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Problem With Larson Finn

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by bruce papier, Jan 18, 2019.

  1. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    We have done a good number of frames in Larson 249520 for a customer ranging from 14 x 18 up to 32 x 40. They just contacted us because two pieces have had the hanger tear out of the wood. I've attached a picture of the hanger we used with 1/2 x 6 or 3/4 x 6 screws. Is there another type of hanger that would work better?

    Anybody else had this problem?

    Attached Files:

  2. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Are you predrilling the holes? That would reduce the tendency to split the wood. Also, what is the angle of the wire as opposed to the vertical rails? The higher the angle, the less stress there is in the wire. The actual hanger design is secondary to the screw.
  3. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Okay, blew the picture upload. It's a two hole "Super Steel" hanger.
  4. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Good points, Jerome. We didn't predrill. The wood is so soft I didn't think it was necessary. The angle is pretty sharp also. We've just never had the hangers tear out quite the way these have. Usually, we have made some obvious mistake like putting the hangers too close to the inner edge or over-rotated the screws.
  5. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    Flangers would give better support
    MATTHEW HALE likes this.
  6. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Yeah, Larry, we were thinking either those or Wallbuddies. At this point, we're trying to minimize our pain. The best case is we find a hanger that will hold. The worst case is the moulding is just too soft to hold the weight and we have to re-frame 47 pieces.
  7. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Finn seems to be made from very soft wood. Especially with that in mind, I wouldn't use it on something 32 x 40. (Might be that others would, just saying our approach). Was about to suggest D-ring hangers on either side of the back-top, and not wire,
    until I saw it's only 3/4" wide. How about using security hangers, or large size wall buddies on the larger ones?
  8. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    In retrospect, we probably shouldn't have used it on the largest pieces. The situation kind of evolved. We're framing a collection of artwork for a company to use in their offices both here and in other cities. The pieces may travel as wanted by the executives. As a result, they need the artwork to be able to be put up and taken down with a minimum of fuss. That leaves out security hangers. We will be discussing with the curator about the use of Wallbuddies (I think).
  9. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I guess I should give you an idea of the level of failure. The curator sent us a photo of the first picture that fell. The wire and hangers were still hanging on the hooks in the wall. It looks like all four screws pulled out at the same time.
  10. JFeig

    JFeig SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    You might want to inject the wood with a wood hardening resin product prior to inserting the screws into the predrilled holes. Just a thought as it is not a picture framing process.

    Post Script:
    It seems that many, many picture framers are complaining about how the quality of wood moulding has degraded over the years.
  11. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    How much loop do you have on the wire. If the wire is tight or close to tight then more stress is inserted on the hangers. The larger the loop on the wire the less stress you have on the hangers. And pre-drill and then I would use 3/4 X #8 screws. And as someone else said, that is a lot of weight to put on that thin of a frame.

    Also as you suggested - the large wallbuddies have six screws - use 6, 3/4 X #6 would also work if pre-drilled so you don't split the wood. just my opinion.
  12. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Another idea would be to add a solid layer of backing over the whole thing, screwed into the back. If not, perhaps along with whatever you do for the top, you could screw flat L-brackets (or those flat triangular corner things) on the bottom corners. If they absolutely insist on wiring the larger ones, it might help to at least kite the wire, (using 4 hole straight straphangers and #8 screws?).
    As soft as this moulding is, it'll be vital that they know it. Trying to ship them from one place to another could quickly result in dents. I feel your pain on this one.
  13. Philliam Phulgor

    Philliam Phulgor CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    I didn't see a mention of what glazing was used, be it plexi, glass or none? Even on your smaller sizes, Finn gives me the willies.
    Whichever, you were unfortunately planning on failure with that soft Finn wood. Glass weight, even plexi weight on a 32 x 40 is a disaster recipe in Finn.

    A word that I'd misapply to Finn is "fissiparous" - Tending to break up into parts or break away from a main body; factious......but you can catch my drift:cool:

    Was the rabbet filled with your glazing, matting, art, substrate? If not, I would be planning or jerry-rigging either a cross brace or corner brace.
    If room you can screw onto both to hold 'em together (frame and brace) while distributing weight stress.
    On the Finn, I've split it just using an awl to get a starter hole. Yes, pre-drilling is essential but Finn has very weak grain.

    I've convinced some clients, to use Nielsen 117-282 (Timberline metal) in the American Natural or Walnut if they want large sizes in a wood grain.
    Yeah, it's metal but it has strength and I love using the Wall Buddies made for Nielsen frames.

    Good luck Bruce. Certainly hope you don't have to re-frame 47 of them.
  14. cjmst3k

    cjmst3k SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    One insane piece that we don't want to see back was large, heavy and using that frame and brackets. I certainly hope our Finn frame doesn't have the same problem.
  15. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    I believe that two hole hanger is available as a four hole hanger. You might be able to to fit right over the existing piece.

