Brad nailer - 18 ga. big enough?

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I need some advice about a pneumatic brad nailer. I've never had one, and they look like they would be a real help when the guys on TV use them. Question #1: Is an eighteen gauge nailer what I want? I will be building a bookcase/desk out of plywood (to be painted) and I'll be using the nailer to attach trim around the top, and to put on the backs of the bookcases ( plywood). Not sure just yet if I will use it for the shelves, but I'm pretty sure I won't they will probably be adjustable.
I really know nothing about brad sizes. If I don't buy any air nailer, I will probably use 1 brads to attach the backs (with glue of course) but a pneumatic nailer would make the job a whole lot easier. I think or 5/8 brads of any diameter would be good for the trim but I question if 18 ga. x 1 would be big enough. The piece will be built-in, and screwed to the wall through the plywood back, which is the reason for using the plywood instead of .
Question #2: Some nailers also drive staples. What are staples good for? Upholstery? Insulation?
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For trim, you'd be far better off with a 23-gauge pin nailer. I made the mistake at first of getting one that drove short pins and had to get a Grex that took 1 3/8" pins. I've also used it to attach face frames. (Of course you can use shorter pins with a larger capacity pin nailer.)

I've also seen staplers used on plywood casework that is going to be painted.
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I like mine, have used it for lots of trim (mainly baseboard and carpentry trim). For furniture, the smaller pin drivers are sometimes preferred.

Good for MDF and other fiberboard products. It takes a lot of area (like the full crown of a staple) to hold in those weak materials without tearing out.
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I need some advice about a pneumatic brad nailer. I've never had one, and they look like they would be a real help when the guys on TV use them. Question #1: Is an eighteen gauge nailer what I want? I will be building a bookcase/desk out of plywood (to be painted) and I'll be using the nailer to attach trim around the top, and to put on the backs of the bookcases ( plywood). Not sure just yet if I will use it for the shelves, but I'm pretty sure I won't they will probably be adjustable.
I really know nothing about brad sizes. If I don't buy any air nailer, I will probably use 1 brads to attach the backs (with glue of course) but a pneumatic nailer would make the job a whole lot easier. I think or 5/8 brads of any diameter would be good for the trim but I question if 18 ga. x 1 would be big enough. The piece will be built-in, and screwed to the wall through the plywood back, which is the reason for using the plywood instead of .
Question #2: Some nailers also drive staples. What are staples good for? Upholstery? Insulation?
A brad nailer will be good for the purposes you mentioned but no heavier of a job. Keep in mind that smaller gauge fastenerers, "brads" are more likely to deflect in the longer sizes, with harder woods and knots, and when shooting at an angle. The longest I ever shoot out of my brad nailer is 1.125". I do however thave the luxury of having a finish nailer if I need longer. I would not use a brad nailer for shelves, use it for light applications.
Concerning your question of attaching the 1/2" plywood 1.5" IMHO is way more than you need if you are going to glue also. If you shoot a 1" brad at a slight angle and go the same degree angle in the opposite direction every other nail you are going to lock every thing in nicely. Not much angle is needed, 2 or 3 degrees.
Concerning your method of hanging,,,, I would advise 1/4" in set 3/4". Immediately behind the 1/4" pywood at the top attach a 3/4" piece of wood the width of the cabinet. Attach to the wall through that material. You do not want to be hanging something to the wall by its pack panel alone.
There are few style staplers and they have more holding power than a brad but are unsightly. Use them where they will not be shown. It is common to attach backs with staples.
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I need some advice about a pneumatic brad nailer. I've never had one, and they look like they would be a real help when the guys on TV use them. Question #1: Is an eighteen gauge nailer what I want? I will be building a bookcase/desk out of plywood (to be painted) and I'll be using the nailer to attach trim around the top, and to put on the backs of the bookcases ( plywood). Not sure just yet if I will use it for the shelves, but I'm pretty sure I won't they will probably be adjustable.
I really know nothing about brad sizes. If I don't buy any air nailer, I will probably use 1 brads to attach the backs (with glue of course) but a pneumatic nailer would make the job a whole lot easier. I think or 5/8 brads of any diameter would be good for the trim but I question if 18 ga. x 1 would be big enough. The piece will be built-in, and screwed to the wall through the plywood back, which is the reason for using the plywood instead of .
Question #2: Some nailers also drive staples. What are staples good for? Upholstery? Insulation?
#1. A 23ga pin nailer will leave much smaller holes to fill in small trim pieces. They are mainly to hold things in place "until the glue dries" anyway.
#2. I bought a HF brad/stapler combo and took the POS back as it constantly jammed. I bought separate brad and staple pneumatic guns and haven't had a single jam with either. Staples are good for thin plywood as they provide much better tear out resistance. They're also good for fabric, cardboard, hardboard, screen, hardware cloth. Art
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Pistol_Pete wrote:

I like having the 16 and 18 gauge nailers. They sell these in combo's with the Air Compressors. Porter Cable comes to mind. I do a lot of trim, casement and cabinet work and I use these 2 nailers all the time, I'd be lost without them. Time is Money! Thought about a stapler but haven't really found an application where I'd use it. I don't do a lot with MDF most is ply hardwood and Poplar.
--
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Afterthought, after reading other posts: Buy a brand name like Porter Cable, DeWalt, etc. Avoid HF and the like. In the long run, you will be thankful.
Steve
visit my blog at http://cabgbypasssurgery.com
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On Sun, 8 Aug 2010 19:32:37 -0700, "Steve B"

