The plan was to nail in the quarter round to the base on the fireplace wall and around each adjacent corner, tint some natural-shade Minwax wood filler with dye to match the shellac finish, and fill the countersink holes. Maybe then I could even think about putting my bookcases back where they belong.
So I start with the 16-gauge Porter Cable nailer because behind the base on that wall I have the solid masonry exterior structure
, and I figure I need more power. First piece of trim goes in all right, but on the second one-- Oh-oh. Split one of my carefully-coped pieces of quarter round. It's in the corner where it's dark; I'll fill it and let it alone.
But maybe the bigger nailer with the 2" nails is overkill. I switch to the 18-guage Chicago Pneumatic brad nailer. Firing 1½" brads from it, mostly because I couldn't find the 1¼" length at the Big DIY Store Where I Now Work. Should have been fine anyway, but they weren't.
I conclude that even though the woodwork doesn't really back up to the masonry, but to the plaster over it, the Harbor Freight brad nailer (which I picked up cheap and used at the local recycled tool place) doesn't have the force to drive a skinny 1½" brad that far. At least, not when the top layer is rounded. I've found the manual online and it doesn't seem to have a countersink adjustment.
So I may have to try to find some 1¼" brads after all, pull off the quarter round (except for the split piece), remove the longer brads, and try again. That, or resign myself to my house's future owners fulminating against me when they see those shiny nail heads poking out of the nice shellacked wood trim.
Hmm. I wonder if I still get the employee discount if I order a non-stock item?