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  • Top 5 Woodworking Gifts For Father's Day 2017

    Having a hard time shopping for Dad? Skip the macaroni art and surprise him with a gift he can actually use. Priced for budgets of all sizes, take a look at our Top 5 Woodworking Gifts For Father's Day 2017.

    Small budget? Shopping for the Dad that has it all? Consider an accessory or attachment for the tool(s) he has already. If he prefers to use air-powered tools, consider a new air hose. With prices ranging from $29 to $100+, there are plenty of options to choose from. For the tech savvy Dad, going cordless, consider a spare battery for his cordless nailer or stapler.

    If shopping with a slightly larger budget, consider getting Dad a complete cordless kit. Thanks to Hitachi, from now through July 31, 2017, you can get a FREE DS18DSAL cordless drill kit via mail-in form, when purchasing any of Hitachi's all-new Li-Ion cordless finish nailers (models include NT1850DE, NT1865DM, and NT1865DMA). Even better, we're throwing in an additional spare Li-Ion nailer battery instantly with participating tool purchase. Free mail-in drill kit includes DS18DSAL cordless driver drill, Li-Ion cordless LED job light, 2 Li-Ion batteries, and battery charging base. All-in, Dad will get 4 Hitachi Li-Ion batteries, a cordless drill, LED work light - and of course, the Hitachi cordless nailer. Whether you split this kit up, keep part for yourself, or give him the full package, Dad won't find a deal like this anywhere else.

    Hitachi Cordless Nailer Sale

    Maybe finish woodwork isn't Dad's thing? If he's into heavy carpentry, consider a framing nailer for Dad. For a limited-time, Nail Gun Depot is offering the Dewalt DCN692M1 at its lowest price yet - click here to see more - while supplies last. You can also check out our full catalog of framing nail guns here.

    Dewalt DCN692M1 Framing Nailer

    Dad stocked up on fastening tools? A "must-have" in every woodshop, make sure Dad has an accurate measuring level. With options ranging from $10 to $1,000+, Stabila offers premium quality construction levels and laser levels - ensuring Dad the precision his projects demand. Choose from a wide variety of levels and lasers, including a full selection of spirit levels, mason levels, magnetic levels, plate levels, pocket levels, torpedo levels, exact length levels, electronic levels and more.

    Stabila Tech Level

    Last, but certainly not least, for the Dad that's getting started in woodworking, consider a tool and air compressor combo kit, such as the Senco PC0947 brad nailer and compressor combo set, or the Bostitch BTFP72646 3-tool finish kit with air compressor. The beauty to combo kits, such as these? They include everything Dad will need, to get started with woodworking. Simply plug in the compressor, hook up the tool, and he's ready to go.

    A Father's Day gift to all, use promo code FIVEOFF during checkout to receive 5% off your entire order!

    Wishing A Happy Father's Day To You & Yours,
    The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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  • New Dewalt 20V MAX Cordless Nailers & Staplers On The Way

    Dewalt is yet again raising the bar in cordless fastening, expanding their already impressive line of 20V MAX cordless nailers and staplers. Like most Dewalt cordless models, customers have a choice between the bare-bones tool, or a full kit with battery, charger and storage bag included. No doubt, Dewalt's new cordless nailers and staplers are certain to shake things up, as they become available for delivery throughout Summer 2017.

    For the floor installer, Dewalt introduces the world’s first battery-powered floor stapler, the DCN682M1. This cordless flooring stapler kit is designed for engineered wood flooring. The Dewalt DCN682M1 trigger-pull cordless flooring stapler can install 3/8” to 5/8” hardwood flooring with ease, all while featuring a tool-free adjustable base, high visibility tongue engagement for fast installation, and no-mar profiling tips to prevent scratching of floor surfaces. The DCN682M1 has a built-in paddle trigger, allowing for easy use in multiple orientations. A tool-free selectable trigger on the Dewalt DCN682 allows the user to switch between sequential and rapid sequential actuation modes without hassle. The full DCN682M1 cordless flooring gun kit includes a DCB204 lithium ion battery, DCB112 charger and bag.

    Dewalt DCN682 Flooring Stapler

    Just want the tool? Take a look at the DCN682B. Dewalt's pair of flooring staplers should be available for delivery by Mid-Summer 2017.

