A Brad nailer is a powerful tool that helps contractors, homeowners and DIY enthusiasts do their jobs in a more efficient way. These devices have a large capacity to hold a lot of nails at once, making them extremely helpful when you need to do lots of work on a building or house. You can use them for numerous projects such as installing roofing tiles, wood trim, fences and so much more. In this article, we will discuss what you can do with a brad nailer and how.
What Is Brad Nailer?
First of all, let’s get to know the brad nailer for a bit. It’s kind of a specialized nail gun made for mainly small projects, especially at home that requires detailed woodwork.
This nailer fires a special kind of nail called a brad. These brads are like thin-gauged nails made to bind lightweight wood. The description seems like a finish nailer, but there’s a bit of difference. But brad nailers are smaller and aren’t as strong as finish nailers because their nails don’t have heads like finish nailers.
Brad nailers mount lightweight wood trims easily because of how thin its brads are, and you don’t need to use putty to fill up the nail holes. These nailers can perfectly attach trim wood pieces to larger wood pieces without damaging the trims.
Different Uses for Brad Nailers
Brad nailers can be used for various projects, especially small ones that require work on trim, moldings, etc. Below, I’ll be detailing various uses for a brad nailer.
Because brad nailers have brads that are super thin and delicate, and perfect for jobs with thin or small pieces of wood. They don’t do any damage or leave any unwanted marks on the wood. Rather, they attach pieces of wood without breaking them.
There are many projects for home improvement or home renovation where you can use this type of nailer at ease. Some examples of where it applies would be attaching coves, rails, shoe baseboard molding, attaching trim on cabinet faces, building small pieces for your furniture, making wooden frames for photos, installing shiplap, and many more.
Easy and Quick Jobs
For quicker jobs, an electric brad nailer is available. There are two types, corded and cordless with battery. The advantage of these electric ones is that there’s no air compressor or hose.
Electric brad nailers are very portable, especially the cordless ones. And because of this, you can take it around the house and complete interior trim jobs on doors, windows, furniture, baseboards, etc.
The most common use of a brad nailer is to attach small wooden boards or pieces of trim onto other wooden surfaces. They’re very careful and neat nailers for jobs on thin wood and will prevent any wood from splitting or breaking apart.
Brad nailers come in different nail sizes, nose sizes, etc. One needs to replace their baseboards from time to time, and having a brad nailer with the right nose size is helpful to shoot right through the area on the baseboards to install them.
Most people use finish nailers for this, but for that, you’ll have to apply putty over the holes. But with brad nailers, you don’t.
Brad nails come in different sizes. For crown molding or any other simple molding, you can use the variety of nail sizes to perfect your molding. For example, you can use the 2 inches long brads to tack the thick edges on the outside of the molding, and then use a ¾ inch brads to pin the inner side of the molding.
Most crown moldings have waves and curves, but because brads are so thin and small, they adjust to these curves and do their job of attaching it properly. We are sure you’re worried about accidentally breaking the molding, but rest assured you can handle all this without any damage to the splitting of the wood.
You might think it’s an exaggeration, but crafting with a brad nailer has proven to be very handy.
It helps you get the job done faster and more efficiently and definitely works better on wood attachments compared to doing the work with just industrial glue. And since crafts are usually on a small scale, the brad nail is perfect due to its super thin and headless brad nails.
Another good thing is that you can actually remove the brads after the attachment is firm, and the brads are so thin; they don’t even leave any visible holes on the wood. So, go ahead and make crafts like birdhouses or wooden figurines with ease.
Repairing Split Wood
For work on split wood or furniture with slight cracks, a brad nailer does a good job at repairing those cavities. You can even add a small trim of wood to the furniture. Plus, the brad nails are practically invisible because of how thin it is, so no one would even know you repaired the furniture.
Panels are made of different kinds of materials. And when it comes to handling paneling made from wood, you can trust the brad nailer to help you panel your walls easily.
If you installed your panels with a nailer other than the brad nailer, the nail holes or heads would show, and it would be easily visible unless you mask it with putty and extra furnishing. But with a brad nailer, you wouldn’t have that hassle. It would keep your panels looking as flawless as ever.
You can use your brad nailer to secure door or window casings, or for any kind of fixture. Whether it’s for adding strips of wood to the broken areas of the casing or to re-attach the cracks, this nailer is helpful.
You can even renew your casing. After you take off your old casing, you can glue and nail the new casing along the frame and wait till it’s dry. Soon as you’ve aligned all of the casing along your frame, you can start fastening the casing to the jamb with your brad nailer.
You don’t have to hesitate to use as many brads as you want, because there’s no way they’ll be visible.
Almost the same way you can renew your window casing or sill too. After removing the old one, you can prepare the new wood pieces and hold them in a place where you want them, and nail them until they’re firm. You just need to follow through with the rest of the casing the same way you do with the door casing.
Holding Surfaces Together
Sometimes you can use a brad nailer to temporarily hold two wooden surfaces together while they’re glued. After the glue is dried and the bond is firm between the wooden pieces, you can remove the nails. You obviously don’t have to worry about adding putty because there won’t be any holes visible from the nails.
It doesn’t even matter what kind of shapes the pieces of wood are. Clamping them together into a certain position is always a hard task to pull off. But the brad nailer works like tacks and keeps them held in place before the adhesive starts its action.
One of the most efficient uses of brad nailers is repairing. And repairing mostly includes wooden antiques, whether it’s furniture or ornamental pieces. You can fix things like a fireplace mantel, or old windows, and doors.
Interestingly, you don’t really need to be an expert to use this type of nailer. If you want to repair your old home here and there, a brad nailer is very suitable.
So instead of throwing away old things, why not take a few minutes to repair and renew them instead. It saves you the trouble of feeling guilty of throwing away antiques with sentimental value.
Making New Things
A brad nailer isn’t just useful for repairs; it’s great to build new things from scratch too. You can combine brad nailers and industrial adhesives and make furniture like chairs, any kind of frame, cabinets, etc.
Also, sometimes you may end up buying bad quality things from cheap retail stores which break easily. Herein, putting in some elbow grease to remake these items with your handy dandy brad nailer can help.
There are some brad nailers that are angled. These make your life easier for those tight spaces around furniture corners you can’t reach, like the back of a cabinet. Or securing wood with long runs. And because the nailers are so small in size, you can also slide further between spaces.
It’s also a good tool to attach miter joints together. The 45-degree cuts are difficult to keep in place in the desired position while the glue works. But with a few nails from a brad nailer, you won’t have to keep holding on to it.
Whenever you need to work on small projects on woodwork or carpentry, you should definitely rely on the brad nailer. It has many merits in handling work for small wood pieces, different shaped wood, narrow angles, delicate antiques, and furniture, etc.
Hopefully, once you try the brad nailer, you’ll find it reliable and easy to use for your little projects at home.