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Lesson Learned-Brad Nailer, Wood Glue and MDF=Fail

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  • Lesson Learned-Brad Nailer, Wood Glue and MDF=Fail

    I just wanted to relay my experience to all who care. I recently picked up a compressor with an 1 1/4 nailer for some trim work around the house. I had the bright idea that the nailer might take the place of clamps in box building. I figured if I nailed the glued joints as I went along, I would save alot of time as I wouldn't have to wait for glue to dry.

    The bottom line is that the nails simply do not pull the seams together adequately. I guess it could be passable in some situations, but for the typical over-builder(myself included) it was a no-go.

    Oh well. No wonder they say you never can have enough clamps.

  • #2
    Re: Lesson Learned-Brad Nailer, Wood Glue and MDF=Fail

    Yup, been there, done that, got the tee-shirt, ball cap, coffee mug, tattoo and the scars...I even tried the little crown staples...same results. Even a 2 1/2" finishing nail gun doesn't get a grip in MDF or edge plywood. "Clam(p)s got legs!"-"BC"

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    • #3
      Re: Lesson Learned-Brad Nailer, Wood Glue and MDF=Fail

      i have had good results with mine. i just turn the air pressure up more than stock and i use 1" nails

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      • #4
        Re: Lesson Learned-Brad Nailer, Wood Glue and MDF=Fail

        I imagine 1/ 1/4 inch brads in 3/4 inch MDF being a problem, but I've not had a problem with 2 inch brads in 3/4 inch MDF. I make sure they curl or "break" to the inside.

        Also I'm using clamps to tighten the joint together and the brads to hold it in place.

        Typical sequence is to glue, align, nail, then clamp, then move to the next piece until I'm out of room or clamps. Then it's 30 minutes for the glue to set (PL or Yellow) then pull the clamps and start again.
        John H

        Manchester (St. Louis) Missouri

        Titan OB, B452, Udique, Vultus, Latus1, Seriatim ,Aperivox, Indy-NG, Dino, Pencil Tower, Planer Stand

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        • #5
          Re: Lesson Learned-Brad Nailer, Wood Glue and MDF=Fail

          sorry that happend. glue, clamp and nail, remove clamps, move on. works great with 18 gauge 1 1/2 brads. the brads dont replace clamps, just allows one to move on and not be afraid to handle the box..
          " To me, the soundstage presentation is more about phase and distortion and less about size. However, when you talk about bass extension, there's no replacement for displacement". Tyger23. 4.2015

          Quote Originally Posted by hongrn. Oct 2014
          Do you realize that being an American is like winning the biggest jackpot ever??

          http://www.midwestaudioclub.com/spot...owell-simpson/
          http://s413.photobucket.com/albums/pp216/arlis/

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          • #6
            Re: Lesson Learned-Brad Nailer, Wood Glue and MDF=Fail

            I am on the positive side of brading. I've used brads in 1/2" MDF, Arauco, 3/4" MDF, all kinds of ply, no problem.

            I do as Arlis said, glue, clamp, brad every 6 inches or so. No problems. And I'm an overbuilder as well.
            Builds - C-Killa - Speedsters - LithMTM - Talking Sticks - Pocket Rockets - Khanspires - Dayton RS Center - RS225/28A - Kairos - Adelphos - SEOS TD12X - Dayton 8 - Needles - 871S - eD6c - Overnight Sensations - Tritrix (ported) - Lineup F4 - Stentorians - The Cheapies - Tub Thumpers - Barbells - Tuba HT - Numerous subwoofers - probably missing a few...... :p

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            • #7
              Re: Lesson Learned-Brad Nailer, Wood Glue and MDF=Fail

              I use 1-1/2" brads to keep things aligned and a few clamps for pressure. Can cut and glue up standard sorts of boxes in no time at all. Not too creative, but effective boxes.

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              • #8
                Re: Lesson Learned-Brad Nailer, Wood Glue and MDF=Fail

                I use brads + glue constantly. As long as I'm holding the joint tight as I'm nailing it, I've never had a problem. Honestly, once I got going with these, that was the last time I used my biscuit joiner... and about the only time I clamp a cabinet is when I can't hide the nail heads.

