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Old 10-22-2012, 11:10 PM   #1
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Which Nail Gun to Buy? - Building Primitive furniture from reclaimed wood & pallets?


Hi,
I recently started building Primitive furniture out of reclaimed/unused wood,pallets, ECT......
I have been using a cheap brad nailer and it doesn't always drive the nailed threw and also they aren't very sturdy.
My question is what should I use because I'm looking to purchase a new nail gun but idk what kind I should buy
Thanks!

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Old 10-22-2012, 11:23 PM   #2
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Which Nail Gun to Buy? - Building Primitive furniture from reclaimed wood & pallets?


A brad nailer is only good for very light work, like tacking something in place until the glue drys.
Going to need at least a finish nailer.
I use Kreg screws and Tite Bond glue far more then nails when building furniture.
How about you post some pictures of what you have built or are planing to build for better suggestions.

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Old 10-23-2012, 12:34 PM   #3
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Which Nail Gun to Buy? - Building Primitive furniture from reclaimed wood & pallets?


As suggested a finish nailer is what you need. I am retired now but still build furniture. I have built hundreds and hundreds of bedroom chest-of-drawers all sizes, headboards, entertainment centers, mirror frames, coffee tables, sofa tables, end tables, blanket chests and much more. I did not build chairs and don't know how. I used the finish nailers for applying glue blocks and supports (mostly unseen parts). When using finish nails on show-sides I puttied holes. Glue is your buddy. Lots of clamps. You can't have too many clamps in all sizes. Drywall screws by the boxload. A decent finish nailer with 1" - 1-1/4" nails. Tons of 120 & 180 sandpaper. And as many different type sanders, electric or air as you can afford, 3-4 minimum plus a couple sizes of tabletop belt sanders. You should be good to go.
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Old 10-23-2012, 12:53 PM   #4
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Which Nail Gun to Buy? - Building Primitive furniture from reclaimed wood & pallets?


I personaly would never use drywall screws for any form of furniture making.
Far to brittle and can snap off if there side loaded.
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:10 PM   #5
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Which Nail Gun to Buy? - Building Primitive furniture from reclaimed wood & pallets?


1" and 1 1/4" nails are only good for very small thin moldings.. they wont penetrate far enough into hte second piece of wood otherwise. allowing for movement
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Old 10-23-2012, 04:22 PM   #6
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Which Nail Gun to Buy? - Building Primitive furniture from reclaimed wood & pallets?


I would think wood dowls and biscuits would be a better choice.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:10 PM   #7
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Which Nail Gun to Buy? - Building Primitive furniture from reclaimed wood & pallets?


dowels and biscuits are a thing of the past.. they require 10x longer do to glue setup and clamping time. with pocket hole screws once the screws in the only thing left is to put the plugs in and sand flush
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:18 PM   #8
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Which Nail Gun to Buy? - Building Primitive furniture from reclaimed wood & pallets?


It is not the same as fine furniture joinery but the Kreg system may solve many of your primitive furniture needs. It does a nice job of setting pocket screws at good angles. I would invest in some plug cutters to cut plugs for any exposed screw heads. You can buy them in bulk too though.

http://www.woodcraft.com/PRODUCT/202...FcxcMgoddnMAFg

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Old 10-23-2012, 07:25 PM   #9
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Which Nail Gun to Buy? - Building Primitive furniture from reclaimed wood & pallets?


I understand what each person replying is saying but that's not all of the story. I have made furniture using dove tails, biscuit joints, dados, lap joints and on and on. Drywall screws are used extensively within furniture to attach glue blocks and tops to long rails such as sofa tables from inside. They are often used in pocket holes. They have their legitimate uses. If one breaks deal with it! As for small nails I was only giving the person an estimate of sizes, they have to figure out length for themselves. I have attached triple-hundreds if not thousands of sections of trim moulding with 1" to 1-1/4" finish nails plus other uses. I have set thousands of 3/4" glue blocks with them under tops. I have used wood dowels and sometimes still do. It's hard to think after thrirty years of woodworking what I haven't at least tried. I didn't reply to boast of my work, but many examples of my furniture are across the country, primarily the East, and many pieces are in Europe, and many pieces that I built were used in large furniture shows from New Orleans to Chicago.

To the original writer - work as you see fit. The purists will never be pleased with any work except their own. I do not subscribe to the view that one should take up the end of a board and hit somebody over the head with it when it has other uses. Good luck with the primitive furniture. That's the only kind I now make but not so much production.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:54 PM   #10
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Which Nail Gun to Buy? - Building Primitive furniture from reclaimed wood & pallets?


