Need a Cheap Nailer For Toe-Nailing

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It is a Senco FinishPro-18 brad nailer that comes with a small air compressor (1 hp, 1 gal).
I have just tried toe-nailing. This time I press the nailing head firmly against the wood at 45-degree before I hit the trigger. But the result is the same. The nail is sticking out by 1/16" (on soft wood like pine) (or 1/8" in dense wood like MDF). I would much rather that it was counter-sunk or flush with the surface.
And I have adjusted the depth-of-drive to the maximum depth.
I have the feeling that the air compressor may not be up to the task. It automatically cuts off at 120 PSI and there is nothing I can do to adjust it upward. What's the PSI that your air compressor is running at when you toe-nail a short brad nail into soft wood like pine or dense wood?
Thanks for any follow-up info in advance.
Jay Chan
Dave Jackson wrote:

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I'm not sure of the exact pressure that they recommend but I doubt if they recommend running it at that high of pressure. 85 to 100 psi would be more normal. Before turning it up that high, read the manual. Sever damage can result at to high a pressure.

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On 7 Dec 2005 20:01:09 -0800, with neither quill nor qualm, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com quickly quoth:

Jay, if you simply must use toenailing, try a shorter brad and a few more brads per project. Also think about switching to pocket screws instead, if your project wood thickness could support it.
If you're concerned with the compressor, add a 5-gallon storage tank near the nailer. Did you buy the PC0947 kit? That noisy little bastid of a 1hp compressor should easily handle a nailer at full speed.
One last question: Have you tried any other brands of nails? Perhaps one with a sharper tip would work better. If you have a belt sander, you can see if a sharper tip on a strip of existing nails helps. I use one to pare down my 1-1/4" brads for my 1-3/16" gun. (Newbie mistake, last minute purchase; luckily only a 1k box. :) <big sigh>
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I was recently nailing quarter round at an angle into subflooring below. The wood was 3/4 birch which was a hard wood, using campbell hausfield 2 inch 18 ga nailer and a harbor freight 2 1/2" 16 ga finish nailer, using a tankless craftsman compressor at 100 psi and had no trouble at all with nailing it with proper countersink. Sounds like something is wrong with your setup. Could you borrow a compressor or go back to the store from which you bought it and ask them. I often have trouble with too much depth not too little.
MBR
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gadgetman wrote:

But nailing a quarter round is different from toe-nailing. Yes, I have nailed quarter round before in a finishing-a-basement project; I know how this is being done. When I nail a quarter round, I always can maintain the contact between the nailer head and the wood surface. But this is not so with toe-nailing. When I toe-nailing, the angle of toe-nailing and the nailer head assembly prevent me from having a good contact. There is always a gap. And I believe this is the problem.
Jay Chan
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I'm sure this isn't what you want to hear but the nailer I use is cheap, non-adjustable and always leaves the brads at least 1/4" proud under any nailing situation. My quick and easy remedy was a punch and a tack hammer. Instant countersinking!
FoggyTown
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120 PSI is too much for a brad gun. I generally use around 100-110 PSI for toe nailing studs with a framer gun. With my Bostich 16 ga I usually have the problem of having the nail go too deep at around 90 PSI in softwoods/ply/mdf. Harder wood WILL add significant resistance though. Last thoughts are: 1. Contact Senco/return gun if under warranty. Might have bum gun. 2. You may have better success with a 16 ga gun. I think the 18 ga guns are great for intricate stuff, but my 16 ga is the workhorse. My $.02 Report back with yer results!
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Have you tried a hammer?
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Thanks for everyone who has replied.
Seem like the small air compressor is not the one that causes me trouble when I try to toe-nail because 120 PSI should be enough.
I don't remember what size nails that I used. I believe it is one size above the shortest one. I will check it out when I get back home, and I will try toe-nailing with the shortest nails; unfortunately, I have a feeling that this is not practical because the shortest nails will not have enough holding power to hold the horizontal and vertical pieces together.
I probably want to focus back on the nailer itself, and I will check if the telfon tape is blocking the air flow or not. The nailer is very clean because I have not had enough chance to use it a lot. Therefore, I doubt that there will be something blocking the air flow.
Let me ask everyone who has Senco FinishPro-18 a question: Let's say you put 1.25" 18-gauge nails in the nailer, and adjust the depth-of-drive to as deep as possible. And then you shoot one nail onto a piece of softwood (pine), such as a 2x4. How deep is the nail below the surface of the wood? When I tried this last night, the nail is something like 1/16" below the surface. I want to hear how other people experience are. Thanks.
Jay Chan
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No luck with using the shortest nails. I tried toe-nailing using 1" nails on a 2x4. The result was exactly the same as when I use 1.25" nails, meaning that the nail head sticks out by 1/16".
By the way, the nails are Senco nails. I suppose their nails must work well with their own nailers.
Nailing the same 1" nails straight on a piece of wood can counter-sink the nail down to 1/8". Seem like there is something wrong with shooting a nail at an angle that cause the nail not be able to penetrate into the wood completely.
Seem like the suggestion of using pocket screws is becoming more and more like a much better idea than trying to toe nail. Or I need to make some 90-degree brace-angles and use it with clamps to align two pieces of woods together. Anyway, the idea of toe nailing seems to be fading away fast -- at least for me.
Jay Chan
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

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Dollars to donuts that "something", with your particular tool, is the angle of the head of the nail gun when toenailing.
IOW, not being in full contact with the surface of the material being nailed, the extra distance the brad must travel is just enough to keep it from penetrating to the desired depth.
IME, most _brad_ nailers will not toe-nail consistently. Neither of mine will (Delta and HF), I would suspect that with those that will, it is more or less luck of the draw.
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Swingman wrote:

I think you are right. The nailer head cannot maintain a good contact with the wood surface when I use the brad nailer for toe-nailing. And this probably creates the problem.
If brad nailers are not appropriate for toe-nailing, sound like I should try my finish-nailer for toe-nailing to see if it works better. I didn't think of using finish-nailer for toe-nailing because finish nails may be too long for toe-nailing. I may try the shortest finish nails to see if they work better than the brad nails. If finish nailer doesn't work well either, I will have to use pocket screws.
Jay Chan
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snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com writes:
[...]

If the time and effort of doing pocket screws is acceptable you cpould also consider an old-style nailer, AKA hammer.
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Dr. Juergen Hannappel http://lisa2.physik.uni-bonn.de/~hannappe
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The finish nailer is unlikely to be any different.

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You are quite right. I tried toe-nailing with a Senco finish nailer (15-gauge), and the result is exactly the same as when I used a Senco brad nailer (18 gauge). This problem must have to do with the gap between the nailer head and the wood surface when I need to tilt the nailer for toe-nailing. Oh well... This means I need to find a cheap nailer that I can remove the safety assembly from the nailer head to reduce the gap, and use it just for toe-nailing. And this brings me back to my original question of this thread: Where can I get a cheap nailer that can do well with toe-nailing?
Jay Chan
CW wrote:

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I have ordered and received a finishing nailer from Harbor Freight. It is called "16 GAUGE HEAVY DUTY BRAD TACKER": http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/Displayitem.taf?itemnumber1317
And yes, it works. I can use it to toe-nail two pieces of wood together, and the nail head is slightly below the surface of the wood. The depth of the counter-sink of the nail head depending on the angle of where I position the nailer head against the wood. And it is not a piece of finely polished equipment, it is quite rough. But at least it works, and it is cheap.
The only reservation is that it doesn't have anyway to adjust the depth of the counter-sink, other than by changing the angle of the nailer head against the wood as mentioned above. This works for toe nailing on two pieces of soft woods (4x4). I don't know if it will still work OK if I toe-nail two pieces of hard woods. We will see.
Jay Chan
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

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