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View crowlader's profile

Finish Nailer for the Non-Professional

by crowlader
posted 07-18-2017 05:58 PM


39 replies so far

View buckbuster31's profile

buckbuster31

256 posts in 849 days


#1 posted 07-18-2017 06:09 PM

I have an 18 ga hitachi. its awesome for the limited use that I actually do use it. I typically don’t fire too many nails in my furniture pieces, but when there is a need then I definitely do it.

View hotbyte's profile

hotbyte

1000 posts in 3309 days


#2 posted 07-18-2017 06:17 PM

Aren’t the angled finish nailers heavier/thicker gauge nails? So, type would depend on need.

View Loren's profile

Loren

10477 posts in 3981 days


#3 posted 07-18-2017 06:33 PM

For furniture I mostly use an 18 ga. nailer
and a micro-pinner that shoots 23 ga. nails.

For carpentry I have a 15 ga. Hitachi angled
nailer but I rarely use that in the shop unless
I’m building a jig with it or something like
that. It’s just kind of overkill for most
shop woodworking where things are glued
together. When using glue 18 ga. nails
hold parts in place quite well.

A 1/4” crown stapler is most useful in the
shop. The tines of the staples tend to fan
out when fired so there’s a bit of a dovetail
effect that makes for strong holding. I
use that for cabinet backs, making plywood
boxes, shop drawers and jigs.

I’ve read reports that the Harbor Freight
18 ga. nailers work well, hold up, and they
are pretty cheap.

In terms of name brands the ones I have
used are Hitachi, Bostitch and Porter Cable.
All work well. There are weight and kickback
differences with the heavier nailers and some
have convenience features like air blowers
and quick-clearing noses for jams. I’ve never
had many issues with nailer jamming however.
I think nailer design is pretty much mature
at this point and all the brands are reliable.

View jmartel's profile

jmartel

8414 posts in 2483 days


#4 posted 07-18-2017 07:14 PM

Harbor Freight. Their air nailers are actually quite good and only like $20. Just put a couple drops of air tool oil in the coupling before you connect the hose to help it run smoothly.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Dustin's profile

Dustin

686 posts in 1074 days


#5 posted 07-18-2017 07:22 PM



Harbor Freight. Their air nailers are actually quite good and only like $20. Just put a couple drops of air tool oil in the coupling before you connect the hose to help it run smoothly.

- jmartel

Bingo. Just picked up a crown stapler from them a few weeks back. Wondering how I got along with out one for so long. Love it!

-- "Ladies, if your husband says he'll get to it, he'll get to it. No need to remind him about it every 6 months."

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

5899 posts in 3147 days


#6 posted 07-18-2017 07:27 PM

I use my 18 gauge most often, but mostly for jigs and fixtures.
A 23 gauge pin nailer is handy for small or delicate trim. I use the pinner to secure glass stops on doors.

Both of mine are Porter Cable. I have not been happy with Bostitch or HF guns.
Very satisfied with P.C. nailers. I currently have 5 of them.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

5190 posts in 4294 days


#7 posted 07-18-2017 07:39 PM

PC 16 and 18 ga. here. Have a 23 as well.
My Pcs are old models made in Jackson, TN.
Have done 3 homes with them over 15 yrs. Rebuild for all the gaskets etc.
Well oiled, and I can’t complain.
PC pancake comp. that is still working as new.
Remember that I said old stock made in US.
Bill

-- [email protected]ics.us

View Ted78's profile

Ted78

401 posts in 2333 days


#8 posted 07-18-2017 07:39 PM

I’ll vouch for the harbor freight brad nailer. I use it for trim and tacking things together while the glue dries. Very inexpensive, and it even came with a second plunger but the first ones seems to be holding up just fine so far. I imagine I would laughed out the door in a professional shop, but for what I do it’s perfect.

-- Ted

View hotbyte's profile

hotbyte

1000 posts in 3309 days


#9 posted 07-18-2017 08:03 PM

My 18 ga finish nailer and framing nailer are Paslode brand and probably 20 yrs old. I recently did a rebuild on them using kits I ordered online.

I purchased HF wide and crown staplers. The wide stapler had a horrible misfire. The crown works great except if held too far upside down, the safety nose piece doesn’t engage sometime. Of course, I bought it to staple strips of luan on my ceiling to cover OSB seams.

I picked up a PC wide stapler and 18ga brad nailer. Both of those work great.

View crowlader's profile

crowlader

21 posts in 646 days


#10 posted 07-18-2017 08:21 PM



Aren t the angled finish nailers heavier/thicker gauge nails? So, type would depend on need.

