I was fortunate enough to learn about this awesome technique when it was first presented at the Western Museum Association's Annual Meeting held in San Diego in October of 2009 as a part of the first "Packer's Conundrum" session. It has saved me on more than one occasion since then and I have passed it on to others in the field along the way. I am very happy that Mike is sharing this method now with a much broader audience. Ashley
‘Tabbing’ – a Softpack Variation
Mike Hascall. Artech/Seattle.
For challenging frames (Baroque, round, fragile), I like a soft pack method I call ‘Tabbing’, named after the ‘Tabs’ cut into the backing material. It also works well for many lighter-weight objects: toys with articulated appendages, masks, and other ceremonial objects.
· Size double wall cardboard or coroplast to give yourself the collar depth you want. Cut and bend as you would making a tray, but do not tape it yet.
· Place the artwork on the backing and trace edge and rectangular ‘tab’ shape at opposing strong-points.
· Cut out each tab on three sides and fold upwards. Larger works will need more pairs of tabs. Of course you need to make judgement calls on when too many tabs would compromise structure, but this method will hold a lot given the strong backing.
· Cut Volara to pad the frame and filament-tape tightly tab-to-tab to secure. If tape adhesive worries you, twill-tape or other can be used. If a long ride might burnish
contact points, a double layer of Dartek under the Volara and touching the art
will provide a good release.
· Finally, tape the corners of your tray. I turn the soft-pack around and tape over the tabs and across the back to complete a circle of strength. Even though the tape is well off the glass, I added a center square of Volara underneath. Voila. Ready for plastic.