Clamping bigger frames.

M

morania

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I've been trying to do bigger frames and the clamps I have for my little nail driver are letting the joint slip. I'm going to get a four corner clamp and I was wondering about glues. If I use cyano it will crack when I tap in the v-nails so I thought about Gorilla glue but I know that it expands and oozes out of the joints. Is it very hard to get off of surfaces where I don't want it?
I could sure listen to some ideas about joining bigger frames in a small shop. The one I tried today was 31 by 36 with a 2" moulding of pretty standard profile. I never could get it tight while clamping one corner at a time using a variety of clamps.
 

JFeig

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Standard wood glue (Tidebond or Bordens) or a variation of it is best (Maxium or Corner Weld). Most clues are stronger than the wood itself; therefore, it is the method of joining that is most important. I currently use Maxium.

I happen to v nail most frames now. With old fashion finish nails I predrill a hole with another nail as a drill bit (perfect size). A portion of the nail in the chuck leaves a portion of the nail in undrilled wood for a strong hold.

When using a corner vice (I have only one vice) I clamk and nail one corner ant then rotate the rails 90° to join the next corner. The corner vice is and old Stanley that must be well over 30 years old. A current vice from United is the same style vice. I have 3 "rests" on my table to hold the rails overhanging the vice equal distance off of the table for support. These "rests" are made from scraps of lumber. I have a carriage bolt set in a "T nut" in each to adjust each for slight variations in the table due to warpage from age.

I then let the frames set on 2 pegs on the wall as the glue cures.
 
M

morania

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I have those same vises from my Dad's old framing tool kit. I used the rest the other day but I didn't get the tight corner bonding that I like. It may too have been the corner sander's adjustments.
I've been giving Logan's stuff a try while I figure out the best to retool for larger work.
I'm been looking at the Blessie corner clamping sytem. It's an inexpensive strap clamp with nifty little corners. I think with that and a nail driving hand tool, I could do something.

[ 12-26-2004, 02:33 AM: Message edited by: morania ]
 

Framerguy

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Destin, Florida
Morania,

I am confused about why you are having so much trouble holding your miters together. Could it be that you are using the small Stanley vises that have the little sliding T-handle on them. They usually come in a set of 4 and are sold at Sears and many of the home stores and in woodworking catalogs?? If so, this is not the type of clamp that Jerry is referring to. He uses the same type that most of us have in our shops, the large cast iron clamps that bolt down to a workbench and have either round padded clamp knobs attached to a threaded rod that moves a sliding clamp jaw or the older type which had a knob on it that looked like an outdoor faucet knob. These are sturdy and will hold most mitered joints solidly for nailing/gluing.

The dimensions you gave for frame size and moulding width aren't considered that large by comparison to a 4" or 6" moulding that comprises a 4'x5' frame, as an example. The miter vises that I am referring to are sold by United or many of the woodworking catalogs for $45 to $80 apiece as compared to the little set mentioned earlier which probablly sell for under $20 for the set. I would check into a framer's vise of the type I described and I'll bet that it will solve many of your joining problems.

Another thought, the length of your finishing nails and the placement of the nails makes a difference in the strength of your miter joint when assembling the frame. I use 2" #16 and #18 brads when I need to hand assemble a frame in the vise. If you are using short brads they may not have enough "bite" in the joint as you move the frame around during assembly and the joints may be pulling apart as you move to the next joint. I doesn't hurt to predrill the holes using a brad of the same size as you are using for assembly as Jerry mentioned. You can nip off the head of the brad and chuck in into your drill and it works very well for drilling a hole for the nails. It will be somewhat shorter than the brads and will leave about a half inch of solid wood for the brad to bite into as you countersink the brad head.

I hope that I am not completely off base with what I am hearing in your question. It is difficult to picture which clamping device you are using by your description.

Framerguy
 
M

morania

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Thread starter
Not off at all.
My clamps are the little jobbies that you described and I have one Blessie very similar to the heavier ones you described. I haven't really gotten to try it out much and I'm not too crazy about the angle of attack when I go to do my nailing.
I suppose I feel by now that individual corner clamps are all prone to slippage when one moves his work about. I should, no doubt, look into some good clamps as you have shown me. I would still like to try the strap clamp to use with my Vnail presser. Roger on the brads and the pilot holes. I see they aren't too "Fred Flintstone". I thought that I was in the stone age if I didn't graduate to V nails.
I found this site a few days ago and it's doing exactly what I need it too. I'm having some after dinner coffee and chatting with framers about frames. I need to move on to bigger, mo better projects and this will prevent me from learning the hard way.
In the mean time, I will be honest with my customers and never promise big results with big frames. I do big ones (I thought they were big)but the time involved is going to hold me back from anything fruitful.
Keep talking. I'm like a sponge when I get on a new project. Also see my photo in the profile. I have to turn half of a 12 by 12 boat shack into a respectable country framers bench. The other half is dedicated to model work boats.
 

