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Old 12-29-2011, 11:34 AM   #1
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Is a brad nailer good enough for trim


I have a brad nailer that shoots 18gauge 2 in nails. Is this enough for base and door trim or do I really need a finishing nailer?

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Old 12-29-2011, 12:51 PM   #2
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Is a brad nailer good enough for trim


That should do the job unless your base or casing is unusually thick--

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Old 12-29-2011, 01:06 PM   #3
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Is a brad nailer good enough for trim


i used an 18 guage like you have for all the trim in my house, base, casing, and crown and its held great. but it is all mdf so i didn't have to worry about anything twisting or warping.
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:23 PM   #4
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Is a brad nailer good enough for trim


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I have a brad nailer that shoots 18gauge 2 in nails. Is this enough for base and door trim or do I really need a finishing nailer?
That's what I use, and have never had any problems.
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Old 12-29-2011, 01:31 PM   #5
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Is a brad nailer good enough for trim


For regular trim I use a 15 gauge SFN40 Senco, the 18 gauge pinner is a little light for me in door/window, base mold, chair and ceiling mold.
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Old 12-29-2011, 02:05 PM   #6
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Is a brad nailer good enough for trim


It is better to use 16 gauge nails for wood-through-drywall-to-wood (fat side of casing) and 18 gauge short nails for wood-to-wood (skinny side of casing). If I only had a brad nailer, and getting a finish nailer made no sense for just a bit of trim, I would nail the larger nails by hand (not a big deal, it's been done for thousands of years).
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Old 12-29-2011, 05:29 PM   #7
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Is a brad nailer good enough for trim


Take the time to mark off all your studs. Do top and bottom parallel to each other.
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Old 12-29-2011, 06:00 PM   #8
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Is a brad nailer good enough for trim


Sometimes thin brads like that will curve back out the face of the trim wood if they hit too much resistance. Plaster walls are bad for doing this to them.
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Old 12-29-2011, 07:02 PM   #9
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Is a brad nailer good enough for trim


i install a fair amount of trim, when nailing i use a 16 gauge nailer for hanging doors, setting wall cleats for built ins, setting window boxes(jamb extensions) along with installing baseboard that is 3/4" thick stock plus nailing to plaster. the 16 gauge nailer has more power to sink nails which are heavier gauge. this gun can actually sink longer nails into denser wood and go into old hard plaster

i use my 18 gauge nailer for installing door casings, 1/4 round, crown, and thin mdf or pine baseboard. the problem with using a 18 gauge in denser thick mdf is that the nails only sink 3/4 of time and are more prone to "fish hook" i.e go into the wood and turn back around and come out the face..

i also use a 23 gauge headless micro pinner for installing micro moldings along with cross nailing mitres and installing returns on crown, baseboard plus window aprons

most high end experienced trim carpenters use a combination of both the 18 gauge and the 16 gauge though some may use a 15 instead of the 16 gauge
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Old 12-29-2011, 09:32 PM   #10
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Is a brad nailer good enough for trim


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It is better to use 16 gauge nails for wood-through-drywall-to-wood (fat side of casing) and 18 gauge short nails for wood-to-wood (skinny side of casing). If I only had a brad nailer, and getting a finish nailer made no sense for just a bit of trim, I would nail the larger nails by hand (not a big deal, it's been done for thousands of years).
What a concept. Please do not suggest the OP buy a $3 nail set to match the nail heads though.

I love nail guns. My fave story is working on a job where some idiot kept nailing foam trim at 900 psi or whatever and for some reason the nails kept coming through walls and into to side of my work boot as I was trying to hang doors.

When one nail finally nailed me through the boot, sock, skin and went into my ankle I finally had to say something really nice loving and kind. Some on this site use words of the devil. Never me. That I remember.
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Old 12-30-2011, 02:47 AM   #11
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Is a brad nailer good enough for trim


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What a concept. Please do not suggest the OP buy a $3 nail set to match the nail heads though.
It doesn't appear from his question that using a hammer even went through his mind. You young kids are so pampered!

I'll bet you guys would go running to Mamma if someone asked you to frame a house without a nailer!

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Old 12-30-2011, 04:07 PM   #12
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Is a brad nailer good enough for trim


using a nail gun for trim isnt a matter of being pampered its matter of using the correct fastening method for hte material.. hand nailing mdf makes a bloody mess. every nail hole will swell up if its hand nailed, next add paint and it will only get worse
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Old 12-30-2011, 09:21 PM   #13
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Is a brad nailer good enough for trim


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using a nail gun for trim isnt a matter of being pampered its matter of using the correct fastening method for hte material.. hand nailing mdf makes a bloody mess. every nail hole will swell up if its hand nailed, next add paint and it will only get worse
Yes, hand-nailing MDF is a mess to say the least.

Thank God in the world I live in sawdust and glue trim is the exception and not the rule.
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Old 12-30-2011, 11:03 PM   #14
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Is a brad nailer good enough for trim


I did a bunch of baseboards, shoe mold, and window trim with a 18g brad nailer and 2 inch nails. Some siding corner boards, too. Sometimes it works great. Sometimes the nails bend like fishhooks and come out the side. So I ended up driving a bunch of finishing nails by hand. Finally got a 16g finish nailer for my next project. I'm looking forward to using it to do window trim.

Try what you have and see if it works. Nothing wrong with ending up with a new tool if the brad nailer doesn't work for your application. .
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Old 12-31-2011, 03:40 AM   #15
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Is a brad nailer good enough for trim


When you nail MDF by hand, you need to predill it. When you nail it with a finish nailer, you always get a chip on the surface that needs to get scraped off and filled.

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