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Thread: Using a brad driver

  1. #1
    CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    South Amana, IA


    We recently bought a new air compressor and are going to use it for a multitude of jobs. One I wondered about was using a brad nailer to use on frame corners. We use a biscuit joiner for bigger corners, but I'm wondering about using the brad driver in place of a hammer and nail set. If you use a brad nailer, what size brads do you use (3/4"-1") and have you had a problem with corners splitting if you didn't predrill? Thanks in advance for any information.

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  • #2
    PFG Picture Framing God BUDDY's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 1998
    Mandeville,La. USA 130 Blue Heron Dr.


    Wally I don't use a Brad Driver but I do have one(Senco) I have used different sized Brads.I got them from another framer that was so proficient with it that it was amzing. However after numerious trys I learnd a few things. First and most importantly ;make sure your compressor supplies enough pressure to drive the brads home all the time. Even the slightest drop in pressure can make them fall short and I have not found any way to finish them off neatly if they aren't all the way in.The chisel points are great fpr preventing splits but they are very hard to drive in with a hammers.Speaking of chisel points my dad taught me a trick that helps with convtional brads and nials when they split wood. Dull the point with a tap on the point .Second be sure that you have the correct angle on the brad since if the pressure is correct you only get one shot and it is home.You won't be stopping and changeing the angle or postion it will come right out the side .
    That's my input ,but as I said the guy I got them from used them exclusively and I'd defie you to find the brad when he was done( He even shot the bottom brad in on an angle up from the last 1/8 of an inch) but I gave up trying mostly becuase of inconsistant air pressure.Thats's the best i can do with my inexperience .

    [ 01-28-2003, 11:57 AM: Message edited by: BUDDY ]

  • #3
    SPFG Supreme Picture Framer God Ron Eggers's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Two Rivers, WI (And, yes, since you ask, there ARE two rivers here)


    Wally, I use a Senco slight-headed pinner with brads of 5/8, 3/4 and 1". It could be a nice compliment to your biscuit joiner since it would be most effective on narrower mouldings where the biscuit joiner can be awkward.

    I haven't had much trouble with splitting but, as Buddy said, you have to be careful not to drive the brad out the side of the frame.

    I don't use it all the time - it's just one tool in the joining arsenal.

    I'm often surprized at the framers who gasp at the notion of filling some tiny little nail holes. Get a good assortment of putty and learn to blend it. I use the heat gun from my shrink wrapper to melt the putty a little and I can get any tone I need.

    Obviously, I'm not building 50 frames/day.

    BTW, I've never had a problem with varying line pressure or brads not fully penetrating the frame. I have a really good compressor, so maybe that makes a difference.

    [ 01-28-2003, 02:10 PM: Message edited by: Ron_Eggers ]

  • #4
    MGF Master Grumble Framer
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Douglasville, GA, where Daisy, the Wonder Cat, still graces us with her Presence


    My brad shooter is a Porter Cable, and I shoot several sizes with it, depending on what moulding I'm using. One thing that I found helps with mine, is putting an auxilary regularator on my compressor that has micro adjustments. I have much more control over the pressure that I shoot. Also, if a brad doesn't quite go all the way in, I just tap it in with a nail set, then I fill with fill sticks that I get from Woodworker's Supply. I like them better than putty. It seems to set up a little harder, and doesn't shrink like putty.
    Jimmy, the Elf - "It matters not how many people you knew; but, how many people you touched."

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