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What to nail some T&G with?

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  • What to nail some T&G with?

    So I'm installing some 3/4" thick, 5 1/2" wide pine T&G on some walls & a vaulted ceiling (16" o/c strapping). It's going to be in an unheated outbuilding with plenty of exposure to temperature extremes etc. Will probably finish with either shellac or poly, all 6 sides.

    I have been looking online for a while & there doesn't seem to be much clear consensus on the best type of nails to use. I have a couple of 18 gauge guns (battery & pneumatic), and also a hammer or two. If it would be better & easier, I could pick up a 15 or 16 gauge gun, which I've been meaning to get for a while anyway.

    Opinions? Thanks in advance
    If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason. - Jack Handey
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  • #2

    Re: What to nail some T&G with?

    Re: What to nail some T&G with?

    I have put that size cedar on vertical surfaces at my place. I used 15 gauge, 1-1/2" long stainless steel nails. I consider it about as small as I would want to go and perhaps a bit too small but that is what I could easily get at the time. This cedar was outside and I used SS to avoid black marks in the future. On the house, where I presume a pro did the work, the 2 nails are placed about an 1-1/4" apart at each nailing point. The original house cedar vertical siding had quite large galvanized nails with a significant head, where some work was done later, it was done with a clipped-head nailer and certainly bigger than 18 gauge. Both these installers did the 2 nails 1-1/4" apart trick. I don't think you need to do it every 16" on the vertical board but obviously a ceiling has more pulling on the nails.

    I realize you are doing interior and with pine, but this is what I did with exterior cedar.

    billh
    Last edited by billh; 06-23-2014, 02:53 PM.

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    • #3

      Re: What to nail some T&G with?

      Re: What to nail some T&G with?

      Thanks for the input. Yes although some people have reported 18g working fine, it obviously is a bit on the small side. Nice tip about the 1-1/4" apart double strike at each location ... I guess that would help strengthen things regardless of the gauge used. I will probably bite the bullet and pick up a 15 gauge gun. You know I want to anyway

      Thanks again!
      If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason. - Jack Handey

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      • #4

        Re: What to nail some T&G with?

        Re: What to nail some T&G with?

        I don't understand quite the 1 1/4 inch apart trick. Is it basically driving two nails diagonally where normally you would drive one to fasten your board to the joist?
        Kevin

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        • #5

          Re: What to nail some T&G with?

          Re: What to nail some T&G with?

          Originally posted by billh View Post
          I have put that size cedar on vertical surfaces at my place. I used 15 gauge, 1-1/2" long stainless steel nails.
          I second the 7/16" crown staples for T&G. Those things have serious holding power.

          I trimmed professionally for 25 years. I never found a use for 15 ga brads. I use 16 and 18 ga brads, 1/4" or 7/16" staples and hand drove 3 1/2" galv brads for brick mould around doors and windows. The 15 ga angled load is too expensive and adequately covered by more cost effective 16 ga and 18 ga straight load brads. It's not the cost of the gun that gets you with air nails it's the cost of the ammo.

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          • #6

            Re: What to nail some T&G with?

            Re: What to nail some T&G with?

            Back in the mists of time we used either 1 1/2 or 1 3/4 brads and a Warrington pattern hammer for interior panelling with t&G, so I would suggest that either 18 or 16 ga air nails would do the job just fine as would staples per Dave K's post. IMO there is no real reason to buy a 15ga nailer for this task unless you; a. want the tool and b. want it to make the job cost more than necessary! Double nailing each 16" joint uses up twice as many nails, introduces more wood cracks at each joint and does nothing beneficial to hold the panelling to the wall or ceiling so I would advise you to skip that idea too.

            My 2 cents

            Ken

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            • #7

              Re: What to nail some T&G with?

              Re: What to nail some T&G with?

              I was a Finisher too and used 15g for most things for better hold including T&G (Stainless outside) but use an 18/23g pinners for delicate work too. Still using the same guuns today for everything onsite.

              The two nail trick does work , you fire them on a slight angle towards the centre of the joist/rafter/truss etc so it acts the same way as a dovetail does, same trick when shooting crown /base etc to drywall while the Construction adhesive/Caulk drys. Not needed inside really but for exterior work I do it for what I think is cheap insurance against wood movement.

              Before the Guns it was 1 3/4" finish nails , bright or galv as needed, and a nail punch ! so yes I can recommend a 15g gun .... it's easy to punch a 15g down if needed vs other gauges and the large (DA) head holds better.



              M.
              Last edited by Kbird123; 06-25-2014, 05:57 PM.

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              • #8

                Re: What to nail some T&G with?

                Re: What to nail some T&G with?

                The double pin trick is a good one just as Mick suggests. The first pin draws the T&G in tight and the second pin locks it in.
                "Do it Right!"

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                • #9

                  Re: What to nail some T&G with?

                  Re: What to nail some T&G with?

                  I would use a 15 guage as it has a head that is proportionally much larger than a 16 guage. Any of the T&G that I have installed has been the typical V joint which allows you place your nail where the V and the tongue meet making the nail less visible and in most cases you will not be able to see it. If this is going into an unheated building I would go with a stainless steel nail. They are readily available but not at the BB stores. Atlas may have them or should know where they are available. J C Cayer does have them in a variety of sizes and will ship.

                  Brian
                  If your dreams don't scare you, you are not dreaming big enough

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                  • #10

                    Re: What to nail some T&G with?

                    Re: What to nail some T&G with?

                    Gramp taught me to put the nails in T&G panelling into the tongue as you would with hardwood flooring, so the nail heads do not show and therefore the nail head size would not be a factor for interior panelling, even for an unheated space. Most of the old one-room schools around my home, including ours, had interior panelling of fir/pine/spruce T&G and that is how the panelling was installed. The same for wainscotting, with which I have much more experience. This leaves no exposed nail heads except the last corner. They were unheated most of the time too, even when the wood stove was going in the winter!! Some of these buildings are being used for cottages and work shops today and the panelling is still in place after a century or more of use.

                    I remember placing face nailing into T&G sheathing but not in finish panelling, ergo my earlier comments about double nailing and such. It would be completely redundant using the tongue nailing technique.

                    Ken

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                    • #11

                      Re: What to nail some T&G with?

                      Re: What to nail some T&G with?

                      Thanks all for the tips, I was away without my interwebs installing some T&G, so missed most of them until now. Next time I'll ask earlier!

                      Anyway, I got a 15g Bostich that the borg recently price dropped to $200, nice little gun - even has a built in pencil sharpener! Shot two nails at each bit of strapping, was able to go a bit wider apart than 1 1/4" as the strapping was wider than your average stud and we wanted the boards vertical. Seems very nice & solid, hopefully it stays that way!

                      Thanks again for all the input
                      If trees could scream, would we be so cavalier about cutting them down? We might, if they screamed all the time, for no good reason. - Jack Handey

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                      • #12

                        Re: What to nail some T&G with?

                        Re: What to nail some T&G with?

                        My house has pine T&G nailed with 18 gauge, and its been there 15 years with no problem.
                        In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity. - Thomas Sowell

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