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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am thinking of getting a brad nailer. What size do I need for most small woodworking projects, like boxes, etc.? What do I look for as far as pressure needed, etc. Very vague about this. Please help. Thanks
 

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Hi oldnewbie

If you are just going to get just ONE I would recommend getting one that can do brads and staples in the same gun. 18ga.

But I would also recommend getting a 16 ga. one also, most can put in 1/2" to 2" long brad nails.

The staples work best for plywood backs on cabinets the etc. then the small brads are great also because the head will be set in under the top of the board top.

I have many of the them and the one I like best is the Dewalt but I also like the Craftsman model also.
I should note I have many Grizzly/Harbor Freight ones also and they are OK but just for a small shop (hobby shop) but they work great and at great price. :)

Most air compessors will do the job you don't need a big one.


Bj :)
 

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If you want the gun to do fine finish work, I personally would not get a combo nailer/stapler. Reason being it has to have an anvil that will cover the stapler and brads so it leaves to big of a whole or at least the ones I have seen do. I recommend buying them as you need one. Get a brad nailer that can shoot upwards of 2 inches like BJ says. If you don't have a compressor yet then look at one of the PC or Bostitch combo units. I ended up getting a PC pancake with a 16 ga finish nailer, 18 ga brad nailer and I got a rebate for a free 1 1/4 inch stapler :) BJ is right the staplers are great for cabinet backs and that kind of stuff but I wouldn't recommend a nailer/stapler if you want as small of hole as possible. If you want to do frames and real small boxes with nails consider a 23 ga pinner.... grizzly has some nice guns for the money as well. Typically these brad and finish guns use between 80-90 PSI. Hope this helps.

Corey
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the help, guys. Lots of info I hadn't even considered. I have a small Craftsman compressor, probably more the inflator type, but it does say up to 150 psi. Maybe I just need to add the hose extension and gun?
 

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Hi oldnebie

You will need more than just hose and gun. :) if it's a real small one for tires.
Tank below
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=40057

BUT they the tank is 40.oo bucks and if you just out just a bit more you can
get the one like below that will do just fine. :)
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=90168

I have one like the one below that I drag around the yard when I need to use a air nailer or other air tools to far from the shop.

They put them on sale all the time I got the one I have for 69.oo bucks on sale from HF... :), I did rework it a bit and put on bigger wheels so I could pull it easy in the grass and weeds and without falling over, air tires from HF for 5.oo bucks ea.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=90385
here's one for 70.oo bucks they have all kinds.
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=94291
10" Tires and wheels
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=30900

More toys for big boys at HarborFreight :) :)

Bj :)
 

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Good info from these guys and just a little tip if you go the pancake route. I throw my set up in my yard wagon which has the inflatable tires. The set up then follows me around like a well trained puppy :sold:
 

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Here is some more food for thought. If you are building furniture you will often need the strength of finish nails. If you are adding trim you do not usually need the strength of a brad. If you plan on using this where it will show then a 23 gauge pin nailer will do the trick for trim leaving a hole so small you dont even need to fill it. When attaching backing materials a stapler is worthwhile, and they come in both wide and the more common narrow crown versions. Let me suggest you consider individual brad and stapler tools so you don't have to unload the tool to shoot the other fasteners. Harbor Freight makes very good quality air tools under the Central Pneumatics name. Their air drills and die grinders out perform American made brands like Ingersol Rand at a fraction of the price. I got a super price on my PC pin nailer of $120 and was pleased with it, right up till the time I saw a Central Pneumatics model for under $30. At HF you should be able to buy a finish, brad and pin nailer for under $100 and have enough change to buy some fasteners, if there is a good sale running you might get a stapler too.
Let me add to this by mentioning an idea I saw in a magazine. Find a way to mark a color on each of your air tools, perhaps colored vinyl tape around the handle. Then make a box for each type of fasteners and paint it that color. When using the tool with the yellow tape go to the yellow box for refills, blue tape the blue box. Since most fasteners come in the same colored boxes you will save time by grabbing the correct refils every time. I know this to be true because I have on more than one occasion grabbed the wrong box when thinking about the next step in a project.
 

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oldnewbie said:
I am thinking of getting a brad nailer. What size do I need for most small woodworking projects, like boxes, etc.? What do I look for as far as pressure needed, etc. Very vague about this. Please help. Thanks
I got an 18ga brad nailer from Harbor Frt for about $17 ON SALE and it works great... for my casual use... I use 1-1/4" brads mostly.

I also got the HF two tank compressor, normally abt $150... ON SALE for abt. $100...

I bought their hose and brads for very reasonable prices...

I think your 150psi will work just fine...

I use mine like Norm of NYW uses his... :) :D ... just for the glue to set...

That's what I'm doing and it works great and not costing me an arm n a leg.
 

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Lucy, I'm glad you found humor in my statement. Working in heavy industrial maintenance and doing pipe fitting and machine building over the years I can tell you that IR tools have gone so far down hill that I will no longer purchase them. They break under normal usage and cost 4-5 times as much as the Central Pneumatics tools. This opinion is not only my own observations, 90% of the professionals where I last worked felt the same way. Mind you I still own an IR 810 impact wrench and a ratchet from the days they built quality tools. Their new products shame the company name. Now perhaps you can tell me what you find funny about that?
 

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Hi Mike,
As soon as I posted that, I saw you were a mod and knew you would come back with something.

Being a production manager at a steel fabricating shop, I too am no stranger to tools. I used the snot out of IR 1" drive impacts from '72-'80, but must admit to not having much to do with IR since. But... I do know that Central Pneumatics makes some of the most God awful crap I've ever seen.
 

