While an 18-gauge brad nailer can tackle most of the pneumatic nailing needs for woodworking, a 23-gauge pin nailer is also a really handy tool. Pin nailers should be capable of driving the longest nails their magazines will hold into hardwood. But brawn is not where a pin nailer will earn its stripes most of the time: you want it to nail carefully without flawing the work surface, which often happens with brad nailers. Some 4,000 nails later, I’ve learned a few things about these pinners, and I’ve got a favorite here. There are two pin nail styles: “slight-head” brads (center) offer a tad more holding power than headless pins (right). Seven years ago, I tested this Bostitch pinner in our first- ever pin nailer review, and it left me with mixed impres- sions. The nailer has a pointed steel tip that makes it easy to locate fasteners exactly where you want them, but at 90 psi, it left pock marks on both pine and maple around the nails. Bostitch’s steel nailing tip makes it easy to place pins precisely, but it also left dents in the wood. Pin nailers typically have two triggers: the rear is a safety to prevent accidental firing.
The gun has a solid feel to it, and Bostitch provides many extras, including a hard case, 1,500 nails, oil and an air fitting dust cap. Compared with Bostitch’s pinner, the Cadex CP23.30 offers a roomier grip but instead, only one trigger. This mid-sized, rugged gun will hold two 100-nail clips in its magazine for extended use, unlike some others that are limited to one clip at a time. Cadex’s steel tip is more rounded than that of the Bostitch gun, and that helped reduce the incidence of denting on pine. This gun requires occasional light oiling to lubricate the internal parts, and Cadex stamps an “Oil” indicator into the tool near the hose fitting — it’s a helpful reminder.
For $100, I wish the Cadex came with more extras than it does: you get a bottle of oil and a cardboard storage box.
Hitachi’s pinner has three solid features going for it that attracted my attention right away: first, when I picked the tool up, its overmolded rubber grip fit all four of my fingers without also brushing the safety trigger. From the top of its piston housing to the nose, the tool measures 61?4″, and that com- pact size could be quite handy for tight-quarters nailing.
My favorite feature of this gun is its dry-fire lockout, which prevents the gun from firing when you are within a few pins of emptying the magazine. P-C’s red indicator and dry-fire lockout ensure that every trigger squeeze actually drives a fastener. This is the only test gun that features an oil-less, mainte- nance-free design, and a belt clip and two no-mar tips are other useful goodies. RIDGID also offers a 13?8″-maximum nail-length pinner that bears some similar- ity to Hitachi’s gun. A fraction of the size of other nailers, RIDGID’s compact pinner should be an asset for nailing in tight spaces. The R138HPA did a fair job of driving long pins into both maple and pine, and its no-mar tip prevented divots.
A two-trigger design, nail viewing windows in the maga- zine and a belt hook round out the accoutrements on this gun. In testing, the RPN0635 drove and set pins consistently and neatly into both maple and pine.
The gun blows exhaust air out the front, which isn’t as user-friendly as rear exhaust styles. Another lesser-known brand, Spotnails actually makes several nailer styles, including its SP2340. The tool’s long, straight magazine could make it awkward in tight quarters, but it holds two clips at a time for less reloading.
A long magazine on Spotnails’ “The Striker” gun will hold two full clips for extended nailing jobs. For an extremely affordable way to get into pin nailing, Surebonder 9710CB offers a no-frills, $50 solution.
Without a second safety trigger, Surebonder’s grip offers more room for a natural, three-finger grasp.
Its straight magazine holds up to two clips, and the gun drove them adequately, al- though there were occasional fasteners that didn’t set below the wood surface.
Out of the box, I had to fix a gasket air leak by tightening the tool’s Allen screws, but then it worked normally.
Pin nails up to 2″ long are available, but to drive them you’ll need a full-size nailer.
My all-around “Best Bet” pick goes to Hitachi, which offered good performance, is sensibly designed and fairly priced.
Many woodworkers turn to oil and wax finishes for their first attempt at finishing, and for good reason. If there is one Achilles’ heel these popular finishes suffer from, it is their lack of durability. Oil is made of molecules small enough to seep down into the wood rather than merely sit on top. To apply an oil finish, flood it onto the wood, adding extra to keep the surface wet in areas where the oil is quickly absorbed. OKAY… I am truly hoping somebody is reading these questions since the last one was posted many months ago… I need help!!!! It will be difficult to make the surface even in colour if the spill was just in one place.
It is okay to cover the Danish Oil with polyurethane, particularly on kitchen cabinets, correct? Don’t forget to wear gloves, mask and eye protection and keep the kitchen well ventilated. If you have children its advised that you put plastic up in the kitchen doorways to create a bubble around the room. I’m putting tung oil on a sycamore log and noticing that the end grain is soaking up the first coat like a sponge, (first coat was a half and half mix of pure tung oil and turpentine) with that mix, should i saturate the end grain multiple times until it stops taking the thinned oil? Can you please tell me, if I were to use Danish oil on internal hardwood stair railings, would I be able to at a later date varnish over them?
