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davis_mc 01-17-2009 12:41 PM

Crown Moulding and nailing

I have a question with respect to nailing up a crown moulding. The upper (ceiling) and lower (wall) sides of the crown moulding are flat. When I nail up the crown moulding should the nails go into those flat surfaces? NOTING: I'm not too convinced that would be a good approach because there is not much holding up the ceiling posting because the nail would go through the crown moulding into the dryall of the ceiling.

Or do I nail into the spring angle of the crown moulding? If that's the case I am hard pressed on that one as well because my nail gun only support 1-5/8" brad nails. I don't know or think that the 1-5/8" is going to support that either. Thoughts on that?

One other thing on that - if the spring angle is the way to go and the 1-5/8" is not going to hold it. Should I put like a 1"X1/2" strip of wood along the ceiling nailed on the wall side (not on the ceiling) into the studs on the wall? Then when I nail at the spring angle on the crown it then goes in the crown and into the 1"x1/2" wood that is nail into the studs? That gives enough for the 1-5/8" brad nails and the crown is nailed into that giving the support.

Any thoughts on this or is that just me being overly concerned on the support aspects of the crown moulding?

Termite 01-17-2009 03:32 PM

Before putting up the crown moulding you should mark out the location of each wall stud and each ceiling joist. On walls that run parallel to the ceiling joists I'll usually cut some nailer blocks at the crown's spring angle and mount them to facilitate nailing the crown.

You should always nail the bottom of the crown horizontally into each stud, and the top of the crown should always be nailed to each ceiling joist or nailing block.

Shooting perpindicular to the spring angle of the crown isn't going to work with any nailer.

In my opinion, a 1-5/8" brad is a bit short. You really should rent, buy, or borrow a gun capable of shooting 2" nails.

buletbob 01-17-2009 04:10 PM

As the Termite suggested, crowns should not be installed with brads. only on furniture. there is no strength or holding power from the brads.

davis_mc 01-17-2009 04:10 PM

Thanks for the info. Good point on the nailing blocks. To me it would be the same as the 1"X1/2" strip of wood. Albeit, the nailing blocks are just much less of that and only there where the studs are at. If I'm understanding what you are saying on the nailing blocks and stud. Please correct my if I'm misunderstanding.

The nail gun with the 1-5/8" is 3/8" short of 2 inches. Would that make much of a difference if I'm using nailing blocks? Hmmm...I guess it would really depend on the height of the nailing blocks would it not? Meaning if the spring angle is 2", and the nailing block was like an 1-1/2". Using the nail gun for the nailing blocks would only leave 1/8 and will not penetrate the drywall to go into the stud. But If I use a 2" nail and hammer (rather than the nail gun for that) then I could. Noting that 2" nail through all that is a little border line. Maybe a 2-1/2" nail. Those would just be for the nailing blocks. Would I not have ample room or more than ample to use the nail run at 1-5/8" nails for the crown moulding spring angle at the marked location of where the nail block is?

If I nail the bottom of the crown moulding using the nailer into the wall (to penetrate into the stud). Wouldn't 1-5/8" be too long for that given that the base (wall side) of the crown moulding is about 1/4" or 3/8". There is probably 1/2" drywall on the wall. So wouldn't the 1-5/8" be a bit excessive? (Just asking on that, maybe I'm wrong but not entirely sure.)

Tom Struble 01-17-2009 04:51 PM

your not listening .you are trying to make a brad do the work of a trim has more to do about the gauge of the fastener not the length

davis_mc 01-17-2009 05:09 PM

Ok, my bad...then I am not understanding completely. What is the difference between a brad nail and finishing nail? When it said Brad Finishing nail, I thought what was being referred to was the same. The Brad nails I have are 1-5/8" 18ga.

