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Corners Separating Issue - Needing expert advice

Jim Miller

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Superstar Maltman - the OP is based in UK. This may not have been obvious to some of the people...
...I have thought for a long time that it would help everyone if their country of origin was included in the box on the left....
Yes, and for American members, the city and state would be helpful, as well.

When I checked the OP's profile page, a map came up showing Mansfield, Ohio, about 90 minutes from my location.
 

Jim Miller

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Superstar Maltman - the OP is based in UK. This may not have been obvious to some of the people...
...I have thought for a long time that it would help everyone if their country of origin was included in the box on the left....
Yes, and for all American members, the city and state would be helpful, as well.

When I checked the OP's profile page, a map of Ohio came up, showing Mansfield, which is a 90 minute drive from me.
 

David Waldmann

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When I checked the OP's profile page, a map of Ohio came up, showing Mansfield, which is a 90 minute drive from me.

I believe he just has "Mansfield" entered. And if you click on it, Google shows the closest Mansfield to your location (based on, probably your IP address). Mine shows Mansfield, MA, USA.
 

IFGL

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Too many pins can be a big problems with poly moulding especially if softwood pins are being used, it can substantially stress the joint and a knock will break the plastic around the pins, I also recommend gluing the joint.
UK framer here also.
 
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artfolio

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I have been told too many times to count that glue is not necessary but 27 years of framing tells me this is nonsense. Gravity is a persistent force and with no glue frame corners will sag open over time.

The only frames I have ever seen without glued corners are the cheap and nasty ready-mades in places like Ikea which is probably where the original poster's employee learnt his craft.
 

tedh

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Too many pins can be a big problems with poly moulding especially if softwood pins are being used, it can substantially stress the joint and a knock will break the plastic around the pins, I also recommend gluing the joint.
UK framer here also.

Good point! I should have mentioned that hardwood v-nails should be used.

Today’s plastic frames have come a long way since the original Emafil. The big bubbles and air spaces are gone, and the stuff being made today is way more dense and takes v-nails much better.
 

Shayla

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contacted - they actually said it doesnt NEED glue but they have it as an option - the plot twists tho - they said use 15mm pins, Mr Framer is using 10mm - so we have a plan - trial with glue, trial with larger pins, fire the framer on charges of lies and being crap

Would that be two trials by fire? :popc:
 

artfolio

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contacted - they actually said it doesnt NEED glue but they have it as an option - the plot twists tho - they said use 15mm pins, Mr Framer is using 10mm - so we have a plan - trial with glue, trial with larger pins, fire the framer on charges of lies and being crap

As my in-car navigator says "Please drive the highlighted route........."

You may get away with the "no glue" option on a little 8 x 10 photo frame if you use enough pins but no way will a football jersey sized piece hold together without glue.
 

SuperstarMaltman

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Hi guys
Back again

Next week I am let loose on the framing equipment so I get to learn why u guys are called grumbles!!

Further info on our framer
Here's how he staples

These are 10mm pins when we are recommended 15mm

Now - me being a complete layman can see two small pins don't equate to one large one

Is that right?
 

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Hoffmann Dovetail Joining System

GreyDrakkon

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Stacking pins is done sometimes, I've seen it in wood frames anyways. Not sure how it would affect poly, and I'm personally a bit skeeved out by how close to the face of the moulding they are. The thing is, no matter how many staples and nails are put in, it can still break, and usually the more staples and nails there are, the bigger pain in the butt they are to take apart fully without damaging everything, ESPECIALLY those stacked jobbers.
 

CHolt

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Hi guys
Back again

Next week I am let loose on the framing equipment so I get to learn why u guys are called grumbles!!

Further info on our framer
Here's how he staples

These are 10mm pins when we are recommended 15mm

Now - me being a complete layman can see two small pins don't equate to one large one

Is that right?
There a lots of times that stacking v-nails is appropriate, like when the frame is tapered, scoop or cove, etc.

Is that stock about 25mm? Then one 15mm in each location with glue should be ok. Do you have 15mm?

What machine are you using? Have you read an operator's manual? Are you used to power equipment? Is your framer going to instruct you? Safety first!
 

SuperstarMaltman

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There a lots of times that stacking v-nails is appropriate, like when the frame is tapered, scoop or cove, etc.

Is that stock about 25mm? Then one 15mm in each location with glue should be ok. Do you have 15mm?

What machine are you using? Have you read an operator's manual? Are you used to power equipment? Is your framer going to instruct you? Safety first!
I have had my training and done my prep- can't afford to get injured!!!
We don't have 15mm (yet)
 

David Waldmann

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Officially I am not higher up than him - it's a separate thing to me
But I can see him costing my boss a lot of money and I don't want my own job affected

Ah, OK. At first I had the impression you were the boss, in which case my response would be different...
 