    For finish and trim woodworking, the DCN680D1 18 gauge cordless brad nailer kit may be the ticket. When paired with a Dewalt 2.0Ah 20V lithium ion battery, the Dewalt DCN680D1 can shoot up to 1200 nails between charging cycles. The full kit includes a DCB203 battery pack, DCB112 charger and kit bag. Designed with a micro nose, the Dewalt DCN680D1 provides improved line of sight and nail placement accuracy, as compared to the outgoing Dewalt DC608 brad nailer. Other features on the DCN680D1 include tool-free depth adjustment, tool-free jam release, selectable trigger, low nail lockout to prevent dry firing, and multi-functional LED lights. Consider the Dewalt DCN680D1 for fastening decorative molding, cabinetry, furniture, crown molding and flooring underlayment.

    Dewalt DCN680 Nose Tip

    Don't need the full kit? Consider the DCN680B bare tool. Both models should be available Early Summer 2017.

    Need to install large kitchen crown molding? No problem for the Dewalt DCN650D1 15 gauge cordless angled finish nailer kit. With a Dewalt 2.0Ah lithium ion battery, the DCN650D1 can fire up to 800 nails per charge. This DA angled finish nailer kit comes complete with a DCB203 battery pack, DCB112 charger and kit bag. Featuring an inline magazine for easy use in multiple orientations and tight spaces, other features on the DCN650D1 include a tool-free depth adjustment for precise countersinking of nails, tool-free stall release lever, and multi-functional LED lights - to provide additional work space illumination. This cordless finish gun is excellent for crown molding, baseboards, door and window casings, and hardwood floor installation.

    Dewalt DCN650 LED Work Lights

    As with the two previous models, if you just want the tool, Dewalt also offers the bare DCN650B as well. Look for a Mid-Summer official launch date from Dewalt, on both DCN650 nailers.

    Similar to the DCN682, Dewalt will also offer the DCN681D1, an 18 gauge cordless finish stapler kit. Almost identical to the DCN682, the Dewalt DCN681D1 narrow crown finish stapler runs the same L-Series staples, but eliminates the flooring shoe. The DCN681D1 kit includes a DCB203 20V lithium ion battery, DCB112 charger and kit bag; and is capable of driving up to 1000 staples per battery charge with 2.0Ah battery. The Dewalt DCN681D1 features an integrated tool-free stall release lever, allowing the user to reset its driver blade in case stalling occurs. This Dewalt cordless finish stapler comes with multi-functional LED lights for work space illumination, and low nail lockout to prevent dry firing - and damage to the wood surface. Other features of the DCN681D1 include a tool-free selectable trigger, adjustable belt hook, tool-free depth adjustment, and bottom load magazine for quick removal of jammed fasteners. The Dewalt DCN681D1 is perfect for cabinetry, furniture, paneling and underlayment. For the bare tool, Dewalt has the DCN681B, both models available starting Mid-Summer 2017.

    Dewalt DCN681 Narrow Crown Stapler

    Keep in mind, each Dewalt cordless tool listed above is compatible with any Dewalt 20V MAX lithium ion battery, including the FLEXVOLT system.

    Built with Dewalt’s patented brushless motor, and powered by high-quality lithium ion batteries, Dewalt's new cordless nailers and staplers are ready to run - without the hassle of using an air compressor, hose or fuel cells. From flooring to finish, Dewalt cordless power combines the consistency of air with the freedom of cordless.

     

    ~ The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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  • Top 5 Essential Air Compressor Accessories

    Using an air compressor to operate any air-powered nailer, stapler, or other pneumatic tool is common knowledge, but many don't realize it's not simply the air compressor that brings their pneumatic tool(s) to life. Get the most out of any air tool with these top five essential air compressor accessories.

    Senco Air Accessories

    1. Air Hose

     

    Available in 1/4 inch and 3/8 inch inside diameters, the air hose is not only our most common accessory on this list - but also the most crucial. RolAir recommends using a 3/8 inch air hose whenever possible, as it allows for optimal air flow - despite being slightly less nimble versus a comparable 1/4 inch air hose.

    Air hoses come in a variety of lengths and materials. Typically found in 25 foot increments, make sure your air hose is long enough to reach the distance required. For a workshop or garage, 50 feet may suffice - whereas a roofer or framer may require 100+ feet of air hose while on the job.

    When it comes to selecting the best air hose material, it really depends on the type of environment the hose will be used. Options for air hoses include rubber,  polyurethane, or a rubber and polyurethane blend (commonly referred to as a "Hybrid Hose"). Rubber material handles temperature change well, but for more intense use, contractors generally prefer polyurethane air hoses, which also do well in extreme temperatures (warm and cold), but offer added flexibility with less risk of damage. Polyurethane has been found to stand up better to cuts and kinks too. Hybrid air hoses offer added durability, but at a more desirable price point as compared to traditional polyurethane air hoses.

    You can learn more on what type of air hose you need, by clicking here.