I should add that when using pocket holes the kreg screw is a usual choice but not the only choice. I haven't been a fan of pocket holes on every type of furniture. Biscuit joints are fine but not the only way and probably not worth all the trouble on some furniture. When when learns how to attach a top and glue and screw the under-rails or glue blocks properly to allow expansion and contraction, drywall screws do the job as well as anything at far less expense and trouble. Furniture making is an art not a science, it is in its own universe.
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Old 10-23-2012, 07:55 PM   #11
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Which Nail Gun to Buy? - Building Primitive furniture from reclaimed wood & pallets?


I love the thought of primitive furniture.
First must have tool is a 4" grinder with 80 grit paper on it.
My employer is a big nut on building primitive furniture. If a big tree gets blown down close by, he goes over with his chain saw and wants the curved roots for his projects.
He has a few rocking chairs and such that have won blue ribbons at the county fair.

You can use a conventional drill bit and drill a hole, the grinder to trim down the stock to fit in the hole.
A brad will hold it like a helping hand while fitting other pieces. But is all a brad is good for, just hold it together while you fit and make other pieces.
Will be the glue and clamps that really do the work when it is time to assemble.
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Old 10-23-2012, 11:35 PM   #12
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Which Nail Gun to Buy? - Building Primitive furniture from reclaimed wood & pallets?


I love my Kreg pocket hole cutter.......but It's best suited for things like face frames....

The OP is making "Primitive furniture".....this tends to mean old dry lumber....clunky and large.....chances are, a pocket hole screw will split the wood....

Short of using bolts.....dowls and biskets are going to be the strongest.....yea, it's more work....but stronger.
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Old 10-24-2012, 04:57 PM   #13
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Which Nail Gun to Buy? - Building Primitive furniture from reclaimed wood & pallets?


pocket hole screws are self tapping. as long as the correct thread type is chosen the wood wont split. besides their only short screws.. 3/4 stock gets 1 1/4's . 1" gets 1 5/8, 1 1/2 gets 2 1/4"
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:04 PM   #14
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Which Nail Gun to Buy? - Building Primitive furniture from reclaimed wood & pallets?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Dom Giovanni View Post
I understand what each person replying is saying but that's not all of the story. I have made furniture using dove tails, biscuit joints, dados, lap joints and on and on. Drywall screws are used extensively within furniture to attach glue blocks and tops to long rails such as sofa tables from inside. They are often used in pocket holes. They have their legitimate uses. If one breaks deal with it! As for small nails I was only giving the person an estimate of sizes, they have to figure out length for themselves. I have attached triple-hundreds if not thousands of sections of trim moulding with 1" to 1-1/4" finish nails plus other uses. I have set thousands of 3/4" glue blocks with them under tops. I have used wood dowels and sometimes still do. It's hard to think after thrirty years of woodworking what I haven't at least tried. I didn't reply to boast of my work, but many examples of my furniture are across the country, primarily the East, and many pieces are in Europe, and many pieces that I built were used in large furniture shows from New Orleans to Chicago.

To the original writer - work as you see fit. The purists will never be pleased with any work except their own. I do not subscribe to the view that one should take up the end of a board and hit somebody over the head with it when it has other uses. Good luck with the primitive furniture. That's the only kind I now make but not so much production.
You are absolutely correct drywall screws have a legitimate use and that is hanging drywall! You may make the most beautiful furniture in the world but apparently it doesn't sell for much if all you can afford is dry wall screws. And come on drywall screws in pocket holes that is about as hack as it can get.
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Old 10-24-2012, 06:09 PM   #15
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Which Nail Gun to Buy? - Building Primitive furniture from reclaimed wood & pallets?


Seems to me, and I admit to only designing and building outdoor furniture and stuff well, that blowing nails at 800,000psi into primitive wood runs a greater risk if it splitting than any screw imagined?

By the way, finding and building stuff out of found wood is a growing big deal in fine arts communities again now that people are parting with money again. Yes, whether most of us feel it or not, galleries are always the first indicator of social and spending trends. A friend owns a gallery with a guy who took to making "studio furniture" late in life. He was working with a metal chase artist and blacksmith to turn out some great stuff. He leans more to cabinetry these days. Prices are in the $$$$$$ range.

http://www.cinemagallery.cc/studiofurniture.htm

My ex had a beautiful table given her by an studio artist friend that was hewn and polished out of gorgeous tree trunk. Sits 10 or so. No metal fasteners used to join legs to the top. No square edges.

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