Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 25
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,356

    Default Looking for some New Wood Frame assembly advice?

    I'm looking for some advice on gluing and stapling together new wood frames.

    Last winter we bought 10000+- new deep wood frames that were pre-assembled (with the plastic foundation) from both Mann lake and Dadant. It is my contention that the machinery used to put them together does not apply either enough glue and/or the stapling techniques are inadequate for the stress these frames go though while in our hives or during extraction. I have spoken at length with people all the way up the chain at Mann Lake and the only response I seem to be getting is that I am the only beek having an issue with them coming apart. Since I haven't been happy with the way they are building them I thought we'd assemble them ourselves. It's been 20 years since we personally assembled the last massive quantity of wood frames. I want them to last long enough for my son to throw them on the burn pile 30 years from now.

    We have been testing different glues and staple angles the past week. Thought I ought to ask you experts out there what you find in frame assembly that works where the top bars dont come loose during hive inspections. Not sure about where your at but the propolis around here can get pretty "thick".

    Not looking for answers on Jigs....etc. Just glue and staple info.



    What are your frame building recommendations based on experience?


    1. What glue do you find holds the best?

    a. Elmers
    b. Tightbond types 1,2,or 3
    c. Gorilla glue vs Gorilla wood glue
    d. Others?

    2. What size staples do you use?

    3. Where do you shoot the staples?

    a. Only through the top and bottom bars into the side bars?
    b. Any through the end bars into the top bar?

    1. If so where and at what angles?

    4. Anything else I need to think about or consider?


    Thanks




  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Livermore, CA
    Posts
    1,392

    Default Re: Looking for some New Wood Frame assembly advice?

    I've had great luck with titebond 3, I apply it on the bottom of the cut on the top of the end bar and also on the notches of the top bar where it slides into the end bar, then I shoot a 1/4" staple from the top bar down into the end bar and one into the top bar from the end bar at enough of an angle that I can't see the staple in the groove of my top bar. I glue the bottom bar the same way and then just shoot a single staple up into the end bar.

    No frames have come apart yet! I've even got a couple frames that only have a single nail from the top bar into the end bar that are still holding good!
    I think a lot of strength is in the glueing!
    Coyote Creek Bees

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    433

    Default Re: Looking for some New Wood Frame assembly advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey-4-All View Post

    1. What glue do you find holds the best?

    a. Elmers
    b. Tightbond types 1,2,or 3
    c. Gorilla glue vs Gorilla wood glue
    d. Others?
    Have used Elmers in the past but Tightbond 2 last several years. Not sure why I changed.

    2. What size staples do you use?

    3. Where do you shoot the staples?
    We use 1 3/8" narrow crown staples through the top and bottom bars into the side bars.

    We used to staple through the end bars into the top bar but didn't like the results. Seemed like it was often difficult to get a proper hold for the side bars and half the time the staples were in the way for installing the plastic foundation.

    We now staple 3/8" narrow crown staples through the foundation into the top and bottom bars. These are stapled at about a 45 angle catching a good amount of the foundation and then penetrating the wood behind the foundation. Very little of the wood on the front side is caught. You need to play with the angle, position and compressor pressure a bit to get a good hold but keep the staples from sticking through. We put 2 staples into the top bar about a third of the way in from each end and one into middle of the bottom bar. This adds a lot of strength to the frame, ensures the frame rarely if ever separates when it is pried out or boxes are pried apart and the foundation never pops out of the bottom when the bottom bar is waxed to the super below.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
    Posts
    1,068

    Default Re: Looking for some New Wood Frame assembly advice?

    I use Tightbond 2

    buy a frame assembly jig from Kellys. Study it and then make yourself one that will hold a larger number (25+ I have seen comercial guy with jigs made for 50). But useing a jig is an absolute if you have a lot to do.

    The glue is the most time consuming if you are going to do them right. Use a glue brush. Put glue on both parts(side bar and top bars) on all the surfaces that are going to touch. That is key! And put the parts together as you work. Exp: put Glue on five set of frame side bars then put on the top bars, repeat process until all ready then nail. In try and always place the wedge opening of the bottom of the top bars facing the same direction. That helps later when I brand.

