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How-To Instructions
How-To Instructions
  • How To Build & Install Your Own Kitchen Cabinets

    Chilly temperatures and shorter periods of daylight mean one thing - winter is near. With Halloween less than a week away, it's time to start thinking about the indoor projects you've been putting off all summer. If you're looking to renovate your kitchen, consider building and/or installing your own kitchen cabinets - a project that can save thousands of dollars if done correctly.
    OMER Cabinet Trim
    Before you start, make sure you are up for the challenge. If you've never tackled a project like this before, you might want to purchase pre-built cabinets and jump straight to installation. If you decide to start from scratch, keep in mind this project will take a good amount of time and dedication to complete - especially for larger kitchens. However, for the master woodworker, the end result could be well worth the time - just make sure you have a helper or two for lifting and mounting.
    Building Your Cabinets
    If you are starting from scratch, make sure you have the proper materials. Traditionally, cabinets are about 24" deep and 34.5" tall - with a 25" deep counter top - which adds up to an overall height of 3 feet. To calculate the placement for upper cabinets, add 18" to 20" to the counter height. Subtract the difference from your overall ceiling height to determine the size range available for your upper cabinets. Keep in mind, regular wall cabinet depth is 12" to 14". Lower cabinet width can range from 12" to 60" - divided down in 3" increments. Make sure you also account for door size when planning the size of your cabinets.
    Next, you will need to cut your materials for assembly. For the sides, appearance really doesn't matter (unless it's an edge cabinet) - as long as your material is sturdy enough to support the cabinet, counter and all of the contents inside your cabinet. You might find that 3/4" plywood or manufactured board works well. Once the sides have been cut to proper dimensions, clamp your two sides together and use a saw to cut out a toe-kick (notch) where the base of your floor cabinets will be. For upper cabinets, you will not need a toe-kick. To finish up prepping material, cut the bottom panel, the face panels, as well as two base panels and two top braces - base panels and top braces not needed for wall cabinets.
    Moving to assembly, you will want to put together the base first. Make sure you have a high-quality wood glue and power drill or screw gun available for this step, as you will attach your base panels to the bottom panel. Make sure to allow the proper amount of space for your toe-kick before gluing together. Drive screws into the base panels to confirm a secure fit. Add your side panels, secure the top braces, and nail the back on using a finish nailer. Use braces or corner brackets to secure the unit and reinforce its integrity. Install shelves and face panels before attaching your cabinets to the wall.
    Depending on the thickness of board you are working with, Bostitch is now offering its all-new Smart Point line of finish nailers. Smart Point finish nailers feature a unique nose that increases the capability of these tools - while decreasing the amount of damage caused to a surface during firing.
    Bostitch Smart Point
    Installing Your Cabinets
    For time conscious DIYer's and renovators that skipped the previous steps and purchased pre-built cabinets from the store, it's now time to install your new kitchen cabinets. Installation is relatively easy - especially for floor cabinets. Simply fit your cabinets where they are intended to be installed, and drive screws through the back panel into studs in the wall. For wall cabinets - where additional support is imperative - you will also need to secure "L" brackets into studs in the wall, to help support these hanging cabinets at their base.
    To drive screws quickly and effectively, we recommend a Senco DuraSpin Screw Gun. With several different fasteners to choose from, the new Senco DuraSpin comes highly recommended by many of the Pro's.
    Senco DuraSpin
    Fit your door panels and fasten - assuming they haven't been installed yet. Depending on the type of kitchen cabinet you are building or installing, you will also have to install your counter, sink, decorative trim or any additional accessories not mentioned.
    Be sure to pay careful attention to manufacturer specs on any material or pre-manufactured goods. Always follow manufacturer assembly, installation and safety requirements. Keep in mind that this is an overview of tips and tricks for kitchen cabinet assembly and installation. Every kitchen is different, and might require additional steps or measurements be taken.
    Here's To Nailing Your Next Cabinet Installation,
    The Team At Nail Gun Depot
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  • How To Get The Most From Your Pneumatic Staple Gun

    Are you learning how to use a pneumatic stapler? Get the most out of your staple gun - find out how right here on the Nail Gun Network, by Nail Gun Depot.
    Let's start with loading the tool. Loading a staple gun can vary from tool to tool; however, the following provides general instruction for loading a typical pneumatic stapler.

