Beemaster's International Beekeeping Forum

BEEKEEPING LEARNING CENTER => EQUIPMENT USAGE, EXPERIMENTATION, HIVE PLANS, CONSTRUCTION TIPS AND TOOLS => Topic started by: Seeb on January 21, 2020, 05:14:06 pm

Title: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Seeb on January 21, 2020, 05:14:06 pm
I want to buy a battery powered brad nailer for frame assembly, but I need some input.
Do I want a straight or angled nailer?
Are 16 ga and finish nails too much for frame assembly, or should I go with 18 ga and brads?
What length brads/nails should I use for the top and bottom bars?
Anything else I need to consider?
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Acebird on January 21, 2020, 05:28:55 pm
A crown stapler is much stronger but you probably have to go pneumatic.
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: CoolBees on January 21, 2020, 05:34:16 pm
I use an air powered Brad nailer for frames. 18 ga. 1" (I think) for frame assy (2 from the top, 4 from the sides, & 2 from the bottom), and 1/2" brads (3x) for the flipped wedge bar - I'm foundationless.

100 frames takes me around 2 hrs. I assemble 10 or 12 fames upside down, lay my arm across them to hold, and go down the line nailing the bottom 2 nail. Then flip them onto the side for 4 more, then upright for the last 2 nails. When all are done, I pull up a chair and start flipping and nailing the wedge bars. It goes quick.

This has worked for me for the last 3 yrs. I don't glue them anymore - the bees do that. Haven't had any problems. Extracts fine if the comb is connected on all 4 sides.
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: CoolBees on January 21, 2020, 05:36:05 pm
A crown stapler is much stronger but you probably have to go pneumatic.

Good idea. I bought one of those (finally) a few months ago, but haven't tried it on frames yet. Will have to try it this yr.
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Seeb on January 21, 2020, 08:12:19 pm
I don?t have a shop, so assemble in my kitchen.  That?s why I want a battery operated one, that and I don?t have the space for storage. The barn at my house was used as a smoke house, and everything metal stored in there rusts quickly.
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: CoolBees on January 21, 2020, 08:47:49 pm
Nothing wrong with an electric nailer or stapler, seeb. I was just saying how I do it. An electric one sure would be quieter. I do like Ace's suggestion on the stapler.
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Seeb on January 22, 2020, 08:40:33 am
Nothing wrong with an electric nailer or stapler, seeb. I was just saying how I do it. An electric one sure would be quieter. I do like Ace's suggestion on the stapler.

I love to hear ALL thoughts Cool, so not a problem to me. I thank you for your input
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Acebird on January 22, 2020, 09:41:46 am
I don't glue them anymore - the bees do that.
They do but it is not the bees that wreck frames it is the beekeeper.  I stopped gluing frames too and this is where the crown staple helps.
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Acebird on January 22, 2020, 10:03:32 am
https://youtu.be/pXGETkl546g
Cool this is pretty quick and how you should staple with a 1/4 crown stapler.
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Seeb on January 22, 2020, 10:51:03 am
Ace

I am leaning toward a battery operated crown stapler by DeWalt and since I have all Dewalt 20-volt tools already, I can just buy the stapler and use the batteries I have.
It drives 18-Gauge narrow crown staples from 1/2 to 1-1/2 in. 
Is yours a narrow crown?  Great video - thanks
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: sawdstmakr on January 22, 2020, 11:32:13 am
That stapler will do just fine for frames. I use a pneumatic stapler with 1/4? wide staples and it does a great job. If possible, get one that can also use straight finish nails.
Jim Altmiller
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: paus on January 22, 2020, 05:55:56 pm
Make a jig for 10 frames at a time, at least 10,  You will be even on time spent after 20 or 30 frames.  They are quick and easy to make.  I have been using titebond III, but I am going to go back to Gorilla glue for a trial.  I have seen jigs that held a box of 100 frames but they must have a dedicated table and are  heavy and hard to move.  I have considered  a 20 or 30 jig, and I wish I had gone that way at first.
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Seeb on January 22, 2020, 08:35:55 pm