     

    2. Oils & Lubricants

     

    Most new air compressors that are not oil-free come with a fresh reservoir of oil, but once that oil has reached the extent of its lifespan, you'll need to make sure the compressor pump is properly lubricated.

    Before you start, make sure your compressor is not an oil-free model. Assuming it requires oil, prior to daily operation, make a habit of checking the air compressor's oil level for the compressor pump and engine (if compressor is gas-powered). Every direct-drive, hand-carry air compressor has a dipstick to check and maintain the proper oil level. RolAir belt-driven air compressors are equipped with a sight gauge to make the task of checking oil levels easier. Always maintain the oil level to read 2/3 full on the sight gauge.

    As a general rule, RolAir recommends changing air compressor oil once a month - though depending on usage this interval may change. If measuring based on hours, 10WT and 30WT compressor oil should be changed every 200-400 hours, while semi-synthetic air compressor oil can go 1,000 to 2,000 hours, and full synthetic compressor oil can run 2,000 to 4,000 hours between changing. Always use oil specified for use with air compressors, ONLY.

     

    3. Air Hose Fittings

     

    Thanks to their size, air hose fittings are probably the easiest air compressor accessory to forget; but while the fittings may be small, their purpose is significant. Depending on your set-up, you'll be able to choose between connectors, couplers, elbows, manifolds, splicers and more. Most of the fittings on Nail Gun Depot are anodized, which means they are resistant to rust and corrosion. Simply learn the proper size fitting for your air tool configuration before shopping.

     

    4. Air Regulators, Filters & Lubricators

     

    The following three air compressor accessories aren't necessarily mandatory, but can improve operation in many ways. Air regulators are pretty straightforward in their purpose - to regulate air flow. Filters help to keep the compressor motor running more efficiently, by removing unwanted moisture and debris from compressed air; however, if filters are allowed to get clogged, they actually lead to adverse results - reducing the compressor's lifespan and performance. The lubricator helps to ensure a long, trouble free service life, lubricating the entire compressed air system and eliminating the need to add oil to each tool individually, in some instances.

     

    5. Air Compressor Expansion Tank

     

    Need more air than your air compressor's built-in storage tank can hold? You'll probably need to invest in an air expansion tank for your compressor. Compressor expansion tanks are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, and are designed to hold a surplus of air - providing added pressure and performance between your compressor and pneumatic tool(s). Try to find an air reserve tank that is certified by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), ensuring compliance with the laws and regulations of the United States.

    rolair compressor at jobsite

    Have a question about what you need for your air tool - air compressor configuration? Send us a message, or check out this Nail Gun Network exclusive video on "How To Connect An Air Compressor Hose."

     

    ~ The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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  • Choosing The Best Fastener For Drywall - Nail Vs. Screw

    Thanks to modern fastening tools and techniques, hanging sheets of drywall is easier than ever.

    But, which fastener is best for drywall - nail or screw?

    Choosing the best fastener for drywall doesn't have to be hard, if you know what to look for. Builder-grade projects typically use a drywall nail, selected for its budget friendliness and ease of installation. If using drywall nails, space them about 7" apart during installation - or double nail every 12" for an easier finishing job. Before you start, you may decide to invest in a drywall nailer, specifically designed for this type of application.

    How To Fasten Drywall

    What drywall nailing benefits in reduced cost and improved productivity, it lacks in holding strength and versatility. One issue with nailing drywall, you can't use a nail when attaching drywall sheets to steel.

    However, an even bigger issue that often presents itself after nailing drywall. Over time, the nail may begin to work itself out of position - leading to nail pops and breakthroughs.

    You can learn more about repairing a nail pop here, but why not prevent the issue altogether?

    Sample Nail Pop

    To prevent nail pops, we suggest using a drywall screw, such as those by Senco DuraSpin or Simpson Quik Drive. Instant benefits to using a drywall screw include significantly improved holding strength, and the versatility to attach drywall onto a variety of surfaces - including wood and steel.

    Even with drywall screws, you'll still have to decide between thread type and length.

    Coarse thread screws are more common in residential drywall, as they are specifically intended for use in drywall to wood applications, and most residential construction is wood frame. On the other hand, fine thread drywall screws are made specifically for drywall to steel applications, as found mostly in commercial construction. While fine thread screws can technically be used in drywall to wood applications, it is not recommended since coarse thread screws offer a stronger grip once embedded in the wood stud. However, it's even more important to note that coarse thread screws SHOULD NOT be used when attaching drywall to steel framing - always use fine thread only.

