Technical Articles

EVERWIN 5 Main Tips for Finish Work - Going Back to the Fundamentals

May 08, 2023
Using a pneumatic finish nailer can be quite daunting at first, especially when putting thin fragile moldings together without ruining them. It requires special skill and experience, if you’re about to kickstart your project, let’s go over 5 main tips for finish work.


1. Choosing the Right Finish Nailer


First and foremost, one size certainly does not fit all. To get the best results, you have to use the right size nail. You’ll be splitting your decorative moldings by the dozen if you use a 15-gauge finish nailer. Different gauge sizes will work best depending on what you're doing. Take a look at our other article “Choosing a Finish Nailer” to see what works best.

EVERWIN’s Finish Nailers have a host of practical features such as depth of adjustments, no-mar pads, belt hooks, reload indicators, and anti-dryfire designs. These come in handy depending on your applications. Additionally, you may also want to consider the maintenance of your tool. At EVERWIN you have the option to go oil or oil-less. While the right choice boils down to personal preference, they both have equally similar performance and service life. Find your ideal tool here at EVERWIN Finish Nailers.

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2. Choosing the Right Nail Length


Just like choosing what size gauge nailer to use, it's also important to consider what length nail to use. A nail too short won’t secure your pieces properly while a nail too long may come out where you don’t want it. Depending on the orientation of your pieces. A general rule of thumb is:

- If you’re face joining two pieces together r then you need to make sure you don't blow through the backside. Use a length nail that is ¼" (6mm) less than the combined two pieces. So, if you’re joining two pieces of 3/4” (19mm) which in total is 1-1/2” (38mm) thick then you should use a 1-1/4” (32mm) nail.
- If you’re joining a board perpendicular to another board then it would be less likely for a blowout on the other side. With more room, it's recommended to go 2-3 times the length of the top board. Generally, allow more penetration for heavy-duty jobs like nailing door jambs, and less for fine work like securing miters.


3. Adjusting Practical Features


An easy fix problem that you may come across is that you are over-driving or under-driving your nail. This is when the head of your nail or pin is either not fully driven into the workpiece or sticks out. You can adjust depth in two ways:

- Adjusting your compressor settings. Firstly, all EVERWIN’s nailers/staplers come with a sticker with information on its minimum and maximum operating pressure. You want to make sure your compressor is within the tool’s specified range. If your tool’s range is 70-120psi and it’s set to 60psi, you may experience under-driving or even incomplete tool cycles aka empty shots.
- Using the D.O.D feature on the tool. EVERWIN’s tools come with an industrial easy access bolt and wrench for jam clearing and depth adjustment while on select models these features are tool-free. On a tool-free D.O.D feature, you should see a turning knob to adjust depth as shown in the picture below

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4. Filling Holes the Cleaner Way


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As you may know by now, the bigger the gauge the smaller the hole should be. If you're looking for a clean finish, EVERWIN’s FN1850 18-gauge brad nailer leaves minimal driver marks behind, resulting in the cleanest finish compared to its competitors.

If holes do need to be hidden, you can do it in a couple of ways using wood putty. One is simply pasting the wood putty over the hole and then using sandpaper to even it out as illustrated above. However, if not sanded enough, this may result in an uneven color when staining the wood. A better way is to put a piece of wood tape first, drive the nail through the tape and material, cover the hole with putty and then remove the tape along with the excess putty. Additionally, it would be smart to use a no-mar tip that helps minimize press marks on the workpiece.

If we’re talking 23-gauge holes, the filling won't be necessary as these holes are almost invisible to the eye and are normally used for temporary holding while the glue dries.


5. Avoid Blowing Nails Out the Side


Nails blowouts can be quite nasty, ruining your piece or worse, injuring yourself. A couple of tips and tricks to avoid a blowout are:

- Look at the grain direction. Naturally, nails or pinners will want to follow the grain when being driven through the material. So, if the grains are diagonal, blowouts are likely to happen especially if the position of the nose is too tilted or too much to the edge. Keep the nose vertical and centered.
- Drive perpendicular to the wood. A pro tip to avoid blowouts is instead of driving your fasteners in line with the board, drive them perpendicular to the board. This is because the finish nailer shanks are almost rectangular shaped. Meaning they have a wider face but narrower width, which if you’re looking down the nose, will cause the nail to want to go left or right. Driving perpendicular with the board, you’ll have more room for the nail to go left or right compared to in-line with the board.
- Avoid wood knots. Last tip, wood knots which are those darker circular spots on the board have a thicker density than what your nail can penetrate. Avoid driving your nails through them.

We hope these tips can help you on your next project. Remember as you rise to the top of your trade, tools with precision, performance, and dependability will be the priority. In our pursuit of excellence, we use precision engineering when designing function, serviceability, and safety into our finish nailers, EVERWIN is the differentiator for your solutions.

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EVERWIN® was founded in 2012 by a group of American and Taiwanese pneumatic tool experts, each boasting decades of experience and success in the world of pneumatic fastening. They founded the company with one shared goal in mind— to “build a brand the fastening industry can rely on for consistency and efficiency”. EVERWIN quickly garnered recognition as a premier brand for industrial fastening tools. With strong roots in the industrial market, EVERWIN has a different take on construction nailers and staplers from most price-driven manufacturers today; and with a touch of innovation, its 2017 and 2018 product introductions earned EVERWIN back-to-back Pro Tool Innovation Awards