Nailers for baseboard


  #1  
Old 03-04-16, 06:56 PM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 118
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Nailers for baseboard

First post here but long time DIY'er!

Just finishing up installing laminate flooring (whole 'nother subject!) and planning ahead to reinstall the baseboard. Since there is so much of it, I'm planning on buying a nailer and wondered what anyone would recommend. Since the new floor and padding raised the baseboard, I'll have to nail it pretty low to catch the bottom plate. Wondering how close a nailer can get to the floor and/or corners? I will have to go to HD and grab one and get a feel for it.

I'm thinking 16 ga brad nailer should do the job. Better than all of the 8d finishing nails used originally! Also thinking I will have to go with some sections of PVC baseboard since some walls are wavy. The original 'solution' was to drive in a bunch of 8d nails to force the baseboard to be somewhat flush.

I appreciate any suggestions!
 
  #2  
Old 03-04-16, 07:48 PM
michaelshortt's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Washington State
Posts: 789
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Think the 16 ga will work fine, I do prefer my 15 ga
 
  #3  
Old 03-04-16, 08:07 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 29,425
Received 1,574 Likes on 1,411 Posts
I prefer angled finish nailers. Mine is 15 ga. You didn't say how thick your baseboard is. Generally you don't want to get too close to the edges or the trim may split. Thin baseboard could be nailed with 2" long 18 ga. brads but anything thick needs to be a 2 or 2 1/2" larger diameter finish nail (15 or 16 ga.).
 
  #4  
Old 03-04-16, 08:20 PM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 118
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Thanks guys, I appreciate the input. I saw the 15 ga nailers and thought about them but since they weren't the common 16 ga or 18 ga wasn't sure if they were specific for something else.

Baseboard is the common 1/2" pine. Maybe I should go with a smaller gauge to avoid splitting. Will probably end up with 2 nailers and maybe a pin nailer since I have some fine trim to do also.

Was considering the Porter Cable combo but don't know if I need the stapler.

Maybe I'll have it covered with a 16 and 18ga angled nailer.
 
  #5  
Old 03-04-16, 09:00 PM
S
Group Moderator
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: WI/MN
Posts: 20,217
Received 1,177 Likes on 1,135 Posts
I'd be less concerned about pine splitting than a harder wood. I use 16 ga when I'm going through drywall into structure, which is what you're doing here.
 
  #6  
Old 03-04-16, 09:39 PM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 118
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Good point...thanks for the advice.
 
  #7  
Old 03-05-16, 04:23 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 49,334
Received 701 Likes on 618 Posts
I have a 16 gauge nailer. Their nail clip is always straight while a 15 gauge's clip is on an angle. Many carpenters prefer the 15 gauge because it gets in corners better. Some of the cheaper 16 gauge nailers have a 2" max while the better ones can shoot up to a 2.5" nail. After using nail guns you'll never want to go back to hammer, nail and nail set!

Also thinking I will have to go with some sections of PVC baseboard since some walls are wavy.
How wavy are the walls? Can it be rectified with j/c between the joists? Pine base will bend some, MDF will bend a lot. Personally I don't care for PVC/plastic trim inside a house. IMO wood or MDF paints better and it's easier to putty up the nail holes.
 
  #8  
Old 03-05-16, 06:49 AM
W
Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 6,919
Received 55 Likes on 48 Posts
Baseboard

I'll have to nail it pretty low to catch the bottom plate.
I do not recommend nailing too low. Locate the studs and nail into the studs. Drywall has a beveled edge which will allow the baseboard to "lean out" if nailed near the bottom edge.
 
  #9  
Old 03-05-16, 07:05 AM
C
Member
Join Date: May 2015
Location: USA
Posts: 3,283
Received 65 Likes on 50 Posts
Also thinking I will have to go with some sections of PVC baseboard since some walls are wavy.
I'm with Marksr, don't like the plastic stuff. One trick you can use if you need a little more flex out of the wood is to kerf the thick parts of the back side. I usually use the bandsaw and just eyeball it, making sure to cut the kerfs only in the thicker parts and where they won't show. You can do it by hand (actually a hacksaw works well because of fine teeth) but it gets tedious if you have more than a little bit to do. I find a kerf every 1/2 to 1 inch is about right unless you are trying to bend around a curved section. Don't go too deep or it will telegraph; you want to leave at least 1/8 inch for hardwood, more for pine or poplar, although kerfing is rarely needed on those.
 
  #10  
Old 03-05-16, 05:48 PM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 118
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Wow, great info guys. Thanks!

Pretty sure I'll go with an angled nailer since that makes sense it would get closer especially on trim work. I have a Pasloade angled framing nailer so I know how much the angle helps when framing in tight spots.

