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?
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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?
Go ahead... laugh you insensitive bastard!
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
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.
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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