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MelindaA 08-10-2006 02:16 PM

Nail Gun and Compressor - Help!
Hello. I own a large home in South Florida. I want to buy a nail gun, because I have some soffit and fascia board, and also I have some wood I want to replace on a wood fence. I also would like to use the gun inside the house. I don't know anything about the guns, but have been looking a little bit on the internet and at home depot. My question is, because I don't want to make a mistake here, as I don't have $$ to throw out the window. What size compressor should I buy for this? And what size nail gun? I can't do much work with a hammer outside, as I am a woman and not as strong as you guys. Anyway, should I buy a combination compressor with nail gun? Do I need to use nails longer than 2 inches outside for the fascia board? And, if so, would I need a heavy duty nail gun? What brand would you recommend? If I get a heavy duty one, could I use it for small projects, too? Thanks for your help!! Melinda

AtlanticWBConst. 08-10-2006 05:12 PM


The fact of the matter is that no one nail gun is good for all nailing applications. We use different nails guns for different applications. Sad to say, but we use about 10+ different kinds of nail guns in general construction and general carpentry. To nail siding, exterior trim, fascia: You need a gun specifically made for nailing 'siding'. Yes, it is actually classifed as a "siding Nailer". It uses 2" to 2 3/4" length Galvanized nails. You have to use galvanized nails, otherwise they will rust.

To properly nail larger peices of lumber, like 2x4's and up, you need a framing nailer that shoots regular or clipped head nails up to 3 3/4" in length.

To nail off interior casing and interior moldings, you need a finish nailer (15 Gauge or 16 Gauge). There are straight nailers and angled nailers.
For smaller pieces of trim work, you need a 'Brad nailer'. It fires 18 gauge brad nails. If you use a larger gauge nailer, you can split the wood trim. Both of the standard nails used in those nailguns will rust if used outside, unless the nails you purchase say stainless or galvanized. Even in that case, you don't want to use an interior finish nail gun for exterior wood trim because the heads on the nails are too small to properly hold wood in place since wood expands and contracts with the weather and the temperature.

There are also nail guns that use staples to attach materials.....

SO you see, it can be an expensive matter.

What I would suggest is:

Buy a basic combination set that has a 'pancake' style compressor and several kinds of nail guns and hoses all in one package to start with.
Porter Cable makes a good one that I see alot in the big "Home Style" stores.

For now, I would suggest that you possibly attach your exterior trim by hand nailing. If you are hesitant about this, you can also use stainless Steel trim head screws. They use a square bit attachement. You can also putty over the holes and paint.

Good luck!

redline 08-10-2006 05:16 PM

Have you ever used a hammer?
You do not have to be strong to use a hammer.
The nail gun would probably be heavier then the hammer would be.

You could also buy a cordless drill/screwdriver to attach the wood on the fence with screws. Far cheaper than a compressor and nail guns(s).

747 08-12-2006 12:57 AM

atlantic has given you good advice. The portercable all in one set should cover a diyer nicely. Its also a excellent name which means it will last. Now about that soffit and fascia. Thats not all of that to nail. I mean its not like nailing 2x4 or 2x6. Meaning its not that thick. You can always go to plan b. Here it is. Wait till high school starts back up go to shop class and have teacher recomend a kid who is good in shop class. Offer him 30 dollars to knock that out for you.

MelindaA 08-13-2006 09:03 AM

Thank you so much for your help. A lot of good information here. Thanks!!

MelindaA 08-13-2006 09:30 AM

What size compressor?
Hi. I have another question.

what size compressor is needed for this siding gun?

MelindaA 08-13-2006 01:32 PM

okay this link should work.
what size compressor is needed for this siding gun?

AtlanticWBConst. 08-15-2006 08:17 AM

Sorry MelissaA,

the other link didn't work either.

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