Author Topic: 18 or 22 gauge nailer for interior trim  (Read 1077 times)

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Offline Gunder

  • Posts: 20
18 or 22 gauge nailer for interior trim
« on: May 13, 2019, 11:16 AM »
My wife and I are in the final stages of a big remodel and we have decided to replace all of our trim work. Due to the amount I have to install was thinking of pre finishing all of it then cutting and installing. Do you guys think I can get away with the 22 gauge pins or do I really need the larger 18? Trim is going to be either ½ or ¾ depending on what she decides.

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Offline Dick Mahany

  • Posts: 450
Re: 18 or 22 gauge nailer for interior trim
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2019, 11:30 AM »
My experience with 23 ga pins vs 18 ga brads is that the 18 ga is much preferred for things like base molding, door casing and window trim as the heads offer a more secure hold.  But I'm a DIY home improvement guy and not a professional.  I have used 23 ga pins to attach decorative moldings to cabinet frames and they seem to be fine but not nearly as secure. Another consideration is whether any of the areas have slightly irregular or non-flat surfaces to which you will be fastening to because the 18 ga brads will help pull the trim more solidly in those conditions where pins won't in my experience.

OTOH, I know of a person who successfully installed wood molding directly to sheet rock with only 23 ga pins by cross nailing the pins in an X fashion for a wainscoting effect on dining room walls.  Few if any of the pins landed on studs behind the sheetrock and it seems to be holding up well. 

I recently moved into a new home and virtually all of the trim has been installed with 18 ga rather than pins.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2019, 11:36 AM by Dick Mahany »

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 314
Re: 18 or 22 gauge nailer for interior trim
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2019, 02:21 PM »
The the 23’s should be fine but, why not glue them too?
I recently did a refurb job, where the client wanted oak architraves and skirting but, did not want any nails or pins involved, as he was going to wax the timber as a finish, and didn’t want fixings filled or plugged.
So we used a method that has proved successful in the past, and seems common place with many trades now.
We used cyanoacrylate glue (super glue), to glue the architraves to the door linings, and some flexible adhesive to go between architraves and plaster. We also just used adhesive for the skirtings.

Everything is solid, the mitres haven’t opened up.
So, if you are pinning or nailing, maybe go with the 23’s and some glue.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2019, 04:45 PM by Jiggy Joiner »

Offline ear3

  • Posts: 3683
Re: 18 or 22 gauge nailer for interior trim
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2019, 03:33 PM »
Depends on the type of trim, as well as what it's being nailed into, and what type of finish.

Depending upon the model gun, an 18gauge nailer can sometimes leave a noticeable indentation from the firing pin -- beyond just the nail  hole.  This may be more or less tolerable depending upon the wood/finish of the trim and whether you are filling the holes afterwards.

Do you have the nailers yet?  If you're looking around, I can't say enough about the Makita cordless 23 gauge pinner, which I use all the time for all sorts of applications beyond just installing trim (which is probably the least common application I use it for).

In case you don't already know about it, 2P-10 (backed up by pins at the joint) can be a life saver for miters and scarf joints.

https://www.fastcap.com/product/2p-10-adhesive-standard-rt 
« Last Edit: May 13, 2019, 03:36 PM by ear3 »
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Offline RKA

  • Posts: 1571
Re: 18 or 22 gauge nailer for interior trim
« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2019, 04:07 PM »
You want an 18 to start with.  In most cases, you'll be able to get 1" into the underlying structure, which is the minimum you should be aiming for.  The 18 ga. nailers will typically fire up to 2" nails.  In some cases like crown molding, you might need a 15 ga for the extra nail length. 

The 23 is useful for holding things in place while glue sets up.  It's not meant to providing any lasting hold.  Save that for mitered returns, scarf joints and other details. 
-Raj

Offline Dan Rush

  • Posts: 576
  • Trim carpenter
Re: 18 or 22 gauge nailer for interior trim
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2019, 06:42 PM »
I think that an 18 ga is the bare minimum that should be used for basic casing, base, and crown. A 2" 18ga just doesn't have great holding power.  As RKA noted above,  you will need an 15 or 16 for the bulk  of the work.( I use a 16 for the slightly smaller holes it leaves in the work surface)

I reserve the 23 primarily for cabinet trim, or other prefinished that is difficult to touch up.

Sent from my SM-T580 using Tapatalk


Offline usernumber1

  • Posts: 37
Re: 18 or 22 gauge nailer for interior trim
« Reply #6 on: May 13, 2019, 07:31 PM »
what about using a hot melt glue and forget the nails. 3m has a few high temp and low temp as well as PU glues they setup in 30sec-2min open time

Offline Gunder

  • Posts: 20
Re: 18 or 22 gauge nailer for interior trim
« Reply #7 on: May 13, 2019, 07:44 PM »
Depends on the type of trim, as well as what it's being nailed into, and what type of finish.

Depending upon the model gun, an 18gauge nailer can sometimes leave a noticeable indentation from the firing pin -- beyond just the nail  hole.  This may be more or less tolerable depending upon the wood/finish of the trim and whether you are filling the holes afterwards.

Do you have the nailers yet?  If you're looking around, I can't say enough about the Makita cordless 23 gauge pinner, which I use all the time for all sorts of applications beyond just installing trim (which is probably the least common application I use it for).

In case you don't already know about it, 2P-10 (backed up by pins at the joint) can be a life saver for miters and scarf joints.

https://www.fastcap.com/product/2p-10-adhesive-standard-rt

Thanks! I already own both nailers. I think I’ll start with the 18 then go from there for the smaller / more loaded parts. I’ll have to swing by fast so and pick up the 2p-10 as they are just up the road.

Offline JimH2

  • Posts: 773
Re: 18 or 22 gauge nailer for interior trim
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2019, 09:10 PM »
I pre-finish all trim as follows:

Natural or stained finish: finish completely and go back over with clear after filling any nail holes.

Paint Finish: Prime all sides, sand as needed (some degree is almost always necessary), and top coat. Then I install, fill in any nail holes and follow up with a second coat covering any nail holes and depending on the filler I might spot prime the putty. I'm a glutton for punish and usually use Durham's Water Putty. When done correctly there is no way to tell if there were even any nails used to install the trim.

Offline mschmidt10k

  • Posts: 12
Re: 18 or 22 gauge nailer for interior trim
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2019, 09:15 AM »
16 gauge for door jambs, 18 gauge for trim & baseboards. 23 gauge pins are nowhere near strong enough to hold your trim.

Offline Gunder

  • Posts: 20
Re: 18 or 22 gauge nailer for interior trim
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2019, 10:55 AM »
Thanks for all of the tips and advice guys.

Offline Jiggy Joiner

  • Posts: 314
Re: 18 or 22 gauge nailer for interior trim
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2019, 02:54 PM »
what about using a hot melt glue and forget the nails. 3m has a few high temp and low temp as well as PU glues they setup in 30sec-2min open time

I agree on the gluing, hence my earlier post.
I think some go way over the top with fixings, we have used only cyanoacrylate glue and activator countless times to fix door architraves, and window trims and architraves. Grab adhesive for skirtings, with cyanoacrylate on the mitres and any scribed joints.
Absolutely zero problems after many years. Same with window boards, we glue the tongues into the frames, the boards themselves are packed level both ways, and bedded on a little expanding foam.
They absolutely will not move, unlike trims, boards and architraves I’ve seen, that were fixed with pins, nails and many with plugs and screws, all seem to move.
Glues and chemicals nowadays negate the need for nails and screws everywhere.