JFeig

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As a rule of thumb, I used to like about 1/3 of a nail going into the second rail when assembling a corner. With a 3-4" moulding profile, using a 3-4" 13-14 gauge nail was often used.

If you have the time, there is nothing wrong with letting the corner dry (cure) while in a vise. For oversized frames (40x60 through 60x150) it is a definite benifit to have another person help with the handling of the rails as the vice is cranked down. It can either be a paid employee or a spouse or a trainee (son / daughter) for the 5 minutes of assistance.
 
M

morania

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My trainees are 2 years and 4 months at the time. I may hold off on the larger frames for a few years.
Not.
I spent some time last night making plans for a wing off the corner bench to place jigs for holding the rails up and level with the clamps. That will be a place dedicated to just frame building. Clamps are in order. Good ones. (Yay. Internet shopping.) I think too, a small nail gun. I generally don't like those but they might be the ticket to get a brad into the wood quickly without the impact of my tack hammer.

I think you guys do "big" frames. When I said big, I think I meant bigger than I'm used to building.
Keep the ideas coming. Business must expand around here.
 

Framerguy

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Destin, Florida
Morania,

I don't know if this will be of help but here is a photo of a support I built for v-nailing large frames. It is built out of scrap foamcore, glued together with Maxim (or whatever frame glue you happen to use in your shop), and it can be positioned anywhere off your bench that you need the support.

foamcoresupport1.jpg


I posted it and another photo on somebody's thread awhile back but I can't find the thread. .......... Duh!

You could build as many of these as you needed for next to nothing and position them on the floor alongside your bench to support any size frame you are building.

All you need to do is measure the height of your bench (or the platform of your clamp) and cut your foamcore to that height, put a little flange of foamcore on the edge of the top so you can move it around with one hand, and you are set. I ran a bead of Maxim down each butt joint and used straight pins to hold it together until the glue dried. Simple.

Framerguy
 

BILL WARD

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Morania,
I just recently purchased a 18ga. nail/staple gun---a tradesman #8480k---light(BIG plus!!), small, versitle(sp?), INEXPENSIVE(@$50), via cyber woodworking depot...came w/in 1 week...carry case & 5 sizes of staples/nails, oil, goggles, manual.... everything to get going....check it out
bill ward
 
M

morania

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Thread starter
Thanks to you both for the photo and the product idea.
I'm already on the support project. I can just put these in a croner and they won't take up the room that another bench extension would.
I'll look that one (nail gun)up on the net and see if I can add it to my pile.
 
M

morania

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Thread starter
"move it around with one hand"
I forgot to mention that I love your foresight. You must have seen me juggling wooden sticks in a dream or something.
 

Framerguy

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Destin, Florida
Originally posted by morania:
"move it around with one hand"
I forgot to mention that I love your foresight. You must have seen me juggling wooden sticks in a dream or something.
Uh uh, Morania, more like a case of "Been there, done that!"
help.gif


I was one of the originators of the Joining Dance, y'all remember that one, where you try to hold the end of a stick of moulding that is hanging a few feet out over the edge of your bench with one foot while balancing on the other and using both hands to try to get that mitered joint to line up just so while you fire some brads in the general direction of the joint with the brad gun which is clamped in your teeth!! :eek:

Yeah, I was gonna take that act on American Bandstand years ago but Dick Clark didn't think that it would catch on nationwide!
cry.gif


Framerguy
 

sheritex

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tyler, texas
Reading this made me think of another question......Ihave 4 big ole huge clamps....they were acquired when my Dad and I got all of the other stuff from an out of business shop. We can not get these clamps to do a decent job of lining up to make the corners great.....we have better luck with a band thing or with the long threaded clamp assesmbly....can these huge clamps get out of whack?????......I'm sure you guys see that i actually do most of the designing and mat cutting....by the description of these clamp thingies....Dad actually assembles the frames for me.....I also have one of those things that does a corner at a time and it works well if you aren't in a big hurry...I also have started selling some of the polyuethane frames....just gotta watch that glue oozing as it dries...learned that the hard way..
 

sheritex

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tyler, texas
Morania....get a brad gun...especially for the narrow frames...gotta get that darn Cassee working right one of these days...but the brad gun is better for us
 

sheritex

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tyler, texas
Morania, watch that glue as it dries...it is easy to remove with mineral spirts while it is wet...but if you let it dry on you.....it is bad
 
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