    I like Mann Lake but there is no way they are going to take as much time as is needed to do the glueing right. after an hour or two you will understand why the gluing takes so long to do it right. And you will start thinking there has got to be a faster way. There is! Put less glue and and do a crappy job of doing and then complain later. If you really want them to last. This is the key!!!!!!!

    I prefer nail gun and not a long staple. Just me but you will see why later.
    After all are glued and the top bars are in place. Do not hold each frame as you nail it. Nails love to turn at a 45 degree angle as they go in. The wood workers law say the nail will always come out where you finger is holding the work piece. After 10 holes in your finger you will have your hand in the right place.

    I put one 1 1/4 15ga brad nail down from the top of the top bar at a slight angle down throught the top bar into the top of the side bar. That will hold the top bar in place while you work the bottom bar. If you go straight down the brad easly slips and the top bars can slip out it is well lubed with glue. The angle of the brad helps the top bar not slide out.

    I use two jigs. so now I got to the other jig and do the same thing while the glue sets a bit and the top bars stay in much better. by going back and forth from jig set to jig set the glue has more time to set before I start the next step.

    Turn the jig with the frames over slowly and carefully. Dont' Bang are knock the the top bars out of the side bars.

    Then glue the bottom bars in place doing the 5x5 process. I then place a single 1 1/4 15 ga brad down throught the bottom bar at a angle into the bottom of the side bar.

    Go to the other jig set, do the same.

    I flip the jig back over carefully so the tops are showning. I now use the time while the glue is drying a bit to brand all the top bars. I brand on one end so the brands line up so I dont but a frame in backwards when working a hive. Yes, the bees have a plan and flipping frames the wrong way does go different to their thinking.

    Then open the frame jig. CAREFULLY!

    I then use a 18ga finishing brad gun loaded with 3/4" or 5/8" brads. Sometimes my supplier is out of the 3/4 so I use the 5/8" never been an issue.

    I take one frame. Place it on its side. I put one brad straight down in each of the bottom corners. This way there is a brad that resists the bottom bar from falling out.

    I place one brad straight down in each of the corners of the sides of side bars so it goes down into the top bar through the side bar tab that the top bars has recessed down into. Then I flip the frame over and put another brad in the other side of the side of the side bar so that brad also goes through the side bar tab and down into the top bar.

    You now have 2 3/4 or 5/8s brads throught the bottom end of the side bars into the bottom bars so that the brad is across the joint the bottom bar can not slip out. You have 4 brads holding top bar in place and they are across the direction of the joint.

    For the frame to come apart the brads have to be riped out of the side bars. But what you hare relly done is hold the frame together well so your glue bonds on every surface.

    Yes, it more work. But you were talking about 30 years. divide the time spent by 30. and the frustration you have be having with the preassembled.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Maricopa, Ariz, USA
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: Looking for some New Wood Frame assembly advice?

    We use the "pre-assembled" with plastic foundation. 3/4 inch (small crown) staples.....three through the side of the top bar & three through the side of the bottom bar at a slight angle, low air pressure.....making sure to hit wood-foundation-wood. Even my former NASA employed employees can't pull them apart.......screw the glue. Have a couple hundred thousand done that way.......rare day that one comes apart. Another benefit is it stops the dreaded foundation "pop-out".

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    433

    Default Re: Looking for some New Wood Frame assembly advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by dback View Post
    screw the glue.
    I put a dab on the top and bottom of the side bars because its take very little extra time, but you are right the strength in out assembly comes from the from the foundation-wood staples as well.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Elgin, ND USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Looking for some New Wood Frame assembly advice?

    We squeeze the frame together so the foundation is tight and put 3 brad nails thru the top bar and foundation and 3 thru bottom bar and foundation. Strengthens the frames greatly. We buy all pre-assembled frames

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Breezy Point, MN
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Looking for some New Wood Frame assembly advice?

    Honey-4-All,
    I have been getting a Christmas list put together and was planning on purchasing the assembled frames with plastic foundation. Where are the frames coming apart? At the top bar, bottom bar or both? Any information is helpful because I would like to start off with the right stuff to get into beekeeping.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: Looking for some New Wood Frame assembly advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeGhost View Post
    I've had great luck with titebond 3, I apply it on the bottom of the cut on the top of the end bar and also on the notches of the top bar where it slides into the end bar, then I shoot a 1/4" staple from the top bar down into the end bar and one into the top bar from the end bar at enough of an angle that I can't see the staple in the groove of my top bar. I glue the bottom bar the same way and then just shoot a single staple up into the end bar.
    Exactly!
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Pacifica California, San Mateo County
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Looking for some New Wood Frame assembly advice?

