yep, maple's tough. i have success nailing it (with a gun) when i
monitor the grain direction and predict how/if the nail will deflect.
sometimes instead of using nails i use self-tapping trim screws to
secure - even without predrilling, i'm yet to split the end of a board.
the best advice - get a nail gun. the little porter cable
compressor/nailer package is a good deal, and will serve you well for
years. my suggestion is to use this project as an excuse to get that
tool before you ruin expensive wood by nailing by hand.
No reason to nail it after going to the effort to glue it, assuming you used a water
resistant glue. I only use nails/Brads to hold
things during glue-up that do not show and are difficult to clamp.
Just my opinion.
Try this stuff: (watch the wrap) Titebond Molding & Trim glue.
I found it at my excellent local hardware store. MUCH easier to use in
your application. I shot a few 18 ga brads anyway, because I told my wife
I needed the brad nailer for the trim work.
I've been using the glue for other small projects, because I like the way
it handles, and fills the small gaps, which are much more noticable in
small projects people pick up and examine closely.
Without knowing exactly what you were nailing to what and why, if it is
already glued, the simple answer is to not use nails.
Second answer is to drill counter sunk holes, use screws and plugs over
the screw heads.
Another thing I used to do before nail guns--- Occasionally I would come
across a hardwood trimming problem where splitting seemed inevitable even
with predrilled holes. I would predrill the holes and then cut the head off
of one of the finish nails I was using and chuck it in my drill motor.
Using the nail as a bit I would redrill the hole to most of the length of
the nail, then set the nail in the hole. Since part of the nail is in the
chuck you still get grip from friction, the unenlarged part of the hole and
the head itself. As noted by others, do this with glue backup.
Nail guns are good!
If you don't have a nail gun, take a pair of wire cutters and cut of the
head of one of the finish nails. Chuck it into your drill and pre-drill the
nail hole. Since the nail is now shorter than the length of the nail with
the head, you have the perfect hole size for the finish nail. Don't even
think about using a drill bit. You have as many drill bits as you have
nails. Try it, you will find that thousands and thousands of trim
carpenters aren't wrong.
When you are really building nice furniture, you try to find ways to glue
the molding instead of nailing it.
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