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Are nail drivers worth the money? The one I purchased can not drive a nail for nothing. I am using brass nails, how does the nailer hold the nail in a vertical position?

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I have a “nail pusher” that I inherited with my father’s tools and have never used.  It consists of a bulbous handle and tube.  There is a plunger inside the tube and the end is magnetized to hold a small headed nail.  By pushing on the handle the nail is driven.  

 

If if this is what you are trying to use, it won’t work with brass nails as they are nonmagnetic.

 

Roger

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I too have a nail pusher and it take "awhile" to get the feel of getting it right. Pilot holes REALLY help...Moab

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For brass, I drill a hole that is a snug/tight fit for the pin or a gauge or two smaller - depending.  I used a curved Kelly clamp to hold the pin.  MM has a tool: Pin Insertion Plier # 85282  that is handy,  but it is a lot useful for bamboo dowels/trunnels.  It gently holds, while a hemostat can crush bamboo - not a problem with brass.  Being able to go in straight allows for an easier aim.

Your suspicion that nail driver/pusher is essentially worthless matches my opinion of it.

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I've used the Pin Insertion Pliers with success when inserting small  brass nails. These nails had a 1/64 inch head and we're quite short.

 

Not a tool I use often but did a very nice job when needed.

 

Dave

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I am always somewhat suspicious of single-purpose tools. The question would be what do you use it for: to drive headless pins without flattening them on the top, to avoid the impact of a hammer, to avoid hitting something else, if you are not sure with the hammer, to get it straight down, etc. I think the only really valid reason would be the first one from the above list.

 

There are also tweezers with V-grooves across to hold small nails and pins, e.g. when nailing.

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19 hours ago, Jaager said:

For brass, I drill a hole that is a snug/tight fit for the pin or a gauge or two smaller - depending.  I used a curved Kelly clamp to hold the pin.  MM has a tool: Pin Insertion Plier # 85282  that is handy,  but it is a lot useful for bamboo dowels/trunnels.  It gently holds, while a hemostat can crush bamboo - not a problem with brass.  Being able to go in straight allows for an easier aim.

Your suspicion that nail driver/pusher is essentially worthless matches my opinion of it.

I see how this (Pin Insertion Plier # 85282) would be very useful. Thank you.

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i have two. One is a large one for small finishing nails which I occasionally use on picture frames to hold the backs on. There's a better tool for this task that's used by the pros, but I don't have occasion to frame enough pictures to justify buying one.

1330078957_19010001.thumb.jpg.06f670fad0583d92934441ab695ee0a0.jpg

 

The other is a tiny one for "lil pins" and dressmaker's pins. i very rarely use this one at all. While I often use pins and pegs for fastening in modeling, they are almost exclusively placed in pre-drilled holes and used as pegs to secure one part to another, concealing the peg, rather than driving a nail in with the head left exposed. They have their occasional uses, but I always drill a pilot hole first. 

 

One brad-nailing trick I learned from a professional picture framer is to cut the head off of a brad of the same size and type as they one you will be using and chuck it into an "egg beater" hand drill or any other drill chuck and use the headless brad as a bit to drill the pilot hole. Amazingly, it does work easily if the brad point is the usual "squared edge point" type. This technique will result in a pilot hole that fits perfectly and without risk that driving the brad will split the wood, which is a big danger when nailing narrow picture frame stock, especially at the corners.. 

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5 hours ago, Bob Cleek said:

i have two. One is a large one for small finishing nails which I occasionally use on picture frames to hold the backs on. There's a better tool for this task that's used by the pros, but I don't have occasion to frame enough pictures to justify buying one.

1330078957_19010001.thumb.jpg.06f670fad0583d92934441ab695ee0a0.jpg

 

The other is a tiny one for "lil pins" and dressmaker's pins. i very rarely use this one at all. While I often use pins and pegs for fastening in modeling, they are almost exclusively placed in pre-drilled holes and used as pegs to secure one part to another, concealing the peg, rather than driving a nail in with the head left exposed. They have their occasional uses, but I always drill a pilot hole first. 

 

One brad-nailing trick I learned from a professional picture framer is to cut the head off of a brad of the same size and type as they one you will be using and chuck it into an "egg beater" hand drill or any other drill chuck and use the headless brad as a bit to drill the pilot hole. Amazingly, it does work easily if the brad point is the usual "squared edge point" type. This technique will result in a pilot hole that fits perfectly and without risk that driving the brad will split the wood, which is a big danger when nailing narrow picture frame stock, especially at the corners.. 

Thank you for the input. I will definitely be using your idea with the headless nail. I truly appreciate your insight .

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On 3/4/2020 at 5:00 PM, Jaager said:

For brass, I drill a hole that is a snug/tight fit for the pin or a gauge or two smaller - depending.  I used a curved Kelly clamp to hold the pin.  MM has a tool: Pin Insertion Plier # 85282  that is handy,  but it is a lot useful for bamboo dowels/trunnels.  It gently holds, while a hemostat can crush bamboo - not a problem with brass.  Being able to go in straight allows for an easier aim.

Your suspicion that nail driver/pusher is essentially worthless matches my opinion of it.

I’ve tried a bunch of pin pushers.  The Amati one worked the best but then broke at the end of my Badger build.

 

I’ve been using that Pin Insertion Plier and love it.  I use it for pinning the first planking.  The best is that you don’t have to push the pin all the way - just enough to keep it steady while the glue sets.  Then you can use the pliers to pull them out with ease, and likely reuse the pins again.  I’d recommend it without hesitation.

 

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