- hotbyte

You’re right, they are heavier gauge. I guess I was asking for opinions on what I need. Essentially I would hold the wood down with the nail while the glue dries.

-- Conner, Georgia

View hotbyte's profile

hotbyte

1000 posts in 3309 days


#11 posted 07-18-2017 08:30 PM

A 23ga pin nailer might do you, then. If you need larger nails than that to hold while glue dries, clamps or other means of holding might be best.

View Desert_Woodworker's profile

Desert_Woodworker

1742 posts in 1548 days


#12 posted 07-18-2017 08:41 PM

WEN from Amazon similar to the HFreight

-- Desert_Woodworker

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1382 posts in 3094 days


#13 posted 07-18-2017 11:00 PM

Another plus for the Harbor Freight pin nailer!

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

609 posts in 1803 days


#14 posted 07-19-2017 12:23 AM



A 23ga pin nailer might do you, then. If you need larger nails than that to hold while glue dries, clamps or other means of holding might be best.

- hotbyte

I agree with this in theory but my advice would be an 18ga narrow crown stapler for two reasons:

1. The 23ga pins are actually pretty spendy. And 23-ga pinners themselves are really costly for decent quality. The Grex P650L is $290-$300, for example.

2. A 18-ga narrow crown stapler does double-duty because it can be used to tack things together for gluing, but is also very handy when doing things like stapling 1/4” ply to the back of a cabinet or book shelf for example.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View Rich's profile

Rich

4276 posts in 923 days


#15 posted 07-19-2017 12:48 AM


I agree with this in theory but my advice would be an 18ga narrow crown stapler for two reasons:

1. The 23ga pins are actually pretty spendy. And 23-ga pinners themselves are really costly for decent quality. The Grex P650L is $290-$300, for example.

2. A 18-ga narrow crown stapler does double-duty because it can be used to tack things together for gluing, but is also very handy when doing things like stapling 1/4” ply to the back of a cabinet or book shelf for example.

- William Shelley

I don’t call $15 to $20 for a box of 10,000 spendy. My Hitachi pin nailer was $89, and while it’s limited to 1-3/8” pins, I would use my 18 ga brad nailer for anything longer than that anyway. The Hitachi works like a champ.

The narrow crown stapler is great for fastening where it won’t show, but the beauty of a pin nailer is that the hole is almost imperceptible, allowing trim to be pinned in place while glue dries.

I have them all, but if I was just starting out, it’d be a toss up between an 18 ga brad nailer and a 23 ga pin nailer.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

447 posts in 922 days


#16 posted 07-19-2017 01:19 AM

Tack while gluing . . .

How do you get the pin out after the glue is set?

This is like the CNC thread – is airnailing cabinet making?

Personally I don’t use nailers as they don’t work on really hard hardwoods like jatoba, purpleheart, ebony and the like.

M

View SignWave's profile

SignWave

472 posts in 3369 days


#17 posted 07-19-2017 01:21 AM

I have the HF 23ga pin nailer and it works flawlessly. It’s very useful for glue-ups.

-- Barry, http://BarrysWorkshop.com/

View hotbyte's profile

hotbyte

1000 posts in 3309 days


#18 posted 07-19-2017 01:28 AM

It is cabinet making but using an air nailer might not be real nailing. ;-)


Tack while gluing . . .

How do you get the pin out after the glue is set?

This is like the CNC thread – is airnailing cabinet making?

Personally I don t use nailers as they don t work on really hard hardwoods like jatoba, purpleheart, ebony and the like.

M

- Madmark2


View Rich's profile

Rich

4276 posts in 923 days


#19 posted 07-19-2017 01:29 AM



Tack while gluing . . .

How do you get the pin out after the glue is set?

This is like the CNC thread – is airnailing cabinet making?

Personally I don t use nailers as they don t work on really hard hardwoods like jatoba, purpleheart, ebony and the like.

- Madmark2

Rubbish. They work on any wood, and why would you want to take the pin out after the glue is set? Clearly you don’t use them — because you don’t know what you’re talking about.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View jmalcolm001's profile

jmalcolm001

19 posts in 1085 days


#20 posted 07-19-2017 03:11 AM

If you are just going to use the nailer for tacking while the glue dries, take back the compressor and buy a cordless brad nailer or narrow crown stapler. You can get a Ryobi 18 gauge cordless brad nailer for about $100 or $150 with battery, and it can drive up to 2 inch 18 gauge brad nails. It is a lot more convenient than cranking up the compressor each time you want to drive a few tacking nails!!

-- Jerry

View builtinbkyn's profile

builtinbkyn

2927 posts in 1274 days


#21 posted 07-19-2017 03:48 AM

Porter Cable and Dewalt nailers for me, though I have a few others as well. PC pin nailer is reliable and has never given me issues.

