Woodworking Talk banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This might belong in the Hand Tools forum but it might not be a tool (as opposed to a part) that solves the problem, so I'll put it here (hope that's OK).

I have a recurring need to attach a U-shaped channel (cable raceway) to wooden bookcases and shelves and occasionally drywall. The raceway has an adhesive back but I'd like a little something more to keep it in place.

I've tried using brad nails loaded in a staple gun (a Black and Decker PowerShot which uses staples or nails) but the staple gun is 24 mm wide and the channel is 18 mm wide so it won't fit down inside the channel:



I can use it by rotating the staple gun 90 degrees and angling it down in, but that leaves the brad nail not quite flush.

For logistics reasons I'd prefer not to use a pneumatic brad nailer and for cost reasons I'd rather not spend the $150+ on an electric one. I typically will only need to do about 10 nails at a time so a manual one seems appropriate. What makes my PowerShot wide is the need to shoot staples, so basically I need the same tool but one that just shoots brad nails and thus comes to a narrower (<18 mm) tip.

Has anyone seen such a device and can you point me in the right direction? If not, are there any other solutions (aside from drilling pilot holes and screwing it in) which come to mind?

Thanks for any advice!

--Jason
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Welcome to the forum. Try the into for your first post
. . . I'm afraid I don't actually know what you're saying here. What does "try the into" mean? If you mean, "search", then I did. If you mean "FAQ" then I read it already . . .

Can you be a bit more specific?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,339 Posts
jbsjbs said:
. . . I'm afraid I don't actually know what you're saying here...
Don't feel bad. Neither does anyone else. :)

A stapler or brad nailer probably isn't the answer to your dilemma.

You didn't mention what the channel is made of but whatever it is you could attach it to the cabinet by drilling through the bottom of the channel and attaching it to the wood with screws.

You could use a pan head screw but if you need the top of the screw to be flush with the bottom of the channel you'll need to countersink the holes in the the channel to accept a flat head screw.

Drywall is crumbly so in order to attach the channel to drywall you'll have to place the pre-drilled channel against the wall in its final position and mark the screw locations.

Then drill at these marks and insert plastic anchors into the drywall.

Then position the channel over the wall anchors and attach.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You didn't mention what the channel is made of but whatever it is you could attach it to the cabinet by drilling through the bottom of the channel and attaching it to the wood with screws.
Thank you for the detailed recommendations! I have occasionally gone this route but the channel is made of plastic and is too thin to countersink even a shallow-headed flathead screw, and you're exactly right that a pan-head is problematic because I need the full space of the channel (it's made to hold network/audio/video cables).

I'm also trying to minimize the damage to the underlying material. The channel comes in ~3 foot sections so I'd need 2 screws every 3 feet. Even if it takes 5 brads the tiny holes are more palatable than a full-fledged woodscrew if things ever need to be moved. Similarly plastic drywall anchors would be more damage than I'd like to cause.

I'm also motivated by the fact that the brads would add about 5 seconds to the job while pre-drilling and screwing can add significantly more. Occasionally I might install 30 feet of this raceway and predrilling and installing 20 screws would add up to significant time.

I know the brads are not super load bearing but the adhesive back actually does a pretty good job to start with. It's just that on occasion I've seen the weight of the cables slowly pull the raceway down. A brad every few feet, ideally pointed at a slight downward anchor, would be plenty to keep the adhesive in full contact, along the lines of a picture frame which can hang on a relatively small nail.

Does that all make sense?
 

·
John
Joined
·
3,028 Posts
Thank you for the detailed recommendations! I have occasionally gone this route but the channel is made of plastic and is too thin to countersink even a shallow-headed flathead screw, and you're exactly right that a pan-head is problematic because I need the full space of the channel (it's made to hold network/audio/video cables).

I'm also trying to minimize the damage to the underlying material. The channel comes in ~3 foot sections so I'd need 2 screws every 3 feet. Even if it takes 5 brads the tiny holes are more palatable than a full-fledged woodscrew if things ever need to be moved. Similarly plastic drywall anchors would be more damage than I'd like to cause.

I'm also motivated by the fact that the brads would add about 5 seconds to the job while pre-drilling and screwing can add significantly more. Occasionally I might install 30 feet of this raceway and predrilling and installing 20 screws would add up to significant time.

I know the brads are not super load bearing but the adhesive back actually does a pretty good job to start with. It's just that on occasion I've seen the weight of the cables slowly pull the raceway down. A brad every few feet, ideally pointed at a slight downward anchor, would be plenty to keep the adhesive in full contact, along the lines of a picture frame which can hang on a relatively small nail.