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artfolio

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Stacking pins is done sometimes, I've seen it in wood frames anyways. Not sure how it would affect poly, and I'm personally a bit skeeved out by how close to the face of the moulding they are. The thing is, no matter how many staples and nails are put in, it can still break, and usually the more staples and nails there are, the bigger pain in the butt they are to take apart fully without damaging everything, ESPECIALLY those stacked jobbers.
Stacking pins in poly is fine - in fact, for most practical purposes you can treat poly the same way as wood.

I was always told that you should use a single pin where possible and only stack if you had a profile of varying height which needed, say, 10mm at the outside edge and 20mm on the inner edge. The reason is that v-nails tend to curl backwards as they slice through the material and stacking seems to increase this tendency.

Also, don't take this as gospel because I have not framed for a few years, I always used softwood nails for poly and found they worked better than hardwood. Maybe you could try different nails and see what works best on the materials and equipment you are working with.
 

SuperstarMaltman

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Stacking pins in poly is fine - in fact, for most practical purposes you can treat poly the same way as wood.

I was always told that you should use a single pin where possible and only stack if you had a profile of varying height which needed, say, 10mm at the outside edge and 20mm on the inner edge. The reason is that v-nails tend to curl backwards as they slice through the material and stacking seems to increase this tendency.

Also, don't take this as gospel because I have not framed for a few years, I always used softwood nails for poly and found they worked better than hardwood. Maybe you could try different nails and see what works best on the materials and equipment you are working with.
Good advice here - thanku
 
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Shayla

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Hi, Maltman. Years ago, a woman bought a framed poster at a sports store and brought it to us to replace the poster with her print and mat. (Or mount, if that's what you call the flat piece of paper with the window inside. :) ) The frame had tape on the back, all down the length of the legs, half on the backing and half on the legs. We laid it upside down on our table, with glass face down. When my co-worker went to take off the tape, it didn't go as planned. She pulled it all off, and when the last bit released, the frame burst apart in four pieces. Never seen anything like it. Just 'wham'! There were the four legs laying all splayed out, made from this same black poly stuff, with v-nails and no glue. Great big chunks of it had broken out on all corners when it broke apart, and nothing we could do. My boss told her to have the original store replace it, but they told her, 'It's not a picture frame; it only looks like one.' :faintthud:

In that case, the lack of glue definitely seemed problematic, as the v-nails didn't hold at all. I suppose whoever made it would say that it wasn't a problem, though, as they held up most of the time for the reason that they were made.

Your post has me wondering whether your new framer came from a business like that one and thinks it's okay. It's possible he's been intentionally dishonest, to deflect blame, but it's also possible he thinks it's good technique. If your employers want a higher quality product and makes it clear in a positive way, hopefully he'll adjust.

You also mentioned that these are sent by courier. How long is the trip, and how are they packed and transported? If that could be improved, it will only be a plus.
 
Last edited:

tedh

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One other tip: keep v-nails as far away as possible from the outside corner of the join. If you don’t, the nail may cause the entire corner to break off. At least a half inch. Preferably more.
 

Dirk

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As my in-car navigator says "Please drive the highlighted route........."
Technology has come a long way. The first time I had a phone with a navigation feature, I drove around the block several times to see whether I could annoy (polite language), the lady in the phone. No luck. All I got was "recalculating route." She remained quite patient. I'd be interested to know whether your in-car navigator gets more aggressive if you repeatedly fail to follow directions.
 

Ylva

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As I mentioned, I have never worked with poly frames. I doubt some of the techniques are very different from joining wood frames though.
Always glue.
Never use v-nails too close to the outside corner.
I do stack v-nails sometimes, mostly on deeper mouldings. Never close to the outside though (shoot outs do happen)

I mostly use softwood v-nails and up the pressure on the underpinner a bit.

You will have to practice, a lot, with what works well for you.

Is there any reason not to use wood?
 
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SuperstarMaltman

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As I mentioned, I have never worked with poly frames. I doubt some of the techniques are very different from joining wood frames though.
Always glue.
Never use v-nails too close to the outside corner.
I do stack v-nails sometimes, mostly on deeper mouldings. Never close to the outside though (shoot outs do happen)

I mostly use softwood v-nails and up the pressure on the underpinner a bit.

You will have to practice, a lot, with what works well for you.

Is there any reason not to use wood?
We have started using wood now

So far so good
Still not glueing it but it's thinner than the poly so the pins are holding it a bit better
 

neilframer

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It has been said before that it's a properly glued corner that makes the frame.
The v-nails are there to just help the join and reinforce the glued corner.
If a frame has properly glued corners you almost can't beat the corners apart with a hammer.

You really need to glue the corners whether it's wood or poly.
I manage a high volume frame shop with 100% 5- star reviews in Phoenix and I've been framing for 51 years now.
We even frame pictures going to other parts of the US.

