Author Topic: Brad Nails vs Staples  (Read 1782 times)

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Offline TealaG

  • Posts: 97
Brad Nails vs Staples
« on: July 21, 2018, 01:39 PM »
Hi...another dilemma.   I bought an air compressor, brad nailer and stapler.   Yes, I've been watching too much YouTube.  :)   Right now, I'm doing lots of "utility" projects, making boxes and containers just for me.  They don't need to be beautiful or perfect.  I just need them "work" and not fall apart.    I've learned that glue and brad nails are fast.  But I'm confused regarding whether staples might be stronger. 

One reason I'm considering staples is because I see that small crafting crates use staples to assemble them and yes, I want to make crates.   I don't want to make them because I really think it'll be cheaper.   I would like them to be custom sized AND I'm now generating enough scrap wood that I'd rather use than toss and the scrap pile is getting out of control. 

Any thoughts on brad nails vs staples would be fab.   Also (dumb question) - I have an 18 gauge and a 23 gauge.  Any advice on when to use which would be fabulous.  I assume that 18 is better for "construction" vs 23 for "finish mouldings"?

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Offline Tim Raleigh

  • Posts: 3535
    • Oakville Cabinetry
Re: Brad Nails vs Staples
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2018, 03:48 PM »
I've learned that glue and brad nails are fast.  But I'm confused regarding whether staples might be stronger. 
If your stapler is 18G then the staples are stronger than an 18 gauge brad of the same length. Brads and glue or staples and glue is always stronger. If you like the look of staples for your crates go with it. If you want some extra strength, put a little glue on the joint.

Any thoughts on brad nails vs staples would be fab.   Also (dumb question) - I have an 18 gauge and a 23 gauge.  Any advice on when to use which would be fabulous.  I assume that 18 is better for "construction" vs 23 for "finish mouldings"?

23 Gauge is used when needing to hide the hole i.e. in prefinished stock, when the stock will be glued and the 23 gauge pin is used to hold the piece in place till the glue sets or for temporary attachment for jigs etc.

Tim

Offline TealaG

  • Posts: 97
Re: Brad Nails vs Staples
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2018, 12:23 PM »
Thanks for your input.   I can't wait to start making little crates!  :)

Offline Michael Kellough

  • Posts: 3616
Re: Brad Nails vs Staples
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2018, 01:15 PM »
If you use staples do some experiments. Results vary tremendously depending on orientation of staple crown to grain and whether the wood is natural or plywood.

With plywood penetration is also a factor. Even if the crown is parallel to the surface grain if the staple goes in too far and breaks the next layer down it can cause unsightly surface disruption.

Offline SRSemenza

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  • Posts: 8647
  • Finger Lakes Region, NY State , USA
Re: Brad Nails vs Staples
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2018, 03:09 PM »
I think you could take your pick between 18ga brads and staples. The important part is that they are also glued. Otherwise the sides will get knocked loose.

Seth


Offline Steven Owen

  • Posts: 409
Re: Brad Nails vs Staples
« Reply #5 on: August 14, 2018, 04:07 PM »
I've learned that glue and brad nails are fast.  But I'm confused regarding whether staples might be stronger. 
If your stapler is 18G then the staples are stronger than an 18 gauge brad of the same length. Brads and glue or staples and glue is always stronger. If you like the look of staples for your crates go with it. If you want some extra strength, put a little glue on the joint.

Any thoughts on brad nails vs staples would be fab.   Also (dumb question) - I have an 18 gauge and a 23 gauge.  Any advice on when to use which would be fabulous.  I assume that 18 is better for "construction" vs 23 for "finish mouldings"?

23 Gauge is used when needing to hide the hole i.e. in prefinished stock, when the stock will be glued and the 23 gauge pin is used to hold the piece in place till the glue sets or for temporary attachment for jigs etc.

Tim

I would think Staple would work better in hardwood and brads would be a better in plywood.  If you split the lamination driving a staple you might end up creating a weaker joint in some plywoods like birch, pine and fir. 
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Offline jobsworth

  • Posts: 5293
  • Does Anyone Know What Time It Is?
Re: Brad Nails vs Staples
« Reply #6 on: August 25, 2018, 11:08 AM »
I dont think it matters and the fasteners just hold the wood together while the glue dries. Its the glue that holds the peces together not the fastener.

Sure the fastener does help.

 But in the end of the day, its the glue that holds the pieces together.

Thats why we glue use a nailer or stapler and clamps to let the glue dry.

Offline IndyMike

  • Posts: 112
Re: Brad Nails vs Staples
« Reply #7 on: September 13, 2018, 09:28 AM »
The glue is the part that holds the pieces together permanently.  Often times the glue joint will be stronger than the surrounding wood... If you want to try this out - glue two boards together and then try to separate them - I bet the wood breaks [and not at the glue line, but one side or the other].

Generally nails are used to hold things together while the glue dries.  I myself recently switched to a 23 Gauge Pinner to hold things together while glue dries just so that there aren't big nail holes in my stuff.  For shop stuff it doesn't matter but for stuff people will see - it matters more.  I'm not a fan of filling in holes :).

With the 23G I shoot them in angled pairs - so that even if there wasn't glue they still have decent holding power.
Mike

Offline lwoirhaye

  • Posts: 236
Re: Brad Nails vs Staples
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2018, 10:28 AM »
I use 1/4" crown staples often and I think they are quite strong.  The staples spread out in the wood, making for a dovetail effect, in theory anyway.  I think whacking apart a stapled box is tougher than a brand nailed one generally.  If you're concerned about appearance brad nails are more discrete.   I got on fine with a brad nailer fine before I got the stapler, but now the stapler is my most used nailer in the shop.   I have a bunch of other ways to put things together though.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2018, 10:31 AM by lwoirhaye »

Offline tomp

  • Posts: 48
Re: Brad Nails vs Staples
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2018, 11:50 AM »
I agree that staples seem to hold better than brad nails, but it may be academic as they're normally being used to hold the parts together while the glue dries. But, consider that flooring guys fasten the underlayment down with staples rather than brads...............  Not sure if it's true for all brands, but I recall the Duo-Fast rep telling me that their staples had a glue coating that was activated by the friction heat as they were driven, and that gave the staples more holding power.

Offline IndyMike

  • Posts: 112
Re: Brad Nails vs Staples
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2018, 12:29 PM »
I agree that staples seem to hold better than brad nails, but it may be academic as they're normally being used to hold the parts together while the glue dries. But, consider that flooring guys fasten the underlayment down with staples rather than brads...............  Not sure if it's true for all brands, but I recall the Duo-Fast rep telling me that their staples had a glue coating that was activated by the friction heat as they were driven, and that gave the staples more holding power.
I imagine if you had brad nails with a friction activated glue coating you'd end up with more holding power too.  I think with the stables it's the area of the head of the nail versus the area between the staple legs that would give it more holding power - assuming the legs of the staple and the neck of the nail had the same overall strength.

Personally I don't like staples unless they fit the look of what I'm building.  Generally I don't want my nails to be seen.
Mike

Offline Cheese

  • Posts: 5178
Re: Brad Nails vs Staples
« Reply #11 on: September 13, 2018, 01:50 PM »
A staple will be more secure than a brad, not only because of the 2 legs, but those 2 legs when driven into wood will usually splay up or down or in and out to varying degrees. That’s what gives the staple it’s holding power.

I’ve done a lot of hardwood flooring and when removing boards fastened with staples, you’d be surprised how twisted and out of alignment the 2 legs of the staple are. One leg hits a hard spot while the other leg hits a soft spot and those legs are no longer perpendicular and parallel.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2018, 02:23 PM by Cheese »