what gauge nailer do I want?

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  #1  
Old 02-18-05, 01:31 PM
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what gauge nailer do I want?

Shopping for a pneumatic finish nailer to do baseboard moulding, cabinet trim moulding, etc, jobs like that. Figure jobs that would call for 5d/6d finish nails if doing it by hand.

So what would be an appropriate gauge? Perusing the posts here, 14/15ga seems like it might be more than necessary, 20+ga "brads" too small, so perhaps 16/18ga is right.

Maybe an easier way to ask the question: what's the biggest job you'd tackle with a 15ga nailer, versus a 16ga, versus an 18ga?

Thanks,
 
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Old 02-18-05, 04:52 PM
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I've been very happy with my 18 ga. Senco FP25XP. Since it will shoot nails from 5/8" up to 2 1/8" long, it's very versatile. I prefer to use it over my 15 ga. finish nailer whenever I can, since it leaves a smaller nail hole that is less noticeable. But there are certain things I won't use it for. Nailing 3/4 thick baseboard, for example. Nailing back the outside edge of thick casing to the wall, (when the casing is wanting to spring away from the wall.) Setting door jambs. Attaching brickmould to window and door jambs. Those are jobs that call for a longer, bigger nail.

Considering all the trim work I do, i bet I use my 18 ga. brad nailer 80% of the time, and the 15 ga. angle nailer the other 20%.
 
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Old 02-18-05, 07:34 PM
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My finish work is more with house trim than cabinet work. I have 18 ga. brad nailer, 15 ga. finish nailer and narrow crown stapler.
I am not very concerned with the size of the holes that must be filled. I use the stapler mostly, finish nailer now and then, brad nailer almost never.
 
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Old 02-18-05, 08:23 PM
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I'd go for the 15g finish nailer, a little over kill is better than not enough.I almost never use my 18g brad nailer.I use all Senco guns and they never fail me, this xmas i bought a Paslode finish nailer and havent used the Senco's since.No more compressor for me,but i'll keep it for a backup and blowing up tires!
 
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Old 02-19-05, 07:48 AM
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I use my 16g for doors and trim. It will go up to 2 1/2 inches. Use the stapler at times.
 
  #6  
Old 02-19-05, 08:54 AM
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This depends on the baseboard thickness and hardness of wood/mdf. For the very thin baseboards, I expect you will be happy with an 18g brad nailer. For thicker (3/4) boards, which seem to be most common these days, 18 is too thin and you will want at least 16g. If I could only buy one, it would be the 16g since the 18g is not much use when the base board want to spring out from the wall or when you have thicker boards.
 
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Old 02-22-05, 08:09 AM
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perfect, thanks to all for the advice
 
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Old 02-22-05, 10:37 AM
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If I could only have one nailer, it would be a 16 gauge. Next would be an 18 gauge brad nailer (that would shoot at least a 1-1/2" brad). Most of the 18 gauge nailers available nowadays will shoot up to a 2" brad. Next would be a narrow crown (1/4") stapler. Although I have two 15 gauge guns, I don't use them enough to justify having them. For the few finish nails larger than a 16 gauge gun will shoot that I use (for example, a 16d galvanized casing nail I use to install exterior doors) I would just as soon drive them by hand and use a nail set.
 
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Old 02-22-05, 12:31 PM
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Hi Togomor,
- My personal favorite is a Senco Angle nailer that fires 15 or 16 ga. in sizes up to 2 1/2". Cost may become a consideration if you're using lots of any airnail. Nail for nail, 16 ga comes to about 2/3 the cost of 15 ga.

Do it Right - do it once.
 
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Old 02-23-05, 08:09 AM
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I decided that, eventually, I'll probably want 2 guns. Since I have a smaller project in the works right now, I picked up a Bostich BT200K 18ga, takes up to 2", and quite affordable. It's worked great so far, and the small holes are appreciated, but I can now see that a bigger gauge would be necessary for larger projects. Still, I think this little guy will see lots of use, glad I purchased instead of rented. I'll wait on purchasing a bigger guage until I see how much I'll actually need it, as the 16's jump quickly in price to about double that of an 18, and the 15's even moreso, so longer to break even versus renting. Thanks again!
 
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Old 02-24-05, 03:24 PM
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Something I haven't seen mentioned (but I bet it's here somewhere) is the selection of brad or nail length. One would be tempted to purchase only the longest brad or nail their gun will shoot (to minimize the expense). While this will work much of the time, there are times when this will lead to some misery. For example, when nailing a small casing to the jamb, a very long brad will often curl out of the wood. It's best to stick with the old rule of thumb of having about 2/3 of the brad length going into the wood to which the piece is being attached. So, for a casing that's only 1/4" thick at the point where it is being attached to the casing, a brad 3/4" long is sufficient.

