• WELCOME Grumblers
    Backup is now done at 3PM EDT. You may find the server down for up to two minutes at that time.

V nailing purple heart problems

Jeremiah.U

Grumbler in Training
When I glue and clamp my purple heart frames, 4x6 and 5x7..then v nail...the pressure pops the glue hold and ruins the piece. Any suggestions? I do not have a biscuit jointer and figure I can just use glue to hold it since they are small. Any suggestions?
And if glue only what do you think the best is? I use tite bond 2 now. The frames are about 3/8" thick.
 
Sponsor Wanted

David Hewitt

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
First, what kind of joiner do you have?
Most joiners work best if you glue and join at the same time. The frame must be held firm, including the top so that there is no movement when you insert the wedge.
You need to have them v-nailed, nailed, thumb nailed, whatever, as they will someday have a glue failure.
 

Jeremiah.U

Grumbler in Training
A simple Logan hand jointer. It works well on softer woods..but PH is a bit more. I usually glue and join a the same time while in the clamp, but I took advice from some one and this is what's happening.
 

neilframer

PFG, Picture Framing God
I thought that purple heart wood might be oily like some other exotic woods I have experienced, but it apparently isn't.
It's only dense.
I use Corner Weld glue to join all of out frames.
I don't know if this might work better than the tite bond 2.
We have 2 Cassese pneumatic v-nailers and I have also used Mitre Mites for many years.
I have no experience with the Logan but maybe some more top cushion like a piece of Fome Cor as a cushion.

On frames that small you could also just glue them up and just put a couple of staples in the back of the corners if you have a pneumatic stapler.
Less pressure that way.
Good luck with your frames.
 

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Logan hand joiner - that is the main problem, it is a hobbyist joiner. I started my business with one and it was the first piece of equipment I replaced with a professional joiner. I recommend vice and finishing nails.
 

prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Even Pro underpinners struggle with hard woods. You're asking a bit much from the Logan.

It's not good to rely on glue alone, even on small frames.
If you can get a good miter vice, then the old-school hammer and nails is the thing. 🙂👍
Drill a pilot hole and snip the point off the nails. Punch them carefully below the surface and
you should be able to fill the holes unobtrusively.
 

MATTHEW HALE

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Even Pro underpinners struggle with hard woods. You're asking a bit much from the Logan.

It's not good to rely on glue alone, even on small frames.
If you can get a good miter vice, then the old-school hammer and nails is the thing. 🙂👍
Drill a pilot hole and snip the point off the nails. Punch them carefully below the surface and
you should be able to fill the holes unobtrusively.
I've been nailing frames together for years, but never snipped the point off. why is that recommended?
 

wpfay

Angry Badger
Purple Heart is much too dense to v-nail. It also has almost no porosity and traditional wood glues don't bond well to it.
We use Resorcinol glues when working with dense exotic woods (lubricious or not) with great success. Joining it would be perfect for the Hoffmann system with the W-0 sized key. Otherwise, Peter's suggestions are probably the most successful. Word of caution, don't get the Resorcinol glue on anything you don't want it to be on forever. Wear an apron, glove up, and have plenty of disposable rags for cleaning up.
We did make a series of small Purple Heart frames for a photo show, and instead of steel nails, we drilled and inserted brass brazing rod, cut flush, filed, and polished so each corner had a couple brass "buttons" on it.
 

Dan Berg

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
My under pinner works for most woods.
If that doesn't work my Hoffman dovetailer takes care of everything else.
If it is even possible to have any issues my set of MasterClamps are as good as it gets. (Great for tall floaters)
I cringe when i hear someone is drilling pilot holes in their frame corners and setting nails.

More than one way to skin a cat I guess!
 

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I cringe when i hear someone is drilling pilot holes in their frame corners and setting nails.
Why? It was done like that for at least a couple of 100 years and there are still thousands, if not millions of pieces, that have the original frame and square nail on display in Galleries, Museums, and homes.

