Just got my order of woodenware from Western Bee (shipping to Alaska is hideously expensive!!!). The boxes are going together pretty smoothly - I've only broken one out of 15 so far. However, the frames, I can see are going to drive me batty.
Here's the situation: I have 600 frames to assemble, this season. I'm going foundationless, so I'm not worried about embedding and all that nonsense. The woodenware did not come with nails or instructions. Advice on assembly I have been able to find suggest A) nail across the frame through the side-bars instead of down/up through top/bottom bars and B) use a frame assembly jig.
Crux of problem: What size nails to use and how do I find them in the quantities I'll need? My local hardware store has bulk nails in narrow-and-long or fat-and-short but not narrow-and-short. Also, how do I sideways nail the frames with a jig (that I will have to construct because I refuse to pay for such a thing). It appears they are designed to nail the frames from top/bottom down/up, but this is entirely contrary to popular advice.
Argh! I am confused.
Here is what I do.... I have made my own assembly jig. Just look at the links given earlier for a plan. It helps alot.
When I am building them in the jig, first of all I glue everything. Then, I put the first nail down through the top bar or bottom bar, like you said, this is easily done in the jig. This will hold everything together. Then when I take them out of the jig, I shoot one more nail at each corner, from the side bar into the top bar, and bottom bar. So to answer your question, nail both up/down, and sideways.
As far as nails, with that many to make, I would invest in a nailer. If you don't have an air compressor, another alternative is an electric brad nailer. I have an Arrow ET200. It costs about $60 dollars, and works great. There are other less expensive ones also, but I'm not sure how well they work. Anyway, with this type of nailer, you buy packs of brad nails that are designed to load into them. I use 18 guage, and 1'' long for frames. It works like the air nailers, just aim, hold it firmly against the wood, and pull the trigger.
If you want to nail by hand, you should ask the hardware store for "wire brads". These are the short and narrow nails you are looking for. 8 per frame x 600 frames = 4800 nails. Hmmm, I would definately get the nailer if you can swing it. LOL