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How to drive nails straight

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Forum topic by JonC posted 11-25-2016 07:35 PM 722 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JonC

6 posts in 762 days


11-25-2016 07:35 PM

I am using a cordless nailer to assemble drawer boxes. It is an angled nailer. I am having a very difficult time driving the nails in straight. The ones on the drawer sides (into the plywood bottom) are going in ok. But for some reason I keep screwing up when attaching the fronts and backs. They go in at an angle and stick out of the wood.

Is there a trick to this? I am hoping it doesn’t rely on my holding the gun 100% straight, because I obviously have a hard time doing that.


12 replies so far

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jbay

1857 posts in 738 days


#1 posted 11-25-2016 07:43 PM

Try rotating the gun 90 deg.
Most nails have a point on the end. (Depending on what your using) The point will allow the nail to bend forward or backwards. if you have your nail gun sideways when the nail bends it will go out one of the sides. If you turn your gun aligned with the sides, when the nail bends, it will stay within the material.
Again it depends on the nailer and type of nails it uses.

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

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jerryminer

811 posts in 1280 days


#2 posted 11-25-2016 07:48 PM

+^^^ what he said.

-- Jerry, making sawdust professionally since 1976

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Bill White

4807 posts in 3799 days


#3 posted 11-25-2016 08:35 PM

What gauge nailer are you using? I use an 18 ga. gun for work such as this.
Look at the ends of the nails. The chisel points will follow the wood grain, and as others have said, turn the god so the chisel points are cross-grain oriented.

-- bill@magraphics.us

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JonC

6 posts in 762 days


#4 posted 11-25-2016 11:20 PM

Thank you all. This is a 15 ga. I was going with the grain, as I was taught, but will try cross-grain for this.

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clin

751 posts in 835 days


#5 posted 11-26-2016 12:36 AM

What jbay said. It isn’t necessarily so much what the grain is doing, as it is which directions will tolerate the nail bending without it poking out where you don’t want it.

I will point out that the illustration jaby shows, is exactly opposite how the nails I use behave. So you have to look at your nails and note the orientation of the chisel tip on them. It’s the angle on the tip that will cause it to deflect to one side or the other. And certainly the grain affects this, but more often than not, you can tolerate the nail bending in one direction, but not the other. So orient the gun and therefore the nail chisel tip, so it just doesn’t matter if it deflects.

-- Clin

View firefighterontheside's profile

firefighterontheside

16948 posts in 1695 days


#6 posted 11-26-2016 12:55 AM

What length nails are using? The longer they are, the more chance for them to come out.

-- Bill M. "People change, walnut doesn't" by Gene.

View jbay's profile

jbay

1857 posts in 738 days


#7 posted 11-26-2016 03:11 AM



What jbay said. It isn t necessarily so much what the grain is doing, as it is which directions will tolerate the nail bending without it poking out where you don t want it.

I will point out that the illustration jaby shows, is exactly opposite how the nails I use behave. So you have to look at your nails and note the orientation of the chisel tip on them. It s the angle on the tip that will cause it to deflect to one side or the other. And certainly the grain affects this, but more often than not, you can tolerate the nail bending in one direction, but not the other. So orient the gun and therefore the nail chisel tip, so it just doesn t matter if it deflects.

- clin

What kind of nails are you using? (15 gauge?)

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

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jbay

1857 posts in 738 days


#8 posted 11-26-2016 03:12 AM



What length nails are using? The longer they are, the more chance for them to come out.

- firefighterontheside

Even I have a hard time hitting 1/2” material with my 3 1/2” framing Nails. :)

-- If anyone would like to see my Portfolio, PM me and I would be glad to send you the link.

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JonC

6 posts in 762 days


#9 posted 11-26-2016 05:02 PM

They are 15 ga nails. I will go and check when I get a chance, but I am pretty sure they are 1 1/4 inch. Is that too long? The drawer sides are 5/8”.

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

4496 posts in 3082 days


#10 posted 11-26-2016 08:06 PM

For drawer construction, 18 gauge nails are the best choice. As far as chisel points and wood grain are concerned, what the others said is to be observed. When I make drawers, I use glue + 18 gauge brads, but I let the bottom float.

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JonC

6 posts in 762 days


#11 posted 11-26-2016 09:01 PM

What is a good gauge for cabinets? 18 or 15?

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ArtMann

688 posts in 655 days


#12 posted 11-26-2016 09:25 PM

I don’t normally assemble cabinets with nails but if I did, I would use 18 gauge. The bigger the nail, the harder to hide. For attaching face frames, I use clamps and glue. Occasionally, I will use pocket screws if they won’t show.

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