Brad Nailer

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I've been trying to use an 18 gauge brad nailer to put up some baseboard and door moldings. The nails keep folding over 3/4 of the way into the wood. The trim boards are 3/4" ash, so I'm thinking that the wood is just too dense for the nails. I've tried all different settings on the guns, shorter/longer nails, higher/lower pressure - nothing seems to work.
Would a different gauge nail gun possibly work better? I'm ok with a slightly larger nail head if it will increase my chances of keeping the nails from bending over. Any suggestions?
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It sounds more like a failure of the gun than wood being to hard. I've not ever seen this. I would check the air pressure to be sure it is up to spec (110 psi maybe?).
I've nailed walnut with 18ga brads and never had a problem.

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I have a buddy's well used Bostich gun and a new el-cheapo Harbor Freight model, and both give me the same trouble. Adjusting the air pressure will change how far the nails penetrate the wood- at 110 psi the nails that go straight in are sunk more than 1/8" below the surface of the wood.

I can fire brads into other wood (2x's, pine, cherry, etc) with no problem - it's just the ash that I have problems with.
I'll probably try to borrow a 16 ga nailer and give it a shot.
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Interesting. I've never worked with Ash. I think it is one of the woods they use for baseball bats isn't it? Pretty hard I guess.

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"SonomaProducts.com" wrote:

woods they use for baseball bats isn't it? Pretty hard I guess.
About like white oak except closer grained.
If you want to play with some truly tough stuff, try hickory.
Lew
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In article <ace50dca-d152-451d-aa53-fa70061d5287

Some old book I read used the descriptor "whippy" for ash wood.
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Mike wrote:

Try deep cleaning and oiling the gun. Just slather it on.
Next option is to swap guns. I've got a HF 2" brad nailer that I've never had a problem with. It can be had for as little as $20 when on sale. http://search.harborfreight.com/cpisearch/web/search.do?keyword=brad+nailer
If the above two suggestions don't work - and you've exhausted other possibilities - you can step up to a "finish nailer." http://search.harborfreight.com/cpisearch/web/search.do?keyword=finish+nailer
Hint: Always do a Google for "Harbor Freight Coupon" they almost always have a "20%-off largest item" tucked away somewhere.
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On 08/19/2009 12:32 PM, Mike wrote:

Sounds like a problem with the gun. A thinner nail may not hold as well and may follow the grain a bit when being driven, but there's no excuse for the nail folding over.
My 18 gauge nailer has no problems with 2" nails.
Chris
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Are you holding it firm onto the board ? If it bounces a little or isn't hard on the pressure isn't working in the right angle.
Martin
Mike wrote:

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Could be pore quality brad nails too... But anyway I would probably look at a finish nailer with 15ga or 16ga nails. Thye will hold your trim MUCH better and only a slightly larger nail hole to fill...
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Dean Bielanowski
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Just my 0.02 here of course, but you gun might not cut it. All guns are not alike. Not all of them have the same driving power, no matter how you crank up your compressor. For example, ALL of my Bostitch equipment will out drive my good buddy's Paslode equipment, and until I got rid of them, the Bostitch guns would out drive my other buddy's Senco stuff as well. But then again... my generic 15ga angle nailer would out drive both the Paslode and Senco 15ga nailers.
The gun should have something on it somewhere (or in the book) that tells you how many PSIs you can apply without blowing seals. Checking the pressure is a great start, though.
Properly dried ash (think baseball bats) is very, very hard. If I were you, as mentioned above my first thought would be to move up a size to a 16ga straight nailer which leaves only a tiny bit larger hole when the nail is set. It should handle the ash just fine.
Robert
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Hey, lay off my Senco's. They are beloved in my eyes.
wrote:

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Ooops... sorry! ;^)
You know, the old Sencos were absolute horses, as were Duo Fast guns. I actually have a wide crown Senco roofing stapler that is about 30 years old that works as well as when it was made! It is now relegated to putting on that 3/16" compressed mylar coated exterior insulation. It has probably shot 500,000 staples to this point, and been rebuilt so many times I don't remember.
I got it when coil nails were a fortune for roofing guns, and staples were cheap cheap cheap. When coil nails dropped in price, and staples for roofing became unacceptable we changed to coil nails. Think about this... an average 20 square roof uses between 7200 - 7500 fasteners on a three tab installation. We hit a string of 25 - 30 square houses during a hail storm bonanza, and that gun probably shot down about 35 - 40 squares a week for about 8 - 10 months, without a rebuild.
Although it has only worked that hard off and on, it has been on duty for 30 years. I don't have another gun that has made it this far. They told me the last time I had seals put in it that the very next hard part that broke would be the end of the gun. They haven't made "The Mustang" in 15 years and their old boneyard is now empty.
I even remember when Senco made the best framer and roofing nailers around.
I think the only thing that save Bostitch from doom was the fact that after they moved their manufacturing overseas, their quality was so bad on their big guns that they moved the big gun manufacture back here. As little as a couple of years ago some of the big guns (framers, coil guns, etc.,) were made in the USA. I think now they are mixed in manufacture and part source.
Ahhhh.... the old days. ALL the nail guns were good guns when they were made in the USA.
I'm betting your nailers have a few road miles and years on them, no?
Robert
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*sniff* <wiping tear from eye>
Ah hope when the old gal dies, you give 'er a proper burial.
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On Aug 21, 12:37 am, "Lee Michaels"

Go ahead... laugh you insensitive bastard!
Just kiddin'.
You would laugh at this, though. I have an old Milwaukee saw that I bought in '76. It was the only heavy duty saw I had for a long time (the old silver Rockwells didn't cut really hard job site use) and I used it for everything from cutting forms for concrete to cutting fine paneling.
Later when I started a framing business, I used it when I framed houses, and it cut miles of decking, 2x materials, siding, etc. This was before premade wall sections, so it cut all the framing members as well. That saw literally supported me as my sole cutter for a couple of years, along with my first Milwaukee 3/8" VS drill purchased along the same time.
The saw cannot be rebuilt again. There are no more parts. HOWEVER.... I never forget an old friend or a good business partner. It is on a special shelf in the shop with its bent shoe, broken trigger and frayed cord to remind me that it was the only real hard working tool I had when I started my own business.
It also reminds me to remember how much you can do with a lot less than you think. It inspires me.
It was forced into retirement against its will about ten years ago when the cord (literally) caught fire behind the case handle and it shocked the living crap out of me.
I won't get rid of it, though. In a strange way, I like having it around. Go figure.
Robert
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That's a lesson that can only be learned after a long apprenticeship or by having grown up during the Great Depression.
Lew
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I know the feeling. I have a lucky tape measure.
A total freak accident involving klutzes in my shop without my permission during a difficult tablesaw cut resulted in a horendous kickback with a piece of very sharp wood. It would have impaled me for sure. It hit my tape measure on my belt. It scored the Stanley label and put a nice little dent across the face of the tape measure. Everytime I put that thing on my belt, it feels a little safer for me.
It is getting old and the tape is worn. But it feels good just to wear it.
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Mike wrote:

I'm with Robert ... some guns do, some don't. Add a hardwood like ash and thinner fastener you get what you got. Go to a 16 gauge finish nailer and you should solve the problem.
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That's not enough gun in my opinion.
A 15 gauge shooting 2.5" nails are what you need for baseboard.
Mike wrote:

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No the wood is not too dense, I shoot 23 gauge pins 1-3/8" into harder woods.

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