I have been 100 feet from the van and needed a few 3/4"-1" brads and had only 1-9/16" or 2" with me. Since I usually have a bag with a pair of 9" linesman pliers with me, I can cut off 10-12 18 gauge brads at a time and make do.
 
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Old 02-27-05, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by IBM5081
My finish work is more with house trim than cabinet work. I have 18 ga. brad nailer, 15 ga. finish nailer and narrow crown stapler.
I am not very concerned with the size of the holes that must be filled. I use the stapler mostly, finish nailer now and then, brad nailer almost never.
Just the guy I need to talk to.......

I am going to have to do some exterior house trim work this spring and am researching the tools I may need for the job. Getting too old/lazy to drive nails so I think I'll get power tools to do the job.

I will have to replace the fascia boards, eave boards and a few pieces of siding that have been damaged. The original fascia boards were 1X6 pine and I will likely replace with cedar. The eave is 1/4 plywood and the siding is cedar plywood.

My original thought was to buy a 16ga nailer to do the facia and eave and a coil nailer to do the siding. However, I read an article where a guy used a narrow crown stapler to do eave work. That got me to thinking that I could do the eave work with a stapler and the siding with the same tool. Then do the fascia with the 18ga brad nailer that I already have saving me the cost of the 16ga nailer and the coil nailer.

What do you think? Can I do the siding with a stapler?
 
  #13  
Old 02-27-05, 01:02 PM
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Maybe a bit light for the task

The 18 ga. brad nailer is just too light for what you propose.
Doing the eave work with the narrow-crown stapler should work; even better than finishing nails. You did not mention whether you already own the stapler.
As the siding is somewhat a one-time deal, consider renting the coil siding nailer as they are fairly expensive for such limited use. Using the ring-shank siding nails should give more holding power than the smooth legs of a staple.
There would also be a risk of over-driving the staple through the cedar siding, though you did not say how thick it is at the top edge.
 
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Old 02-28-05, 09:54 AM
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No, I don't have the stapler. I have an 18ga brad nailer and a framing nailer.

My siding is about 1/2 or 5/8 thick.
 
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Old 02-28-05, 12:46 PM
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For those occasions when a narrow crown staple doesn't get driven deep enough, I had my sharpening shop modify a nail set to fit a narrow crown staple. I guess you could do this on a grinder but he made the contact surface concave and it works great.
 
  #16  
Old 02-28-05, 05:21 PM
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Framing nailer and short nails

Without purchasing/renting any other pneumatic nailers, get the 2" galvanized ring shank nails for the framing nailer and set the depth to flush nail. If possible, set the nailer for single-shot mode, then press very deliberately to avoid marking the house trim with the toenailing spikes on the safety element. On the siding, the next course will cover any dings around the nail.
 
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Old 03-01-05, 04:27 PM
sarge66
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Originally Posted by IBM5081
Without purchasing/renting any other pneumatic nailers, get the 2" galvanized ring shank nails for the framing nailer and set the depth to flush nail. If possible, set the nailer for single-shot mode, then press very deliberately to avoid marking the house trim with the toenailing spikes on the safety element. On the siding, the next course will cover any dings around the nail.
Slow down a little....you're talking to an old retired soldier that knows little or nothing about carpentry.

Are you telling me that I can use something other than the clipped head nails in my framing nailer? And with that I can nail up the siding?

There isn't any "next course" on my siding. It is 4x8 sheets. Whatever I nail it with will show.
 
  #18  
Old 03-02-05, 04:08 AM
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Clipped-head nails come in many varieties and lengths. For framing, 3" bright, smooth nails are typically used and the nails are countersunk, so that toenailing leaves less nail showing.
For tasks like decking a roof or installing siding, the same nailer can be loaded with shorter nails and the nailer adjusted to flush nail so that it does not push the nailhead completely through the thinner material. The 2" and 2+3/8" nails are in boxes next to the 3" nails, all for the same nailer.

The ring-shank treatment and galvanizing refer to mechanical scoring of the nail shank and a zinc coating on the whole nail. These have nothing to do with the type of nailhead and the angle of collation (typically 31 degrees or 28 degrees) for the nails.

Sorry I missed the "plywood" in cedar plywood that indicates sheets rather than strips. I would recommend that the nails be slightly countersunk and then caulked over to avoid rust stains as rainwater washes over the nailheads. Since the nails are securing a whole sheet of siding, it might be advisable to use the 2+3/8" nails, ring-shank, galvanized; marking the sheet with a chalk line to ensure that each nail hits the stud securely.
There's no indication with a pneumatic nailer that the nail missed the stud and is not securing the sheet to the wall.
 
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Old 03-02-05, 03:01 PM
sarge66
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Thanks for all the info.......
 
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