Is there a FAQ somewhere that explains the various types of fasteners and
terms? I am browsing around for air staplers and nailers and am perplexed
by the choices...
For example, what is the difference between a "L" nail and a "T" nail?
Some of the nailers or staplers says they can shot say so many shots per
second. I wonder when this is applicable? I would assume most carpentry
usage is one nail at a time somewhat precise where you want it? When will
you shoot so many nails or staples a second? Is this for attaching oil
painting on portrait frames?
Some staplers and nailers that can do up to 2" says the 2" depth is "FOR
SOFT WOOD ONLY". What does it mean by "soft wood". Is regular 2x4 wood
studs soft wood? I would assume so. What about pressure treated 2x4 or
2x6? Those are still considered soft wood right? I assume soft wood in
this context mean not hard wood, not oak or cherry - not to be used to nail
hard wood flooring or baseboard? or shallower depths is ok for hardwood?
Is it better to use a staple or nail to attach baseboards? If my baseboards
are to be stained and not painted?
I assume there are websites with these answers already but I searched and
couldn't find any relevant ones.
First, I don't know of any specific FAQ. Most major manufacturers
have good overviews of products and what each is intended for. I'd
recommend looking at Bostitch, Senco, Hitachi, Paslode, etc., for
I have to admit I've don't recall ever seeing "L" or "T" in a
pneumatic nail so if have a link to specifics, would go look and see
what it might be.
"Soft" in the context of a stapler means physically soft, not the
distinction of hard/soft as deciduous/evergreen as is used for
categorizing lumber. Obviously, it's pretty doggone tough to expect
to fully seat a 2" or longer staple in a solid piece of dry oak
whereas the same tool could likely drive and sink the same fastener in
a fresh tubafor.
As for the specific application of baseboard, if you're thinking of
stain- as opposed to paint-grade, you don't want a stapler at all to
have to try to finish over the crown. There you would want a finish
nailer and an equivalent nail size to what you would use if driving by
There's rarely any need for rapid-fire; the uses would mostly be for
things like upholstery or similar tacking jobs, not finish carpentry
or cabinetry. Roofing nailers are often multi-/contact-trigger
optional for similar reasons. Some framers have the capability but I
would recommend against them for the average a.h.r reader/homeowner/
diy-er as they can be quite dangerous if inexperienced and rarely is
the speed of the professional framer warranted other than for the pro
making a living that way.
HTH, more detail required, repost w/ specific questions.
OK, I did look them up--they're for extra holding power w/ the
increased head area. Definitely _not_ what you want for finish work,
particularly if you're planning on not painting over it. They would
leave as messy/large a hole to fill as a staple when finishing.
I've never personally felt a need for them -- for underlayment, etc.,
I'd simply use a FRH ring-shank and set pressure to leave them
slightly below surface. But, they would certainly work for the
purposes outlined by the manufacturers but definitely stick to either
brads or conventional finish nails for finish work.
Wow! that's a ton of questions!
Is a start on answering some of them, esp L vs T nails...they show
some pretty specialized fasteners
Cyclic rate is important is production situations; like nailing off
shear walls or sub-floors or any other situation where the operator
does not want to be waiting on the tool. Like pallet building using
When they mention softwood vs hardwood, they are concerned with the
driving force / driving capacity of the tool / fastener combination.
Some guns can drive longer fasteners but only into "softer"
materials. One can crank up the pressure but there are limits.
Framing timbers are typically softwoods but 80 year old DF (or cedar)
old growth, tight growth rings can be quite "hard" and refuse nails &
brads unless you max out the pressure.
Oak flooring (production work / large areas) should be done with
flooring tools & special fasteners....hand driven or air driven.
I just R&R'd a small section of oak flooring in a closet to "fix" an
80 year old sub floor anomaly....... instead of busting out my hand
driven flooring nailer for 36" of flooring, I used a Paslode 16 gage
brad nailer. Not exactly the right but it was in a closet and not
even the traffic area.
A good 16 (.062) gage brad nailer is fine for base. A true finish
nailer 15 gage (.072) might be a little better choice. I have a PC
18 gage & a Paslode 16 gage and they seem to cover the range.
