What size Nailer?

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Forum topic by spunwood posted 02-27-2011 10:01 PM 1032 views 0 times favorited 5 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 2835 days

02-27-2011 10:01 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tool

Well, I am excited to say that I am looking into making picture frames and selling them locally. I want to get a nail gun to aid in assembly.

We decided to start small, no matting or glass yet, just rustic wood frames. I will have pictures soon of the samples I made and the ones I made for Grandma’s birthday (when I finish that blog).

I am looking at pin guns (23 gauge). Most of the guns fire nails that are about 1 3/8”. There are a few (more expensive) that fire pins up to 2”.

What do you think? How large a nail will do for a frame? Do you think nails and glue will do?


-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

5 replies so far

View Loren's profile


10394 posts in 3646 days

#1 posted 02-27-2011 10:13 PM

The longer pins will have much more tendency to bend when shot. “Blowout”
may ruin your frames appearance and it’s a hassle to fix, so in general use the
shortest nail that will work to hold.

A lot of framers use crown staples bridging the miter on the back. You can
also get special picture corrugated frame connectors and I believe there are
special guns that shoot them.

I wouldn’t recommend nailing from the side if if you want a reliable method
that gets good results 99% of the time or more. Nailing miters from the edge
is useful in finish carpentry and in a pinch, but parts damage and errant
nails are a problem.

View spunwood's profile


1202 posts in 2835 days

#2 posted 02-27-2011 10:45 PM

Thanks man, that is helpful. I am also looking at v nails

-- I came, I was conquered, I was born again. ἵνα ὦσιν ἓν

View BTKS's profile


1986 posts in 3463 days

#3 posted 02-27-2011 11:21 PM

If you are going full tilt into frames I would recommend the v nails or as Loren stated, the corrugated cross ties. Framing and matting studios use these products for a reason. Of the frames I’ve made with either of these options available they have worked very well. Much better than pinning and no marring of the edge or face. Good luck with this endeavor.

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View Dragonsrite's profile


136 posts in 3395 days

#4 posted 02-27-2011 11:35 PM

My brother is a professional picture framer and has been for …. just shy of forever. I don’t recall him using anything but the ‘V’ nails. Of course he has the fancy dedicated “nail gun” to shoot ‘em in. Generally he gives each joint a couple+ “nails” depending on the width of the frame.

Oh yeah… glue too.

-- Dragonsrite, Minnesota

View juniorjock's profile


1930 posts in 3764 days

#5 posted 02-27-2011 11:46 PM

Seems like it would depend on what type joints you are planning to use. I’d guess that you would probably use several types. Butt and miter joints tend to not glue up good. But the glue with some kind of fastener should work. The type brad or pin would depend on the size lumber you’re using. A combination of glue, pins and splines would be very strong. You’ll be able to figure it out by trying different things. My only advice would be to figure it out – before you spend a bunch of $$ on a nail or pin gun.
- JJ

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