-- Bill, Yo!......in Brooklyn & Steel City :)

View Madmark2's profile

Madmark2

447 posts in 922 days


#22 posted 07-19-2017 04:15 AM

JMalcolm: Let me know how it works on a chunk of jatoba (janka 2800+) and get back to me. Jatoba cannot be nailed with air or otherwise. If you try really hard it’ll split. If tapped with a machine screw thread (1/4-20) it holds like cast iron.

Have you actually used any type of pinner/nailer on jatoba (AKA Brazilian Cherry)? If no, then you know not of what you speak.

M

View AlaskaGuy's profile

AlaskaGuy

5199 posts in 2642 days


#23 posted 07-19-2017 04:38 AM

I just went out to the shop and shot a bunch of 23 gauge pin nails into some 7l8 thick blood wood (janka scale 2900). Not a problem in the least. If you think this is BS I can make a video tomorrow.

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View jimintx's profile

jimintx

910 posts in 1918 days


#24 posted 07-19-2017 04:46 AM

My PC guns include a 23g pin nailer and the 18g finish gun. They’ve surely worked great in m shop.

-- Jim, Houston, TX

View jmalcolm001's profile

jmalcolm001

19 posts in 1085 days


#25 posted 07-20-2017 02:52 AM

Madmark2: If you spent more time reading the original question instead of trying to bad-mouth other participants, you might be able to contribute something useful to the discussion. In his original question, the OR stated that he had been renting a nailer from Home Depot to tack his wood, and since according to you, nailers can’t be used on “really hard woods”, his question obviously didn’t not concern really hard woods. So your two snide responses were not relevant to this discussion. In answer to your question to me, no, I have never tried to put a brad nail into jatoba, but based on what AlaskaGuy says, it is questionable whether you have either.

-- Jerry

View Planeman40's profile

Planeman40

1382 posts in 3094 days


#26 posted 07-20-2017 02:14 PM

How do you get the pin out after the glue is set?

There is a trick (isn’t there always?). You use what is known as a “tack strip” which is a thin (3/16” to 1/4”) strip of wood laid on the surface to nail through. When you want to remove the small nails you rip away the thin strip of wood and the nail heads will be high enough so you can pull them out. Another trick used from my homebuilt airplane days. : )

-- Always remember: It is a mathematical certainty that half the people in this country are below average in intelligence!

View crowlader's profile

crowlader

21 posts in 646 days


#27 posted 09-08-2017 01:11 PM

You’re support didn’t go unnoticed, and it was greatly appreciated. I wanted to give you all an update on what happened. I ended up getting a porter cable pancake air compressor and a Dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer and I’m extremely satisfied with my purchase. I’ve used for making a couple of headboards, barn doors and odd jobs around my shop (more like an open space under my house).

-- Conner, Georgia

View Rich's profile

Rich

4276 posts in 923 days


#28 posted 09-08-2017 02:05 PM



You re support didn t go unnoticed, and it was greatly appreciated. I wanted to give you all an update on what happened. I ended up getting a porter cable pancake air compressor and a Dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer and I m extremely satisfied with my purchase. I ve used for making a couple of headboards, barn doors and odd jobs around my shop (more like an open space under my house).

- crowlader

That’s an excellent choice for an all-round nailer.

And, since this thread became active again, regarding the nonsense that 23ga pins won’t work in hard woods, I was working with some ipe a couple of weeks ago. Remembering that claim from this thread, decided to shoot some pins in a piece of scrap. Worked without a hitch, and ipe is Janka 3500, so I think we can put that bogus claim to rest.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View crowlader's profile

crowlader

21 posts in 646 days


#29 posted 09-08-2017 02:24 PM


You re support didn t go unnoticed, and it was greatly appreciated. I wanted to give you all an update on what happened. I ended up getting a porter cable pancake air compressor and a Dewalt 18 gauge brad nailer and I m extremely satisfied with my purchase. I ve used for making a couple of headboards, barn doors and odd jobs around my shop (more like an open space under my house).

- crowlader

That s an excellent choice for an all-round nailer.

And, since this thread became active again, regarding the nonsense that 23ga pins won t work in hard woods, I was working with some ipe a couple of weeks ago. Remembering that claim from this thread, decided to shoot some pins in a piece of scrap. Worked without a hitch, and ipe is Janka 3500, so I think we can put that bogus claim to rest.

- RichTaylor

That’s good to know. I have not worked with hardwoods yet but it’s a relief to know I wont have to buy anything heavier when I do. Thanks for the input!