Jimsawdust - I would rather have a 16 ga finish nailer - only because It will be more versatile for me. Do you think a finish nailer would be too much  for assembling delicate frames 

Paus - someone  is making me a jig for 10 frames at a time, and for the amount of hives I will have, that is good enough, and I?ve got my titebond III all ready to go! thanks for your thoughts
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Bob Wilson on January 22, 2020, 11:55:54 pm
Boy. You guys are big time beeks. I assemble my frames with the included nails from the supplier, using an upholstery hammer... Laid out on a large kitchen cutting board perched on my knees, while watching TV in my den. Pitiful.
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: cao on January 23, 2020, 12:16:17 am
Bob,
  I have done my share of frames like you.  I used a old coffee table sitting next to me instead of the cutting board.   Once you start buying frames 500 at a time that coffee table isn't big enough.  I made a jig out of scrap plywood that will hold 18 at a time.  I used to still nail them by hand.  I bought an air stapler cheap at an auction and have been using that for the last batch of frames last spring.  It does save time.
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Bob Wilson on January 23, 2020, 08:29:04 am
How many hives do each of you have?
Me...1
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Acebird on January 23, 2020, 08:37:32 am
It drives 18-Gauge narrow crown staples from 1/2 to 1-1/2 in. 
Is yours a narrow crown?  Great video - thanks
Yes, that is why I am putting two staples in top and bottom.  If you went commercial to 3/8 or 1/2 wide staple you only use one staple top and bottom.  The crown staple will not pull through the top and bottom bar but a brad nail will.  So if you are using brads then I would advise using glue.
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Seeb on January 23, 2020, 08:42:56 am
Boy. You guys are big time beeks. I assemble my frames with the included nails from the supplier, using an upholstery hammer... Laid out on a large kitchen cutting board perched on my knees, while watching TV in my den. Pitiful.

That's a cool way to do it too
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Seeb on January 23, 2020, 08:53:28 am
It drives 18-Gauge narrow crown staples from 1/2 to 1-1/2 in. 
Is yours a narrow crown?  Great video - thanks
Yes, that is why I am putting two staples in top and bottom.  If you went commercial to 3/8 or 1/2 wide staple you only use one staple top and bottom.  The crown staple will not pull through the top and bottom bar but a brad nail will.  So if you are using brads then I would advise using glue.

Thanks Ace
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: sawdstmakr on January 23, 2020, 09:12:22 am
The cheapest frame jig that I have used and made 1000s of frames with is just use a hive box, add 2-1/4? wide strips of wood stapled to the 2 frame end sides and put a piece of 1/2? plywood under the frames.
The added 1/4? x 1/2? by the with of the hive makes the frames stay straight and square. Put one near the top and one near the bottom.  The plywood under the frames holds the frames up a little for stapling. I glue all of the frames first by stacking all of the 10 top boards together and brush the glue on the side slots only. Then I do the sides of the bottom boards and the inside of the side boards. And install all of the frames in the jig. I staple all of the top boards then turn the jig upside down and staple all of the bottom boards. Sometimes I let it sit for 30 minutes while I am using a second jig. This lets the glue set. If I am doing a lot of frames I just carefully remove the frames and put them in the supers to dry.
When you are done with the jig and need another super, you can pull the 1/4? wood strips out and put your frames in it.
I took an old deep box that had bad rot damage and used my table saw to cut it down short enough that I now do not have to put a piece of plywood in the bottom.
Jim Altmiller
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: The15thMember on January 23, 2020, 12:51:05 pm
Boy. You guys are big time beeks. I assemble my frames with the included nails from the supplier, using an upholstery hammer... Laid out on a large kitchen cutting board perched on my knees, while watching TV in my den. Pitiful.
How many hives do each of you have?
Me...1
Don't sell yourself short, Bob.  That's exactly what I did when I got my first frames, except I was sitting on the floor at an old coffee table in the living room and using a jewelry hammer!  :cheesy:  I usually assemble in the garage now because all my stuff is out there, but I still just sit on the floor and put them together 1 nail at a time, and I still use the jewelry hammer for the end nails.  :grin:  I have 4 hives now and am entering my 3rd year beekeeping.         
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: dd33 on January 24, 2020, 12:13:38 am
I have the 20v Dewalt stapler Seeb mentioned.  Its a fantastic tool but it is noticeably slower to use than a pneumatic version and the nose trigger thing sits very far forward from where the staples come out.  It takes some getting used to and sometimes if you are stapling very close to the edge of something you can't get the nose to press in at all.

I glue all of my frames and use a Senco 3/8" medium crown stapler with 1 1/2" staples.  The single 3/8" staple seems to hold much better than two 1/4" ones.  I'd say you can move twice as fast with half as many staples but the stapler jams constantly, I need to try a better brand of staple.
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Acebird on January 24, 2020, 09:02:11 am
The single 3/8" staple seems to hold much better than two 1/4" ones.
In theory because most staplers are limited to 1 1/4 length.  In the case of the bottom bar two 1/4 crown staplers will hold to destruction of the bottom bar.  A 1 1/2 long staple will cause more shooting out of the side bar or splitting in grainy wood.  So I would conclude that the 3/8 crown is better for the top bar and 1/4 is better for the bottom bar.  But both are better than brad or finish nailers.
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: sawdstmakr on January 24, 2020, 09:11:32 am
Dd33,
Welcome to Beemaster.
Jim Altmiller
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Seeb on January 24, 2020, 09:55:01 am
I have the 20v Dewalt stapler Seeb mentioned.  Its a fantastic tool but it is noticeably slower to use than a pneumatic version and the nose trigger thing sits very far forward from where the staples come out.  It takes some getting used to and sometimes if you are stapling very close to the edge of something you can't get the nose to press in at all.

I glue all of my frames and use a Senco 3/8" medium crown stapler with 1 1/2" staples.  The single 3/8" staple seems to hold much better than two 1/4" ones.  I'd say you can move twice as fast with half as many staples but the stapler jams constantly, I need to try a better brand of staple.

Thanks for your review DD, and welcome!
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Seeb on January 24, 2020, 02:55:37 pm
Thanks for everyone's help. After a trip to the hardware store and actually looking at the size of the battery operated guns, and finding out my 100 psi air compressor would work with it, I bought a 1/4" pneumatic crown stapler. Yay!

One more question, what length staple do you use for your frames.  In Ace's video it looks like he shoots the same length for top and bottom bars.

Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Acebird on January 24, 2020, 05:55:25 pm
In Ace's video it looks like he shoots the same length for top and bottom bars.
The longest you can get which for me was 1 1/4.
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Seeb on January 24, 2020, 08:23:51 pm
Thanks
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Acebird on January 25, 2020, 09:29:25 am
BTW if you use grooved top bars instead of wedge top bars you can get two staples in the side bar instead of one.  The side bar staple is where the strength is.
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Seeb on January 29, 2020, 02:34:50 pm
BTW if you use grooved top bars instead of wedge top bars you can get two staples in the side bar instead of one.  The side bar staple is where the strength is.

