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  • New Novice

    Hey everyone. I'm new here and new to woodworking. I'v been in the military for 18 years and getting close to starting to be a Civilian again and wont to buy a house and get into DIY. I always dreamt about getting into wood working, especialy furniture building. I want to start my colection of tools. I want to start collecting the Dewalt Cordless tools. I do have a question-The first tool I want to get is a cordless Brad Gun for home projects more so for makeing furniture which is best the 15, 16, or 18 Gage nailers? Say if I want to build a china hutch which one would you use? I'm hopeing to get one or two tools a year and thanks for a help

  • #2
    Re: New Novice

    Welcome to the forum and thanks for your service.

    Personally, I use various glue joints when making furniture or other projects. When a mechanical fastener is warranted, I use a wood screw. I use an electric brad nailer for attaching moldings.

    I am sure that others will give more detailed advice to your questions. This is a great site to ask and learn. Use this and other woodworking threads to learn about tools and techniques. Using 'google' can also provide much valuable knowledge.

    Welcome again



    • #3
      Re: New Novice

      Raw - Welcome aboard. And welcome to the wonderful world of woodworking.

      If you will indulge me for a few moments you may find some value in what I have to say.

      Knowing what you want to build in general, furniture, and even having a specific project in mind, a hutch, is extremely valuable. And perhaps not for the reasons you think.

      There are tools fundamental to every woodworking shop. Dust collection, clamps, bench tools (chisels, block plane), sharpening system, vice.....

      These are the type of items and tools every project will require.

      Then there are the tools specific to the project. After a few projects you will find that you are spending less time, money and trips to the store picking up that one tool or accessory you need.

      If you plan on getting a machine that generates lots of sawdust (table saw, band saw,radial arm saw, router, sander...) your first purchase should be a dust collection unit. There are relatively economical solutions available. But don't discount or dismiss the need for DC. The fine dust particles are not healthy for your lungs and a well implemented DC solution drastically cuts down on shop cleanup. Wood chips are harmless. The fines you can not see are the real culprit.

      Clamps, clamps, clamps. There are a myriad design of clamps. Parallel clamps are excellent for cabinet building.

      This is not an inexpensive hobby. A decent shop can be put together on the cheap, but there is a correlation between money and time it takes to tool up. A quality tool will do what you expect it to do. A cheap tool will reveal the numerous ways designers/manufacturers conspire to make a tool all but useless.

      As for a nailer, I would get a pancake compressor and a couple of finish nailers (16 and 18 gauge) rather than a cordless or hoseless. Or you could get a larger compressor in case you want to get into spraying finishes. Either way, I would go with air.


      • #4
        Re: New Novice

        Welcome! And enjoy those ending days of upcoming retirement. I know how you feel. The weight off your shoulders will feel great.

        Focus on 3 to 5 projects that you want to start on. A lot of money isn't necessary though having decent and accurate tools are good. A pancake is a good start. Check out some deals at Home Depot or Lowes and you can get everything you need in one shot. Possible 2 to 3 nailers.

        In woodworking when actually have the time the 4 main tools are the Tablesaw, Jointer, Planer, Bandsaw. You can throw in router, mitersaw, circular saw, just to name a few. A of guys may disagree but I'm not here to debate, just to say that it's relaxing and it will take you into another world of solitude. You can't hear kids arguing or the wife complaining. The focus would be on that one masterpiece that your putting your heart and soul into.

        Take your time, be safe at all times and everything will fall in place


        • #5
          Re: New Novice

          Hi Rob,

          First and foremost, THANK YOU for your service and congratulations on your upcoming retirement!

          Welcome to the Ridgid forum, this is a great place and I'm sure you will find all kinds of very experienced advice from a number of woodworking veterans.

          I agree with the previous posts and will add that I have both the Ridgid brad nailer and the straight finish nailer and they are great for trim work/molding around the house. But for any "woodworking" like furniture, I would have to go along with the other fellows in using glue joints and screws, when necessary. Brad and finish nails are good for "holding" but don't offer much in the way of strength, by themselves. (IMO.)

          When I picked up my nailers when they were on sale a couple of years ago, I was sort of excited to have these particular air-operated tools. But as I finished up various little wall molding tasks, I found myself using them less and less. I've used them in base structures for holding glued pieces in place while the glue dried. But as time has progressed, my thinking has turned into more "wood-only" achievements; using dowels, biscuits, rabbet and dado type joints, and when strength is absolutely essential: ortice and tenon joints.

          Regarding your objective of "DeWalt" cordless: please give the "Ridgid" tool line some review. With it's Limited Lifetime Service Agreement (requires registration of the tool purchase), you're covered for life on any battery and/or charger problems/replacements, as well as other tool failures like bearings, motor windings, etc. Nothing against DeWalt or any other brand, but I thought the Ridgid LLSA should be mentioned to you.

          Again welcome to the forum and we hope you become a regular participant,



          • #6
            Re: New Novice

            I would like to second to Spiffpeters earlier post. Get a compressor. There are so many tools which hook up to it. I can't begin to tell you how handy an air gun attachment is to blow things clean. Need to air the tires in your car? etc, etc. Just get on and look at all the attachments, including your brad nailer. Personally, I would go for a larger one than a pancake. At least a 30 gal, which is the upper limit for portability with wheels. I like the upright over horizontal. Enjoy your retirement. Best of luck.
            "non illegitimis carborundum"