Sherrie S
Sherrie S
  • Hometalker
  • Debary, FL
Asked on Dec 17, 2011

I have a question about a nail gun so I can install chair rail.

Linda CablerSherrie SKMS Woodworks
+16

Answered

We looked at bostich & hitachi at Lowes. There were choices of 15, 16 and 18 guage. Also some were oil free.
What are benefits of oil free. Hitachi cost more but was not oil free. Which guage will do the job.
I will appreciate any help I can get so I get the right equipment for this job but not spend more than I need.
19 answers
  • The Bostich nail gun has been around a long time. You can always get nails for it. The Hitachi gun while still a good gun, not every place sells nails for it. Oil free is not a gun I would want. Simply because the parts wear faster and replacement costs are higher. Using a gun that requires one or two drips of oil every few days when using it all the time is not that big a price to pay for this device. As far as nail size. The three Gauge nail sizes would depend upon exactly what your going to use the gun for in the future. Sure the smaller nail size may be great for doing picture frames, but that is about it. Forget about doing larger trim projects. The same goes with the larger nail size. You will be able to install trims, but on fine woodwork items it may split the wood. So you need to determine just how important this gun will be for you and what your primary use will be. Otherwise you will end up with a tool that you only use once then collects dust. Also remember the smaller the nail gauge the shorter the nail you can purchase. Also something to consider. Stick with larger brand names when it comes to tools that require accessories. You want to be able to purchase these parts at all supply stores, not just one that only sells at one store and not the others. Sure you can purchase nails that are universal for many gun types, but your not always able to do this at all lumber yards and home centers.

  • Sherrie S
    on Dec 17, 2011

    gosh, Environmental you are really great. I understand everything you wrote and that is important for a real novice. I will get my nail gun tonight and know it is the right choice.

  • Glkirk Builders Inc.
    on Dec 17, 2011

    I would say, for installing chair rail, probably 2" nails. Not sure if you can get them in 15 or 16 gauge, but I know my Senco shoots them in 18 gauge. I think Senco and Hitachi are the very top of the line. But I dont think you need top of the line if only going to use it occasionally. Good luck, enjoy and most importantly, be careful.

  • Sherrie S
    on Dec 17, 2011

    I love this site, everyone is so helpful. Gkirk I bought the Hitachi 16 guage because I don't know what I may want to do next. I do know that this product will accomplish my immediate task. Thank you for your posting.

  • Sherrie S
    on Dec 17, 2011

    Sorry, I spelled your name wrong.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Dec 18, 2011

    16 is a good gauge to start with.....it was my first size....I later picked up a 18 ga dewalt for more detailed work and then a 15 ga Senco that mostly is used for window installs. all of them are the oil type. One argument for oil free is the "convenience" but also some woodworkers prefer it as it reduces the chance of oil contamination on the wood itself for future "finishing" issues. As long as your not "over oiling" this has never been a problem for me.

  • Sherrie S
    on Dec 18, 2011

    KMS I don't think I will become a contractor so this Hitachi should be OK for me. Today I am waiting for my friend so we can try this out. You are a pro so you know how to keep problems from happening. I'm learning.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Dec 18, 2011

    Sherrie...remember safety glass and practice on some scraps of wood...the most common injury with a nail gun is people holding the wood too close to where they are nailing...if the nail deflects it can go into you hand...keep your hand and fingers at least 6-8 " away.

  • Sherrie S
    on Dec 18, 2011

    Wow, now I know why you guys get the big bucks. I thought we had everything for the chair rail including the miter saw but realized we couldn't tell where the studs were. Picked up a nice stud finder (it also shows where there might be electrical wires, etc). We finally got 1 / 2 of a small 14 x 14 room done & that is enought today. Tomorrow is another day.

  • Glkirk Builders Inc.
    on Dec 18, 2011

    Snap a line where the rail will go and then find the center of every stud with a thin finish nail, driving it through wallboard where rail will cover. (Every 16") Mark the wall above with light pencil so can be erased or washed with Laquer thinner. No sence in doing it if you are not sure you hit the studs.

  • Sherrie S
    on Dec 19, 2011

    Glkirk, yesterday I purchased a stud finder. The best thing is it also shows where there are live wires. The directions on the stud finder recommended some blue tape for marking both the left & right side of the stud and then putting the nail in the middle of the marks. Brilliant!!

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Dec 19, 2011

    One trick I use is to mark the studs with 1 1/2" wide, painters tape. It is the same width as a stud. This can be applied above the area you are working, a 6" long strip gives you a nice visual clue and from a distance is way easier to see...at least with my old eyeballs. When the project is completed you simply peel off the tape...and there are no pencil marks or painting that needs to be done.

  • Sherrie S
    on Dec 19, 2011

    KMS - we used the blue builders tape and it works great. Thanks.

  • Sherrie S
    on Dec 21, 2011

    whoops KMS - I called it builders tape and found it is called painter's tape (just like you said) but I got the right one anyway. MY boo boo. More boo's to come later. Thank you a lot.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Dec 22, 2011

    post some pics when you get it completed

  • Sherrie S
    on Dec 22, 2011

    This room has 35 or 36" formica walls to keep it clean (dogs). All of the chair rail & moulding above and below the formica is done - now there are a few corners where we have to replace "strips" where the two walls meet. Do you understand this ? I don't explain these things very well. I'll send pictures when we get the strips done. Hopefully tomorrow.

  • KMS Woodworks
    on Dec 23, 2011

    Corner cove molding? perhaps

  • Sherrie S
    on Dec 24, 2011

    Right word KMS - thanks. No pictures yet since I decided we needed to replace all of the outlets and outlet covers since they were old and an ugly off beige color. I found new "snap on" covers for the outlet - no screws. Tomorrow we will work on corner cove molding.

  • Linda Cabler
    on Dec 27, 2015

    bostich is the best one. We have used a bostich for about 15 years with only minor repaie. We used our Hitachi very little and it quit nailing right. They told us it can't be rebuilt like our Bostich. :(

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