    Her you can find a very simple to make jig to assemble frames.
    It took me 30 min to build and it is very useful. If you want you can change the design a little
    so that you
    can build more frames in one run.

    http://www.myoldtools.com/Bees/framejig/framejig.htm

    Cheers
    Stefan

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Amador County, Calif
    Posts
    3,173

    Default Re: Looking for some New Wood Frame assembly advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey-4-All;873156 I have spoken at length with people all the way up the chain at Mann Lake and the only response I seem to be getting is that I am the only beek having an issue with them coming apart. [FONT=Arial Black
    [/FONT]
    I hear you loud & clear Phil, we have had the same problems with ML woodenware. I wouldn't buy that stuff if they gave it to me with there FREE shipping. I just order another 53ft van full of frames from Dadant, I have had good luck with there frames & Gabe doesn't give me the run-o-round.
    NUTRA-BEE feed supplements

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,368

    Default Re: Looking for some New Wood Frame assembly advice?

    I ordered ML pre-assembled frames only one time. After each day of extracting I have a nice little pile of kindling reminding me why I will never do it again. It's the gift that just keeps on giving over and over and over.......
    We assemble our frames with plenty of Titebond 2 and 2, 1 1/4" 1/4" crown staples on the top bars and a single 1 1/4" 3/8" crown staple on the bottom bars. We average making about 10,000 frames each year and it's an event when we see where even one of our assembled frames has come apart. All the reports about the Dadant assembled frame I have heard are good but I just have trouble ever trusting that job to someone else.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Selby, SD, USA
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: Looking for some New Wood Frame assembly advice?

    hmm me thinks the problems lie not in the frames but in the hired help. maybe they should quit throwing boxes around. have bought hundreds of thousands of frames from both suppliers and have complaints about both companies. sure they have their assembly flaws but not enough for me to justify assembling them ourselves
    Greg Stahlman; Stahlman Apiaries Inc.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,971

    Default Re: Looking for some New Wood Frame assembly advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Honey-4-All View Post
    What are your frame building recommendations based on experience?


    1. What glue do you find holds the best?

    a. Elmers
    b. Tightbond types 1,2,or 3
    c. Gorilla glue vs Gorilla wood glue
    d. Others?

    2. What size staples do you use?

    3. Where do you shoot the staples?

    a. Only through the top and bottom bars into the side bars?
    b. Any through the end bars into the top bar?

    1. If so where and at what angles?

    4. Anything else I need to think about or consider?


    Thanks


    1. I use Elmers "Wood" glue. it being wood glue makes a difference. Wood moves the glue must also. I woudl still recommend a Titebond as the best. Gorilla is very good but messy as it foams up. You could end up having to clean up every frame you assemble. But the foaming action actually pushed the glue into the wood. I used it to fix a dowel into a block of wood. the glue came through nearly one inch of wood to foam up on the outer surface.

    2. I don't use stables I use a finish nailer and 1 1/4 inch finish nails.

    3. Two at each end through top bar into end bar. One from each side to pin the top bar to the side bars and one at each end through the bottom bar into the side bars. everything gets glued well.

    b. I consider the nails through the side into the top bar the single most important nails in the lot. They are what keep a frame from getting the top pried off when removing from the hive. I have seen several examples where people put two nails here.

    Angle, always as straight as possible but make sure you connect with solid material. So if you must angle a bit through the side bars to hit good solid wood in the top bar. do so but try to keep it as minimum as possible. Nails going into end grain do not hold as well as nails going sideways through grain. This is countered in my method in that the nail going into the end grain of the top bar is adding shear strength and does not need to resist pulling apart. The nails coming down through the top bar into the end bar are doing that.

    4. give some attention to make a proper glue joint. not to loose but also not to tight. and you have half the battle won. Also learn and develop proper methods of gluing. I have never seen proper glueing technique used in any frame building demonstration. you apply glue to both surfaces that will be placed together for one. You also let the glue set and prime for a bit in some cases. I have never seen either demonstrated or explained.

