When you’re carrying out trim carpentry there is no better selection than a Brad Nail to get a neat and tidy but secure finish which will last for the lifetime of your furniture piece. So how do you choose the right brad nails for crafting projects?
Choosing the Right Brad Nails for Crafting Projects
The typical brad nail of choice is the 18 gauge brad nail which range from 3/8” to 2” in length. They are ideal for finish carpentry and trim woodworking which include mouldings, decorative trim, furniture trim, window beading, base boards, upholstered panels, scribe mouldings, furniture and cabinet making and picture frame assembly. They allow for discreet but secure fixing of joints and trims.
Length of brad nail required depends on the weight of the trim in comparison to the furniture to which it is attached and also the depth of the trim. It is recommended that the nail used should be at least twice the length of the depth of the trim, so that it is securely anchored to the furniture.
There are two head types for 18 gauge brad nails, the B18 brad nails which have a standard medium head and the AY series which have a slimmer header leaving a smaller impression at the nail entry point. Because most brad nail guns don’t hand AY series brad nails most people choose the B18 series standard nails, but in fact AY nail are often better for most jobs as they leave a smaller hole and therefore less putty work to finish. But make sure your brad nailer can accommodate them first.
Corrosion Resistance in Brad Nails
Another factor with brad nails is the level of corrosion resistance you require. Electro galvanized brad nails are the standard nail and are suitable for interior work and light exterior projects that won’t have much exposure to water. The electro galvanization process adds a thin layer of zinc to the nail providing it with some protection for the elements. But if the nails are going to be exposed to outdoor weather, particularly sea water then you may need to choose another level of corrosion resistance.
There are two external grade brad nails, first are 304 grade stainless steel brad nails which can withstand most outdoor environments, preventing corrosion and discoloration. They should also be used with porous woods such as ACQ-treated lumber, redwood, cedar or other oil-based exotic woods. Meanwhile the 316 grade brad nails are stainless steel but treated to a higher grade to withstand tropical, seaside and saltwater contact and environments.
So as you can see a brad nail isn’t just a brad nail. You will have to choose one based first on what size of head your brad nailer will accept, and choose a suitable length to anchor your work, as well as decide on the grade of corrosion resistance required to handle the environment to which the finished carpentry product will be exposed. You don’t want discoloration or corrosion setting in afterward.