I just did a minwax finishing wax finish on my table, it was on old dry wood, I feel like the table is so dry it is just absorbing the wax and I may need to do at least a 3rd coat of wax, it’s getting water rings and is not repelling water, any recommendation on a different or better wax? He is single and owns his own home, not pets, no kids… point being that these will not be subject to a ton of wear and tear for the next few years at least. Just linseed without wax will always require maintenance and re-application a couple times a year, with occasional sanding to boot. I’ve bought a solid oak worktop and tried oiling it with a solvent free oil from ikea. Being new to wood finishing and having never used Danish oil before, I don’t know if all of the warning labels are just to cover their back or if there is something to it? Hi I came across a really beautiful piece (slab) of Sissoo Rosewood I want to hang it on the wall as it is so big and natural. In tool manufacturing, as with so many aspects of modern life, change is one of the only constants. Identified as “Built in the USA with Global Materials,” some of DeWALT’s highest volume cordless power tools now bear labels that prove the extent of their stateside pedigree.
Craig Zielinski, director of manufacturing at Charlotte, says the reasoning for opening the new operation was quite simple and twofold: DeWALT has determined that it now can make cordless power tools affordably and well here in America, just as nimbly as the tools could be made elsewhere. To that end, and in under two years, the Charlotte facility has created more than 350 new jobs.
The Charlotte facility receives around 300 pallets of supplies each day, and they quickly are transformed into assembled power tools. Local supplies sourcing also helps DeWALT offset higher labor costs for its American-made tools.


To elaborate further, readers may not be aware that DeWALT currently maintains seven manufacturing facilities in six states: Connecticut, Maryland, Kentucky, North and South Carolina and Tennessee.
Since opening the Charlotte assembly plant, which DeWALT coined as “Project Eagle,” the company has expanded its cordless tool efforts further with Project Eagle II.
All told, DeWALT employs approximately 1,800 people stateside to manufacture and distribute its tools. Zielinski is proud of DeWALT’s production efficiencies, but equally important to process, he feels, is its people. While DeWALT has not yet determined whether it will open more manufacturing facilities like Charlotte in the future, Zielinski is certain of the commitment his yellow-and-black organization has to its red, white and blue heritage. Chris Marshall: You don’t mention what kind of glue you are using (my CA glue seems to dry out in a New York minute!), or how long it’s taking to dry out, but I’ll presume you are using ordinary yellow or white PVA woodworking glue that’s reasonably fresh. Written by Thomas Larsson, who has been renovating wooden boats full-time since 1974, The Big Book of Wooden Boat Restoration (Basic Techniques, Maintenance and Repair) provides tips and instructions on surface maintenance, winter treatment, wood selection, engine installation and more, with an extensive glossary and full-color photos of wooden boats. V-groove paneling or wainscot is easy to make with a tongue-and-groove bit set on the router table. When done intentionally and tastefully, V-groove paneling or wainscot can give a dining room, den or home theater the warm, inviting charm of solid wood.
Step 3: Move your router table fence over the bit, and adjust the fence facings as close to the cutting edges as possible to minimize tearout. Step 4: Attach a pair of featherboards to the fence, one on each side of the bit, to press your paneling stock down firmly against the table. Step 5: Once all of the tongues are milled, remove the tongue-cutter and install the grooving bit.
Step 6: Position the fence around the grooving bit so you can establish the projection of the cutters. It can drive stickpin-thin headless or slight-head brads into delicate moldings and hardly leave a mark.
So, I drove another 100 pins per gun into soft, quarter-round pine to test for nailing finesse. Nailers that shoot slight-head will also shoot headless, making them a bit more versatile than guns that only shoot headless.
It’s priced at the top end for this group at $119, but it includes a 7-year limited warranty. Second,that safety hugs the primary trigger closely and points down, so you have to deliberately reach for it with your index finger — and thinking about engaging the trigger means safer nailing in the long run. At around $83, it’s not the cheapest tool here, but I think the extra cost is merited, given its sensible features.
Its grip is easy to handle, and the two-trigger system offers good precaution against misfires. This way, the tool’s driver blade can’t damage the workpiece by firing without a nail, and you’ll never have to guess if a nail has actually been driven into each pinhole or not. All in all, if you’re willing to spend a bit more on a pin nailer, this complete kit is a good choice. From top to bottom and front to back, though, it’s smaller and the tiniest gun in this group. For $99, there’s no plastic car- ry case, but you do get 1,000 nails, oil and safety glasses.