    Most common mistake people make in glueing. Starving the joint for glue or making the joint to tight. you didn't glue it if you didn't leave any glue in the joint.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,971

    Default Re: Looking for some New Wood Frame assembly advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by jrbbees View Post
    I use Tightbond 2

    The glue is the most time consuming if you are going to do them right. Use a glue brush. Put glue on both parts(side bar and top bars) on all the surfaces that are going to touch. That is key! And put the parts together as you work. Exp: put Glue on five set of frame side bars then put on the top bars, repeat process until all ready then nail. In try and always place the wedge opening of the bottom of the top bars facing the same direction. That helps later when I brand.

    I like Mann Lake but there is no way they are going to take as much time as is needed to do the glueing right. after an hour or two you will understand why the gluing takes so long to do it right. And you will start thinking there has got to be a faster way. There is! Put less glue and and do a crappy job of doing and then complain later. If you really want them to last. This is the key!!!!!!!

    I prefer nail gun and not a long staple. Just me but you will see why later.
    Thank You JB, I did not take the time to add all this detail. I get told my posts are to long the way it is. But you are dead on about the glue and the nails. I started this way right from the get go. Probably because I am new and don't know nothin though
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,368

    Default Re: Looking for some New Wood Frame assembly advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by gregstahlman View Post
    hmm me thinks the problems lie not in the frames but in the hired help. maybe they should quit throwing boxes around. have bought hundreds of thousands of frames from both suppliers and have complaints about both companies. sure they have their assembly flaws but not enough for me to justify assembling them ourselves
    Agreed, there was no problem with the quality of the frame itself, only the assembly. We know how to handle boxes Greg. Our assemblies haven't come apart, the batch of Mann Lakes pre-assembled frames that we purchased have. Are you suggesting that the large pile of exclusively ML pre-assembled frames in the junk pile at the end of each day is strictly random chance? I assume they have made improvements in their assembly since we purchased from them but I see no reason to take the risk. These 10,000 were assembled with 1" staples and very little glue. I didn't even mention that approximately 25% of the frames didn't even have the foundation inserted properly. That was a full day job for 3 men doing the QC on the frames before they ever went on. Had I noticed at the time that they could be easily pulled apart by hand they would never have been put on. I think ML is an otherwise excellant company but the question was has anyone else had problems with ML pre-assembled frames and I gave my answer without bias.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,884

    Default Re: Looking for some New Wood Frame assembly advice?

    One inch staples in a top bar? Even glue won't help that.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,368

    Default Re: Looking for some New Wood Frame assembly advice?

    Enough glue probably would but on many I can't even see any. We keep a stapler beside the uncapper and are able to fix where we see the separation before they fall apart but as you know once the foundation comes out of the groove it's game over. Again my purpose isn't to bash Mann Lake as a company but just to relate my experiences with their pre-assembled frames a few years ago. I think it's important to note that proper gluing of these frames requires getting glue into the shoulders of the end bars. A bead placed down the center may only fall into the groove of the top and bottom bar and do very little good.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,356

    Default Re: Looking for some New Wood Frame assembly advice?

    Jim etal,

    My contention exactly. The glue QC was/is horrendous. Last spring the first thing I did was try to pull the newly purchased test ones apart by hand to see if they had "improved" on the glue department after my "advice" years previously. No such luck. When I brought it to there attention again the response was very "un-Mann Lake like." I think its something they are making enough profit on where us complainers aren't loud enough to make a dent YET.

    The quality of the wood itself is superb. Clean, straight and Uniform. Very nice.

    The pre-assembled ones are very convenient. Just not assembled for longevity. Those of us who exited hobbyist land a long time ago tend to think long term on equipment. The only long term thing I can for see regarding the current frames are that the hourly wage budget for the repair guys is on the increase.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,368

    Default Re: Looking for some New Wood Frame assembly advice?

    In the interest of full disclosure I never brought any of this to their attention. By the time we realized the scope of the problem the frames were already scattered into over 3000 boxes and already on the bees, not much could be done to remedy the situation at that point. Had we just taken any frame in hand and pulled on them to see how easily they came apart I would have returned them but as my signature states......

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads