Lets face it, if you are a home owner there will come a time when you are in need of a Brad Nail Gun. Whether its attaching moldings and foot boards or making craft projects for your kids, these tools are a necessity. Lets talk safety and instructions.
These days, all models of Brad guns come with some sort of safety mechanism (i know, where's the fun in that) from trigger safeties to compression tips. As much fun as nailing your finger to a board may sound, these safeties are essential, especially when first starting out or teaching your kids how to use them correctly. While not super dangerous you need to be mindful of where your hand placement is and what is on the sides and backside of the material your are nailing. i admit, i have gotten complacent a time or two and didn't align me tip flush to the board, fingers too close to the project and moving a bit too fast. Let me tell you, punching a nail sideways through a board and into your finger is a sure fire way to remind you to respect the tools and think before you act!
The Brad gun i use is a multi sized nailer, meaning i can use anywhere from 5/8" to 2", 18 gauged nails giving me quite a range of uses. I have a bit of a rule in my home and shop, if i can't use it for more than one thing, i don't need it, so when i look for tools or any household appliance i make sure i get something that will do everything i need it too and survive any task i put it through. To use a Nail gun you are going to need an air compressor and while you can buy these cheap (fairly) they often sound loud enough to wake the dead and we don't need Zombies... I've seen those movies, they never end well. So i prefer a noise suppressed compressor, they cost a little more but are totally worth it (link below).
All you have to do to use one of these tools is simply attach the air hose, let your compressor fill with pressure (no more than 120 psi is needed), load whichever sized brads into your magazine and either compress both triggers or in the case of mine just press the tip against your desired material and pull the trigger. It is very important that you keep the nozzle at a 90 degree angle if you want the nail to set straight in, if you are off by more than about 10 degrees, you are going to shoot the nail out sideways through your material. When selecting your brad size you need to know the measurements of both your face material (what you are attaching) and your base material (what you are attaching it to), you do not need a brad to shoot out the other side. Keep in mind that your nail will be set in about 1/16th" to 1/8th" depending on the softness of your materials, so measure accordingly.
Example: Face Board is 3/4" and Base Material is 1", your total material thickness is 1 3/4". If you use a 1 3/4" Brad you will most definitely pop through the back side. In this case i would use no more than a 1 1/2" Brad for the project.
Final notes; watch out for knots in your wood, they often alter the trajectory of your nail or simply not allow penetration due to density, or as my wife calls it... a headache. Also, if you have a misfire where the nail didn't come completely out make sure to remove the air hose before attempting to remove it!
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