    Quik Drive Drywall

    Once you've figured out thread, you'll also need to determine an appropriate length of drywall screw. Commonly found in 1-1/4" and 1-5/8" variations, drywall screws can run in size from as small as 1" up to 2-1/2" in length. Keep in mind, the shorter the screw, the easier it is to drive; just make sure your drywall screw is long enough for the thickness of drywall being installed. For 1/2" or 5/8" drywall, 1-1/4" drywall screws will suffice. For double layer drywall, plan to use a 1-5/8" drywall screw at minimum - with potential to go all the way up to 2" length depending on sheet thickness.

    PRO TIP: Make sure the screw shank is long enough to sink at least 1/2" into the wood stud - or steel frame.

    Because drywall screws offer superior holding strength compared to nails, you'll be able to sink each screw about 12" apart - compared to the 7" spacing suggested for drywall nails. That translates to approximately four or five screws per stud, when hanging 48" drywall sheets.

    Senco DuraSpin Drywall

    When it comes to the tools for installing drywall screws, we recommend investing in a collated screw gun, or a screw gun attachment for your driver motor. A variety of products are available, but we've received particularly good feedback for screw guns by Senco DuraSpin, Simpson Strong-Tie Quik Drive, and Grabber Construction Products.

    Ready to get started? Learn how to install flawless drywall on the Nail Gun Network.

     

    ~The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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  • How To Use A Decorative Nailer

    An essential accessory for anyone in the furniture building or upholstery trade, the decorative nailer eliminates hours of hammering decorative tacks into furniture - vastly reducing production time.

    Ready to get started? Keep reading to learn how to use a decorative nailer.

    UFFY Deco Nailer

    To provide some background, decorative nails are typically found along the edge or seam of an upholstered piece of furniture. Deco nails look similar to a thumbtack, but have a cupped head (resembling an umbrella) when viewing from the side. Before the deco nailer was an option, decorative tacks were hammered into upholstered furniture one by one; a process both time consuming and tedious.

    Decorative Nails

    Thankfully, Uffy Tools introduced the TH-T-DECO1 pneumatic decorative upholstery nailer, which eliminates the redundant hammering of deco nails into upholstery trim. What really makes this Uffy deco nailer unique is its operation. Simply add a handful of correct size (7/16" head by 1/2" shank) deco nails into the magazine, and the tool will sort out the rest during operation.

    What happens inside the magazine is something similar to a tornado, as the tool aligns each decorative nail into an automatically fed magazine.

    No more expensive collated tacks. No manual alignment.

    The beauty of this Uffy - it does all the work for you. Just make sure you have an air compressor that can provide 6.72 CFM at 90 PSI.

     

    ~ The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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  • How To Maintain An Air Compressor

    It goes without saying that proper maintenance is key to getting the maximum potential out of your air-powered tools and compressor. Developing (and sticking to) a maintenance routine can save not only time, but also money. That's why our friends at RolAir developed the following air compressor maintenance guide, as originally published on their Zero Sick Days blog.

    Keep in mind, RolAir advises that proper safety equipment should always be worn while servicing your air compressor. Do not start, operate or service your machine until you read and fully understand the owner’s manual.

    The following chart specifies routine air compressor maintenance procedure, organized by required service intervals.

    rolair maintenance chart

    CHECK OIL LEVEL: Recommended service interval - daily.

    Prior to daily operation, make a habit of checking the air compressor's oil level for the compressor pump and engine (if compressor is gas-powered). Every direct-drive, hand-carry air compressor has a dipstick to check and maintain the proper oil level. The dipstick also functions as a crankcase vent. NEVER operate a direct-drive unit without the factory-supplied dipstick. RolAir belt-driven air compressors are equipped with a sight gauge to make the task of checking oil levels easier. Always maintain the oil level to read 2/3 full on the sight gauge.

    RolAir Check Oil Site Glass

    DRAIN MOISTURE FROM TANK: Recommended service interval - daily.

    One or more drain valves are installed to allow moisture to be drained on a daily basis from the compressor storage tank(s). Open drains slowly to prevent scale, rust or debris from becoming expelled at a high rate of speed.

    How to open rolair drain valve

    INSPECT AIR FILTERS: Recommended service interval - daily.

    When checking filters, make sure the filter housing is structurally sound and the element is intact and free of dust and debris. If you need to replace the filter, you can obtain the part number from your owner’s manual.

    CHECK FOR UNUSUAL NOISE OR VIBRATION: Recommended service interval - daily.

    While the air compressor is running, listen for any rattling or knocking sounds. It is best to perform this step after checking the belt tension, bolts and condition of vibration pads.

    INSPECT BELT GUARD: Recommended service interval - daily.

    Ensure the belt guard cover is firmly in place and screws are tight. Check for cracks or compromised mounting holes.

