Take the 2-minute tour ×
Home Improvement Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for contractors and serious DIYers. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I am thinking of creating some doors out of MDF that will have moldings fixed to their fronts, these will be glued on. I could try to clamp them somehow until the glue sets, but that sounds like a pain.

Another option is to fix them with small nails until the glue sets, and then fill in the holes – it seems that these days a lot of people are using brad nail guns for this. Guns sell for between £17 and a few hundred pounds, are the low end models up to the job, or are a hammer and punch a better option?

share|improve this question
    
Are you talking about a nailer that works on compressed air, gas cartridge, cord/cordless nailer/stapler or some other type? –  bib Oct 16 '12 at 13:04
1  
I suggest you glue it as well. The best bonds are both mechanical and chemical. –  Brian White Oct 16 '12 at 13:23
    
@bib, Given that the tital says "electric brand nail gun", I think it is clear I not looking for compressed air. Otherwise I don't care what the power source is, provided it comes with it's power source. –  Walker Oct 16 '12 at 14:26
    
@BrianWhite, sorry I was assuming glue with the nails holding until the glue is dried. –  Walker Oct 16 '12 at 14:27
    
Pneumatic guns run on electricity. Was not sure about your level of understanding. –  bib Oct 16 '12 at 14:30
show 1 more comment

2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: A brad nailer (properly adjusted to your material using test strips) will give you clean nailing holes every time. Using a hammer and a punch relies on your skill and aim and consistency. One miss and you've marred your finish work.

share|improve this answer
    
Thanks, how much should I expect to pay for a gun that can cope with MDF and can be properly adjusted? –  Walker Oct 16 '12 at 11:57
1  
Any nailer should be able to handle MDF. It's just pulp and glue... Look for a model that's comfortable in your hand and has adjustment settings that are easy to understand. –  The Evil Greebo Oct 16 '12 at 11:59
7  
Whatever you do, don't get an electric stapler that will shoot brads. You'll end up with bent brads that won't penetrate the MDF. Ask me how I know this. –  Chris Cudmore Oct 16 '12 at 13:19
2  
@ Evil Greebo, no one said MDF is tougher. What is true is MDF is denser than most grain wood. Thus it's resistance to nail/brad penetration is greater. This density is due to the large amount of glue used to bind the pulp. In more general terms of toughness, resistance to weather, etc. MDF may be inferior, but it IS more resistant to nail penetration. –  bcworkz Oct 16 '12 at 18:58
2  
Re: bib & gun-compressor combos. it's also nice in general having a small compressor on hand. You will find other uses for it. The only draw back is you will see many other pneumatic tools that would be nice to have, but your small gun compressor does not have enough capacity to run them. –  bcworkz Oct 16 '12 at 19:03
show 5 more comments

If the question is 'air powered vs. electric' I'd second Chris's comment.

The electric brad nailers, IMHO, aren't useful for finish work. I bought one to do trim work on a room and threw it out after only getting one wall done. They don't have the power or accuracy that the pneumatic options will give you.

Plus, EVERYONE should own a compressor and a pneumatic gun. They just make doing DIY projects that much more fun! ;)

There is a 3rd option, and that's a cordless gun. They are basically a pneumatic gun that has a mini electric compressor built in. These are more expensive, but the main advantage (other than being cordless) is that they are nice for small jobs where you don't want to get out the heavy compressor and wait for it to fill up just to shoot 6 nails.

share|improve this answer
    
Fuel cell power nail or finishing guns are very good also eg one brand paslode and they pack plenty of punch for a cordless gun –  UNECS Oct 16 '12 at 23:52
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.