air nailers: Nail Ga. question

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Ronnie Ferrell, Sep 8, 2003.

  1. Ronnie Ferrell

    Ronnie Ferrell Second Unit

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    Is a 16 Ga. finishing nail to large for gluing up 3/4 MDF? I know most of you air nailer guys use 18 Ga. brad nails, but I can get a great deal on a 16 Ga. Porter-Cable gun and compressor right now.

    Thanks!

    Ronnie
     
  2. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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    Should be fine. The biggest difference is the length of nails the gun will accept. Most brad nailers only take up to 1 1/4" nails, while the bigger gauge usually go up to 2 1/2". Too long a nail with too big a gauge will split MDF. Many of the bigger guns will only accept a 2" nail as the shortest, some will take 1 1/2". I would think 1 1/2" nails wouldn't split MDF if you don't get carried away.

    Pete
     
  3. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Ronnie,

    Well damn! There you are! I sent you an email late June/early July and never heard back from you. I thought maybe you'd been abducted by those AV123 guys! [​IMG]

    Anyway, Pete's right. A 16-gauge nailer should work fine. My dad uses a 16-gauge Paslode nailer all the time and it's great. I have a PC air nailer that uses 18-gauge nails. It takes anywhere from 1 1/4" nails up to 2" nails. Nice little gun.
     
  4. Ronnie Ferrell

    Ronnie Ferrell Second Unit

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    Brian- Sorry about not getting back with ya. I got your email about the speaker naming contest a few weeks after you sent it. We were on vacation in FL. I meant to reply but I guess I forgot.:b

    Nope the AV123 guys did not get me. I ducked. [​IMG]

    This summer has been nuts! I have not built ANYTHING all summer long. I have not even had a chance to veneer my tempest. I have the veneer and everything. Just no time right now... [​IMG]

    Now it looks like I will not even be able to make it down to the Atlanta DIY event either. My brother up and moved to Texas this summer and the weekend of the DIY event is about the only one we have open to go visit them.

    Thanks for the info on the 16-Ga. nails. Home depot is clearing out this kit, Porter-Cable CFFN250B for $220. I have a 10% coupon for Lowes that they will take, making it $198. Pretty good deal seeings how the gun alone is $159.

    rf
     
  5. Hank Frankenberg

    Hank Frankenberg Cinematographer

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    I'll be the lone dissenter here. I'd stick with 18-gauge. Lots of new 18-gauge brad nailers take up to 2" length brads. Being smaller diameter than 16 gauge, there's less chance to split MDF, which does split fairly easily. The larger gauge will not give you a stronger joint, BTW.
     
  6. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Hank,

    I've never had MDF split on me with the 16-gauge nails. Had a few come through the side but no splits! [​IMG]
     
  7. Ronnie Ferrell

    Ronnie Ferrell Second Unit

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    Well I swung by Home Depot last night and picked up the Porter-Cable finish nailer kit. I could not pass it up for the price. I know I will be wanting a compressor larger than 6-gallons in no time, but space is a BIG issue with me, so I had to settle.

    I shot some 16-ga by 2" nails last night into some scrap MDF. Worked beautifully! Now the questions start! [​IMG]

    Do you set the pressure high so the nail is driven deep enough for rounding over the edges with a router, or do you set it low so part of the nail is sticking up letting you extract the nail after glue up?


    rf
     
  8. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Ronnie,

    Countersink the nail. You won't be "extracting" it after glue up. The nails have little teeth on them that keep them from backing out. Shoot some into some scrap MDF then turn it over and try to back the nail out with a hammer the same way you would with regulars. It's almost impossible.

    BTW, I routinely cut off the tops of nails when rounding over corners. It's not advised, but I do it quite a bit. [​IMG]
     
  9. Ronnie Ferrell

    Ronnie Ferrell Second Unit

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  10. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    Yep. We try to countersink them pretty well but I always end up hitting a couple anyway. The only time I notice it is when I feel little pieces of metal hit me in the forearm.
     
  11. Ronnie Ferrell

    Ronnie Ferrell Second Unit

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    I guess I will not use my CMT bits for this! [​IMG]

    What length nail do you use with 3/4" MDF?

    rf
     
  12. Brian Bunge

    Brian Bunge Producer

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    To be honest with you, I don't see any nicks in my 3/4" Whiteside bit and I've used it for at least a year now.

    For 3/4" MDF we normally use 1 1/4" nails.
     
  13. Allen Ross

    Allen Ross Supporting Actor

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    wow, how much of a round over are you doing? 3/4 1/2?
     
  14. Pete Mazz

    Pete Mazz Supporting Actor

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    Too high a pressure will kill the gun. They are designed to shoot a nail to a certain depth. Any deeper means the piston is destroying the rubber seal at the bottom of the chamber. The gun should have a max pressure printed on it.

    Also, use a few drops of air tool oil in the end of the gun each time you use it.

    Pete
     
  15. Rich X

    Rich X Stunt Coordinator

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    Just my .02, I use a 16ga finish nailer on crown moulding and other trim work all the time, rarely splits. Also forget about pulling out the nails, particularly if you use the hot-glue variety.

     
  16. Ronnie Ferrell

    Ronnie Ferrell Second Unit

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