Any info on that?

jaros bros. 01-17-2009 05:20 PM

A brad nailer comes in 18 guage while a finish nailer runs 15 or 16 guage. The head of the nails on a 15 or 16 guage finish nail will hold a lot better than a brad will. A lot of times brad nails don't have a glue coating while finish nails almost always have a glue coating to keep the nails from pulling out.

Josh Jaros (Jaros Bros. Construction)

ponch37300 01-17-2009 05:34 PM

Brads are 18 gauge, finish are 16 gauge or 15 gauge angle. You should use the 16 gauge finish nails at least 1 5/8" long, 3/8" crown molding, 1/2" drywall with another 1/8" finish on it in the corner is over an inch which leaves you 5/8" into the stud with perfect conditions.

I was taught to cut a 2x4 at a 45* angle and nail/screw this to the studs which will give you a good nailer to attach your crown to. Depending on the size of your crown would depend on how wide you cut the 2x4".

davis_mc 01-17-2009 05:37 PM

So, it's the gauge, like strublesiding indicated and not the length. Even though the length MUST be long enough to penetrate what it's going through would it not? If so, I would say the length is then just as important as the gauge. Just curious, I know the price of nailers isn't necessarily cheap to rent or buy and if existing equipment can still be leveraged would it not be justified? Meaning wouldn't a few more brad nails even though the gauge it smaller and the length is enough to penetrate...wouldn't a few more brad nails do the same trick? Especially given the fact that the holes can be puddied?

I know if it I was a professional in the industry then I would definitely have more than one. But I'm not and I know that. :-)

Tom Struble 01-17-2009 09:21 PM

you can buy 6dfinish nails and use your trusty hammer then sink them just below the surface with a nail set then putty them.You can use your brad gun on the outside corners if you must :thumbsup:

Termite 01-17-2009 09:49 PM

Length is critical as well as gauge. Using the brad nailer in the manner you describe is a bad idea. Sorry we're not telling you what you want to hear, but the brad nailer is better suited to installing base shoe to baseboard and small mouldings to other pieces of wood. I can't think of any application where it is appropriate for a brad to penetrate sheetrock into framing members. 3/8" penetration into the framing is inadequate for support of trim.

Nailing blocks or strips are normally only used when there's no framing to attach to. If you insist on using the brad nailer, rip angled strips of 2x so you have DIRECT attachment of the crown to the strips of 2x. Personally I think that is a waste of time and you're better off installing the crown conventionally and properly. Only use nailing blocks (or strips) when you can't hit a ceiling joist. Remember, people used hand-drive finish nails to install crown until the invention of the trim nailer and it is a good way to do it.

TBFghost 01-20-2009 10:11 PM

Or you could rent a Paslode 16 awg cordless finish gun from homedepot....or...go check you local homedepot for sales... The Paslode pneumatic angled finish nailer was onsale at mine for $111 a few weeks ago...that is a pretty good deal.

brcleeroy 01-26-2009 01:37 PM

What material crown are you working with? I'm assuming you're using a wood crown. However, correct me if I'm wrong guys, I understand that it is not necessary to nail directly in to studs if you are using plaster or polyurethane.

davis_mc 01-26-2009 01:44 PM

It is wood. I have everything cut and all. The problem right now is that I'm trying to get the stain to be the as close as possible to the other trim. My wife did one little test area and it matches perfectly but we can't reproduce the same now. She even wrote down what she did. Either she got it wrong it it just didn't work twice for whatever reason because the same isn't working now.

Pain but I'm sure we'll get there. :-)

Willie T 01-28-2009 08:21 PM

Ponch gave you a good tip. Not only is cutting up little nailer blocks a pain, but getting them into place is sometimes aggravating. A long, beveled 2 x 4 is the way to go. This serves exactly the same purpose as the hundreds of little blocks, is faster to make, and can be nailed into place easier. It also gives you the very well appreciated ability to nail and/or splice your molding anywhere you feel like it.

Just make sure your 2 x 4 is shallow of where the molding will lie. You don't want it shoving the molding out of line anywhere.

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