I agree, if you don't need to do it that would be great but some people don't have the Hoffman or a professional underpinner.
 

prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Why? It was done like that for at least a couple of 100 years and there are still thousands, if not millions of pieces, that have the original frame and square nail on display in Galleries, Museums, and homes.

I agree, if you don't need to do it that would be great but some people don't have the Hoffman or a professional underpinner.

The old square nails are the same ones as used for shoeing horses. 😆

I have been known to wack in a couple of 4" woodscrews on big mouldings. Did that once on a pre-finished
moulding and to make good the huge holes I used a plug-cutter on an offcut to make some little 'caps'.

Once saw a old frame with a tiny moulding which was about 1/4" square with two pins in the corners.
What's more it was still stuck fast.
 

Scallywag

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
I wouldn't think you could v-nail purple heart. I do think titebond 2 should be okay. Brad nails would be the way to go and don't snip the point off, snip the head off. We use a pin nailer at my shop.
 

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Brad nails would be the way to go and don't snip the point off
Snipping off the point is a trick from old cabinet makers. I'm 70 years old and when I was young was taught that trick by my grandfather who was a wonderful cabinet maker. When he had the old square blunt nosed nails it was no problem to drill and insert the nail. Clipping the point off of the new round nails may help keep hard woods from splitting when the nail is inserted after drilling a pilot hole. I don't believe clipping the heads off will do nothing except make a slightly smaller hole.
 

Jim Miller

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
As others have mentioned, the Hoffmann dovetail router & inserts may be the best way to join such hard wood. If you plan to join Purple Heart and other super-hard species routinely, you might want to consider buying one. Or, if this is a one-time issue, maybe you could locate a friendly framer/Hoffmann user nearby to join it for you.

Some framers would rely on only glue to hold the frame together, and that would be a mistake. It's always best to use fresh PVA frame-joining glue (any of several brands would be suitable) and mechanical fasteners, whether you choose biscuits, brads, v-nails, or router/inserts.
 

Scallywag

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
Snipping off the point is a trick from old cabinet makers. I'm 70 years old and when I was young was taught that trick by my grandfather who was a wonderful cabinet maker. When he had the old square blunt nosed nails it was no problem to drill and insert the nail. Clipping the point off of the new round nails may help keep hard woods from splitting when the nail is inserted after drilling a pilot hole. I don't believe clipping the heads off will do nothing except make a slightly smaller hole.
Yes. The idea there is to make a smaller hole. I never heard that about snipping off the point.
 

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I never heard that about snipping off the point.
There are many people that haven't heard of it. Some carpenters takes the nail and sets it against something hard and solid and with a hammer takes a wack at the tip to make it blunt. That works about the same way as clipping.
 

prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I think the principle is for the nail to crush the wood fibres instead of parting them. 🤔
 

Dan Berg

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
Why? It was done like that for at least a couple of 100 years and there are still thousands, if not millions of pieces, that have the original frame and square nail on display in Galleries, Museums, and homes.

I agree, if you don't need to do it that would be great but some people don't have the Hoffman or a professional underpinner.
Sorry no intent to shame anyone. Coming from 25 years as a fine furniture builder/cabinetmaker where nails in any kind of finished face are an absolute no no.
 

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Sorry no intent to shame anyone. Coming from 25 years as a fine furniture builder/cabinetmaker where nails in any kind of finished face are an absolute no no.
I for one did not think you were trying to shame anyone, you were giving us worth while information. We all have techniques to share and that is why I asked for the reason you said:

I cringe when i hear someone is drilling pilot holes in their frame corners and setting nails.
I would never put a nail in the face of a frame either. We were talking about putting the nails to the sides on the miter. Some framers are so talented, me excluded, who can drill, drive, fill and paint so that you would never know there was a hole.

Myself, I am pretty much total underpinner. I do have a Hoffman that I purchased very slightly used (maybe 5 frames) but have never learned how to use it. I am going to the WCAF this year just to talk to Hoffman and get some information.
 
Last edited:
Sponsor Wanted
Top