While you don’t get a warranty or even a printed manual with it, this $89 gun comes with a plastic case and a bottle of oil. It features a no-mar tip plus a spare, a well- designed two-trigger system and a stepped magazine that could help you fit this tool into tighter corners than some others with long, straight magazines. While the body casting on this tool doesn’t have the refined fit and finish of other nailers here, its steel tip surprised me by driving pins into maple without mar- ring the surface. Exhaust air blows out the front — not ideal — and oddly, it lacks an air fitting; you’ll need to buy that separately. During use, you can decide where the exhaust air blows, thanks to a swiveling air port on top. Besides oil and a 90-day war- ranty, there are no other extras with this budget-priced tool. If Rotek came with a warranty, this affordable dark horse could have stolen the “Best Bet” win here.
They are easy to apply, give almost foolproof results, require no applicators beyond a rag and leave wood looking both rich and natural. You would probably not choose a simple oil or wax finish for a bar top or kitchen table that will be assaulted with scratches, hot coffeepots or strong solvents, but they are perfect for bookcases, jewelry boxes, turnings, picture frames, blanket chests and a host of similar objects. Virtually all waxes will dissolve in mineral spirits or naphtha, which is handy to know should you ever need to remove wax, either from wood or on top of a finish. As a result, oil makes wood look richer and more translucent without adding a film on the surface. The oil helps bring out wood’s beauty, while the varnish resin offers somewhat more protection against chemicals, heat, scratches and stains than either oil or wax.
The formulation I saw at the store is tung oil, linseed oil, methylcellulose, lead free drying agent, plant-based emulsifier, water. I sanded everything down, applied two light coats of an espresso stain, and then two coats of boiled linseed oil (without any sanding). However, it is sticky to touch and the old dirty finger marks weren’t cleaned off first.
Located literally in both Charlotte, North Carolina, and Fort Mill, South Carolina, the plant has been a distribution center for DeWALT for a long time. Equally or even more impressive still, those employees have assembled 4 million cordless tools, built 2 million electric motors to power some of them, and driven some 45 million screws to test the tools’ ruggedness.
The fact that Charlotte is both a distribution center as well as a manufacturing plant offers distinct production streamlining, Zielinski points out. Its “Built in the United States” branded tools are not priced incrementally higher than DeWALT tools made in other parts of the world. Those plants produce more than 600 DeWALT products, which include 48 corded and cordless power tools, 32 hand tools and 562 types of accessories (blades, bits, hole saws, etc.), according to information provided on DeWALT’s website. It’s focused on DeWALT’s Greenfield, Indiana, manufacturing plant, where some cordless tools are now also being made. He’s worked for numerous DeWALT plants in the past and has great respect for the work ethic and dedication of company employees. I buy a bottle of glue and use half, then before I can use what is left, it is hard and gets thrown away. Glue gradually loses its moisture as it ages and thickens, which hastens the dry-out problem. You could buy it pre-milled at the home center, but your choices will be limited, and it can be expensive.
They will shape the entire edge of a workpiece and do not have pilot bearings to limit cutting depth. The solution is to apply a shim to the outfeed (left) side of the fence, then register the bit against the amount of offset this shim provides. Use a straightedge to align the end of the tongue with the shimmed side of the fence (see Photo 3). Clamp a third featherboard to the table in front of the bit to push workpieces against the fence. Raise or lower it until the thin grooving portion of the cutters lines up evenly with the tongue on one of the workpieces you just routed (see Photo 5).
Besides wood working I also restore antique radios and also restore and hotrod vintage Hi-Fi gear.
The dust cover hinges on 2 dowel pins and there are slots in the cover that also allows it to be lifted completely off the table. Ernie Conover explains the process, using a few basic veneering tools and Titebond’s Cold Press for Veneer adhesive. You can use it for attaching glass re- tainers to cabinet doors, cross pinning dowels or tacking trim to projects and cabinetry to hold it securely while the glue sets.


The CP23.30 blows exhaust air forward, which could be annoying if you’re nailing into a corner, but it was a nonissue for flat-board work. Third, the orange plastic nose tip en- sured blemish-free nailing on both hardwood and softwood. It delivered decent performance, but some of the fasteners set only flush or slightly proud on both pine and maple. In fact, I happen to own a GREX P635 pinner, which sells for more than twice the Rotek price, yet this RPN0635 visually and functionally could be its crimson-colored twin.
The grip space is snug, and my fourth finger often scraped the edge of the safety lever, which projects straight back from the trigger. These high quality guns will also fire all of the shorter pin nail lengths, but having the convenience of full service does come with a higher price that is common to high quality tools.
