HOW TO USE A BRAD NAILER?

What is a Brad Nailer?

If you are a novice or new to the brad nailer, a definition will not be a bad idea. A brad nailer is a hand-held tool that is used to fire brad nails. It is a smaller version of a standard finish nailer. It is mostly used for attaching small mouldings and trim to wooden projects. The brad nailer is somewhat relative to the finish nailer. It is smaller in size, and slightly less potent than the finish nailer. Hence it is used for securely holding fragile mouldings or trims which can become split or damaged if they take in much force from a finish nailer.

Brad nailers make use of brads which are made from 18-gauge wire. The presence of the 18-gauge wire in Brad Nailers differentiates them from finish nailers which make use of 15 and 16-gauge wire, making them thinner as well. Brads also possess thin heads, which leave small nail holes and hence require the lesser amount of hole filling before finishing the piece or at most times need no filling at all. The length of brads ranges from 5/8 inch to 11/2inches in length. This short length and narrow diameter mean that the brad nails lack the holding power of large finish nails and wood screws, thus restricting them to use only for small, delicate pieces of trim.

BRAD NAILER TYPES AND STYLES

There are currently two types of brad nailers which are the Pneumatic Brad Nailer and the Cordless Brad Nailer. The pneumatic brad nailer requires an air compressor to power the tool while the cordless brad nailer makes use of both a rechargeable battery and compressed air to control the machine and drive the brad into the wood.

Brad nailers also come in different styles, depending on the way the brad clip is positioned. Classic models have straight clips, while angled brad nailers have clips that are posted at an angle.

HOW TO USE A BRAD NAILER?

Before you begin to use your brad nailer, there are a few things that you need to know that will help you to maximise your tool fully. Not only that, these tips will help you to safely use this tool without causing harm to yourself and others.

  • Do not place the brads too close to the rim of a wooden board, as doing this may split the board, causing it to be damaged beyond repair.
  • Never use a hammer to pound your bent brad in. Doing this will only bend the brad further, all you need to do in such situations is to remove the brad entirely.
  • Always check your nail clip often, and ensure that nail clip is always loaded, this is very important to do. If your nail clip is not loaded, the brad nailer will still fire, and this may chip the wooden surface and also damage the brad.
  • Ease the grip with which you press the trigger of the brad nailer. This is because pressing it with too much force may cause the nose of the brad to hit the workpiece again as a result of recoil and create a dimple near the hole. Apply enough pressure to make the nailer steady and in place when the trigger is fired.
  • Due to its thinness, a brad nailer is not meant for all types of wood, just for woods that are too light for finish nailers. Hence, it should not be used on hardwoods such as plywood or MDF, as it will be difficult for the brad nails to pierce through them.

Other usage tips to consider include:

  • Ensure that you purchase the correct hose adaptor for your brad nailer if you are using a pneumatic brad nailer.
  • Purchase a hose adaptor that fits your nailer.
  • The fitting on the hose adaptor should be wrapped with Teflon tape. The adaptor should be connected to the device until it is tight.
  • The brad nailer should be lubricated to function properly.
  • The device should be loaded with enough nails for a particular project.
  • The air compressor should be allowed to pressurise before it is connected to the nailer.
  • The device should then be tested to check if it is working properly before being used for the project.
  • Be careful when you handle the device.

With this steps and tips, you are on your way to having a seamless and enjoyable brad nailer usage. However, there are safety measures that you must take to avoid harm while using. You may be wondering how this small hand tool may become harmful, but my experience, and as experts, we have culled together a pool of safety tips.

  • If you are working in a confined area with a brad nailer model that used loud compressors, then it is good to use earplugs to protect your ears and hearing.
  • Also, invest in safety glasses so that your eyes are adequately protected from rogue brads.
  • Ensure that you do not nail the loose ends of your clothing to the workspace.
  • What else can the Brad Nailer Achieve?

If you are still in the dark about some other things you can achieve with the brad nailer, here are some uses:

  • Brad nailers can be used to rejuvenate your wooden trims, shaky mortise joints, old furniture or just about anything.
  • With the brad piece, you can get creative as it allows for a special nosepiece attachment that leaves the brad heads exposed.
  • With the brad nailer, you do not need to measure the distance between the holes of your picture. You only need to place the frame on your desired wall spot and use your brad nailer to shoot those nails in and hold your picture firm.

With the brad nailer, you have the opportunity to handle and perform many tasks yourself, but you need to learn its usage. Hope that this guide has given you a level of expertise as to the usage of the brad nailer and helped you become more confident in the usage of this very invaluable tool. Till we meet again, enjoy the use of your brad nailers.

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Michael M Selby
 

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