I'm not set on PVC so I'll check out MDF or maybe play with kerfing a piece and see how it goes. Thinking maybe my router would work good for this? Never gave kerfing a thought for trim but have done it before for an arched doorway and curved sidewalk. Good idea.

Some of the walls are pretty wavy, a high spot followed by a low spot. At one place the original trim carpenter used 3 8d finish nails to draw it tight!

I've been working on preping another room for paint and flooring all day so I'm tired and can't think straight so j/c between joists has me stumped.

Wirepuller, that's exactly what I was thinking of doing on top of nailing a few places lower on the trim. Great minds think alike!

Do you guys have to adjust the gun or pressure to keep the nails from blowing through the trim?

I'm sure I will never want to go back to hammer, nails and a nail set after this. I recently bought a Bosch self leveling cross line laser and now ready to toss out all of my levels. It's always works that way for me, I hesitate buying new tools then want to kick myself for waiting so long.
 
  #11  
Old 03-05-16, 06:05 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 29,425
Received 1,574 Likes on 1,411 Posts
Mdf is very flexible and will follow a curved wall. But I agree with marksr, if it's possible to straighten out the wall with joint compound I would definitely go that route. I think most of us are imagining dips "between studs"... and that can be made straight by floating... making a flat area for the base to sit on.

Its a little trickier, but you can also install the baseboard straight by using shims where needed, then float the wall out to meet the baseboard by using multiple coats and a wide knife.

No one wants to see wavy baseboard... it draws attention to how crooked the wall is. So that's why we are trying to steer you to what's going to look the best. Baseboard should really be as straight as you can possibly make it.
 
  #12  
Old 03-05-16, 06:58 PM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 118
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Ah, joint compound...got it. Joist was throwing me....

Most of the walls/baseboard is pretty straight, but where it's bad, it's bad (at least to my standards). I suppose some j/c in the dips with a wide knife would help a lot but since I've already painted and didn't think about that solution until now, I'm afraid it's too late. To be honest, it's a spec home and it looks nice but there are lot of little issues so trying to fix everything would take me a lifetime and while I like being a DIY'er it's not something I want to do 24/7. I'm a perfectionist but have to be practical too.

An example of another issue I have to fix similar to the wavy wall problem but bigger is an exterior wall that is out of plumb. I installed a new prehung door (plumb) and now the casing has a large gap half way across the top and half way down the right side due to the wall leaning in.

I've given it much thought and think I will cut out the sheetrock flush with the casing and sink the casing back into the wall in order for it to fit to the door jamb. Not ideal and not pretty but the cleanest, least obvious solution I can come up with...

I now call the remodeling project 'putting lipstick on a pig'

Thanks for the advice, when I come across this problem again I'll give the j/c solution a try!
 
  #13  
Old 03-06-16, 04:07 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 49,334
Received 701 Likes on 618 Posts
Not ideal but a lot of gap issues can be remedied with caulking. I'd rather see straight baseboard with a little extra caulk here and there than see wavy base. There is an old painter's saying 'a little putty and caulk makes a carpenter what he's not' While not all carpenters do an expert job an expert painter can generally make the work look good

IMO it isn't too late to repair/fill the low spots, it's generally not a big deal to touch up fresh paint.
 
  #14  
Old 03-06-16, 05:32 AM
czizzi's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 7,388
Received 15 Likes on 13 Posts
Late to the game, I'm with marksr on the caulk the gap, is the easiest and no one will be the wiser. Touch up the gap with paint.

As far as the nailer, I would go with the combo pack from Porter Cable. My reason is that you will want the 16ga. nailer to put up the base and you need an 18ga. nailer to put up the shoe molding. The larger nailer will split the shoe molding and cause headaches. You also want to make sure you don't shoot the nails into the floor anywhere only into the wall. Nailing the floor will prevent expansion and contraction of the floating floor.
 
  #15  
Old 03-06-16, 06:48 AM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 118
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
I think caulking is the way I'll go. I've done it around window casings and in miters and it makes the trim carpenter look like a pro. Really makes the paint job look nice too without all of the unsightly gaps.

As far as the combo package from Porter Cable, I almost bought it but was researching individual nailers to make sure there wasn't something better and since the nailers in the combo aren't angled, I'm thinking I might want a 15ga and 18ga angled nailer. CPO has some refurbished units so I'll see have they have. I bought a refurbished Porter Cable circ saw to replace my old Black and Decker and I'm happy with it so maybe I can pick up some nailers too.

Thanks again for all of the advice.
 
  #16  
Old 03-06-16, 06:58 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 49,334
Received 701 Likes on 618 Posts
I have a 16 gauge nailer and as a painter/homeowner I have no complaints with it although I understand why most carpenters prefer the 15 gauge.

