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
Thanks for any follow-up info in advance.
Dave Jackson wrote:
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.
On 7 Dec 2005 20:01:09 -0800, with neither quill nor qualm,
email@example.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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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.
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.
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!
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
I have ordered and received a finishing nailer from Harbor Freight. It
is called "16 GAUGE HEAVY DUTY BRAD TACKER":
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.
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