doggonit - I bought wedge top bars because I'm going wax foundation.  I do have another question though, do you staple the piece of wood that holds the foundation to the top bar, and if so what length staple do you use for that?
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: paus on January 29, 2020, 05:13:34 pm
On the only box of wedge frames I ever used I just used minimal pins because the bees will make it strong enough and the pins make the wedge easier to remove than staples,  when the time comes.  By my admission I have very limited experience with wedges, so two things can be determined. 1. I don't speak with experience, 2. I did not like wedges so I go foundationless and use glued waste thin pieces of wood glued in the slot in frame top. I also use skewers to make the comb strong enough to extract.
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Acebird on January 29, 2020, 08:26:06 pm
I do have another question though, do you staple the piece of wood that holds the foundation to the top bar, and if so what length staple do you use for that?
Like you I started with wedge top bars and then quit using them.  All I had was 9/16 long bar staples.  A wire staple would be better because the bar goes 90 degrees to the grain and can split the wedge.  Everybody has their preference but I like grooved bars.  The pitfall of grooved bars is if the supplier sends foundation that is too long.  It is a bit of a PITA trimming wires.  Buy it far in advance of needing it and check it as soon as you get it so you can send it back if it is wrong.
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: cao on January 30, 2020, 12:14:56 am
doggonit - I bought wedge top bars because I'm going wax foundation.  I do have another question though, do you staple the piece of wood that holds the foundation to the top bar, and if so what length staple do you use for that?

I usually use three 1/2" long nails to fasten the wedge in place.  Anything more is overkill.  IMO you want to be able to remove it in one piece when you need to replace old comb with new foundation. 
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Bob Wilson on January 30, 2020, 08:50:40 am
I use a Stanley staple gun for the wedge. A bead of glue, then the flat end of the staple gun fits nice against the wedge, squeeze the handle, and three staples along the wedge tack it nice and strong.
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Seeb on January 31, 2020, 08:58:47 am
thanks everyone, good point cao, and I do have a manual staple gun as well as 1/2" nails, so I'm set. 
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Acebird on January 31, 2020, 09:48:22 am
A bead of glue,
Hot melt or wax is fine but I wouldn't use glue.
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Seeb on January 31, 2020, 10:03:06 am
A bead of glue,
Hot melt or wax is fine but I wouldn't use glue.

Tips like this are great, and that is the reason I find Beemaster invaluable. 
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: jvalentour on January 31, 2020, 10:25:58 am
If you plan to put your frames of honey in an extractor you should probably glue and staple/brad them. 
Pulling heavy honey frames from a hive with any sort of propolis and burr comb will often cause the frames to pull apart. 
If you have any sort of success in beekeeping you will need your frames to last a long time.  Sturdy assembly is a good thing.
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Ben Framed on January 31, 2020, 10:40:31 am
Make a jig for 10 frames at a time, at least 10,  You will be even on time spent after 20 or 30 frames.  They are quick and easy to make.  I have been using titebond III, but I am going to go back to Gorilla glue for a trial.  I have seen jigs that held a box of 100 frames but they must have a dedicated table and are  heavy and hard to move.  I have considered  a 20 or 30 jig, and I wish I had gone that way at first.

X2
Also if you choose pneumatic, you can place a pancake compressor outside and run ypur hose under your door to all but eliminate the unpleasant noise. No less than a 6 gallon of course. I can shoot up to two inches on mine. I like titebond also. Gorilla should be fine.  Food for thought.
Phillip
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Seeb on January 31, 2020, 04:11:34 pm
I will be using all medium 8 frame boxes. My thoughts are to let the bees make their own comb, but will load every other frame in the brood boxes with small cell wax foundation to help keep the bee built comb straight.

There are no plans to harvest honey this year, just get the bees established and learn all I can. The bees will arrive in March.  Next year, if all is going well, I intend to extract one super in my hand-cranked extractor. The goal is to eventually have a minimum of a couple frames of cut comb honey and extract at least 12 quarts for my own use and some for gifts. 

I do have a fame jig coming to do 10 at a time.  Here's a pic of some of my honey harvest and canning from years ago
[ You are not allowed to view attachments ][ You are not allowed to view attachments ]
Title: Re: battery powered brad nailer
Post by: Seeb on January 31, 2020, 04:15:26 pm
"Also if you choose pneumatic, you can place a pancake compressor outside and run ypur hose under your door to all but eliminate the unpleasant noise."

My thoughts exactly Phillip! I did end up buying pneumatic, and titebond glue