Does that all make sense?
Hi - I'm afraid I don't know of any manual (lever operated) brad nailers although there are plenty of ones around like the one you have.
The stuff you have looks very similar to the Wiremold raceway that I used last spring for some porch lighting though. I wish I had thought of it and used 18 gauge, narrow crown staples. Instead I used #6 spax flathead screws and drilled pilot holes. I'm not certain the pilot holes were absolutely necessary as the Spax are self tapping. You may experiment with those, they are about $2 a box at Home Depot. For Drywall installations you will need another plan though. Loctite makes a construction adhesive called "Power Grab" that is very strong and sets up quickly which may be a solution for your entire problem unless, for some reason, you absolutely need a mechanical fastener in there.
I agree with you about the electric guns, most aren't worth a c*** until you get >$100.
Good Luck:smile:

Apparently fire wants to see an introductory post before an initial question.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,529 Posts
I've used a tack hammer and nail set for similar applications. It takes a few seconds longer, but the tools are cheap, and you don't mostly run into this sort of problem.

If you don't want to go pneumatic or electric, the old-fashioned hammer is a pretty good tool. :cool: Arrow also used to make a really narrow stapler (I feel like the staples were something like 3/16 across), but I lost mine in a move and haven't looked to see if they still make them. If they do, you might be able to fit that into the raceway: I'm not sure, and I don't know if it was possible to load it with brads.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
So that's a fortuitous suggestion. Last night a brad pusher came up in one of my Amazon searches and I've honestly never seen one before. I tried to determine how exactly the thing works but to no avail . . .

So does the brad "drop" into the tube and the handle part attaches to an internal plunger that pushes it out while keeping it aligned? If so, I suspect that might be perfect. Are they strictly for hand pushing or could one use a rubber mallet on the handle if the plastic raceway proves a little to stiff to push through by hand?

I'm eager to learn more, this sounds like it might be just right. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I've used a tack hammer and nail set for similar applications. It takes a few seconds longer, but the tools are cheap, and you don't mostly run into this sort of problem.

If you don't want to go pneumatic or electric, the old-fashioned hammer is a pretty good tool. :cool: Arrow also used to make a really narrow stapler (I feel like the staples were something like 3/16 across), but I lost mine in a move and haven't looked to see if they still make them. If they do, you might be able to fit that into the raceway: I'm not sure, and I don't know if it was possible to load it with brads.
The biggest challenge I've had with hammering them in is that the channel being only 18mm wide it's hard to fit a couple of figers, a nail and a hammer head in there. :) The magnetic tack hammer is a great idea if I can find one narrow enough that I never hit the track. I suspect one misblow would ruin that section of raceway (since I'd be hitting the lip mechanism which holds it closed) so I'd need to up my hammering accuracy. :)

The narrow stapler idea is really what I'd like to find, though I think it really does have to be brads/tacks. With staples, even the standard size, the two holes tend to split the plastic between them while the one hole for a brad doesn't split anything.

I can't thank all of you enough for all the knowledge and ideas. This is amazing.
 

·
Old Methane Gas Cloud
Joined
·
3,500 Posts
If you really want to use brads......

Put the brad between the teeth of a comb and drive the brad as deep as you can without damaging the channel. Then use a nail set to finish driving the brad to the desired depth. Nail sets are available at hardware stores or home centers. They come in a variety of sizes. (i.e. Tip diameters)

If it were me, I would a wide bead of construction adhesive to hold the channel in place. I'm not sure what you have there but our brand is Liquid Nails and it is available for a variety of materials.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
148 Posts
jbsjbs said:
So that's a fortuitous suggestion. Last night a brad pusher came up in one of my Amazon searches and I've honestly never seen one before. I tried to determine how exactly the thing works but to no avail . . .

So does the brad "drop" into the tube and the handle part attaches to an internal plunger that pushes it out while keeping it aligned? If so, I suspect that might be perfect. Are they strictly for hand pushing or could one use a rubber mallet on the handle if the plastic raceway proves a little to stiff to push through by hand?

I'm eager to learn more, this sounds like it might be just right. Thanks!
I had never seen a brad pusher either, but reading the description, it sounds like they work the same as a spring loaded center punch, which I am familiar with. Essentially, when you push on it, you don't push the brad into the trim, but you compress the spring for a drive pin. Once the spring is compressed a certain distance it "slips" and drives the pin into the brad. There is probably an intermediate pin that actually receives the blow from the drive pin and transfers it to the brad. You'll probably have to compress the spring many times per brad to drive it all the way. Also, it doesn't really matter how hard or fast you push it, the amount of force is pre-determined by the way the tool was designed. I know the spring loaded center punches I've used work well at marking steel, so I would expect this to have enough force to drive the brad through the trim and any hardwood behind.

I'm planning to add one of these to my tool collection. If I get one that isn't magnetized, It should be easy to fix that by rubbing it with a magnet (always rub the magnet in the same direction).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,302 Posts
So that's a fortuitous suggestion. Last night a brad pusher came up in one of my Amazon searches and I've honestly never seen one before. I tried to determine how exactly the thing works but to no avail . . .

So does the brad "drop" into the tube and the handle part attaches to an internal plunger that pushes it out while keeping it aligned? If so, I suspect that might be perfect. Are they strictly for hand pushing or could one use a rubber mallet on the handle if the plastic raceway proves a little to stiff to push through by hand?

I'm eager to learn more, this sounds like it might be just right. Thanks!
i've seen them used i picture framing.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top