Tired of joining the old way


Mar 9, 2004
New London, MN
When we purchased our faming business 1 1/2 ago, the previous owner was using clamps and a hammer and nails for joining. I've since upgraded to an air nailer which has helped speed up the process, but I'm very tired of filling nail holes. Is there some low budget alternative to driving a wedge into the back of a frame? I like the results I get from gluing with clamps, but wish I could find something besides paying alot for a joiner or driving nails through the corners. Does anyone make an air nailer for wedges?

Check out the "Benchmaster V-nailer". LOw cost and works great in non-production shop. I found it in Pictuere Framing Mag.
I did just see a link to a company that sells a air gun that shoots v-nails just like the ones used in an underpinner. I believe the link was included in someones post here on the grumble. As I recall they cost between $400-$500 new. If I can remember the where I saw the link I will get back to you. The idea was that you still would need to glue up in your vise and then shoot the v-nail, so it would still me much slower than a underpinner, but would be the same finished joint, no nails to fill.
The BenchMaster seems like a good tool for a beginning frameshop. I saw it in Las Vegas. I ordered one for a Sister who has a new frameshop. She has used it many times and is thrilled with it. The Frameco booth was very busy all the time. The Benchmaster looks like this:

Here's an idea....Starting tomorrow add a $5 surcharge to every frame order. At the end of the day take the $5 out of the till and stick it in a special equipment fund. By the end of the year you'll be able to afford that v-nailer that you really want.
Or, if you're on your vendor's delivery route, use some of that $5 to have them join your chops, pocket the difference and save yourself some aggravation.

Some will argue that buying joins makes you less of a framer. I've regularly been less of a framer ever since my four major chop vendors started delivering here. I'd rather spend my time designing, cutting mats, mounting, fitting, etc.

That only makes sense if you're on a delivery route, your vendor charges a fixed fee for joining (not a 40% premium, like some), they do a good job joining and you're using chop, not length.
Thanks everybody!

I'm going to give the Benchmaster a try. Right now, I join about 10 frames a week. So it's no big deal that the frames sit in a vise for 15 minutes, I can always be doing something else. Space and noise are also an issue, I have a 17 x 5 ft. space for cutting and joining. Not a lot of room, but it's working out ok.

Thanks again,