    CHECK FOR (AIR OR OIL) LEAKS: Recommended service interval - daily.

    To check for air leaks, isolate the compressor by removing any air hoses and allowing it to fill up to top pressure. When the compressor shuts off or idles down, observe the tank pressure gauge. Keeping in mind that pressure will drop slightly as the internal air temperature decreases; if the needle drops continuously, a leak is present somewhere in the system. If you can’t locate by sound, coat all fittings in a soap and water solution and watch for bubbling.

    To check for oil leaks, watch for pooling oil around the base of the pump and engine (if applicable). Also, if you find yourself having to refill the crankcase frequently, the compressor may be passing an excessive amount of oil. In any case, take the compressor to an authorized service center to diagnose and repair the issue properly.

    CLEAN THE AIR COMPRESSOR'S EXTERIOR: Recommended service interval - weekly, as required.

    Allow the air compressor to cool to room temperature before attempting to clean. Disconnect electric models from the power source. Wipe down exterior surfaces with a damp cloth. Dry thoroughly prior to operation. DO NOT spray or allow water into motorized components.

    CHECK CONDITION OF VIBRATION PADS: Recommended service interval - weekly.

    Ensure all vibration pads are in place, and the air compressor sits in a level position. If vibration pads are worn or missing, refer to your owner’s manual for replacement part numbers.

    TIGHTEN/RE-TORQUE BOLTS: Recommended service interval - weekly.

    Ensure all bolts are tight. With the air compressor at room temperature, re-torque pump bolts according to the specs in the following table:

    RolAir Torque Chart

    CHECK BELT TENSION: Recommended service interval - weekly.

    Use the diagram below to determine how much deflection is acceptable. If you determine that the belt is loose, obtain a replacement belt or Drive Pulley, and make adjustments as needed. To adjust belt tension, follow these steps:

    rolair compressor belt tension diagram

    Electric Compressor

    1. Roll the belt off the pulley and flywheel.
    2. Loosen the bolts that hold the motor to the saddle.
    3. Increase (slightly) the distance between the pump and motor.
    4. Ensure the pulley and flywheel are properly aligned.
    5. Tighten the bolts that hold the motor to the saddle.
    6. Roll the belt onto the pulley and flywheel.
    7. Check tension. If there’s still deflection, repeat steps 1-7 until proper tension is achieved.

     

    Gas Compressor

    1. Loosen the locknuts for engine hold-down bolts; only until the washers below spin freely.
    2. Rotate the 1/2″ adjusting bolt until desired tension is reached.
    3. Re-tighten the locknuts to secure the engine.
    4. Ensure the pulley and flywheel are properly aligned.

    RolAir Gas Compressor Locknut Diagram

    CHECK OPERATION OF SAFETY VALVE: Recommended service interval - monthly.

    Locate safety relief valve (shown below) and perform a visual inspection. Look for any signs of corrosion or physical damage. With air in the system, slowly and carefully pull the ring to actuate the valve. You should hear a loud hiss of escaping air. If you are unable to open the valve, it will likely need to be replaced.

    RolAir Safety Valve

    CHANGE COMPRESSOR OIL: Recommended service interval - monthly.

    RolAir Compressor Oil Lifespan Chart

    CLEAN/CHANGE AIR FILTER: Recommended service interval - monthly.

    Clean air filters using low pressure, compressed air to remove dust and debris. If the filter cannot be cleaned sufficiently, or shows wear, obtain a replacement using the part number in your owner’s manual.

    PERFORM PUMP-UP TIME TEST: Recommended service interval - monthly.

    With the tank gauge at 0 PSI, and air line(s) disconnected, close drain valve(s) and record the amount of time it takes to build tank pressure. Periodically, test your air compressor against this pump-up time, to determine if it is operating correctly. If the time test is considerably off, contact your local service center to evaluate your compressor.

    CHECK OPERATION OF SYSTEM CONTROLS: Recommended service interval - quarterly.

    Keeping the process as simple as possible, run the compressor and force it to cycle a few times, by opening the drain valves slightly. While it’s cycling, watch the tank pressure gauge to make sure the needle is rising and falling as pressure increases and decreases.

    If it’s an electric model, listen for a brief hiss of air from the pressure switch when the motor shuts off. This signifies that any air caught between the check valve and pump has been evacuated, making for a smooth start-up when the motor kicks back in. The motor will start up again when the tank pressure drops to a certain level, depending on model.

    If it’s a gas model, you can expect to hear the engine speed decrease when the compressor has reached its top pressure setting. You’ll also hear air being discharged from the pilot valve. When the tank pressure reaches the lower setting, the pilot valve will activate the throttle control, which increases the engine RPM and starts the cycle over again.

