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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Post

    I like Mann Lake and try to give them all the business I can. That's why this time when I needed new supers/frames, I ordered from them instead of Brushy Mountain. I've never had a problem nailing frames before but when I went to put the Mann Lake ones together, I thought I'd lost the knack! Nails were bending, wood was splitting--it was a mess. I labored through ten frames and gave up. I called Mann Lake to tell them I was returning them, thinking they'd think I was nuts. The lady on the phone told me they hear that problem a lot--that most times the frames are ordered by "big time" beekeepers that have nail guns! I returned them (paying a hefty shipping amount) and ordered from Brushy Mountain. Put five sets of frames together in the same amount of time it took me to put one set of Mann Lake frames together. . .and less sore thumbs from slipping with the tack hammer!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
    Posts
    5,159

    Question

    Did you soak the ends in water before you tried to tack them together? That helps, and Gorilla glue still bonds even to wet wood.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    san antonio.texas USA
    Posts
    487

    Post

    I agree with wetting to help keep the wood from splitting. I think mann lake frames may be denser than some and suspect denser wood last longer. Personally,I like mann lake frames, but I do normally use an air stapler. I may be mistaken, but I think you are actually SUPPOSED to dampen the wood when applying gorilla glue. Good Luck!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Post

    Yes, you are supposed to dampen the wood and I do. I swear by Gorilla Glue. Love the stuff. Didn't help me at all in this instance. An air stapler sure would help but I can't justify the expense for my hobby.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,763

    Post

    Now that I have a stapler I'll never go back to nailing them by hand. I'm a carpenter and can one lick a 16p nail, but it takes me bending three or four nails for every one I get in for frames. Although I bought an air stpaler, you can buy little electric brad nailers, that don't require a compressor, pretty cheaply.

    I have a 1/4" crown stapler from Walter T. Kelly. What I really like about the stapler is that I can put anywhere from 1/2" to 1 1/2" staples in it and nail anything from boxes to screen wire for a SBB.

    I use 1 1/2" for corners of boxes, 1 1/4" where I'm nailing two 3/4" boards and don't want it to stick through, 1" for frames, 5/8" for nailing two 3/8" pieces and 1/2" for nailing screen wire on for SBBs.

    I think some of the staplers will even take up to 2" staples. But mine does not.


    [This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited June 10, 2004).]

  6. #6

    Post

    Michael......I have a bostich 1/4" crown stapler that also does 1 1/2" staples...I use it for making frames with 1" staples....and use mann lake frames....are you saying that I can do my boxes with it too? I build my own and do rabbit joints on the corners.....with glue will it be as strong as 7 penny box nails?

    Wayne

  7. #7

    Post

    I'm a big fan of Mann Lake too. But not their frames - for frames, I like Walter T. Kelley. They got about the best price/quality combination for frames.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Post

    Michael, you are just a wealth of information! I'm going to check my Walter Kelly catalog and see if I can afford one. Your speech certainly sold me.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,763

    Post

    A 7d box nail is 2 1/4" long. That is quite a bit more reach, but I do rabbit joints with 1 1/2" staples and exterior Elmers wood glue and they have been holding fine. Of course, if I have the time, I think deck screws are the best.

    A 1 1/2" staple is going to go through a 3/8" rabbet and into the othe peice of wood 1 1/8".

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,763

    Post

    By the time you include shipping you might find you can beat the price with a 1/4" crown staple gun locally from the hardware store, building supply store etc. I think all of the 1/4" crown staple guns require a compressor, so don't forget to take that into account. Of course a compressor is a wonderful thing to have for airing up tires and blowing off dirt. But you can buy electric brad nailers that DON'T require a compressor. They will nail frames, but won't handle boxes etc.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Port Colborne, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    20

    Post

    I use a hand stapler from Canadian Tire that shoots 5/8 inch brads for the frames. Does a wonderful job. A hammer can't touch it for speed and convenience.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Raymond, Mississippi, USA
    Posts
    177

    Post

    Try www.harborfreight.com
    I just bought a bunch of stuff from them a few months ago.... it is not the greatest quality, but it is the cheapest price for sure.... and if you spend at least 50.00, you get FREE shipping.... The free shipping is what ultimately made them cheapest. Got my 1/4" staple gun for I think 34.00.... with a bunch of staples included. Just make sure you get at least 50.00 in the order to get the free shipping.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Lakeland FL
    Posts
    862

    Big Grin

    i use a bostich and it works great!! i use it for every thing from frames to sbb love it got it for christmas

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Columbia, South Carolina USA
    Posts
    2,598

    Post

    Look around you can often find combo deals with pancake compressors and spatlers/brad nailers. I have the Porter Cable set - they are great tools and a terrific investment. Coupled with a frame nailing jig from WE Kelley and I can assemble 10 frames in <2.5 minutes - and I am no carpenter. Very square, strait and rock solid.

    I have both the stapler and the brad gun and for frames I prefer the brad nailer - I am less likely to have a wire sticking out where I don't want it with the brad gun. Of course it could just be me!

    Keith

    [This message has been edited by kgbenson (edited June 11, 2004).]

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Lima, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    726

    Post

    I've pretty much had the same experience with frames from Mann Lake. The wood is clear (no knots), but hard and tends to split easily. I prefer the ones from Humble Abodes (purchased thru Simpsons Bee Supplies), softer wood, very tight tolerances and no need to soak the ends.

    Still, if assembling more than a very few frames at once a staple gun is the way to go.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Post

    Boy, you guys have really provided me with a lot of information! I'm going to shop around and see what I can come up with. My husband likes the idea because then he can get the compressor he's always wanted. In light of the fact that I'm out of a job at the end of the month, I'm going to see what's out there that I can afford. Still have three boxes of frames I haven't assembled. . .

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,763

    Post

    Also I would definitely recommend anyone buy or at least make a frame nailing jig.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Williston, NC, USA
    Posts
    1,779

    Post

    Boy, Coyote, you said a mouthful! Life sure can make you laugh if you look at it in the right perspective, can't it?
    Michael, you're absolutely right about having a form board. My husband made one for me and it's so much easier to put frames together now--especially installing the foundation!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,763

    Post

    A "form board" is for installing foundation. A frame nailing jig holds 10 frames at a time for nailing them square etc.

    This is the form board: http://www.beesource.com/plans/formboard.htm

    This is the frame nailing jig: http://www.beesource.com/plans/framejig.htm

    I don't have a form board, although I have been tempted to build one, I'm pretty much going foundationless instead.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    Enfield,Ct.
    Posts
    470

    Post

    Tia, If your husband is a car nut ,let him buy his own compressor.
    If you buy a cheap 5 gal. or less(which is all you need for a nail/staple gun),it will NOT...
    run an impact wrench
    run a die grinder
    run a sand blaster
    spray paint

    it will eventually fill a good size tire.



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