I could never justify getting a 15 gage true finish nailer also plus
my inventory of 16 gage SS brads is a further block to going with 15
I've used the 16 for oak base. The brad fires through the base,
through the plaster or drywall and into the studs, lath or bottom
plate. Never had a problem even with 2" brads. But they're typcially
only going through 9/16 or 5/8 of oak and the rest is "softer"
For oak base shoe over oak base, I use 18 gage brads but usually
they're only about an inch or so long. No driving problems.
For base I use the smallest fastener diameter that I think will do
the job...smaller holes hide better and smaller brads are less likely
to split the wood. My buddy has a 23 gage micro pinner, often one
cannot even see the holes depending on grain or finish.
I would recommend against staples for any kind of finish work. They
leave a pretty nasty surface.
Unless it's extremely old, any new PT will still be quite soft
compared to, say, oak. Even dried PT SYP isn't the density of old,
virgin-growth SYP that is legendary as it is harvested from very fast-
growing young trees and simply doesn't have the narrow growth rings of
old-forest timber. It's harder than spruce and the other common
"whitewoods", granted, but it ("it" being PT) won't be a challenge for
a pneumatic gun--it's simply too new if it's PT and since OP is doing
major renovation/construction, he's looking more at brand-new than
really old, anyway.
Given an older (60+, say) structure, I'd agree it could be an issue...
Just yesterday I was cobbling together a PT plinth for a cabinet in my shop.
There were two pieces I could *NOT* get a nail through with a 26 oz. hammer.
Had to drill holes. Hard as a rock SYP still exists.
I forgot whether you had a compressor or not.
If not, consider a Paslode gas operated gun.
I was not a big fan of them but recently my buddy got one and now I'm
sold on them.
My crappy 16 gage air driven brad nailer recently failed and I used
his Paslode a bunch.
You can get them on ebay for under $200.
No compressor, no hose.
I have rented a Paslode finish nailer once from a big box store for
baseboards and was happy with them. I will keep that in mind.
No I do not have a compressor but I figure I would need one sooner or later.
Now I am reading the pros and cons of clipped head nailer versus round head
nailer. Everyone seems to say round head is better, but reading Senco's web
site they said:
Q: What are the pros and cons of clipped head and full round head nails?
A: The clipped vs. full round head (FRH) nail question:
1) Clip heads were the original type of collated nail for air tools, and
still remains popular in most parts of the USA.
2) FRH nails came on the scene in the late '80s as a popular product in the
earthquake/hurricane markets (SoCal-Fla). In these markets, discussions
about possible code changes led many builders to change from the clip head
to the FRH nail. Building inspectors started to discriminate against the use
of the clipped head nail. They felt the FRH would help prevent an overdrive
into shear wall (structural sheathing).
3) Today, it seems the FRH nails are the dominant format on the West Coast,
Florida and the South Atlantic regions. Again, FRH is the product of choice
in the earthquake and hurricane prone markets.
4) Independent lab research results yield no significant difference in
performance between both types.
5) FRH nails come in strip or coil format. The FRH strips are collated with
a plastic material; the coils are collated with wire. Clipped head nails are
only available in a strip format and are collated with paper strips and
adhesive. The FRH strips will leave some plastic debris on your job site,
and some plastic chunks embedded into your work surface trapped by the nail
head (flagging). The paper-collated clipped heads are a bit cleaner, with
some flagging, but most of the paper seems to disappear.
6) The clipped head tools have a shorter magazine track because the nails
are right next to each other. The FRH tools feature a longer magazine track,
which protrudes to the rear of the tool body. Some users prefer the shorter
magazines for the maneuverability they offer, and some users like the longer
magazine tools for the exceptional balance.
Our advice: Buy the format that is popular in your market, so it's easy to
buy the nails where and when you need them. Our dealers tend to stock only
the popular format for the specific market you are in, so if you buck the
trend, you might have difficulties finding the nails designed for your tool.
So anyone has experience of one versus the other? Is a clipped head hard to
pull out if one misfired?
I read and agree with all their points except the point #4.......
I actually did shear wall tests; some walls built with FRH's, some
with clipped heads & some with finish / casing nails.
Yes, the results differed only slighty BUT (IMO) the cyclic test
protocol we used tended to de-emphasize head behavior and cause nail
shank behavior to dominate.
I have an NR83A FRH nailer, I like it
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