping and such they had better prices than my mail order source. Good Luck, Doug

-- Doug Theall (, August 13, 2001.

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