Nailer Confusion - for Used Oak Strips


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Old 10-24-06, 10:14 PM
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Nailer Confusion - for Used Oak Strips

Hi, Hardwood Floor Newbie here,

I have recovered a bunch of used Oak flooring from a teardown of my brother's. The flooring is a close match to the rest of my house, and I want to install in my kitchen. I've been looking online and at Home Depot at Nailers. I thought I was a tool guy, but Confusion!!

First the wood. These are the old style strips, only 1/4" thick X 1 1/2 " wide. They are square edged, not tongue and groove. They were face nailed (by hand?) every foot or so and most of the finish nails were pulled through when we removed the flooring. (yes, I will have a lot of filling to do unless I use oversize nails in the same holes). Otherwise in good shape.

Now the Nailer. I presume that all the talk in the forum about blind nailing is for thicker wood, or tongue and groove? In other words, do I need a nailer that will squarely drive face nails?
So what kind of nailer should it be, brad or finish nailer, angle or square? Do the angle finish nailers nail at an angle, or simply hold the nail strip at an angle to allow more positions?

Any and all help appreciated!!
 
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Old 10-24-06, 10:30 PM
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I would be very reluctant to use that flooring in your kitchen, it is far too thin and without the tounge and groove will not want to lay flat.
 
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Old 10-25-06, 03:54 AM
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The floor nailers are for 3/4 inch tongue and groove boards, and the nails go in at an angle just above the tongue. So, in your case, a floor nailer isn't the tool to use.

Sounds like to me that you're going to have to face nail them by hand. Sure, you could buy a nail gun, but do you really want that extra expense?

I'd be thinking I would have to fill the existing holes, and predrill pilot holes for the new finishing nails. The reason I'd predrill is than I would be concerned about the boards splitting, especially if they are very dry and old.

This sounds like a lot of work, but doable. Good luck.
 
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Old 10-25-06, 07:51 PM
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I wouldn't be adverse to getting a nailer for this job if it was one that is usable for other jobs, like baseboard, light cabinetry, etc. So is a standard square finish nailer the way to go? Or can a brad nailer use small enough heads to leave a finish nail sized hole to fill?

However, your warning about predrilling is a good one. I guess if I rent or borrow one first and try it on some of the more dodgy pieces it will tell me how much the wood would split.
 
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Old 10-26-06, 12:14 AM
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An air nailer may work fine for this, especially since the boards are so thin, 1/4 inch.

I'll tell you my experience with my air nailer, and maybe others will share theirs too. I have a Craftsman 18 guage combination nailer and stapler (here's the URL for similar one at Sears: http://www.sears.com/sr/javasr/product.do?BV_UseBVCookie=Yes&vertical=TOOL&pid=00918174000&cat=Compressors+%26+Air+Tools&subcat=Carpentry+Air+Tools). A couple of the jobs that I've used it on were putting up a dog fence and installing a 3/4 inch hardwood floor. In both instances I used 1 1/2 inch staples. And, I was very satisfied with the holding power of the staples, and the ease of use of the gun in both projects. In fact, this gun is just plain fun to use!

I think this gun would probably shoot a 1 1/2 inch brad (I wouldn't use a staple due to wider mark on floor) through your 1/4 oak boards with ease. But, I'd have to experiment with the pressure setting to get it so it left the smallest dent possilbe when it nailed.

This sounds like the perfect project to justify buying your own nail gun -- have fun!
 
 

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