    With these tips, and a good understanding of your air compressor, you should be ready for the long-haul.

     

    ~ The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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  • Four Tips On How To Build A Fence

    An old saying claims, “good fences make good neighbors.” That may be true, but good fences also provide better security, privacy, and can add aesthetic value to a property. Fence building can be time-consuming and costly, which gives all the more reason you want a fence to be durable and long-lasting. Before you get started, carefully consider these four main areas encompassing the fence building process: planning, designing, material selection and assembly.

    Scrail Fencing Banner

    Four Important Steps for Building the Perfect Fence:

    Planning: Before you start to build, you'll need a plan. Familiarize yourself with local building code, ordinances, and HOA policies if applicable, before purchasing materials or hiring a fencing contractor. Be sure your plans also account for any underground utilities or invisible fences, to prevent damage and costly repairs to these fixtures. Have your property line surveyed, to make sure your fence is indeed YOUR fence. The planning phase typically goes tandem with design, as in many ways, each step relies on the other.

    Designing Your Fence: Technically part of the planning phase, designing your fence can be stressful if you don't know what type of fencing you want. Consider your original intent for installing a fence. Is it for privacy, are you looking to confine a pet, or is there some other reason? A privacy fence is typically at least six feet tall, with minimal spacing between boards. Privacy fences can also serve as good pet fences, but may be more than you technically need - depending on the size of your pet. On the other hand, farming and livestock fences are completely different in form and function, but serve an important purpose too. Whatever the intended function of your fence, always design for the terrain you'll be building it on.

    Selecting Materials: When it comes to material selection, we don't recommend cutting corners to save cost. Fencing is expensive enough to install on its own - you don't want to do it twice. For wood, use a species of treated lumber that ages well in your region. For wire fencing, make sure the metal is galvanized or coated to prevent rust and corrosion.

    The same rules apply for fencing fasteners, regardless of whether it's a nail, Scrail, screw or staple. For wire fencing to wood, we recommend one of Fasco's fence stapling systems. For traditional wood, or composite fence boards, consider using a Fasco Scrail, as it offers the versatility of a framing nail, but features the added holding strength produced by the thread of a screw. In damp or coastal regions, you may even opt for stainless steel Scrails, to further guarantee no rust and corrosion developing over time.

    Building Your Fence: The big day is here, it's finally time to build. Keep in mind, a well-built fence can last 20+ years with proper maintenance. The fence building process is typically divided into three or four steps, depending on the type of fence being built. For this article, we'll primarily focus on the three main steps to build the fence's framework.

    The first step in building your perfect fence, mark the location for each fence post. The general rule is to space your fence posts between six and eight feet, but different terrain or design parameters may dictate differently. Always start with your corner(s), or end post.

    Once the area has been marked, the posts are ready to be set. Keep in mind, setting each fence post (especially corner, end and load bearing posts) involves burying at least one-third of the post's total length in the ground, so be sure to treat the bottom portion of each post with a wood preservative before burying. Using a post hole digger, dig a straight hole to your desired depth, and line the bottom of the hole with gravel to help with drainage. You can use a level to ensure the posts are straight and aligned. Brace the post with either cement, dirt or some other holding material, and allow each post to settle for two or three days before adding the rest of the fence.

    After your posts have properly settled into the ground, you're now able to begin adding rails. Your top and bottom rails will always go first, followed by any remaining rails - or a cross frame for certain privacy fences. Rails are added by simply nailing them to the posts (typically with a fencing nail gun), attaching with a bracket or block, or by cutting a grove for the rail. It's important to ensure the top and bottom rails are always attached the same distance apart on each post. After measuring and positioning the first section, cut a measuring stick that equals the distance between these rails. You can use this measuring stick on the rest of the fence to maintain the same measurement on each post. It is also recommended that the bottom rail be placed at least two inches from the ground to reduce the potential for moisture damage. The positioning of any remaining rails ultimately depends on the design selected for your fence - basket weave, picket, vertical or horizontal placement typically covers most fence designs. After all the posts and rails are in place, treat the wood with paint, preservative or weatherproofing for a long-lasting finish.

    Need some extra advice? Click here to see Fasco America's full white paper on "Five Important Tips For Building The Perfect Fence," or read more in their "Good Fences Make Good Neighbors, But What Makes A Good Fence?" blog article.

     

    ~The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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  • What Fastener Should You Use For Deck Boards

    A common question we get this time of year, "what fastener should I use for deck boards?" Most contractors will tell you the short answer, to use a deck screw; but regional conditions and new decking materials may expand - or narrow - the list of suitable fasteners for your deck boards. Take a look at our deck fastener checklist, and learn what options work best for your decking project.

