Can anyone suggest where I would use one type of fastener in place of
another? I've just acquired a pneumatic nailer and stapler and am
confused by all of the choices I now have.
Also are there recommended lengths? Obviously the fastener needs to
protrude past the first component but how deep into the other should I
be aiming to achieve?
I'd imagine this info applies to brads as well as it does to screws:
Totals fastener length = 3X thickness of thinner material.
Short answer, as deep as possible, unless you are intending them to
For example, when nailing a 3/4 to a 3/4, I use the "Add them together
and subtract a bit" rule: 3/4 + 3/4 - 1/8 = 1 3/8. However, when is 3/4
really 3/4 (if store bought)? And, when is your brad nailer not going
to counter sink a bit? Use 1 1/4" :)
I normally use the same rule. However, the more critical the
depth/length of nail the more likely I have one or two longer nails left
in the gun from last time that I didn't see before I loaded in the
"correct" length nails this time.
Thanks to all who responded. I think I have it now and can comfortably
proceed with the little bit of knowledge I now have.
Brads are for tacking "while the glue sets up" as well as for small
Finish nails are for the bigger "stuff" like crown moulding and window
casings where they provide some structural support.
Staples are for thin material like cabinet backs.
As for length, it is best to go as deep as possible but not less than
half an inch.
Once again this forum has provided information which is timely and
Brads are used when you want to hold something together while the glue dries
or for attaching lighter weight mouldings. Brad nails are available up to 2"
in length. Finish nails are heavier guage, and of course leave a larger
hole, and come in lengths up to 2.5". These are useful for heavier crown
moulding, door and window casings, etc. Brad nails are 18ga, and finish
nails are 15 or 16 ga. The thicker shank in finish nails is less likely to
be deflected by the grain direction in hardwoods.
Crown staples have good holding power and are usefull for thin materials or
materials that are soft or tear easy, where brad nails can easily pull
through, such as mdf, and masonite or luan commonly used for cabinet backs.
1/4" crown staples are readily available in sizes up to 1.5" or so.
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