For those of you that are looking a good low cost underpinner….give some consideration to the Euro 8008 http://www.knoell.com/Euro%20Home.htm available in the US from John Knoell & Son, Inc.
Disregard the 8001 though the same principle as the 8008 it is very difficult to use…..I started with the 8001 and switched to the 8008……with the 8008 I have made frames up to 6’ x 4’ ft + with no problems.
The main advantages of the manual underpiners over a pneumatic one is the control when you are putting the V-Nail in….you can ease it in very slowly if you need to while you are becoming used to using an underpinner….unlike the pneumatic ones which will fire the V-Nail very quickly once you activate the pressure.
I have on a number of occasions produced up to 60 frames in a few hours with the 8008.
Yes I know others will disregard the manual underpinner…..but as an first buy underpinner it is superb……and as you will upgrade (that’s if you ever need to) it will serve you very well as a back up system….or if there is a power cut !!!!
That looks like a good tool, but the impact of nailing might break loose the corners, unless they are secured & well-supported.
If I were to try this tool, I would glue & strap all the corners and let them dry. Then, I'd turn the still-strapped frame upside down, make sure the inside & outside edges of the profile are supported, and drive the v-nails.
A tool like this might enable one to duplicate the results of using a pneumatic v-nailer, but there wouldn't be much, if any cost savings.
Even if you pinned it together while it is still strapped, how do you determine where to place the V nails? Most moldings have various thicknesses on the profile, if you pick the smallest V nail and just fire them across the profile without stacking them, I don't think it would do all that much good. If you used a common pneumatic pinner such a Senco makes, you could glue, clamp and nail in one operation if you have a corner vise.
On the surface, this looks like a good tool to own, especially if you were a cabinet maker. I think it would end up collecting dust in a picture framing shop.
I have the same questions that Jim raised - how to join and vise together, etc. It might be more trouble than it's worth. I'm curious enough, though, and it won't hurt to look. Don't need one, but you never know.
I have used one of these, but after playing around with it decided there was not a big enough market in the picture framing trade to try and sell it. There are several brands made in Italy, but I am not sure where the Pam one is made. They are definitely a “USE AFTER THE GLUE HAS DRIED” type of tool. You have to put the frame in some type of vise, let the corners dry and then turn the finished frame over and put in a “safety nail” or “looks like the shop has an underpinner” nail. There is no way you can stack the nails like you can with an underpinner.
The ones I have seen were not cheap and were in the $400 to $500 range. At that price you are better to put the money into a VN2+1 underpinner or even the ALFA foot operated underpinner or a good used underpinner.
The only place where this is going to work to join the frame in one step is if you are joining FLAT stretcher bars or liners. I really do not think this tool was designed for use in the picture framing industry. It was designed for use in the woodworking industry where flat wood with either mitred corners or butt joints needed joining. The corner could be put into a picture frame corner or butt vise and the nail driven in from the top.