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This is a technique I intend to perfect for the construction of our Narai MKIV, and is currently being employed in a limited fashion on the Tiki 38 currently being built.

The idea is to use a pneumatic 16-gauge brad nailer with various length 18-8 stainless brad nails to hold two components while the glue dries. The advantages here are cost (compared to the cost of the various bronze and copper fasteners listed for the construction), time required to affix a part, no requirement for removal of the fastener, and to eliminate the need for a second man. There will be a need to use screws in high stress areas, but otherwise the bulk of fastening will be with brads.

The technique is to apply glue (epoxy or Titebond III) to the surfaces, then press the brad nailer to the surface until "squeeze out" is achieved and send the nail home. We have been using this technique with great success thus far. It has cut time to attach a part in half (or better.)

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Just today I had to remove a layer of softwood from a beam that had some rot in it. The lashings had molded nicely into the wood on the beam which unfortunately caused  rot. So I cut off the top 1x6 on the beam. The saw went right through the brads - just a spark once in a while. And of note, they were shiny and rust free even though some of the wood was not so great. This is after 6 years of use.

any recommendations on brand?

Stainless steel can change its condition in a series of ways. The most common is "electrical corrosion" which typically occurs when SS is in contact with other metals such as aluminium, bronze or "normal steel". Then there is so-called "crystalisation" this can be induced electrically or by temperature. And last but not least it can corrode in wet and salty environment. But it cannot "rust", rusting means corrosion with production of "rust". This is an iron-containing mineral with 7 times more volume than steel. This volume increase typically causes a series of problems.

In the case butches boater describes I see no risk at all. The fasteners are only important to keep the wooden plates or parts in place until the glue is firm enough to do its job. After that it does not matter if they're there or not.

Using SS fasteners to fix plywood plates or strips on boat hulls is an accepted method for more than 40 years meanwhile.

If I once start to built my own Wharram I would definitely go this way.

If you don't want them to stay in place you can use one trick: Take a roller shutter belt and send the fasteners through the belt into the wood. After the glue is hardened, simply pull them with the belt out of the wood. This might work better or worse, depending on the type of fasteners you are using. Other belts or strong ribbons will also work.

Regards and always fair winds, Armin

Jeff, did you use 16 or 18 guage for the beam construction? just wondering if 18 guage is enough to hold a 1x6 plank in place til the glue sets, especially as it's only under stress at the ends where the beam curves on the top.

I think the brads were in the scarf when we made the long layer prior to placing it on the beam itself. Then we used screws to hold the long 1x6 to the one below it.(We removed them after the glue had set).  I haven't tried, but I don't think that the brads will be strong enough to hold the curved side down. It's been so long and all my remaining supplies are 1500 miles away. I honestly don't remember the size I used or the brand. And I know I found brads in the beam but I also remember using tons of screws to keep everything together. 

We used brads mainly as a means to hold something in place until the glue set or to keep the piece from moving until we could apply stronger fasteners. I would use them to hang the plywood panels to the stringers to measure the cut, and then again to hold the cut piece in place while we screwed it. They are also great to hold stairs,shelves and other interior furniture in place while the glue sets.

Sorry I can't be of more help! I'll be in Michigan again in a few weeks and I'll try to find my brad box.

Thanks for the reply.  i should be done the beam glue up in 3-4 weeks if spring ever comes.

i actually dont' think i "need" a brad nailer but i'm getting tool mania with the weather delay in Canada.

Hitachi makes a really nice air powered brad nailer at a reasonable price. I think I got mine at Lowes.

Harbor freight 20 bucks. If it breaks, throw it away. I've had one for over 5 years, moderate use.

When I did beam rebuild last summer I used a Harbor Freight brad nailer, but the brads were only good for keeping scarf joints from slipping laterally, they weren't effective on thick pieces of wood.  I used 1 5/8 brads on 1 inch planks and needed clamps to maintain the glue line.  The nailer works very well for putting cabinets together, nailing trim, just don't nail your finger like one of our professionals did last year.

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