    Quik Drive Decking

    What type of fastener can I use for a traditional wood deck board?

    Standard wood decking is pretty versatile in how it can be assembled to the deck frame. The least expensive option for installing deck boards is to use framing nails, though we don't necessarily recommend it. You'll see a lot of builder-grade decks assembled with framing nails, which remains the most efficient method for installation, but can lead to some maintenance headaches down the road. Over time, the nails will start to work themselves out of the wood board, which greatly compromises holding strength - and can even make the deck dangerous to walk across if nails begin to protrude from the surface. For decking boards, we recommend using a deck screw or Scrail. Both the screw and Scrail offer improved holding strength thanks to a threaded shank, which keeps the fastener locked into place - and can be reversed, allowing for easy removal if a board needs to be replaced.

    Senco DuraSpin Deck Screw Diagram

    What coating, color or material should I choose for my decking fasteners?

    Deck boards come in a variety of materials, colors and sizes. Choosing the right type of fastener is only part of the process, you'll also need to figure out the size and variation of whichever fastener you choose. Collated deck screws are available in several different colors, coatings and materials. If you're installing composite deck boards, we recommend color matching your composite deck screws or BeckDeck Scrails. In some damp or coastal regions, or for decks that are exposed to weather regularly, you may opt for a stainless steel deck screw or Scrail to prevent rusting and corrosion over time. Most standard wood deck screws by Senco or Quik Drive will come with a basic weather guard coating as-is, if you don't opt for something higher end.

    Deck Building Diagram

    Should I use hidden deck fasteners?

    A growing trend in designer decking, hidden deck fasteners and hidden deck screws are rapidly increasing in popularity. Hidden deck fasteners are more luxury than necessity, but for high end decks, they may prove worth the extra investment. The beauty to using hidden deck fasteners, you have a clean deck surface with no blemishes or gaps. There are currently a few options available, if you're looking toward a hidden deck fastening solution. For example, Senco offers the Mantis System, which combines elements of a deck screw with the collation of a nail. Senco Mantis Hidden Deck Fasteners are held in place with a clip, which allows the fastener to be driven into the base of a deck board at an angle. CAMO also offers a hidden deck screw system, which eliminates the need for clips, but also installs the deck fastener at a similar angle. Using a hidden fastening system creates even spacing between boards, and leaves the deck surface unblemished. However, a blemish-free deck surface does come at a cost, as hidden fastening systems typically command a higher price and require longer installation time.

    Senco Hidden Deck Fastening System

    How many fasteners do I need for my decking project?

    Different fastening systems may require different quantities of fastener to complete your deck. On average, we've found you can complete around 100 square feet of decking with approximately 450 deck screws, using two screws per joist. The true number of deck screws required ultimately depends on the width of your deck facing, and the spacing between your joists. A 3-1/2" face with 12" on center joists will run closer to 700 deck screws for 100 square feet; whereas a 5-1/2" face with 24" on center joists will only require about 225 deck screws per 100 square feet. Knowing your joist spacing and facing width will help narrow the project estimate window tremendously.

    Ready to get to work? Feel free to nail a message to our board if you have a question or comment about deck fastening or decking tools.

     

    ~The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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  • First Look: Senco Introduces Composite Tool & Fastener Line

    Senco is taking a big step into uncharted territory, as the company launches its full line of plastic composite finish nails and staples, as well as the tools to run these composite fasteners. A completely new concept for a brand recognized for its steel nails and staples, Senco composite fasteners are 100 percent metal-free, formed from a blend of polymer resin and fiberglass. And, while these collated plastic fasteners may sound secondary compared to their steel and metal counterparts, the reality is quite opposite.

    Senco Composite Fasteners

    The plastic polymer base for Senco composite fasteners allows these nails and staples to do some pretty neat things - things your average metal fastener can't do. These composite fasteners can be sanded, shaped, and cut without damage to router bits, cutting blades or sanding belts. Senco also claims they offer "superior holding power, excellent processing characteristics, and long-term resistance to chemicals, sunlight, and moisture." A major advantage we see at first look, no rust, corrosion or staining with these plastic nails and staples.

    But what about durability and strength?

    According to Senco, their composite finish nails hold up to two-times stronger than similar sized steel nails, BUT Senco also notes adhesives will do the heavy lifting after curing. Our take, these fasteners - particularly the composite finish and brad nails - are ideal for holding materials in place while adhesives cure. Even better, the non-metal material can be sanded or cut once the adhesive has completely set; meaning you can either leave them in place without fear of corrosion, or sand them down without damaging your tool.