                I once shipped a sub cabinet (built with brads + glue) with a HiVi SP10 mounted in it. The package was jostled so much during shipping that the woofer frame sheared in half. The cabinet was fine, though
                Isn't it about time we started answering rhetorical questions?

                Paul Carmody's DIY Audio Projects
                Twitter: @undefinition1

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                • #9
                  Re: Lesson Learned-Brad Nailer, Wood Glue and MDF=Fail

                  I just started using a 16 gauge pnuematic nail gun this past weekend to build an enclosure, with success. I was joining 1" MDF with 1 3/4" long braids (16 ga.), using Grizzly 90 degree alignment clamps just on the ends. I glued, fitted & end clamped, final fitted - tapping with a hammer, then nailed every 3". Excessive glue was effectively squeezed out of the joint, indicating a tight fit.

                  Before the first actual joining with glue, I performed a trial test. I pneumatically nailed two pieces of 1" MDF together without glue. The 3" wide MDF boards were joined with brads about 3" apart. The nailed joint was very tight, with no movement when attempting to flex by hand.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Lesson Learned-Brad Nailer, Wood Glue and MDF=Fail

                    I built some tiny single-driver surround speakers with 1/2" MDF and glue+brads (1 1/2" i think?). Project itself was a disaster but i can't blame the brads. Wouldn't trust them to hold together anything with any size to it tho... i like the idea of holding panels together with the brads and then clamping on top. Have to give that a shot.

                    Aside: I'm a huge proponent of safety goggles. I was installing some shoe molding a while back and the nailer head wasn't flush against the wood. Brad hit the round moulding at an angle, bent like a fish hook, bounced off the wall and hit me 1" below my eye. I was wearing goggles, but I shiver at the thought of what could have happened if i wasn't and things had gone slightly differently. Safety gear all the way - even when you think you don't need it.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Lesson Learned-Brad Nailer, Wood Glue and MDF=Fail

                      Originally posted by Paul Carmody View Post
                      ...HiVi SP10 mounted in it. The package was jostled so much during shipping that the woofer frame sheared in half. The cabinet was fine, though
                      You're the one! Got to remember that the next time someone asks about driver bracing...

                      I've had good results with a simple rabbet on the edges, and a strap clamp. Glue, strap, align, clamp. No chance of leaks and ~50% more glue surface area in the joint.

                      Have fun,
                      Frank

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                      • #12
                        Re: Lesson Learned-Brad Nailer, Wood Glue and MDF=Fail

                        count me in the nail and glue camp... never a problem
                        David

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                        • #13
                          Re: Lesson Learned-Brad Nailer, Wood Glue and MDF=Fail

                          I guess there is hope after all.
                          ]
                          The real lesson learned is the simple fact that the nailer will not take the place of clamps. I was really hoping to see the excess glue squeeze out. That is the sure indication of a successful joint.

                          Thanks, all for sharing your experiences!

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                          • #14
                            Re: Lesson Learned-Brad Nailer, Wood Glue and MDF=Fail

                            I will not use clamps once in a blue moon, but am pushing pretty hard, so soft woods get damaged.....
                            Builds - C-Killa - Speedsters - LithMTM - Talking Sticks - Pocket Rockets - Khanspires - Dayton RS Center - RS225/28A - Kairos - Adelphos - SEOS TD12X - Dayton 8 - Needles - 871S - eD6c - Overnight Sensations - Tritrix (ported) - Lineup F4 - Stentorians - The Cheapies - Tub Thumpers - Barbells - Tuba HT - Numerous subwoofers - probably missing a few...... :p

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                            • #15
                              Re: Lesson Learned-Brad Nailer, Wood Glue and MDF=Fail

                              One tip. Somtimes a mail will poke put. I use dykes to lift it, cut it off and best in down with a ballpeen hammer. Then fill.
                              " To me, the soundstage presentation is more about phase and distortion and less about size. However, when you talk about bass extension, there's no replacement for displacement". Tyger23. 4.2015

                              Quote Originally Posted by hongrn. Oct 2014
                              Do you realize that being an American is like winning the biggest jackpot ever??

                              http://www.midwestaudioclub.com/spot...owell-simpson/
                              http://s413.photobucket.com/albums/pp216/arlis/

                              Comment

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