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Klawman 11-10-2009 03:31 AM

15 or 16 gauge nailer for larger MDF Crown
I am a weekend warrior who will be hanging crown molding throughout his house. I have already done one rook with the old hammer and nails and think I should invest in a nail gun and would like some advice on whether a 16 gauge will do the trick or if I need a 15.

I will be using Ultralight MDF, most of which will be 4-6", but may be putting some 9" stuff on the 18' walls of one room. Later I will probably install some 5" base boards throughout the house. If possible, I would like to be able to use the same gun.

I am wondering if the crown I plan to use is to heavy for a 16 gauge, which I understand is called a finish nailer but is more like a larger brad. Does the weight and size of the crown itself warrant going 15 gauge?

I also understand that an angled gun is easier to use than a straight one, and most are 15 G. There are a few 16 angle guns, but the nails are hard to locate and are more expensive than 15 gauge angle nails? The cost of nails aren't really much of a concern, though, as the gun will not be getting that much use.

Most people I have talked to, who are at differnt Home Depots, think you can hang the crown with a straight nail gun by turning it to the side, and don't need an angled nailer. The author of a book on molding suggested to me that an angled gun will also work a lot better on the cathedral ceilings of some of the rooms.

Some say a straight nailer is easier for base boards, but a guy at Lowes thought an angled gun was better becasue you can shoot it in at an angle from top down and that gives it more holding power. Doe BB need that much grip?

Laslty, becasue I don't have an air compressor the combo packages at HD look pretty attractive. I am really not interested in the one for $279 with a staple gun, 18 G brad gun, and a 16 G straigh finish nailer (if that is a true finish nailer), but combo including compressor and straight 16 G nailer for $199. I think I would later pick up a cheapie 23 G pinner from Harbor Freight for $25 to use for gluing outside corners. I think an 18 G brad would be to large for that. Yes?

I guess it all boils down to whether I reallyam better off with a 15 gauge angle gun, in which case I will just have to pay the piper and get what is needed for the Crown. If that is the case, I will probably pick up a refurbished Senco profinish 35 15 gauge angle and a cheapie Husky compressor, but that PC pancake compressor and straight 16 nialer are tempting.

I know I don't want the Passlode.

On a slighly different note, does anyone have any input on Gary Katz's DVD "Conquering Crown Molding". The $50 it costs would nearly pay for the additional cost of a 15 gauge gun over a 16. Then again, both the DVD and the 15G may be worth the exta bucks.

Watcha say?

Just Bill 11-10-2009 05:47 AM

Have been a remodeling contractor for 25 yrs. I finally bought a Paslode finish nailer a couple of years ago after years of using compressor guns. Wish I would have done it a long time ago. I have the 16 ga angle nailer and it works well for crown. You can get up to 2 1/" nails, which should be long enough for any crown. If you carefully locate studs, 16 ga should do just fine, even for large crown. But not having a cord or air hose is a real blessing. They are not inexpensive and there are ongoing costs with fuel, keeping the bat charged, but i love it.

Klawman 11-10-2009 01:16 PM

JUst Bill. So you think the 16 ga will do the trick for larger UMDF?

That Paslode is a sweet system and I can see where ditching a cord would be a big benefit , but I am more concerned with the gripping power of a 16 ga nail on 9" and 10" UMDF. That and whether a straight nailer will do the job, if twisted to one side or the other in order to get the nails out of the way of the wall.

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