All painted woodwork should be caulked! that gives you a professional looking paint job. IMO uncaulked painted trim screams amateur
 
  #17  
Old 03-06-16, 07:07 AM
C
Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,348
Received 239 Likes on 197 Posts
I think the 15ga or 16ga discussion has been going on for as long as the finish nailers have been available.

You should also give some thought to a compressor. Nailers don't use a lot of air so I would look for something small and lightweight.
 
  #18  
Old 03-06-16, 07:15 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 49,334
Received 701 Likes on 618 Posts
As mentioned it doesn't take much compressor to operate a nail gun BUT if other air tools are in your future you might want to base the compressor purchase off the cfm requirement of the other tools. Sanders and paint guns require the most cfm. A small compressor is fine for nail guns and airing up tires.
 
  #19  
Old 03-06-16, 08:29 AM
czizzi's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 7,388
Received 15 Likes on 13 Posts
Please also be aware that your 15ga. nailer will leave a larger hole in your finished work that will need to be filled. You also will have difficulty with small trim as stated on shoe molding, but also other smaller trim pieces as they will split out. I only use my 15ga. nailer for flooring installs when I need grabbing power on the starter or finishing courses. Otherwise, 98% of all work is done with 16ga and 18ga nailers and 85% of that is with the 16ga one. I also have a pin nailer that comes out on special occasions such as crown molding installs and square finished end return cuts on base molding.

Found this comparative on the porter cable website.
Name:  Porter-Cable-Pin-Nailer-Compressor-Combo-5.jpg
Views: 31022
Size:  9.1 KB
 
  #20  
Old 03-06-16, 09:15 AM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 118
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Thanks for all of the 'real world experience' advice. Nothing better than hearing from folks that use the tools. Thinking I'll be looking at a 16ga and 18ga nailer for this project and put the 15 ga on the list for later. Will probably go for a small pancake compressor since I don't see using it for much more than nailers for now.

Thanks guys!

All painted woodwork should be caulked! that gives you a professional looking paint job. IMO uncaulked painted trim screams amateur
But I think 'professionals' built my house and didn't caulk..... hmmmmm
 
  #21  
Old 03-06-16, 10:47 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 49,334
Received 701 Likes on 618 Posts
Some builders do their own painting IMO their is a big difference between painting a house and just applying some paint.

The nail hole size between 15 gauge and 16 gauge doesn't make any difference as both are easy to fill with putty and make disappear. Not crazy about puttying up behind a pin nailer - the nail holes are harder to see and easy to miss some.
 
  #22  
Old 03-06-16, 07:51 PM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 118
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
My house just had paint applied...trust me! I'm not a painter either but my results are turning out MUCH better. I find using quality tools, especially brushes makes a big difference. I found a cut-in brush that makes me look like a pro.

Regarding nailers, I don't see many 16/18ga angled nailers so maybe I'll go back and revisit the Porter Cable combo set. Seems most angled nailers start at 15ga.

You should also give some thought to a compressor. Nailers don't use a lot of air so I would look for something small and lightweight.
I saw the Senco PC1010, 1gal, 20 pound compressor got a good rating. I wasn't thinking that small but maybe that makes more sense than lugging around a 6gal 30 pound unit?
 

Last edited by Rodster_diy; 03-06-16 at 08:40 PM.
  #23  
Old 03-07-16, 04:25 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 49,334
Received 701 Likes on 618 Posts
I've never seen an angled 16 gauge nail gun but if you did get one I suspect you'd have to special order the nails as I've never noticed any that configuration for sale. Generally the different brands of 16 gauge nails can be used in any brand 16 gauge gun.
 
  #24  
Old 03-07-16, 05:57 AM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 29,425
Received 1,574 Likes on 1,411 Posts
Senco makes an angled 16 ga, and most of the cordless angled nailers are 16 ga.
 
  #25  
Old 03-07-16, 06:09 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 49,334
Received 701 Likes on 618 Posts
Thanks Brant, I didn't know that.
 
  #26  
Old 04-01-16, 07:31 PM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 118
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
-Finally- got around to picking a nailer and compressor. Getting the small Senco 1 Gal 1/2hp unit and starting with a 18 gauge Bostitch nailer. Will see how well a 2" 18 gauge brad will hold baseboard and if I'm not happy, I have a 15 gauge angled Bostitch picked out. Can use the 18ga nailer for the shoe molding and fireplace surround if not for baseboard.

I trial fitted some baseboard and see how nailing the bottom will pull out the top. Thinking about making some shims to help avoid this.

Looking forward to my first experience with nailers and retire the hammer and nail set.
 
