What actually holds a frame together?

October 9, 2015 - 1 minute read

What actually holds your frame together? Is it the glue or the nails/v-nails?
Wood Glue and Frame - Custom Framing - Rose City Framemakers - Madison NJ
It’s actually the glue that holds all of the strength. By coating one miter of a corner with a good wood glue and joining the frame in a basic vise, you will end up with a very strong corner bond. Since picture frames are not physically active, they will last a very long time by only using this technique. Framers have added nails and v-nails (those v shaped staples that you see on the bottom of the frame in the corners) to hold the two pieces in place while the glue dries.
V Nails - Custom Framing - Rose City Framemakers - Madison NJ
You can actually hang a framed piece on the wall with glass and just glued corners and it will last a long time, granted there isn’t any trauma to the piece (falling, earthquakes, footballs, etc.). However, if you hang the same frame with just nails or v-nails, you will notice the separation of the corner joint over a period of time. If you were to take this “only nailed” frame off of your artwork and tried to break the corners, it would all fall apart. If the corners are glued, you would have to smack them to break the glue bond.