This is a video originally posted a few years ago by Larry Peterson, another long time excellent and experienced framer.
 

SuperstarMaltman

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It has been said before that it's a properly glued corner that makes the frame.
The v-nails are there to just reinforce the glued corner.
If a frame has properly glued corners you almost can't beat the corners apart with a hammer.

You really need to glue the corners whether it's wood or poly.
I manage a high volume frame shop with 100% 5- star reviews in Phoenix and I've been framing for 51 years now.
We even frame pictures going to other parts of the US.

This is a video originally posted a few years ago by Larry Peterson, another long time excellent and experienced framer.
Fantastic

It's obvious to me that glue is the answer here
And tbh it's been clear from the first post

My understanding now is we use glue (I have a recommendation from the supplier)
We use the correct and recommended staples rather than doubling up
And we resolve the problem

I spoke to the delivery company and they don't believe that our packaging is at fault (they would say that)

Even if our packaging is rubbish, the exact same breakage every time suggests a fault with the frame (in my eyes)

I thank everyone who has helped me here
It's invaluable

My biggest problem is my director genuinely doesn't believe any of this
But that I can change
All directors are influenced by money
If this continues he will learn the hard way
 

neilframer

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As for the v-nails, you can stack them if needed.
It's really a learning experience.
Sometimes you can stack the v-nails and because of the crazy wood grain, the v-nails will follow the grain and go sideways and poke out the side of the frame.
For that reason, if I stack the v-nails I will usually only stack them on the inside of the profile and not the outside.
That way if they follow a crazy grain and go sideways, they will still be inside of the corner.

Every profile can be different and sometimes it can be helpful to test a scrap corner to make sure.
The main thing is that if you get a good glue joint the corner will be strong and tight and the v-nails are just there to reinforce and facilitate the join.

Good luck.:thumbsup:
 
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Prospero

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Many people have the idea that an underpinner is a substitute for glue. No the case.

The glue is the main strength of the join. The V-nails act as an internal clamp and remain to
protect the integrity of the glue bond.
Glue on it's own would work fine, if you hold the faces tight together in a vice until the glue
cures - not conducive to rapid work flow. But in the event the glue fails, if fails catastrophically.
V-nails on their own work to a point, as you have discovered.
Glue and Nails work in concert to produce a reliable bond. Or as reliable as you can get using poly mouldings. 😕
 

wpfay

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The 2 10mm V-nails are more than one 15mm V-nail, and 2 15mm V-nails would exit the face of the moulding. Even with 15mm you won't have a strong joint.
 

CHolt

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Me. We have a morso

Let me be clear
I have had training
This is the first time I have been left alone with it all
Ok, I see, carry on.

Nice thing about gluing wood is that you can easily clean up wet glue with water. Apply a good amount of glue to your miters so that some glue squeezes out. Then you will know that you haven't starved the joint. I keep a water pail nearby with a rag and a toothbrush to clean wet glue off of the joint and the underpinner. Don't forget to clean the underside of the bung, a gob of dried glue on there will dent the top of the joint. I also keep a solvent applicator filled with acetone and a small chisel handy to soften and scrape any glue that I might have allowed to dry on the parts of the underpinner.
 

SuperstarMaltman

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Ok, I see, carry on.

Nice thing about gluing wood is that you can easily clean up wet glue with water. Apply a good amount of glue to your miters so that some glue squeezes out. Then you will know that you haven't starved the joint. I keep a water pail nearby with a rag and a toothbrush to clean wet glue off of the joint and the underpinner. Don't forget to clean the underside of the bung, a gob of dried glue on there will dent the top of the joint. I also keep a solvent applicator filled with acetone and a small chisel handy to soften and scrape any glue that I might have allowed to dry on the parts of the underpinner.
This is gold x
 
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tedh

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Re the Morso:

I have both a Morso and two chop saws. Given the choice, I almost always use the chop saws on plastic.

With the Morso, you have to be careful not to take too big a bite: it doesn’t matter when starting into the molding, but the closer you get to the last few cuts, the more you have to take small “slices”, because when you try to cut too much off, the blades will take plastic well into the face you just cut. These missing areas will affect the success of the join.

However, with a chop saw and a 60-tooth non-melt blade, drawn down really fast, you’ll always get a good cut. Not fast enough and there’ll be a ridge of melted plastic, and you don’t want that. When I’m cutting, I get the motor up to full speed, then, as the saw drops and begins to hit the plastic, I cut off the power. Really easy to work with plastic.

Ylva asked “Why not wood?”: in many cases, plastic can generate really wide margins. Can’t tell you how many customers ask for “a three-inch wide wood”, and this size in plastic is far less than wood, but can be priced fairly close.
 

artfolio

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One more tip with poly frames - I think this was mentioned before but it is worth repeating in bold, italics and underlined:

The solvent based glues used on poly will rip the finish off the frame if they touch it so apply it carefully.

