If it handles flooring 1/32" over 3/4, it should handle 3/4 just fine.
Look at it this way, if it doesn't do the job and you have to rent for a
day, you're still cheaper than buying a bostich pneumatic.
When you whack the nailer with the mallet the tongue is driven into
the groove of the previous board and then the cleat is driven through
the next tongue securing the new board to the floor. Air helps with
the second part and gives a consistent depth of nailing with minimal
splitting caused by an off-center blow or repeated blows.
Try downloading the product manual, it explains all.
Other things for your consideration...
1. At some point, you will have to face nail. That means the cleat has to
go in vertically through the plank's top rather than at an angle through the
plank's tongue. You will *have* to face nail the last few planks as there
won't be enough room between them and the room wall to use the nailer.
It is also customary to face nail the first few 3-4 courses of planks. That
is because you have to leave an expansion gap between them and the wall and
the lateral force of the nailer would move them. If you provide a solid
shim between them and the wall I guess they could be nailed through the
IMO, it is better to use screws for face "nailing" as they can be easily
countersunk and filled with a face grain wood plug.
2. It is paramount that your first courses be perfectly straight and
parallel to the starting wall; if not, nothing else will be.
3. Since there has to be a gap between the flooring and wall, you'll be
installing base boards to hide the gap. It isn't hard to get the floor
planks flat along the walls parallel to them; it can be more difficult to
get them flat on the end walls, especially so if the surface to which you
are nailing isn't flat. As you lay boards, use a long straight edge to make
sure that the flooring is flat along the walls at the end; if necessary,
shim under the ends. If you wind up with highs and lows there, you will
have to spile the baseboard bottom.
4. Your last floor board will have to be ripped because it is highly
unlikely that the room dimensions are such so that you wind up fitting a
full one. It will also likely have to be tapered because rooms are seldom
square; even if it is, it is highly unlikely that you willbe able to lay the
flooring so that they are perfectly aligned.
What you *don't* want is to wind up having to have a real narrow board as
your last one; plan ahead, it may be better to skinny down the last 3-4
boards instead of needing to install one very narrow one.
5. Once you get it all laid, you'll be sanding and finishing it? If so, do
*NOT* rent a drum sander. Dollars to doughnuts you would cut all sorts of
divots in the floor. Instead, get the big (10" x 18"?) vibrating ones.
Yes, they take longer but not that much. Sand the hell out of the floor
with the coarsest grit you can get to get it flat and smooth; once it is
(takes a LOT of sanding), work up with the finer grits to just remove
scratches from the coarser sanding.
How does this thing work? It uses air, but you still have to hit with
The hammer is the trigger. You hit with hammer, nail goes in.
Pneumatic means you don't have to hit as hard as manual.
Given the number and type of questions you're asking, I think I lot of
research is in order.
That is why I am asking the questions:
One thing I noticed in the directions it says: "The nailing machine
MUST HAVE a protective foot attachment to prevent edge bruising and
finish damage. Use one of the following: Stanley Bostich (multiple
models with millifootkit Powernailer with nailershoe, etc."
Does the harbor freight one have what this is tlakign about? I am not
sure what it means.
It is referring to a plastic shoe to prevent damaging a prefinished
floor. You will probably have to check it out in person to see. It does
seem to have plastic strips under the base, which may be part of the
system, but it should also have a plastic strip on the dropped edge that
slams against the edge of each board. The better units like the Bostitch
or Powernailer have an optional, large plastic shoe that snaps over the
Look at this Bostitch nailer, click to get a bigger picture, the shoe is
that unattached plastic piece:
I have one of these and just finished installing about 500sf of engineered
flooring in the living room and entry. Worked GREAT! And it was almost as
cheap as renting. My son previously used it to install solid oak flooring
with no problems. We both used 2" staples.
As previously mentioned, the first and last two rows will probably need to
be face nailed due to clearance problems.
I've done it both ways. Using a Porter-Cable 15ga finish nailer with 2"
nails leaves a slightly smaller hole to fill than using 6d finish nails.
I actually have a finish nailer air operated but have not used it in
several years. I used it for basboards years back. Is it better to use
this to face nail the first few boards or to go by hand?
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