    Before you start, it's crucial that you have the proper staples. The type of staple that your tool takes will vary from model to model, and manufacturer to manufacturer. Check your tool's specs or manual if you are confused about the type of staple it takes.You can also search for your tool's staples using the Fastener Finder on NGD.

    Once you have identified the correct staples, you need to load them. Most staple guns come in either a top or bottom loading variation. Medium and heavy wire pneumatic staplers generally load from the top, while most fine wire staplers load from the bottom.

    Before loading, be sure to disconnect the air supply and keep the stapler pointed away from you at all times - as you should for any firing tool.

    For a top loading stapler, pull the magazine follower back until it locks into position. After the follower is locked into position, place the strip of staples over the magazine rail. The staples should move freely, back and forth on the rail. The last step is to unlock the follower and release it - so that it pushes the staples into the nose of the staple gun for firing.

    If you have a bottom load stapler, locate the release first - which is generally found at the rear of magazine. Depress the release and slide the magazine rail away from the nose. Turn the stapler upside down and insert the staples into the channel, towards the nose of the stapler. Make sure the pointed ends of the staples are loaded - so they will fire into your application. After the staples have been loaded, slide the magazine rail back, towards the nose, until it locks into place. Now you are ready to connect your air supply and test fire.

    Staple guns are designed for a variety of applications, from upholstering furniture to decking and siding applications. With more than 200 available options on NGD, we're confident you can find the right stapler to get your project done right.

    Your Source For Staple Gun Knowledge,
    The Team At Nail Gun Depot
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  • Tips & Tools To Build The Perfect Deck

    Summer is approaching quickly, which means its time to enjoy the longer evening hours with some much needed time outdoors. For many Americans, this means relaxing on their deck or patio. An important feature on new and old homes alike, a large, well-built deck can add major profit margins to your home's resale value. If you are considering the addition of a new deck to your home, or are replacing an existing one, learn about some of the tips and tools that will help you build the ultimate deck - here on Nail Gun Depot's blog.

    The actual process of building a deck can take weeks - or even months - depending on its size and the amount of resources you have to pour into it. Because it is such an intricate and drawn out process, we are just going to focus on the major milestones in the deck building process. If this is your first woodworking or deck building project, we recommend you consult a professional to help you create the deck of your dreams. One or two missed steps can lead to expensive repairs and time lost.

    If you are building a new deck, you will have to start with its foundation - also known as its footing. Typically, footing(s) are poured concrete that you then attach post anchors and beams to, with a power drill. Meanwhile, you will also have to anchor and attach a ledger board to the wall of your house - or the supporting structure - to anchor the deck. You will then anchor the joists to the ledger board.

    Once you have installed joists to the beams and the frame is in place, you will then need to consider how you want to attach the flooring of your deck. There are a couple ways to go about flooring installation. You will want to use a deck screw, treated for outside use - Senco offers a full line-up of deck screws. If you choose to do a traditional deckfloor install, you should think about using a screw gun with an extension, such as the Senco DuraSpin DS425-AC (6W0012N). The benefit to using this screw gun for deck floors - or any sub-floor installation - is that it has an extendable arm, which eliminates the need to bend over or kneel down to drive screws. Quik Drive also offers decking attachments that are comparable in form and function to that of DuraSpin - and come with a lifetime warranty.

    If you don't like the appearance of deck screws, you can opt for a slightly different method of floorboard installation. The CAMO Marksman Pro, Hidden Deck Fastening System, drives CAMO deck screws in at an angle to create the appearance of a fastener free deck. Like the DS425-AC DuraSpin, the CAMO Marksman Pro will work with hardwood and composite decking applications. The Marksman Pro works with most power drills, by simply positioning the system over a board, loading your fasteners, and driving the deck screws in with the drill.

    In addition to the flooring installation, you will also need to build stairs - assuming the deck is going to connect with the ground below it - and install a railing that surrounds the deck. Depending on the type of wood you are using, if you are building a wood deck, check to see how long the wood needs to set before it is ready for stain.

     

    For more information on deck building tools and fasteners, contact a representative at Nail Gun Depot.