-- Conner, Georgia

View scrubs's profile

scrubs

46 posts in 594 days


#30 posted 09-08-2017 09:06 PM

I blew up a few 18ga nailers and recently bought the DeWalt one (impulse by haha). I haven’t shot a ton of nails with it but it’s been great so far and the quick release front to clear jammed nails is a godsend. So far I like it a lot.

I also have a Porter Cable 23ga brad nailer I’ve used forever. I use it all the time for trim etc. It’s a great little gun, I haven’t had a problem with it shooting thru hardwood or anything as stated above.

-- It all seems like a good idea at some point...

View Ripper70's profile

Ripper70

1259 posts in 1242 days


#31 posted 09-08-2017 09:47 PM

I purchased one of the NuMax 23 Gauge Pinners a while ago after reading a few good reviews and figuring it was only going to cost me $26 bucks. Mine has performed flawlessly, FWIW.

-- "You know, I'm such a great driver, it's incomprehensible that they took my license away." --Vince Ricardo

View Kirk650's profile

Kirk650

619 posts in 1082 days


#32 posted 09-08-2017 09:57 PM

I have, and use, Bostich 16 and 18 gauge nailers, a Bostich narrow crown stapler, and a PC 23 gauge pin nailer. The 16 gauge gets the most use, followed by the pin nailer. If I was going to buy another pin nailer, I think there are some that will do the headless pins and also do the pins that have a slight head (I forget the terminology). I’d go for the one that does both.

As long as I have the air pressure high enough, or the nailer properly adjusted, I haven’t yet seen a wood that they won’t set the head deep enough.

Kirk

View scrubs's profile

scrubs

46 posts in 594 days


#33 posted 09-09-2017 06:49 AM

I blew up 2 Bostich 18ga nailers, never again. lol :)

-- It all seems like a good idea at some point...

View Robert's profile

Robert

3350 posts in 1814 days


#34 posted 09-09-2017 02:20 PM

A couple years ago I bought a pin/18ga combo set Husky from HD for $50.

I thought what have I got to lose? They work great.

-- Everything is a prototype thats why its one of a kind!!

View William Shelley's profile

William Shelley

609 posts in 1803 days


#35 posted 09-09-2017 02:25 PM

Harbor freight has really good prices on air tools. If you aren’t sure what you want to use long-term, you can pick up a couple nailguns at HF for almost nothing, use (and abuse) them, get a feel for what fits your workflow the best, and then buy a better gun later.

I will point out that Bostich uses proprietary fasteners on some of their guns, so I will always avoid Bostich on principle.

-- Woodworking from an engineer's perspective

View Rich's profile

Rich

4276 posts in 923 days


#36 posted 09-09-2017 02:40 PM

It’s always interesting how some folks love a tool and it doesn’t work for others. My Bostich 18ga was the first nail gun I bought 35 years ago and it’s still going strong. Even in the AZ heat, the o-rings are still hanging in there. The palm nailer was another story.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View runswithscissors's profile

runswithscissors

3007 posts in 2358 days


#37 posted 09-12-2017 05:19 AM

Not wanting to drag the compressor down into the basement, I bought Ryobi’s airless (18 v) stapler to put up ceiling panels. It worked so well that I went back to HD and got the 18 gauge nailer as well. Haven’t had a jam with either one yet.

The downside is that they are much heavier than the air guns. And a little slower. But I can live with that for the convenience. And it’s amazing how many fasteners you can drive on one charged up 18 volt battery.

One reason to use a pin nailer in gluing up, even if you intend to clamp, is that they prevent the work from skidding around in the slippery glue. And provided they are sufficiently buried, I don’t bother to remove them.

-- I admit to being an adrenaline junky; fortunately, I'm very easily frightened

View BillyDoubleU's profile

BillyDoubleU

152 posts in 774 days


#38 posted 09-16-2017 03:55 AM

Ridgid 18ga brad nailer has been a work horse for me along with the 1/2gal HDX compressor.

-- "But I’ve bought a big bat. I’m all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!” ~ Dr. Seuss

View msinc's profile

msinc

567 posts in 837 days


#39 posted 09-16-2017 05:27 AM

I have a Bostitch brad nailer, a DeWalt finish nailer and a Paslode crown stapler. I have had real good luck with all three, but I might not be using them for the exact same thing as others. Loren mentioned above the holding power of the crown stapler…if you don’t think he is right just staple two boards together and try to pull them apart.
One thing I do when using the brad or finish nailers is to install one of those little paint gun regulators inline so I can set the air pressure to just what I need to drive the nail or brad flush. Too little and it don’t go all the way, too much air and it slams the nail so hard that the driver leaves a big, deep gunched up spot over the nail head. I guess it’s not a big deal if you can always hide the nail holes…but sometimes you just cannot.

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