Precautions:


* Use a gel-like glue rather than a runny one.

* Apply it with a popstick or a finger of mat board taking care not to let it get on your fingers.

* paint the glue onto the mitre leaving only the top 1/8 inch untouched and don't use too much glue or it will squish out the top and you are shafted.

* Keep your glue tube clean and if any glue gets on your fingers or anywhere else clean it up immediately to avoid disasters.
 

SuperstarMaltman

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One more tip with poly frames - I think this was mentioned before but it is worth repeating in bold, italics and underlined:

The solvent based glues used on poly will rip the finish off the frame if they touch it so apply it carefully.

Precautions:


* Use a gel-like glue rather than a runny one.

* Apply it with a popstick or a finger of mat board taking care not to let it get on your fingers.

* paint the glue onto the mitre leaving only the top 1/8 inch untouched and don't use too much glue or it will squish out the top and you are shafted.

* Keep your glue tube clean and if any glue gets on your fingers or anywhere else clean it up immediately to avoid disasters.
I have been recommended a glue from the supplier of the frames - which is my starting point

But these are great tips
 

wpfay

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If you want to impress the decision makers, join one sample corner with just V-nails, and one with just the solvent using a framing vise with no V-nails. You could just hold the joint with your hands if you don't have a vise handy. It should bond in about a minute and cure within 5-10. If you do it correctly, you will be able to break the first and not the second with your hands, or if it breaks, it won't be at the mitered surfaces.
 

SuperstarMaltman

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If you want to impress the decision makers, join one sample corner with just V-nails, and one with just the solvent using a framing vise with no V-nails. You could just hold the joint with your hands if you don't have a vise handy. It should bond in about a minute and cure within 5-10. If you do it correctly, you will be able to break the first and not the second with your hands, or if it breaks, it won't be at the miter.
Very good idea

I think I will do that
Hard to really argue with that level of evidence
 
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CHolt

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One more tip with poly frames - I think this was mentioned before but it is worth repeating in bold, italics and underlined:

The solvent based glues used on poly will rip the finish off the frame if they touch it so apply it carefully.

Precautions:


* Use a gel-like glue rather than a runny one.

* Apply it with a popstick or a finger of mat board taking care not to let it get on your fingers.

* paint the glue onto the mitre leaving only the top 1/8 inch untouched and don't use too much glue or it will squish out the top and you are shafted.

* Keep your glue tube clean and if any glue gets on your fingers or anywhere else clean it up immediately to avoid disasters.
What is the open time for this type of glue? Do you usually apply to both sides of the miter? What can you use to clean up the underpinner and joining table if you've had a drip?
 

Shayla

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I wrote a friend who's done a lot of poly moulding, and he says this:

'As for Poly moulding, as with all mouldings, the glue is what holds it together. The vnails simply vise the halves together while the glue sets. You could glue without vnails, but never vnail without glue. The glue used is the same used in plumbing to hold pvc pipes together. The ones in framing smell less and have a tiny tip for applying it. If you get any glue squeezing out onto the face, it ruins the finish and if any falls onto the vnail track it's almost impossible to remove. Its very tricky to use the correct amount but it's vital to a good join.'
 

wpfay

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What is the open time for this type of glue? Do you usually apply to both sides of the miter? What can you use to clean up the underpinner and joining table if you've had a drip?
Very short, no, and acetone.

The "glue" is actually a solvent that dissolves the poly on the surface of the miter and then rapidly desiccates, leaving a fused joint.
As I mentioned earlier, the set time is less than a minute, and the cure time isn't much longer.
Unlike traditional wood glues, you are not trying for an edge to edge bond. If you get better than 50% of the face of the miter covered, you're good to go. You don't apply and wipe, you apply and stick the ends together before the glue runs. Drips should be rare, but a good solvent will take it off. If any gets on my underpinner, I just pop it off with a razor blade.
 

artfolio

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Another trap:

Early in my use of poly frames a supplier sold me some "special" thickened P.V.A. Glue which he said had been designed for poly mouldings. I tried it and even after clamping a join overnight it simply did not stick.

I have also heard of using plumber's cement and while some brands will hold others won't.

The only glues I trusted were either cyanoacrylate ( superglue derivatives ) or methyl methacrylate. You can recognise them by their sharp chemical smell. A thickened gel like consistency is less likely to drip and get where you don't want it.
 
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tedh

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Good points. Best thing is to learn on scraps. Test the joins, inspect the glue adhesion, then go with what works.
 

Shayla

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Is it recommended to wear a cartridge mask when using this adhesive?
 

tedh

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I think it’s the same situation as applying nail polish. The yellow glue isn’t that volatile.
 
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