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Master Your Brad Nailer Grand Rapids MI

If your firing angle parallels the growth rings, the brad will simply deflect off the hard latewood. Increase the air pressure when you nail into hard wood. Just like a putt that falls off line when it loses speed, a brad driven softly is more likely to deflect.

Johnson's Workbench - GR
(616) 245-9545
1038 Burton SW
Grand Rapids, MI

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Woodcraft - Grand Rapids, MI
(616) 957-9663
4265 28th Street SE Ste C
Grand Rapids, MI

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The Home Depot
(616)447-0100
2727 Alpine Ave NW
Walker, MI
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

ABC Supply Co. Inc./Grand Rapids
616-241-4848
2601 S. Division Ave. Grand Rapids, MI, 49507
Grand Rapids, MI
 
Modern Do it Best Hardware
(616) 241-2655
1500 Kalamazoo S E
Grand Rapids, MI
 
The Home Depot
(616)724-2280
257 54th Street SW
Wyoming, MI
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(616)975-4440
4646 28th Street, SE
Grand Rapids, MI
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

The Home Depot
(616)257-9559
4900 Wilson Ave SW
Grandville, MI
Hours
Mon-Sat: 6:00am-10:00pm
Sun: 8:00am-8:00pm

Rylee's Ace Hardware,Inc
(616) 451-0724
1234 Michigan St NE
Grand Rapids, MI
 
Godwin Hardware West
(616) 247-5022
1639 Chicago Dr S W
Wyoming, MI
 
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Master Your Brad Nailer

Master Your Brad Nailer

Tips and products to make your brad nailer safe and easy to use.

Tim Johnson

Avoid the Blowout Curse

A brad that unexpectedly shoots out the side of your project is guaranteed to make you curse, especially if your finger happens to be in the way. Blowout is instantaneous and dangerous. 

18-gauge brads are so darn thin, they have a tendency to deflect whenever they encounter something hard, like a knot. In most cases, blowout is caused by the wood’s uneven cellular structure, so you can take steps to limit its occurrence. 

• Orient the brad correctly. If you’re attaching a face frame, hold your nailer so its handle is perpendicular to the outside edge (not parallel, as shown in the photo). This positions the brad’s wedge-shaped tip so any side-to-side deflection will be contained in the wood. 

• Fire into the face frame’s growth rings. Check the end grain. 

If your firing angle parallels the growth rings, the brad will simply deflect off the hard latewood. 

• Increase the air pressure when you nail into hard wood. Just like a putt that falls off line when it loses speed, a brad driven softly is more likely to deflect. 

• Protect yourself. Even when you take preventative safety precautions, blowout can still occur. Always wear eye protection and keep your fingers well away from the brad’s path.


Avoid Nailer Elbow

A stiff, unwieldy air hose makes your nailer hard to maneuver, especially in tight spots. This swiveling air plug ($9 for 1/4-in. hose; $10 for 3/8-in. hose) increases your range of movement by acting as a stress-relieving universal joint between your nailer and hose (see Sources, below).


18-Gauge Brads are Interchangeable

Argh! You’re all out of brads. The owner’s manual says “USE OUR BRADS ONLY!,” but the store doesn’t carry the right brand for your nailer. What to do? 

If you’re in this pickle, don’t worry about the brand. The shafts of all 18-gauge brads are essentially the same size. Just make sure the brads you buy are the right length. Most owner’s manuals list the lengths that’ll fit, but here’s how to be sure: On the side of your nailer’s magazine is a series of flutes that correspond to the different brad lengths it accepts. To fit, the brad clip must sit on the steel wear strip at the bottom of the magazine and the brad heads have to rest between the flutes. Brad strips that hang from the flutes without bottoming on the wear strip don’t fit. They’ll cause misfires, jams and/or premature wear. 


Don’t Hammer Your Nailer

High air pressure is hard on your nailer. It’ll wear out the O-rings and other internal components prematurely.

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