A brad nailer is a machine that is used for attaching small moldings and trim to a woodworking project. It used brads which are very thin nails ideal for delicate woodworking projects. These are used in instances where a finish nailer might split the trim as the nail is driven through it. Brad nailer uses brads that have a thin, small head that allows them to adhere thin and delicate pieces of wood together.
To effectively use this nailing machine, one needs to learn how to use a brad nailer. It may seem a little daunting task but with proper guidance, you can easily use this machine. First, let’s have an understanding of some brad nailer basics.
Some Basics of Brad Nailer
1. Gathering Supplies
Before starting using a brad nailer, you need to have little preparation to get ready for wood molding and trimming projects. For this purpose, you need to gather some supplies which are as follows…
- A brad nailer
- Brad nails
- Hose Adapter
- Air compressor (for pneumatic brad nailer)
- Air hose
- Safety Glasses
- Teflon Tape
2. Choose the Brad Nailer
When it comes to brad nailers, you have two options….
- Pneumatic Brad Nailer
- Electric Brad Nailer
Pneumatic brad nailers are powered by pneumatic air powered off by a compressor. This type of brad nailer offers a lot of variety as it is available in plenty of sizes and styles. It offers a lot of flexibility as you can use an array of brad sizes for it. Such a nailer also has a quieter sound and can drive brads quicker.
Electric brad nailers are electric-powered as suggested by the name and don’t require an air compressor. They are also a powerful option and offer some versatility as well.
How to Use a Brad Nailer?
1. Secure the Hose Connection
Secure the hose connection is the foremost thing to do before starting the brad nailer. You already have the supplies for making a tight hose connection, it needs assembling now which can be done as follows…
- Wrap the hose adapter with Teflon tape. This way you can prevent any air leakage at the connection point and you have all the power directed to the brad nailer.
- Attach the hose adapter to the compressor and brad nailer by using the wrench. Make sure both the fittings are properly attached.
- For electric brad nailers, you need to have a power source for driving them. Just plug in the electric brad nailer and operate the device accordingly.
2. Air Piston Lubrication
The air piston is needed to be lubricated if you are using a pneumatic brad nailer. This way any friction can be avoided while the air piston is in use. Use only a few drops of the pneumatic tool oil on the adapter as it can go a long way in lubricating the air piston. In case of any spills, use a cleaning cloth to wipe them off. You don’t need to use any lubrication for an electric brad nailer or other similar devices.
3. Loading the Brads
You need to load the brad nails in the brad nailer you are using to prepare it for operation. Loading the brads is dependent on the size and style of the brad nailer with a predetermined capacity. The brads are needed to slide into the compartment available on your device. Always full the brad nailer to its capacity to avoid any let or hindrance while using the machine. You can keep working without any interruption as you don’t have to reload frequently.
4. Test the Brad Nailer
It is recommended to test your brad nailer on a scrap piece of wood before using it on molding or trim pieces. Fire the brad nailer into the wood to identify if it is working properly. This way you can have a good feel of the brad nailer and its working. Testing can also prevent any damage to your actual wood piece as there won’t be any jammed nail to contend with when you use it on your actual project.
5. Using the Brad Nailer
Finally, you are ready to use the brad to attach the molding or trim work. Just like you tested the device, it is time to use the brad nailer on the actual project…
- Hold the nose of the brad nailer to the spot where the nails are to be placed.
- Ensure the area of brad nailing is clear, hold the handle when you are ready to pull the trigger.
- The nose of the brad nailer should rest at 90° on the wood you are adhering to.
- Pull the trigger on the machine to allow the brads to drive into the wood molding or trim.
Some Safety Concerns
Generally, the brad nailers are considered very safe to use when compared to the finished nailers. However, this doesn’t mean the injuries cannot occur. To prevent such sudden injuries, it is always advised to:
- Wear safety glasses
- Wear earplugs for ear protection
- Keep loose clothing away from the surface you are working on.