Turners especially love them because they adapt perfectly to finishing wood still turning on the lathe. While a wax finish can go on any type of wood, avoid putting oil (or Danish oil) on aromatic cedar or any of the dalbergia woods (rosewood, cocobolo, tulipwood). Some waxes are softer, some are harder, but even the hardest waxes are softer than lacquers and varnishes. Most waxes melt at very low temperatures, so they don’t offer much in the way of heat resistance. For a smoother, richer finish, repeat the process, this time sanding the oily wood with fine wet-and-dry sandpaper. Then after a day or two use pure turpentine to leach out as much as possible with plenty of dry rags. I do have a can of Danish oil but due to bad weather outside and crappy ventilation inside(plus a wife that suffers with asthma) I don’t know if Danish oil would be advisable. Part and parcel with that reality, DeWALT continues a bold commitment to bring more of its tool production back to the United States again.
But starting in September 2013, DeWALT cleared about 75,000 square feet of floor space and began setting up assembly cells and systems for winding electric motors. Zielinski says as yet, “there are some components and expertise that are just not available in the United States,” despite DeWALT’s efforts to push its supply base back to the U.S. One option would be to buy smaller bottles and squeeze the air out before replacing the cap. You’ll need a sturdy fence to provide the necessary workpiece support, preferably with facings that can be closed up around the cutters. A piece of plastic laminate, fixed in place with double-sided tape, works well (see Photo 1). Test your setup on a piece of scrap stock that matches the thickness and width of the paneling you are making.
This time, adjust the fence in or out so the straightedge meets the top, flat portion of the cutter — it forms the shoulder area behind the groove on the completed profile (see Photo 6). The cover is also made so that it can easily be dissembled in the event that Plexiglas ever gets scratched and needs to be changed.
My nat- ural inclination when picking up a nail gun is to grab it with three or four fingers; that deactivates the safety on the HP118K whether you’re ready to fire or not. The fact that they are soft means they offer very little protection against scratches and wear. This will create a slurry of oil and wood dust, filling tiny pores and leaving the surface even smoother. After a few more days drying it should then take a thin clear poly or preferably danish oil finish – one very thin coat per day.
Make sure you are using oil based polyurethane because the water based junk won’t cure well over the Danish oil. It’s an effort to help reverse the glut of Pacific Rim sourcing for tool manufacturing that’s been occurring for decades across most of the power tool industry. Just six weeks later, cordless power tools were rolling off the line and into carry cases and cardboard wraps, ready for consumers.
Then, you’ll not only have fresher glue when you need it, but also less glue lost to the trash if it should happen to turn to stone in the bottle again. Just think: custom paneling or wainscot using anything from paint-grade poplar to purpleheart, and you control the quality! Here’s how to set up and use these bits effectively for your next wall treatment project. Install the bit in your router table, and raise it above the table until the portion that cuts the tongue is centered on your workpiece thickness. This way, the bit will remove the laminate’s thickness from the workpiece edge on the infeed side, and the outfeed shim will support the tongue as the cut proceeds.
If the test cut looks good, cut a tongue on one edge of all of your paneling material (see Photo 4). You can apply wax over any other finish and it will give the surface a soft sheen and smooth feel, but don’t put other finishes over wax.
Nut oils (boiled linseed, tung, etc.) are drying oils, but vegetable (peanut, olive) and mineral oils are non-drying.
It also marks DeWALT as more progressive than many of its competitors these days, in terms of shifting manufacturing back to American shores. It’s helpful to set a piece of scrap on the table and against the bit to visualize the cut it will make (see Photo 2). Unfortunately the original base did not allow for the use of a dustcover nor had adjustable feet for leveling the table. The finish is 2 coats of Minwax natural oil and 2 coats of paste wax giving it a great look and feel. You can spend more for premium models or as little as $30 for “bargain” brands with a 1″ nail length limit, but I think this group of eight is probably your wisest value for all-around use. The directions on the can are excellent: Apply it liberally to the wood, let it soak in for 15 minutes, reapply, then wipe off the surface. My concern with the wax layer is that it will not maintain the really natural look I’m going for.
They will prevent it from oxidizing (turning gray) but don’t particularly enhance the wood. A Scotchbrite™ pad or fine steel wool makes a good applicator; then wipe with paper shop towels. However, non-drying oils stay wet indefinitely, and they will wash off when the board is scrubbed with soap and water. Use Watco either as a one-coat penetrating finish, or to add as many subsequent coats as you like. I use a palm sized car buffer to polish the surface to a shine and remove any extra wax from the surface. In other words, once a coat of clear wax dries on the wood, it will look like freshly cut, but unfinished, wood. Because they do not dry to a solid film, non-drying oils are considered a wood treatment, but not a finish.
Applied no more than one coat per day, you can build up a finish as thick, beautiful, and durable as varnish, with no brushes to clean or brush marks to rub out.
The good news is that a multi-coat Watco finish is durable enough for most anything you make, even kitchen cabinets or a dining room table. Tung oil dries a little bit faster than linseed oil, and sometimes it is modified to cure even more quickly.




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