April 22, 2014 : How To Build A Raised Garden Bed

How To Build A Raised Garden Bed

Spring has officially sprung, which means it's time to get outside and pick up where you left off on those leftover outdoor projects from last year. One project to consider, learn how to build raised garden beds with the team at Nail Gun Depot.
 
An increasing demand for sustainable living has led many people - both rural and urban - to grow their own food. The perfect place to manage and monitor the growth of your food source, especially in urban areas, consider building a raised garden bed to harvest mini-crops. Once built, these sustainable planters will continue to provide a renewable food supply - year after year.
 
Building one or two of these large planters is easier than you might think - it only requires a few hours, a nailer or screw gun, fasteners, a power saw, and lumber. Once built, you will want to fill each "box" with a soil and compost mixture, creating a nutrient rich fertilizer that can boost and sustain the growth of your garden. The purpose of these beds is to raise the soil up, creating a built in drainage system and reducing the amount of space needed between plants - helping to crowd out weeds.
 
 
To get started, dig a trench around the space you want to install your raised garden bed(s). The trench should outline the shape of the garden bed, typically designed in a rectangular formation. The size of a raised garden bed can vary, with small ones that are 3' by 6' - ranging to larger ones that can double in size. Typically, these beds should be 1' to 2' high, as it might be hard to produce enough "fill-dirt" if the bed is much deeper. While there is not a "correct" size, you want each garden bed to be small enough that you can reach the center when planting, watering and harvesting.
 
Once a trench has been dug out, begin laying your lumber to create a frame that fits into the  trench that was formed. Note that if you are using a pressure treated wood (or any lumber that has been exposed to chemicals), you will want to insert a layer of landscape fabric into the bed of the planter to protect against any chemical seepage. Be sure to also use only galvanized or stainless steel nails or screws, to reduce/eliminate rust corrosion.
 
Build each wall of your raised garden bed separately, then attach them together at the end of the project. You will want to use either a framing nailer, such as the Hitachi NR83AA3, or a collated screw gun, such as the Senco DuraSpin DS-312. Once the walls are in place, you will want to also install a ledge along the frame of the bed, to rest on and/or lay gardening tools.
 
 

Now that your garden bed frame has been built, you can elect to install an irrigation system or greenhouse cover, depending on the budget for your project and the vegetation you are looking to grow. Build your raised garden bed to accommodate the crops you are intending to plant. Tropical plants will require a greenhouse-like environment (including heat in the winter), whereas tomatoes only require sunlight and water from late-spring to early-fall. 

 
PROJECT NOTE: If you plan to keep any plant alive during the winter, you will need to protect them from the outside elements of colder climate areas. 
 
After adding your fertilizer mixture and planting your crop, be sure to protect your garden from predators such as deer and other wildlife that will eat your plants. Install a tall wire or chain fence around the garden bed(s) to prevent deer and other wildlife from feeding on your veggies. If budget allows, build an open, small-framed structure around your beds to protect them from animals - without blocking sun and rain from reaching them. You might find a Hog Ring Tool beneficial for fastening the wire.
 
 
All that's left to do is tend to your crops and enjoy the sustainable foods that you grew in your backyard. 
 
Here's To Getting Your Hands Dirty,
The Team At Nail Gun Depot



April 15, 2014 : Tools And Projects That Are Worth The Investment

Tools And Projects That Are Worth The Investment

Are you getting ready to start a new home improvement project, know the category of tool you need, but can't decide whether it's worth spending extra to get a top of the line model? We usually talk about tool categories for a project, but what about the features of a tool that makes it unique to the competition? Today, we're going to focus on a few of our favorite tools to splurge on, paired with the projects they are built to tackle. Learn which tools and projects are worth the investment, on the Faster Fastener Blog.
 
Let's start from the ground up, finding the right Framing Nailer to fasten the bones or frame of your project. One of the most popular choices according to Nail Gun Depot's customers, the Paslode CF325Li (902600) cordless framing nailer is built to handle heavy duty work, with long term success. This framing nail gun drives 2" to 3-1/4" 30 degree paper tape strip nails without a cord or compressor. Powered by a fuel cell and rechargeable battery, reach the unreachable - this is the perfect framing tool for tight fitting spaces. Thinking about finishing a basement? This Paslode is the perfect tool to frame your walls. The CF325Li is a popular, contractor grade tool that gets a thumbs up from our customers.
 
  
 
Once framing is complete, most contractors will use a screw gun to attach drywall to the wood studs. Available in both battery-powered and electrical-powered variations, the Senco DuraSpin Collated Screw System is among the most popular options available on the market today. Trusted by contractors for their quality and versatility, Senco's DuraSpin screw guns drive a range of fasteners from 5/8" to 3" in size. If you're in the market, look at the DS312-18V or DS332-AC to maximize the available range of screws accepted.
 
PROJECT NOTE: If finishing a basement, stick to the basics. Less is more in many instances. Putting a lot of intricate detail and fancy upgrades into a basement does not typically return the investment. Unless budget is no object, look at tasteful updates that will boost resale value.
 
