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Thread: Finish Nailer for Stairway?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Fort Wayne, In

    Finish Nailer for Stairway?

    Hi Gang:

    I have an up coming project to install a new hardwood stairway in our older home and am trying to get my ducks in a row before I start this project. Currently I have a 16ga PC finish (or is it a brad?) nailer and was wondering if this would be sufficient for use on 1" oak stair treads or if I should bite the bullet and get a real 15ga finish nailer for the project?

    If it is the case for a new nailer, which one is the best choice; PC, Bostitch or Dewalt or none of the above?

    As always, this board seems to be the most civil and helpful and trust your inputs.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    fairfield county, ct
    mike i have a 15 ga senco angled finish nailer that i've put thousands of nails through without a single jam.a little pricey,but you get what you pay for.good luck with your stairway.

  3. #3
    Mike, I have a 16 gauge nailer I use for trim, but I think I'd want a 15 gauge nailer for a stairway. It has a lot more holding power.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Livermore, CA
    15 ga Bostitch - oilless and lots of power and lightweight. Caveat being you need Bostitch 15g angle nails (slightly different angle than other angle nailers) and they only seem to be available in 5000 or so quantity boxes...but I still like mine.

    on the neverending quest for wood.....

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Sarasota, Fl

    Another option

    Hi, I just did this and what I did was use four screws with liquid nails to attach the treads. For the risers I used finish nails and liquid nails. I countersunk the screws and wood plugged them. I feel better about using this method as I don't want any squeeks on the treads in the future. I guess whatever method you use with liquid nails should give you a squeek free result. Good luck.
    Alan T. Thank God for every pain free day you live.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    San Jose, Middle California
    I would use a 15ga nailer as the 16 ga is more like to follow grain in oak.

    Rather than use Alan's Liquid Nails, I would try to screw from the bottom of the stairway into the oak to hold it tight to the horses/treads.
    Michael in San Jose
    Non confundar in aeternam

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Concord, NC
    Not sure I know what kind of stairs you are building. If it is a box stairs with closed stringers, it should be built to be held together with wedges. If it is open treads you should have lots of glue blocks under the treads and risers. Which ever you are using the 16 ga is fine for tacking together, but like Alan said, go heavy on the PL. A few well placed screws also helps.

    Last edited by Richard Wolf; 04-12-2005 at 10:34 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Lewiston, Idaho
    Mike...I have the Senco 15 gauge finish nailer. I've been happy with it's performance.

  9. #9
    For a stair treads etc. I think I would go with a 15 Ga nailer instead of 16. But if you don't want an excuse to buy a new gun, I have the 16 ga PC and it will definitely sink them easily in 3/4 oak below the surface, but I think the 15 Ga will be a little better suited for the job.


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