  #27  
Old 04-02-16, 04:36 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 49,334
Received 701 Likes on 618 Posts
A 2" nail is bare minimum for attaching the base. Once it goes thru the base and drywall there is only an inch or less going into the framing. You may still need your hammer and nail set as every now and then the nail gun won't completely set a nail but it sure beats having to set every one!!
 
  #28  
Old 04-02-16, 05:17 AM
czizzi's Avatar
Member
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 7,388
Received 15 Likes on 13 Posts
Be cautious if nailing into the end grain of wood, an 18 ga will tend to follow the grain and you could have a blowout. This would be if you are making a box and have two pieces of 1x and are trying to shoot the corners together. Pay attention to the grain, if it angles hold hour gun to go slightly across the grain. That is something that experience will guide you in. If you get a blowout, don't panic. Take a utility knife and drag it across the brad at the wood level. Score the brad and then bend it back and forth - It will break off where you scored it. Nail set anything left protruding.
 
  #29  
Old 04-02-16, 07:31 AM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 118
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
I appreciate the info guys. Looking forward to receiving my nailer. I'm going to go sit by the mailbox.
 
  #30  
Old 04-02-16, 09:06 AM
W
Member
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 6,919
Received 55 Likes on 48 Posts
Shims or Screws

I trial fitted some baseboard and see how nailing the bottom will pull out the top. Thinking about making some shims to help avoid this.
Drywall screws driven the appropriate depth into the bottom plate will also work. Gauge the depth to drive with a tri-square fitted to the floor and wall.
 
  #31  
Old 04-02-16, 09:42 AM
M
Forum Topic Moderator
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA - N.E.Tn
Posts: 49,334
Received 701 Likes on 618 Posts
I like wirepuller's suggestion
I used to paint behind a carpenter that always shimmed the bottom of the baseboard with cardboard. It was a quick easy fix but I've often wondered how well it worked long term.
 
  #32  
Old 04-02-16, 01:03 PM
C
Member
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,348
Received 239 Likes on 197 Posts
I'm scratching my head here. I've never had to shim base because of a drywall taper. I think the taper is only 1/16" at the finished edge If you nail an inch or so above the finished floor (into a stud instead of the plate) the drywall taper depth is probably not a whole lot.

I just replaced all the base in a LR/DR after getting the floors refinished. The drywall extends below the finished floor, as it should in an 8' ceiling room. Nail an inch above that and you have skipped most of the taper.

Am I missing something?
 
  #33  
Old 04-02-16, 01:17 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 29,425
Received 1,574 Likes on 1,411 Posts
The shorter the base, the more it will tip.
 
  #34  
Old 04-02-16, 04:55 PM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 118
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
+1 on wirepullers suggestion! I'm sure I'll put that to use. I was thinking cardboard (Ramboard) and may still try that too.

Yes, it's worse on shorter sections of base especially if there is no stud to nail to, only the bottom plate.

cwbuff, sounds like we have different scenarios. My drywall is above the finished floor and even though the taper is small, a small amount at the bottom make a sizable gap at the top. I don't doubt things worked fine for you, my project has been one hassle after the other.
 
  #35  
Old 04-08-16, 07:13 PM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 118
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Baseboard installation will have to wait a little longer. Nailer arrived DOA.
 
  #36  
Old 04-08-16, 07:21 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 29,425
Received 1,574 Likes on 1,411 Posts
I find that hard to believe. What's it doing?
 
  #37  
Old 04-08-16, 08:03 PM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 118
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
It's what it's not doing that is the problem. Not shooting nails.

Guess it's my fault. Since I figured I won't use it much after the current project, I went for a 'used, open box, refurbished' unit. Heck of a deal.... yea right. Sometimes you get what you pay for.

When I open it up to clear a jam, you can see the piston, pusher or whatever it's called, is not fully retracted but more than half way down past the nail head.

The good news is the Senco compressor, that was also an Amazon Warehouse open box deal is like new.
 
  #38  
Old 04-08-16, 08:19 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 29,425
Received 1,574 Likes on 1,411 Posts
Do you have the regulator (turn the adjustment next to the pressure gauge) on the compressor set to deliver 80-100 lbs? If not, it won't fully retract the driver.
 
  #39  
Old 04-08-16, 09:03 PM
R
Member
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: USA
Posts: 118
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Yes, 80 lbs..... guess I can crank it up and see what happens. Seems like it should automatically retract regardless of air pressure???
 
  #40  
Old 04-08-16, 09:06 PM
XSleeper's Avatar
Group Moderator
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 29,425
Received 1,574 Likes on 1,411 Posts
And you oiled the gun? A few drops of oil down the air inlet?
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: