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 ¾” 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 (½” plywood). Not sure just yet if I will use
it for the shelves, but I'm pretty sure I won't – they will probably
I really know nothing about brad sizes. If I don't buy any air nailer,
I will probably use 1 ½” brads to attach the backs (with glue of
course) but a pneumatic nailer would make the job a whole lot easier.
I think ¾” or 5/8” brads of any diameter would be good for the trim
but I question if 18 ga. x 1 ½” 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 ½” plywood instead of ¼”.
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
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.