    A strainer ( especially on the bigger pieces) would go a long way towards making the frame more rugged.
  16. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Rats. I was about to suggest putting a Nielsen profile 11 metal inside, but the 1/8" offset clips it would take are too wide for that 7/16" wood back. With a wider back, it would work, although you still have the problem of the super soft wood.
  17. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    I had to look up the frame, not familiar with it. Looks to be made from Snotwood, but with an overall depth of 1.5" you should be able to run much longer screws into the frame. Predrill, but use a bit that is matched to the core diameter of the screw. That way the threads will have something to bite into.
    Use wood screws, not the usual sheet metal screws that come with hanging hardware, they have more aggressive threads and a better bite. Injecting a drop or two of wood glue into the hole before inserting the screw would certainly help with the integrity of the wood grain surrounding the screw.
    If you must use wire, make sure that the angle of departure from the vertical rail is no more than 30 degrees (no less than 60 degrees from horizontal). Any fixed two point hanging system is going to be an improvement over wire.

    I do up to 32" X 40" pieces in a similar profile on a regular basis, but I use either D rings or Wallbuddies, and for commercial or corporate, acrylic glazing
  18. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    ...which I'm guessing is ramen or some other, harder wood?
  19. CB Art & Framing

    CB Art & Framing SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    How about Zbar
  20. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Just to update- I talked to Larson Tech Services this morning. They suggested much the same ideas as have been mentioned here. Their first suggestion was D-ring hangers with no wire. I don't think that will work because the hangers will show due to being wider than the moulding. They thought we would be safe with wires up to maybe 20 x 24 if we slacken the wire and set the hooks as far apart as possible.

    I think our current plan is to triage the whole mess by putting longer screws and looser wire on the smallest pieces, Wallbuddies on the medium sized pieces, and a different frame on the largest.
  21. wpfay

    wpfay Angry Badger

    Shayla, moulding 27701 from Studio. Yes, the wood is more dense, but not as deep.

    Bruce, have you considered HookUps. They resolve the issue with using D rings on narrow frames. I buy the series 100 in bulk for just such issues.
    shayla likes this.
  22. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Thanks Wally. The HookUps look like a good idea. I'm getting a little spooked about the whole thing. The Larson rep I talked to had so many specifications on the hanging setup that I'm beginning to wonder if there is a for sure secure way to use the moulding
  23. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Here is the chart that Jim Miller has provided showing the difference in force tugging at the side rails as the angle of the wire departing the frame varies from vertical to horizontal.

    :cool: Rick
    Aiden, cvm, GreyDrakkon and 1 other person like this.
  24. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Does your mat/glass package fill the back of the frame, or is there any extra depth there?
  25. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Pretty much. The moulding is 1 1/2" tall, but the depth at the rabbet is only 5/8", so it doesn't take much to fill the rabbet.

    That chart is very helpful, Rick. Our error is probably pulling the wire too tight. Still, the pieces in question aren't very heavy. We used glass, but the heaviest pieces may weigh 15 pounds. The frame itself is very light. All the pieces are prints hinged to matboard with a foamcore backing. Using the chart, that puts 40 - 45 pounds of force on the frame. It just seems like the frame should be able to take that much strain.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
  26. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I've been weighing things. The big ones probably weigh closer to 30 pounds. The ones that broke might weigh in at 22 or 23. So, that's getting up there.
  27. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    As has been chatted about, switching to longer/sturdier screws will help, but it won't protect the soft wood from denting when they're schlepped about. I've taken some super soft woods off the wall, because it feels bad to make a big deal of conservation, while sending an easily dented frame. A few others, I've kept up, and I just make sure they know it dents easily. I'm guessing you joined them with either v-nails or Hoffman dovetail keys, but it's worth asking.
  28. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    The frames are joined with v-nails. They hold together just fine. In fact, they stay joined even after they fall off the wall. It's the hanging hardware staying put that's the problem.
  29. alacrity8

    alacrity8 MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    Another thought along these lines, if one was to start fresh on these frames would be to frame the art in a narrow Nielsen frame (possible33) with the Finn frame as a cap hiding the metal frame. The wood frame may need to be modified to fit the metal frame without it sticking out the back.

    I would definitely suggest switching to plexi on the largest sized ones at the very least.
  30. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    More of a cautionary tale at this point- we got the second piece that broke. I'm pretty sure this one failed because the screws weren't long enough. Here are the other facts- 36 x 42, 18.5 pounds, wire at 15 degree angle, hung with 4 hole super steel hangers. I'm sure the extra two screws didn't help due to the width of the moulding. Using the chart Rick provided, that puts about 35 pounds of stress on the frame.

    So, take that for what it's worth.
  31. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    The softness of the wood is a huge factor with this one. I hope it works out well for you.

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