     

    Helping You Build The Deck Of Your Dreams,

    The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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  • How To Choose The Right Upholstery Stapler

    Remodeling a chair or piece of furniture? If you work with - or are planning to do upholstery work - you will want to find an upholstery stapler that properly suits your needs. To the novice, you will want to select your staple gun based on its specific application. Upholstery staplers are designed for applications that range from industrial use to amateur fabric work. Finding the right one for you can be easy - if you know what to look for.

    For those just getting into upholstering, you will probably want to select your stapler based on the application you are intending to use it for. First, you will need to measure the material you are working with, to determine the gauge (thickness), crown (width) and leg (length) of the staple necessary for your project. Once you know the gauge of staple needed, you can find the appropriate stapler - you will also see that a variety of brands are available to choose from including Senco, BeA, Duo-Fast, Spotnails, Grex and more.

    Depending on the thickness of material, you will probably choose between a 20 gauge or 22 gauge upholstery stapler. Next you will need to decide whether you want a pneumatic (air-powered) tool or an electric tool. If you do not have an air compressor, an electric tool will bypass the need for one - however, pneumatic upholstery staplers are typically less expensive. One of Nail Gun Depot's most popular items, the Duo-Fast EIC-3118 electric upholstery stapler (replaced by Fasco-Maestri 7C-16 3/8" crown electric stapler) eliminates the need for an air compressor - without sacrificing performance.

    Once you have gained some additional experience, you might want to upgrade to a long nose upholstery stapler. The extended nose on these staple guns allows them to reach into tighter spaces. The BeA 71/16-436LN long nose, pneumatic upholstery stapler, is a top of the line tool that comes recommended by many upholsterers - including the writers at ModHomeEc. You can see their review of Nail Gun Depot's stapler selection here. Long nose upholstery staplers are typically used for more skilled projects, projects that require a higher level of intricacy. If you are sticking to small, simple upholstery work, using a regular nose upholstery stapler should yield the necessary results for your project.

     

    Helping You Fabricate Your Next Project,

    The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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  • 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 (replaced by Hitachi NR83AA4), 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

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  • 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.

    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.

    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.

    Once you have determined whether a brad nailer or a finish nailer will best suit your needs, be sure to also consider whether a cordless, battery-powered nailer or a pneumatic, air-powered nailer will be the most efficient choice for your project. For the around-the-house DIY'er, you might find that the battery powered brad or finish nail gun is best, as it does not require an air compressor to run and can be used in hard to reach places. Senco's Fusion line of finish and brad nailers, the F-15 Finisher, F-16 Finisher and F-18 Brad Nailer, stand as excellent, industry-leading examples of cordless nail guns. For a contractor or individual that has a regular use for either tool, consider a pneumatic nailer, as they typically offer better long-term reliability than their battery-powered sibling - and do not require recharging. Brands such as Bostitch, Hitachi and Senco all offer high-quality, air-powered finish and brad nailers.

    Ready to nail your next project? Feel free to drop a line if you need more information, or would like to research a specific tool.

    Your Leading Source For Nail Gun Knowledge,
    The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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  • Repairing Nail Pops - There's No Joke About This Tricky Project

    It might be April Fool's Day, but we aren't joking around with this tricky project, repairing a nail pop. Nail pops occur over time, when a nail begins to separate from the stud it is anchoring drywall to. As the nail begins to work itself out, it eventually applies enough pressure to the spackle or putty above it, to force the putty away from the drywall - eventually exposing the nail's head. Nail pops can be caused by a variety of reasons - from wood beams that swell with humidity to a settling foundation.

    An occasional nail pop is nothing to get excited about, but if you notice other problems such as severe cracking, bulges or discoloration in your walls and ceiling - consult a building inspector to have your home evaluated for a more serious issue. More often than not, a nail pop is caused by the convergence of warm and cold climate(s), which causes wood to swell and contract. They are also more common in older homes, as screws were not a preferred method of drywall fastening 20-30 years ago. Current builders and contractors have the option of using a screw gun, such as Senco's DuraSpin tools, when installing drywall. In the past, nails and nailers were typically used for drywall installation. Because a nail has a smooth body, it doesn't command the same holding power that the tracks on a screw do - making it easier to slip out of position.

    There are a couple ways to repair a nail pop, depending on the arsenal of tools at your disposal. The simpler solution, take a nail punch to the center of a nail pop, and lightly tap it with a hammer. In the unlikely event that a screw has come loose, simply take a screwdriver and tighten. When using the nail punch, sheetrock and drywall will likely chip away if the nail has not completely protruded through yet, so you will have to use spackle to cover the opening; followed by smoothing, sanding and painting.

