23 ga pinners suitable for crown molding and base molding?

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Forum topic by TopamaxSurvivor posted 11-04-2009 09:39 AM 4847 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17443 posts in 3003 days

11-04-2009 09:39 AM

Topic tags/keywords: pinners nailers crown base molding 23 ga

Are 23 ga pinners suitable for crown molding and base molding? Is somethig a little heavier more appropriate?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

12 replies so far

View studie's profile


618 posts in 2474 days

#1 posted 11-04-2009 10:07 AM

Love the 23 but, mine is just a starter from Harbor freight at $16 was worth a try but never sets the pin below flush. So I just file and forget them. 18 gauge is best for true fastening tho as they can go to 2”. The big dif is that #23 mostly has no holes to fill, they just disappear. #18 or 16 or 15 ALL have to be filled. Some even have to be nail set as some don’t drive in just right, then try to set a #18 in with a #1 nail set, it veers off and you get a hole the size of a #15 nail anyway! High end #23 nailers are BIG bucks but are worth it if you do delicate work, either way glue is the true fastening here, the pin just locates & clamps until the glue sets up. I have used the 23 to “pin” delicate thin trim to projects & purposely held the gun off the work about 1/4” so the pin was proud of the wood enough to pull it out once the glue had set. Sand in with stain & gone are the pin holes!

-- $tudie

View rhett's profile


731 posts in 2994 days

#2 posted 11-04-2009 03:07 PM

I worked at a cabinet shop where we installed finished crown on finished cabinets with a pin nailer. With glued joints it was very sturdy. The gun we had shot 2” pins, think it was a cadex. No filling nail holes. Good tool for cabinet moulding. Home trim might be pushing it, but with caulked seems and joints, it probably would work. I like a nice 2 1/2” 16 gauge into the studs for trim work.

-- Doubt kills more dreams than failure.

View UnionLabel's profile


661 posts in 2527 days

#3 posted 11-04-2009 03:14 PM

Take alook at Grip-Rite 23 ga. pinner. Fires a wide range of lengths and got good reviews. For around $129.00 it is a good deal. Headless and fires up to 1 3/16 pins. The best part though is the price. Compared to some of the other pinners, you can buy 2 and have money left for pins. LOL

-- Methods are many,Principles are few.Methods change often,Principles never do.

View JasonWagner's profile


527 posts in 2507 days

#4 posted 11-05-2009 04:07 AM

For wall/ceiling trim? I guess it depends on the size. Are you nailing wood trim into wood or drywall? I’m no trim carpenter but have done my share. I wouldn’t trust it for much more than cove molding or in combination with construction adhesive. If you’re using it for 5” trim I wouldn’t expect it to stay put for very long. I use a 16 ga nailer when I can and 18 ga brad nailer for smaller trim.

-- some day I hope to have enough clamps to need a clamp cart!

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17443 posts in 3003 days

#5 posted 11-05-2009 05:38 AM

I’ll be doing so small base molding around the floor with 1/2” rock over the studs. The crown will go directly to wood cabinet or backing. Sounds like 23 ga is more for eliminating clamps on small jobs than installing :-))

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Julian's profile


880 posts in 2852 days

#6 posted 11-05-2009 02:56 PM

I am a professional trim carpenter and I like to use a brad nailer for installing crown on cabinets, and I use a 16 gauge on baseboard. The 23 gauge is perfect for returning the end of trim where anything else would crack the wood, and for pinning the corners of crown together.

-- Julian, Park Forest, IL

View NathanAllen's profile


376 posts in 2471 days

#7 posted 11-05-2009 06:23 PM

A good rule of thumb is 16g for wall crown, even with a backer. 18g is fine on base. Avoiding glue on your sheetrock is always a good idea since someone might want to remove the crown/base at some point in the future. Also if your house is anything but brand new you’ll have slightly wavy walls.

23g works great for outside corners and like you realized for cabinets where you’ll be gluing the molding in place.

View Karson's profile


35027 posts in 3727 days

#8 posted 11-05-2009 06:31 PM

I like the pinner for holding for the glue to dry. Where the pins would go into drywall at the ceiling, I wouldn’t do it. If it was wood and you had enough penentration It might be wortk a try.

If it fails you could go back and put in 18 GA nails.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View a1Jim's profile


114966 posts in 2904 days

#9 posted 11-05-2009 06:32 PM

I’ve used 23 ga on crown but my gun shoots 2 1/4” nails and it holds better I would suggest 18ga and some colored putty to file the hole if the crowns already finished

-- Custom furniture

View ,'s profile


2387 posts in 2874 days

#10 posted 11-05-2009 07:16 PM

my vote is for 16 or 18 ga, unless your pinner will shoot 2” and it fastening into a wood backer.

-- .

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


17443 posts in 3003 days

#11 posted 11-05-2009 10:42 PM

I saw the rave review of the Harbor Freight 23 ga pinner. I thought for <$20, why bother patching up all those holes??? Oh well, may as do it like I always have. I won’t be gluing the trim. I’m putting back after reflooring and need to finich off the kitchen cabinets.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Kent Shepherd's profile

Kent Shepherd

2704 posts in 2613 days

#12 posted 11-05-2009 11:45 PM

I think 23 gauge is too light for those applications, especially for the base. I use my 15 gauge Senco for that,
although I love my 18 and 23 Gauge nailers for many other things.

-- She thought I hung the moon--now she just thinks I did it wrong

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