I assume you are using a borderlayout of some sort. I don't know how to do it using a border layout because you have to use some sort of buffer components to put between to make them do what you want. I always set my Layout to null and setBounds on all my components. That way they are exactly where I want them. Or course, that is only if you don't allow the user to resize the frames.
I need to allow them to resize. You see the problem is that I can't figure out how to have the Menu in side its own toolbar so its floating but also have a seperate toolbar with buttons onit, but have them one above the other, and not side to side.