Emafyl molding

Michael

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Mar 30, 2006
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Charlottesville, Virginia
I am new to the Grumble and fairly new to the framing business. Last summer, I bought a small, but well-established shop in central Virginia that wholesales framed botanical prints to catalogs like Orvis and Shaker Workshops. I chop Emafyl molding on a foot-operated Morso Chopper and join on a foot-operated Cassese, CS 79 V-nailer. My grumble is that I have never been satisfied with the joints. They look okay on the face of the frame, but always open slightly on the outside edge. Because customers have never complained, the former owner did not consider this a problem, but it drives me crazy. I’ve made sure my blades are correctly sharpened, and I have experimented with different positions for the v-nails, but nothing seems to affect the problem. Tech support available for the equipment has not been helpful. Any suggestions would be gratefully appreciated.

PS: I would love to have a partner in this endeavor. The custom part of the business is yet to be developed, and the potential in this area appears to be excellent.

Thank you.

Mikael
 

Jim Miller

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Extruded polystyrene (that's what Emafyl is) is more dense than wood, so every time you drive a mechanical fastener into it, there is a wedge effect that forces the outside of the miter open, or forces the inside to be tighter.

Have you ever split firewood using a wedge and hammer? Same thing. Except with wood, the grain is pliable enough to compress a bit, and plastic will not compress that way.

Two suggestions:

1. Drive fewer fastemers in each corner and place them as far to the inside as is practical.

2. Glue (with cyanoacrylate, of course) and vice the corners for at least 15 minutes before driving fasteners.

If your miters are accurate, gluing/vicing first will give you closer-to-perfect corners, and then the fasteners will not open the outside.
 

wpfay

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Welcome to the Grumble.

Your problem could be any one of a number of things, or a combination.
Is the fence on the chopper set correctly...adjusted for 45's?
Are the rabbet supports fully engaged when chopping?
Is the v-nailer also adjusted to 90 correctly?
Which (hard wood or soft wood) v-nail are you using?
What is the pattern of v-nailing (how many and how close to the inside and outside of the corner)?

The polystyrene mouldings I've used both cut and join fine, but I was having the same problem with profiles that are relatively thin on the outside. I was putting 2 v-nails in the joint and it was displacing too much material. When I backed off to just one v-nail (centered in the thickest part of the profile) the corner looked fine.

Edit: What Jim said...I'm a much slower typist.
 

Val

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Carson City, Nevada
Originally posted by wpfay:

Which (hard wood or soft wood) v-nail are you using?


Well, I just learned something new. Didn't know they are made for the difference, I have to look into that. That may explain why some won't go all the way into hard woods, even tho the compressor pressure's up high enough.
shrug.gif
 

Bob Carter

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Hey Jim-It sure seems like if you are setting the corner in a vise for 15 minutes prior to V-Nailing, that corner is set pretty much for life without the v-nail. I'm thinking 15 seconds will do,also and I'm getting this from my framers

And,I do need to thank Jim again for opening our eyes to the use of current generation plastics
 

Michael

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Charlottesville, Virginia
Wow - this is great - thank you for these responses. I have experimented with different v-nails of different sizes and placing them closer to the inside does help. Any additionl steps in production, however, like gluing, would reduce the profit margin considerably. In wholesale production, efficiency and speed is the name of the game.

Anyone familiar with other v-nailers? The CS-79 seems like an incredibly awkward piece of equipment.
Thanks again.
 

John Richards

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May 21, 2001
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From
Richfield, MN 55423
Emafyl moulding will also cup sometimes on the bottom of the moulding. (Higher front and back) This can cause some gaping when joining. We found that 7mm nails work best (hard or soft). TC Moulding has 1000's of feet of both Emafyl and Enviroline polystyrene moulding that has been discontinued and is CHEAP! Call Jason at 1-800-735-3025 ext 120. He can send you chips and pricing. I think 1000' get's you free shipping.
 

wpfay

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Originally posted by Michael:
Anyone familiar with other v-nailers? The CS-79 seems like an incredibly awkward piece of equipment.
You probably need to look into getting a pneumatic machine. Both Jim Miller and I use a Fletcher 5700. The advantage in production is that the clamps hold the moulding in place as the head travels under the miter joint. V-nails are fired into moulding using a joystick with a button on top. Much quicker than operating a foot lever for each V-nail.

If you are doing production with a chopper and a foot operated V-nailer, you can probably sell the stairmaster.
 

Jim Miller

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Originally posted by Bob Carter:
Hey Jim-It sure seems like if you are setting the corner in a vise for 15 minutes prior to V-Nailing, that corner is set pretty much for life without the v-nail. I'm thinking 15 seconds will do,also and I'm getting this from my framers..
Did I say 15 minutes? Ooops -- mistake! Fifteen minutes is my minimum for wood and polyaliphatic/PVA resin glue, not plastic and cyanoacrylate.

You are right, Bob. By the time a framer could align the fourth corner of a plastic frame in a vice & glue it, the first one would be set enough to handle.

I always recommend using mechanical fasteners in frame corners. It is true that the plastic joints with cyanoacrylate are stronger than the plastic itself. But in the event of destructive impact -- which might break loose any frame's corner -- having that little piece of metal often would prevent the corner from actually falling apart.
 

Cliff Wilson

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Worcester, MA
Jim,

I've had a number of the plastic frames come in busted with the customer asking me to repair them. The plastic is aways "impeded" in between the v-nails (and there is usually about 6 in a 1/2 distance). If anything is "still together" it's where there is no v-nail.

I don't sell polystyrene so I haven't had an opportunity to experiment, but from the ones I've seen, VERY FEW v-nails would create a much better joint than the overabundance I've seen.

Comments?
 

Jim Miller

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Originally posted by Cliff Wilson:
...I don't sell polystyrene so I haven't had an opportunity to experiment, but from the ones I've seen, VERY FEW v-nails would create a much better joint than the overabundance I've seen.

Comments?
I agree, Cliff. Generally, one or two fasteners, properly placed, will work better than a whole bunch. My earlier comment was:

1. Drive fewer fasteners in each corner and place them as far to the inside as is practical.
 
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