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  • newbie question

    Great forum here with lots of helpful info! I already did a search on this topic and couln't quite find the answers I was looking for so any help anyone is willing to give me will be great. I am going to redo the trim in my entire house (baseboard, quarter round, windows, doors and around cabinets) so I am going to purchase a nail gun(s). I also need to build a lot of storage cabinets and shelves. I already have an air compressor and it is more than enough to run the nailers. Here are the questions:

    1. Should I just buy a 16 gauge nailer?

    2. Should I buy a 15 gauge nailer for the baseboards, windows,doors, and building the storage shelves and a 18 gauge nailer for the quarter round and cabinet trim?

    3. Will a 16 gauge nail be enough holding power for the baseboards, windows, doors, and storage shelves/cabinets or will a 15 gauge nail be optimal?

    4. Is a 15 and 16 gauge nail overkill when doing the quarter round and cabinet trim (can I still use them or will I damage the wood))? Can I use them for this application or should I use the 18 gauge nailer?

    5. Typically, what are 15, 16, and 18 gauge nailers best applications (when is it best to use a 15, 16, or 18)?

    I read that the best thing to do is buy a 15 and 18 gauge nailer. If I am going to do this I just need some justification (for myself and the wife). I rather make the right choice/investiment now then look back down the road and have regrets.
    Last edited by Atown313; 05-17-2007, 11:04 PM.

  • #2
    Re: newbie question

    Something like the 3-nailer combo pack would be a great idea for you. Brad nailer won't hold cabinets no matter what you try. To be honest, cabinets (especially uppers) should be screwed into studs. I'd never recommend cabinets be hung with nails. So, an 18-gauge brad nailer and a screw gun would be your best bet for the projects you mentioned! 15/16 gauge will blow out the trim, usually.

    I just got utterly confused on gauges...but I think what I posted is correct. Sorry if I misled you. I'll step out and wait for someone who actually KNOWS this stuff!!! I do know that you want a brad nail for trim, and you have to screw cabinets into the wall!

    Oh, and Welcome to the Forums, Atown! I hope we get to see some pics of the cabinets and such!
    Last edited by VASandy; 05-17-2007, 11:08 PM.
    I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: newbie question

      The higher the gauge number, the smaller the diameter the brad/nail is. Like Sandy, I would use good size screws to mount cabinets to the wall. More than likely (unless you hit the studs on center) you'll need something like Mollys or plaster anchors. Now if you really want them to stay put, look at toggle bolts.

      Before you buy a nail gun, I think you would do well to look at the nails that can be used with that model.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: newbie question

        Thanks for the fast replies! I am not going to hang these cabinets on the wall like kitchen cabinets, rather they will be free standing. I am going to use them for stogage (stuff that won't fit into a closet). I am going to make them out of ply wood and I thought a nail gun and glue would make quick work out of assembling them rather than screwing them together. I am going to do the same thing for the book shelves.
        Do you always use a 18 gauge brad nailer to attach trim (baseboard, quarter round, window, and door)?

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: newbie question

          every now and then costco has a 3 piece cambell hausfield nailer on special for 199. plus tax, - 50 instant rebate. so it comes out to 149. plus tax on the 199

          you get a framing nailer, 18 gauge nailer and a 15 gauge angle nailer in a case with 1000 18 and 15 gauge nails, allen wrenches and oil.

          can't beat the price or the costco guarantee.

          rick.

          if not on special, 199 + tax. still a great price.

          rick.
          phoebe it is

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: newbie question

            I've done what seems to be miles and miles of baseboard, door casing and crown with 18 gauge and never had a problem. If in doubt about the holding power in a particular sopot, give it a "double tap" (change the driving angle slighty between shots), unless it's stain grade.
            My PC is 18 gauge and my Paslode is 16 gauge (a bit much for 1/4 round and base shoe.)
            ‎"I've never let my schooling interfere with my education" -Mark Twain

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: newbie question

              For cabinet construction, brads or nails would be fine. A lot of the time, you'll find that the glue is stronger than you think. The nails/screws only act as clamps while the glue sets, really. A well-constructed dado joint has a lot of inherent strength. There's also biscuits and pocket screw joining techniques. However, one doesn't have to have these technologies to make a well-constructed and strong cabinet. As long as your joinery is thought out and implemented correctly, the cabinets will be plenty strong with dado's, glue, and brads.

              You could also use dowels in the joints, as long as you can properly align them. Dowels are inexpensive and only require patience, careful measuring, a layout jig (you can make your own), and a hand drill. A drill press would be nice, but isn't required. You can purchase dowels in quantity at any home supply place. Just make sure you have a drill bit the correct size of the dowel. I find that using a very slightly smaller drill bit and chamfering the bottom end of the dowel works really well. The drill bit only needs to be 1/132" smaller than the dowel. Eye up the size by holding the dowel against the bit. If you can see ANY of the drill bit, go to a smaller size. You want it so you can't see any of the drill bit, but it's almost the same size as the dowel. Careful drilling is required to keep the drill straight as you drill into the material.
              I put it all back together better than before. There\'s lots of leftover parts.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: newbie question

                In my opinion you'll be best served by choosing #2 in your list. I think that you'll find that those two nailers will be able to do most any job around the shop and house that you'll encounter.

                Others of course will disagree on this but personally I've always looked at the 16ga nailers as sort of an in between size. They are way overkill for jobs that an 18ga can do and, again in my opinion, not big enough for most casing jobs.
                Teach your kids about taxes..........eat 30 percent of their ice cream.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: newbie question

                  I have both 16 gauge and 18 gauge nailers and for me it's easy to tell when you have to switch between the two. I use the 18 gauge for fine detail work and the 16 gauge for most everything else. I too have replaced all the trim in my house, and for me the 16 gauge is what I have to use. The 18 gauge nails are only an inch and a quarter long IIRC. While the 16 gauge can take two inch nails. When nailing through a half inch of mdf, a half inch of drywall, I really don't want to have 1/4 inch of the nail going into the stud.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: newbie question

                    Thanks again for the replies! I am going to make my purchase by next weekend when I receive my HD gift cards in the mail. So here are the final questions.....

                    1. What specific applications would everyone in here use the 15G and 18G nailer for?

                    Keep in mind that I need to replace all the baseboard, quarter round, window, and door trim. I also need to build free standing book shelves and storage cabinets.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: newbie question

                      I'd use the 18 G on all the trim pieces. Don't know about your gun, but mine shoots 5/8 to 2 inch nails. I Use the 1 3/4 the most. On cabs and book cases, a little glue and the 18 G should be fine if your pieces fit snug to start with (the garbage in/ garbage out rule).
                      ‎"I've never let my schooling interfere with my education" -Mark Twain

                      Comment

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