View Full Version : Finish Nailer for trim/molding?

10-24-2005, 10:46 AM
I just finished installing new kitchen cabinets and have the details work left to do. I need to install scribe molding (to cover the edges along the walls), a corner molding along the ceiling, and a light rail molding (along the bottom of the wall cabinets to help hide the undercabinet lights). I'll either buy, rent or borrow a nailer... but I need to know what the appropriate nail is. Should I be using 18 gauge, 16 gauge, brad nails, or something else? Will 1 size do everything I need, or will I need different nailers? Not sure if it matters, but the cabinets are maple with all plywood construction.

I appreciate your help! :D

10-24-2005, 11:39 AM
Depending upon the thickness of the material, you might want to stark with a little glue and a headless pinner. I would then move up to an 18 guage gun. I have the porter cable finish nailer which can shoot up to 2 1/2" nails. It is relatively inexpensive at about $300 with the compressor.

10-24-2005, 02:47 PM
for the light rail it should definitley be screwed. i use a square drive finish screw. with screws you can control were they go. sometimes finish nails can take a bad turn, especially when shot! also use wood clamps whenever possible. when you say corner moulding do you mean crown? this should also be screwed thru the top stile into the crown. finish work. make nice!

10-24-2005, 02:57 PM
Good point on the light rail... I have some square drive screws I can use for that...

The corner molding is not crown molding... It's kind a like a quarter round, but instead of the simple 'round', it's more decorative. I believe it's 3/4" x 3/4".

I've been trying to research this on the web... it's a bit confusing, but I'm leaning toward the 18ga. I think anything bigger would split the trim/molding. I should probably use 15ga for the toe kick (forgot to mention that in my original post), but I think I could get away with the 18ga for that as well. The only other consideration is for future use... I will be replacing base molding... again, I'm wondering if I couldn't get away with the 18ga for that as well???

10-24-2005, 04:40 PM
just finished cabinets in a laundry room. installed the toekick with fast grab glue. that way no nail holes to fill. you might be able to use that for your other small mouldings then put less nails in. just be ready to wipe excess. also for the light rail glue (wood glue)all joints.

10-25-2005, 06:44 AM
18 ga is fine for base. Some like to use 15, but I have always used 18 and have never had a problem. For your toe kick, as sulconst2 said, glue alone will probably be fine. If not, a couple 18 ga nails should be all you need.

10-25-2005, 08:10 AM
Well... I went out last night and ended up buying the Stanley Bostitch Combo: pancake compressor and 18ga nailer. I figured if I need another nailer, I can go pick that up later. So, I will definitely be giving the 18ga a try on everything. If it works - Great! If not, I get to buy another tool :D

I will use the glue technique on the toekick (with a couple of nails).

THANKS for all your help!

10-25-2005, 09:12 PM
Titebond's Hi-Purformer polyurethane hot melt glue gun does wonders for trim. Pricey, but really works. Tack sets in seconds (comes in various timings), then over the next couple of days really creates a strong bond. I tried gluing a granite tile on edge to another one to check it out. After a day, I broke the joint, but it pulled crystals out of the stone and cracked it - really strong. The strongest version is spec'ed at 1400 pounds/sq in. Not your typical hot melt. Once cured, it will soften, but never flow again.