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Lucy, As major American made brands have shifted their production off shore there has been an unbelieveable decrease in quality. I know IR used to be the finest you could buy, surpassing Snap-On and all others. I have one of their angle drills from those days as well and it still performs well. Knowing the poor quality of many of the electric tools from HF I assumed the same of their air tools. HF's Central Pneumatics brand is now higher in quality than IR, at least as far as air drills and die grinders goes. The recent sale of the Pentair group has Porter Cable owned by B&D now. The 890 series routers have been plagued with problems from day one. The American made motors had problems with the insulation causing fires and a forced recall by the Consumer Protection Agency. The replacement motors made in Taiwan have been problem free. Poor castings and machine work on router bases caused PC to pull the job from their supplier and completely rework the plunge base. To top this off they are not willing to replace the defective bases in the market place until forced to do so. I am sure you remember Porter Cable as being the finest quality American made tools as I do. Times change, and you will find other surprises in the tool market. It strikes me that you are old enough to remember when "Made in Japan" meant junk. Now they are state of the art in many production fields. As more brands are shifting their production to SE Asia the quality is coming up. Most brands of routers are now built there, along with the other power tools. I take pride in my work and am careful to research before voicing an opinion on the forums.
 

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Dang. Mike, I hate doing this, but I just realized I don't know squat about what I'm saying here, and will apologize to you, sir. Chicago Electric , Central Pneumatics, Chicago Pneumatic, I got confused. It's Chicago Electric that I am familiar with. Is there a difference?

I just noticed Hitachi went from Made in Japan to Made in Taiwan to made in China. Does Made in Malaysia come before Made in Mexico, and is it before or after Made in USA?
 

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Lefty Lucy said:
Dang. Mike, I hate doing this, but I just realized I don't know squat about what I'm saying here, and will apologize to you, sir. Chicago Electric , Central Pneumatics, Chicago Pneumatic, I got confused. It's Chicago Electric that I am familiar with. Is there a difference?

I just noticed Hitachi went from Made in Japan to Made in Taiwan to made in China. Does Made in Malaysia come before Made in Mexico, and is it before or after Made in USA?
Read the Feb 2007 issue of Woodworker's Journal on "The China Syndrome". EVERYTHING is made offshore, darn near! And there are varying degrees of quality. I just bought a Powermatic bandsaw, and they are made in Taiwan. And Delta, Grizzly, Craftsman, Jet, Rikon, Steel City Tools, "add your favorite brand here" are all made in Asia. You have low-end stuff, like Harbor Freight brands, and high-end products, like Powermatic -- you get varying degrees of quality depending on what you want to spend. But there is good news -- there are some great tools coming out of Asia.

Let's face it, we have lost manufacturing to Asia. No amount of grumbling and devotion to national pride is going to change anything. We can design amazing stuff, but it will be built offshore. The West's continued demand for lower and lower priced products has gotten us where we are today.

If I could buy an American-made power tool, and it came at a slight premium, I'd buy it. But there is not enough market demand for many companies to stick it out here and try to compete with cheaper tools from overseas. One that comes to mind is The Original Saw Company, that makes incredible radial arm saws. But be prepared to drop a few kilobucks for one. I am assuming they still make them here (and that they are still in business!). I think I'll Google them right now.

:sold:
 

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It's just the same here in Australia, I don't think that any power tools are now made here, most, irrespective of brand name come from China or Taiwan. The important thing to bear in mind is that price usually is directly proportional to quality. About six years ago when I was in the market for a 12.5" planer I could have bought one for $A399.00 (now $A299.00) but I decided to settle for a Delta at about $A899.00 and even though it is made in Taiwan, the quality of build couldn't have been better had been made in the USA. Harry
 

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Lucy, Chicago Electric is the very poor quality house brand of electric tools from HF. Chicago Pneumatic was at one time made in America quality air tools. Central Pneumatics air tools are made by HF and are high quality. Do not let the price fool you. Many of the skilled blue collar jobs have evaporated from Michigan, sent south of the border to Mexico or off shore. Of the highly skilled builders still employed here you will find close to 90% of them have HF's Central Pneumatics air tools in their boxes and prefer them over other brands. There are exceptions to the rule of off shore quality surpassing American made, perhaps the most notable is Whiteside and their router bits. They are consistantly rated the best quality and you can find them for less than Italian made brands like CMT and Freud or the Israeli built Amana.
Feedback from forum members is important to us. This is how we come up with suggestions for tool purchases, not just in the US but world wide. Thanks to a heads up from our member Benny in Japan we discovered the major mess of quality control in the PC 890 series routers. I took PC to task and they admited to their quality problems and offered an 800 number for individual cases. You can read about this in the forum news section. One of our members bought a defective router table and was getting the run around from the company until I intervened with a message from the forums 10,000 + members. That member was given the top of the line table in an even exchange for his trouble. We want everyone to enjoy their wood working experience and wish to promote routing with all brands of products. We will be honest about the value of products and report problems and praise where merited. Lucy, we are pleased to welcome you to the forums and you stay skeptical and keep us on our toes.
 

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Brad Nailer

i got one BN125 porter cable off of ebay for $30 I thought that was a good price It shoot's 1"X1/4 brads down to 5/8 The staples are 18-gauge, 1/4-inch from 1/2 to 1 inch long A drop of oil in the air intake and you are good to go Mine is in good condition Don't use it that often But sure is a good tool when you need it thanks for reading del
 
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