    A bit more complex, you can also drive a drywall screw into the drywall, along the same stud where the nail has begun to separate. This is a more permanent solution to the problem, as the screw should secure the drywall in place - whereas using a nail punch does not guarantee the issue will not recur if the nail re-separates. Once the screw is in place, scrape any leftover sheetrock or putty away from the original nail gap and spackle over both the nail and screw opening(s). Smooth, sand and paint as necessary.

    Nail pops can be a tricky problem for homeowners, but can be easily repaired with the proper attention. If you don't feel comfortable repairing the issue yourself, consult a handyman or professional to remedy a solution for your nail pop.

     

    Your How To Helpers,

    The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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  • How To Install Hardwood Floors

    With the housing market slowly taking a positive turn, many consumers are beginning to once again buy and sell houses. At the same time, many house hunters are looking for homes they can rehab - giving them a chance to put their personal style into the home they will live. A popular trend in rehab and renovation, and one of the first things many home-buyers will add to their home if it's not already there, installing hardwood floors can enhance your home's appearance - and even add value. Learn how to install hardwood floors, on the blog by Nail Gun Depot.
     
    Your first step in hardwood floor installation is determining the type of wood you want to use, including species, board width and thickness. The finish and color of your hardwood flooring will play a major role in the overall appearance of a room, so make sure you choose flooring that matches your furniture, cabinets, counters and wall color. Know the measurements of the space you will be installing a new floor, to get the most accurate pricing and quantity of materials needed. Thicker wood is typically more expensive, but can add strength to your floor system. If you are working with a tight budget though, you will most likely want to use a thinner cut of wood.
     
     
    When measuring a room for flooring installation, measure the width and length, then multiply for square footage. Order 10-15% extra material to allow for mistakes and irregular board lengths - such as when lining floor boards up to a wall.
     
    Before you even begin to install your hardwood floor, inspect the sub-floor to make sure it is sturdy and free of squeaks. At a minimum, sub-flooring needs to be 3/4" thick. If there is a squeak, drive a long drywall screw into the sub-floor at the joist where the squeak happens. Be sure the sub-floor is clean and free of any debris.
     
     
    Next, you will want to put down a layer of vapor barrier paper. This paper helps to prevent moisture from forming underneath your hardwood, which can eventually lead to cupping or mold if left untreated. You'll want to use 15 pound tar paper or felt, allowing at least 4" of overlap between sheets. Secure the barrier by stapling - and be sure to pencil a line on the baseboards to show where joists are located. You are now ready to begin your installation.
     
    Start installation with the longest wall, and work your way across the room. Remove the shoe molding from the wall and create a chalk line 3/8" from the baseboard, to allow for expansion and contraction due to humidity and climate change. Begin with a long board for the first row. Line up the board's edge to the chalk line and drill pilot holes through the board into the sub-floor and joist. You will want to face nail each board at every joist, using a nail-set. Repeat this for the whole first row of boards - choosing board length at random to stagger the boards. A trick of the trade, lay all of your boards out prior to nailing, to get an idea of length and ensure the boards do not line up uniformly. Lay the floor boards perpendicular to the joists below. This will help to anchor the floor and will add to its sturdiness and integrity. A simple trick to help you determine direction, look at your sub-floor and see which direction the nails run along the joists.
     
     
    Once you have installed a few rows of boards, drill additional pilot holes into each board's tongue, and hand-nail the rolls. Once you have enough clearance, begin using a pneumatic floor nailer, such as the Bostitch Miiifn or the Senco SHF200. You can also use a manual floor nailer, such as the Bostitch MFN201, depending on preference. Keep in mind a pneumatic nailer will probably cost a little more than its manual counterpart, but the ease of use and time that a pneumatic tool saves will justify its use in most cases. You will also need to decide whether to use a flooring nailer versus a flooring stapler. Be sure to research the proper length of a nail or staple for the tool you are using - and the board it is fastening.
     