 
 
Another popular upgrade, you might be looking to install new hardwood floors in your home. Hardwood flooring can add big value to a home and can help make it more attractive to a prospective buyer, if it is done correctly. Starting a hardwood installation properly means using tools to get the job done right - which is exactly why we recommend our next tool to splurge on. Known for making quality flooring tools, the Bostitch MIIIFS Hardwood Floor Stapler is one of the best-selling floor staplers offered at Nail Gun Depot. This flooring stapler has passed the test of time - and comes with a seven-year warranty to support its reputation. A quality pneumatic tool, the MIIIFS drives 15.5 gauge 1/2" crown flooring staples from 1-1/2" to 2" in length.
 
PROJECT NOTE: Be sure to know the thickness of the floors you are installing. The typical range of thickness is 1/2" to 3/4" flooring, though other variations are available. Compare different breeds of wood to see which hardwood floor will match your walls and furniture best.
 
        
 
Ready for small, around the house updates? For trim, molding, shelves, cabinets and more, you'll be looking for either a Finish or Brad Nailer. Once again, Senco is at the top of our must-have tool list with their Fusion line of Cordless Finish and Brad Nailers, which are among the most competitive options available to the market today. Models of the Fusion include the F-15, a 15 Gauge Angled Finish Nailer; the F-16A, a 16 Gauge Angled Finish Nailer; the F-16S, a 16 Gauge Straight Finish Nailer; and the F-18, an 18 Gauge Brad Nailer. These battery-powered finishing tools have been recognized by top-tier industry publications including Popular Mechanics and the Journal of Light Construction, thanks to their durability, versatility and available features.
 
PROJECT NOTE: Adding crown molding to your home can infinitely improve appearance - and even boost resale value. This is an inexpensive upgrade that can payoff big when trying to sell your home. Look to match crown molding and baseboards for an aesthetically pleasing design. When working with a dining room or living space, consider adding a matching chair rail too.
 
 
 
Last but not least, you have a fresh, new look for your home, but need some new furniture and decor to add that final, personal touch. When you've run out of ways to improve your house itself, look for ways to compliment its design - through decor. One way to do this is through refinishing and reupholstering furniture. For all of your upholstery work, make sure you choose a staple gun with the capability to take on a wide range of projects, which is why we recommend the Duo-Fast EIC-3118 (66118) 22 Gauge Electric Upholstery Stapler. This Duo-Fast upholstery stapler is electric powered, meaning there is no need for an air compressor. This tool will run 3/8" to 9/16" leg 22 gauge 3/8" crown fine wire staples, perfect for furniture upholstery and light wood assembly.
 
PROJECT NOTE: Measure the length, width and depth of the seating pad and multiply three times the amount of any given dimension to calculate the amount of fabric you will need for your surface - this rule applies to a single surface, calculate for each chair separately. Also, be sure to measure from the longest point if working with a curved or angled shape.
 
 Duo-Fast EIC-3118 22 Gauge Electric Upholstery Stapler, 3/8" to 9/16" #66118
 
Ready to splurge on a quality, new tool? Contact Nail Gun Depot with any questions about these and other tools. Want to compare models? We can help with that too!
 
Providing Tools That Get The Job Done Right,
The Team At Nail Gun Depot



April 8, 2014 : What's The Difference Between Brad Nailers & Finish Nailers?

What's The Difference Between Brad Nailers & Finish Nailers?

Are in the middle of a home improvement project, but caught on which fastening tool you need to complete it? If you are doing simple upgrades around the house, you are most likely shopping for either a finish or brad nail gun - but which one is right for you? To the untrained eye, these tools would appear to be the same, but in reality, each has a very different purpose.
 
Let's start with what makes each of these power fastening tools unique. A brad nailer is designed to run 18 gauge, fine wire brad nails. These small nails are very hard to drive manually, which makes a brad nailer essential to any major home renovation project where brads are needed. On top of that, brad nails are almost invisible to the naked eye once they have been driven into wood. In fact, there is a good chance you will not need carpenter's putty to conceal a brad nail that has been driven into trim. The downside to using brad nails/nailer, these fasteners do not have the holding strength to be used for larger, heavier projects, such as large crown molding or baseboards.
 
 
Bostitch BT1855K Brad Nailer
 
For larger, more bulky wood trim, you will need to use a finish nailer, such as the Paslode IM250A-Li Cordless Finish Nailer. Finish nail guns will run 15 or 16 gauge finish nails, which are slightly larger than a brad nail, giving them increased holding strength. The biggest downside to using a finishing nail gun, because of the larger diameter fastener, you will almost certainly need to cover nail openings with putty. Furthermore, if you try to use a finish nailer on a small piece of trim, there is an increased probability for wood splitting and the formation of imperfections on the wood.
 
 
Paslode IM250A-Li Finish Nailer
 
Ideally, you'll want to have both tools handy for projects, especially if you are regularly working with trim and molding. If you have to choose between buying one or the other, your best bet is to start with a brad nailer, as it can handle most light trim work and will require less touch-up after installation. If you are installing shelving or a mantle, you will probably want to go with the higher strength, finish nail. The downside to only using a finish nail gun, it has the potential to split thin wood and might require additional touch up on small trim and lighter duty projects. While a finish nailer can tackle many of the same projects as a brad nailer - and then some - the brad nailer will maintain best overall appearance on small trim work.