23 gauge pin fails to penetrate White oak - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 08-25-2020, 02:35 PM Thread Starter
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23 gauge pin fails to penetrate White oak

I'm building Craftsman style window trim from White oak. The casing stiles are 7/8" thick and installed on jamb extensions, both made of White oak. Because the walls are wavy the stiles will need to be shimmed to the wall and the gaps concealed by a separate back band scribed to the wall. My principal method of attachment of the casings to the jamb and jamb extensions is to nail them with 16 gauge 1 1/2" trim nails, using a Paslode gas trim nailer. My plan was, however, before shimming and final nailing, to position and fasten the stile casings flush and square to the jamb extensions with two or three 23 gauge, 1 3/4" pins to avoid splitting the stiles by nailing too close to the reveal lines. I have a Grex 650 pin gun that has served to pin the ceiling-to-wall White oak molding you see in the first photo atttached, without a problem.

The Problem: Grex recommends a compressor discharge pressure of 110 PSI for 1 3/8" or longer pins into hardwood. With pressures ranging from 110 to as much as 125 pounds I've repeatedly jammed my pin gun because the pin will stop proud of the casing surface by almost a 1/4" and then bounce back enough to jam the gun's ram, requiring a partial disassembly.

I finally gave up on pins for the job, switched to the gas gun and held my breath while nailing within 1/2" of the reveal line, just enough nails to hold the casing in place until I could get everything shimmed up.

The Question: Does anybody have experience with pins in hardwoods of similar thickness (7/8" or so) to tell me whether the tool is wrong for the job or whether I'm doing it wrong? (NB the second photo is erroneously rotated so the ceiling is to the left)
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Last edited by sonofSon; 08-25-2020 at 02:39 PM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 08-25-2020, 03:49 PM
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We don't use micro pins for trim work. Usually 15 guage...
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post #3 of 4 Old 08-25-2020, 04:13 PM
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As Rebel said, you don't install trim with pin nails. You need brads 15-16 gauge & you need longer nails than 1 1/2's. 7/8 + 1/2 = 1 3/8"

Personally, on wood that hard I wouldn't even try an air nailer.

I would drill small holes and use 2 1/2" 8D finishing nails.

Robert
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post #4 of 4 Old 08-25-2020, 08:04 PM Thread Starter
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Gentlemen, Thank you all for your helpful responses. I should have made myself more clear. I would not attempt to install this trim with pins. The purpose of my using 23 gauge pins was not to install the casing but merely to hold it in place until I could shim it sufficiently to install it with 16 gauge nails further away from the reveal lines. Whoever did the drywall back in 1973 should have been hung by his thumbs: the wall contours look like the sea with a little swell on it. The underlying jamb extensions are the only true nailing surfaces to rely on (without re-floating the walls) and only present a 3/4" target less the reveal width, so whatever nail or brad is used, it must be put in very close to the edge of the casing. After I've shimmed the casing to make sure it stays flat and square to the jambs, I'll install it with more robust nails. My reason for attempting 23 gauge pins was to avoid the risk of splitting the casing that near it's edge. The reason for using 1 1/2" 16 gauge nails was to minimize the risk of splitting the casing or breaking through the edge of the jamb extension. This is the fourth of the six windows in the project but this particular run of oak stock from my pile seems to have more heartwood than the rest. I'll take the suggestion for longer installation nails - i have some 2 1/4" 16 gauge on hand that the Paslode has put through 8/4 oak without issue, but I wouldn't try to put them through the jamb extensions.
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Last edited by sonofSon; 08-25-2020 at 08:12 PM. Reason: improve clarity and add photo
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