See refutation in my other post. HF rules. No problems.
The only problem I've encountered with the nailers is that they dont' want to work at under 55psi. I'm willing to bet that most other brands won't, either, so it's not a real problem.
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wrote:

If you like shit, buy it, and use it. I've got no problem with that. Some day you'll work up to quality tools.
Steve
visit my blog at http://cabgbypasssurgery.com
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Actually I have an HF Pin nailer and it works fine. I also have an off brand 18ga. brad nailer and 1/4" crown stapler that I picked up on clearance when Woodworkers Supply went out of business. The only problem I have ever had with either of them is that the brads sometimes jam when loading partial strips. Otherwise they have served 10+ years without a complaint.
Sometimes it isn't the tool, it is what you are using with it. I only use Porter-Cable or Bostich brads, staples, or pins.
Allen
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On 8/9/2010 12:35 AM, Steve B wrote:

If you're making your living with a nailer then perhaps there's some noticeable difference between the expensive brands and Harbor Freight, but for the average hobbyist or homeowner Harbor Freight air tools work fine.
Do you actually own a Harbor Freight nailer or are you trying to justify your own overspending?
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wrote:

I have several HF products, and they are marginal because they don't last as long as brand names. They work, but they don't last, or the mechanisms become sloppy. As for overspending, I have bought new or almost new brand names at a local pawn shop for less than HF wants for theirs. Last thing I bought was a like new Karcher 2650OH 6hp Honda power washer for $50 with 50' of hose and five tips. HEAVY Rockwell 12" table saw $40. Craftsman 1.5 hp router, table, and set of 40 bits, $60. Skil 2 wheel bench grinder $15. All better than any HF comparable. BTW, I got a BRAND new PC pancake compressor, and two nail guns, and a pin nailer, all NEW, for $125 for the set, speaking of nailers.
Overspend? Who, me? Naw.
I did splurge yesterday for a Torx folding set for $8.
Steve
visit my blog at http://cabgbypasssurgery.com
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On 8/9/2010 10:09 AM, Steve B wrote:

Is any of them an air nailer?
> They work, but they don't last, or the mechanisms

After how many cycles?

Whether a Craftsman router is better than Harbor Freight is debatable. But I don't see where you have the same tools from HF and another brand, so on what basis do you compare?

Yeah, clearly you're a cheapskate.
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wrote:

I'm a shopper. I don't buy cheap equipment, and then brag on just the price. Cheap tools aren't good, and good tools aren't cheap. YMMV, and sounds like it does. Shit is shit, no matter the brand name.
Steve
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wrote:

Price is only loosely correlated with good.
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Steve B wrote:

I generally agree with you but there are a lot of exceptions. The HF air nailer is one of them if you are a cabinet maker. Personally, I would rather go to a bar and have a beer than nail the shit out of everything like Norm does on TV. He pins everything after slopping on a bottle of glue. I like to clamp things, using just enough glue. This means I don't really NEED a pin nailer much and will not likely EVER wear out my HF nailer, although it might rust some between uses.
Here is another exception, imo: http://tinyurl.com/2bul22m
This is a HF ratchet clamp. Is it junk, yep, but for a few bucks it's a great deal, particularly since I know exactly what about it is junk, (couple of plastic parts in the handle) and that I can quickly and easily refurbish it so it is not junk, and for the cost of one machine screw and some glue I have a clamp that does everything I expect for next to nothing so I could buy 20 of them for the price of one or two top dollar clamps.
Another exception, on the other end, is Festool stuff. Is it good, I reckon it is, but at what a cost? Do I really need to spend $800 on a Festool Router?
Lastly, if you don't own and use a HF nail gun, you probably shouldn't argue with people that do own one.
--
Jack
It's "We the People" not We the the Congress!
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I paid $1.99 for that same clamp. A couple were no good and had to be exchanged, but for a $1.99 I felt it was worth the risk.
I have both porter cable and HF nailers and staplers. The porter cable are good, but overpriced after using the HF. My HF have performed well.
I am glad I finally took the plunge on them. I kept buying the more expensive nailers and staplers.
On 8/11/2010 2:08 PM, Jack Stein wrote:

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tiredofspam wrote:

Same here, except instead of exchanging the clamp, I took the handle apart to see what broke.
One broke when the cheap ass plastic pin the trigger rotated on broke. I drilled a hole through the handle and the trigger and put in a flat head machine screw. Will not break now and works great.
Next, there is a cheesy plastic rocker that pushes the clamp along the metal bar. This is not supported and will also break. I super glued it back on, and piled up some glue behind the plastic tab to give it additional support. This seems to have worked OK. I keep telling my self to do this to my unbroken clamps to prevent it from breaking to begin with... maybe tomorrow...
Both these issues are designed into the clamp and would have increased the cost of the clamp by about two cents to do it right.
--
Jack
News Flash: Government Motors (GM) fines their top competitor $16 Mil.
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On Mon, 09 Aug 2010 10:47:49 -0400, "J. Clarke"

And if that's the case, he could buy 3 and sell them for $10 each (or donate them somewhere) when they slop out. He's still below the name-brand price tag. 3ea HF nailers and 3ea 5k boxes of nails cost less than a single Bostich or PC nailer.
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On Mon, 9 Aug 2010 07:09:47 -0700, "Steve B"

You realize that all those items were boosted out of the back of someone's garage or truck the night before, don't you? Pawn shops are notorious for hot items, and the prices indicate that in your (LV, right?) area.
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