Saturday, November 21, 2009

Great Neck Magnetic Brad & Nail Driver

I found this nail driver on line from a tip I picked up at the antique fly-in in Iowa this year. It's the Great Neck model BD1. I was not impressed when I first got it because I expected it to be spring operated like a one handed center punch. After some experimenting and building a rib with it I realized some minor improvements would make it into a great tool. It's primary attribute was a price of less than $5.00, but now I will use it for all my rib building, etc.

The first change was to buy a 1-1/4" chair foot at Lowes. I mixed a little epoxy and filled the foot about 1/4 full. Then I stood the handle of the driver in it and left it to dry over night. Next I used my belt sander to grind off the ridges to make a nice palm face. The last thing was to rough up the end and install a short piece of heat shrink tubing to allow me to more easilly slide the sleeve down if I want to see if I have a nail in the holder.

Using it is easy. I have a shallow bowl of nails I can pick up with my right hand, to the right of the gusset I'm nailing. Yes I'm right handed and not even sure I could pick up a 1/4" nail with my left hand. With the nailer in my left hand I drop the nail head first into the magetic holder.

Next position the tip of the nailer where you want the nail. I've marked my jig with a red felt marker at each nail location. It helps me know where the nails go and as a quality check when I'm done to verify I did not miss one, or serveral as the case may be. Now hold the nailer vertically and gently press down until the nail contacts the gusset.

A light slap with your right hand on top of the nailer will drive it home. If you leave one a little high just finish it with a tack hammer. When I'm done nailing I run my finger over every nail. Any that feel high I touch up with the tack hammer.

This thing is way better than needle nose pliers and a tack hammer.

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