    Senco composite fasteners and tool

    Other benefits these Senco plastic composite fasteners offer, no clamping set up time or waiting, they eliminate the drudgery of removing problematic fasteners and marring wood surfaces, have zero adverse affect on final product appearance and performance, all while reducing wear on sanding and cutting equipment.

    So what exactly are composite fasteners good for?

    These plastic fasteners are designed for more than meets the eye. As mentioned before, composite finish nails and staples are perfect for use with woodworking adhesives, to provide a temporary hold until the adhesive cures. Professionals and hobbyists alike benefit from the ability of the fastener to be sanded, shaped and cut. Senco 15 gauge and 18 gauge composite finish nails are also ideal for use with CNC machines for cutting, carving, drilling and machining a variety of materials without damaging router bits and saw blades. Multiple pieces of material can be stacked and attached to the spoil board with composite fasteners, to increase production output.

    Senco composite fastener for woodworking

    Senco 15 gauge composite finish nails are perfect for use with Cellular PVC adhesives, to provide a temporary hold until the adhesive cures. Industrial fabricators benefit from the use of composite nails in the production of pergolas, arbors, trellises, custom columns, flower boxes, vents, window trim, copulas and laminations.

    You may also find these composite fasteners ideal for lumber tagging. Composite fasteners will not degrade in sunlight, high heat conditions, or cause interference in microwave and RF environments - assuring a long-term, problem-free tagged product.

    What tool do you need, to use a Senco composite fastener?

    Along with the plastic composite nails and staples, Senco released seven tools, each designed to run collated composite fasteners exclusively. A finish nailer, brad nailer, hammer tacker, squeeze stapler, two 16 gauge air staplers, and a 20 gauge pneumatic stapler to be precise. Remember, you CAN NOT use a regular nailer or stapler for these plastic composite fasteners - the driving power is too strong.

    Senco composite brad nailer

    We'll go in-depth with these composite fastening tools in a later post, but for now, here's a list with links below:

    Will plastic composite fasteners be the next new thing?

    The verdict: too soon to tell. Several competing products from brands such as RAPTOR® and OMER have been available for a while. However, these new Senco composite fasteners may hold two huge advantages over existing composite fastening products. Number one, the name. Senco is a household name in fastening. Adding Senco branding to these products may make the difference, as they make their mainstream debut. Woodworkers and fabricators who have never heard about composite fasteners will suddenly have a plethora of knowledge at their fingertips, as word spreads throughout the fastening industry. Number two, quality. If Senco composite fasteners can withstand the test of time, we should expect to see them around for the long haul.

    To reiterate key features and benefits for Senco composite fasteners:

    • 100% steel and metal free
    • Flash bonds with wood fibers
    • Eliminate clamping tools and screws
    • Reduce curing time workability
    • No need to remove
    • No need to repair imperfections
    • Sanding belt safe
    • Router bit safe
    • No rust or corrosion
    • Can be painted and stained

    At first glance, Senco composite fasteners look to fill a big gap in the collated fastening marketplace. Would we recommend them, you bet.

     

    ~The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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  • What Is Framing March Madness On Nail Gun Depot?

    Losing your March Madness basketball bracket? Nail Gun Depot wants to give you a second chance, during Framing March Madness.

    Framing March Madness is only on Nail Gun Depot - and only available for a limited time. The stakes are high, but the rewards are sweet.

    How do you play? The rules are simple. Order your favorite framing nailer on Nail Gun Depot. We'll tally up tools sold from each of the four main framing nailer categories we carry (wire coil, plastic strip, wire strip and paper strip). Then, each week - for the next three weeks - we'll narrow the competition to reach our champion.

    Nail Gun Depot March Madness 2017

    Here's how the bracket breaks down:

    • Week One: Free NGD T-Shirt with any framing nailer order. On Monday March 27th, we'll pick a customer winner from each team on the framing bracket. Each of our four winners will receive an official NGD camo hat - and respective bragging rights.
    • Week Two: The stakes go up for our remaining two competitors. Check back at 12 Noon ET on March 27th to see next round deals and giveaways for our top two framing nailer contenders.
    • Week Three: Kicking off the third [and final] week, we'll announce our bracket winner on April 3rd at 12 Noon ET. Our March Madness winning team of framing nailers will get a super sweet deal for the week - and we'll draw a customer grand prize winner the following Monday. Our grand prize winner will receive a free Senco PC1195 palm nailer, an assortment of YETI brand products and more!

    What do you need to play? A credit card and thirst for competition. YOU decide which category of framing nailer takes it all - and get entered to win some great gear along the way.

    Ready to play? The ball's in your court.

     

    ~The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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