     
    Position the lip of your pneumatic floor nailer over a board's edge and strike firmly, using a flooring mallet. This will drive the nail into the tongue of the board. The industry standard, drive at least two nails per board - placing them roughly 10" apart. For tongue and groove flooring, make sure each end fits into the corresponding end of the next board. If this is not completed properly, your floor will be left with fairly large gaps. When you approach the opposite wall from where you began the flooring installation, you will again return to drilling pilot holes and using a nail-set, as the pneumatic nail gun will not fit properly.
     
    Once the last board is secured and in place, clean the newly installed hardwood flooring with a damp cloth, using only a water and/or vinegar solution. Finished hardwood is very durable, but can easily be damaged by exposure to dense moisture, direct sunlight, heavy items being dropped, or items scratching across its surface. If you take good care of your hardwood floors, they can last a lifetime.
     
    Good Luck On Your Next Flooring Project,
    The Team At Nail Gun Depot
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  • What's A Framing Nailer?

    Framing nailers are designed to tackle the obvious - framing - but did you know they can be useful for other applications? Uses can include anything from framing to sheathing, sub-flooring, truss building and decks. If you work in a construction or renovation trade, chances are you have worked with a framing nailer at least once. Let's take a look at how a framing nail gun works, its uses, and different options available on the market today.
     
    Paslode CF325Li
     
    One of the most important woodworking tools on a home-building site, the framing gun will allow you to drive framing nails into support structures without hesitation. These nail guns are designed for heavy-duty use - and can drive a row of fasteners faster than many woodworkers can hammer one framing nail. As with any tool, framing nailer safety is one of the most important practices you should follow. For more information on nail gun safety, check out our previous blog post here.
     
    If you are researching different framing nailers, you will find that there are two primary types available - cordless or pneumatic. Cordless framing nailers are powered by a compressed-air fuel cell, paired with a rechargeable battery, such as the Paslode CF325Li (replaced by Paslode CF325XP). The older, more traditional sibling, a pneumatic framing nail gun (also known as air-powered), generates its energy through an air compressor, such as the Senco FramePro 325XP. Either of these tool variations are perfect for the job site. A cordless framing gun will typically cost more than its pneumatic counterpart, however, you will find that it is much more flexible to use, as it isn't restricted to the length of an air hose. Consider how versatile you need your nailer to be when shopping for a new one.
     
    Senco FramePro 325XP
     
    A typical framing nailer will be available with either a bump-fire or single-shot mechanism, which will allow you to select between how you trigger a nail to be driven. Bump-firing allows you to suppress the nailer's trigger and continuously drive nails as the gun moves across a section of wood. Single-firing, on the other hand, requires you pull the trigger each time you fire a nail. As a safety precaution, almost every new nail gun will require that the nose be pressed against a surface, in order to fire a nail.
     
    Hitachi NV83A4
     
    The magazine is another area of consideration, when shopping for a framing gun. Depending on your line of work, you will want to consider the benefit of a strip nailer versus a coil nailer. Typically, construction workers and builders who work in high-volume fastening environments prefer the coil nailer, such as the Hitachi NV83A4, as it allows for a larger magazine capacity - which increases productivity. A DIYer or light-use builder might prefer the strip nailer, such as the MAX SN883RH2 (replaced by MAX SN883RH3), as it is lighter weight, easier to load, and generally a bit more versatile. The biggest consideration between a strip or coil nail gun is magazine capacity - just be certain you are purchasing the correct nail for your gun.
     
    MAX SN883RH2
     
    If you need some help identifying the right nail for your nailer, use our Fastener Finder tool on Nail Gun Depot.
     
    Helping You "Nail" Your Next Fastening Tool Purchase,
    The Team At Nail Gun Depot
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  • Troubleshooting Air Leaks On A Pneumatic Tool

    Have you ever tried firing a pneumatic nailer, only to hear air leak when pulling the trigger? If so, you're not alone. Over time, wear and tear will take its toll on any air tool, regardless of the brand. The best way to prevent an issue on the job, practice preventative maintenance. Keeping pneumatic tools properly lubricated with air tool oil, as well as cleaning them regularly will help prevent wear. Storing tools in plastic helps to keep dust and other elements out - especially when sitting for extended periods of time.
    But what about the unavoidable issues, like an occasional air leak?
    If you try to fire a pneumatic nail gun or stapler, but only hear air leaking when engaging the trigger, it's likely that your tool's "O-Ring" is not sealing properly. When the trigger is not depressed, you may not hear air leaking, as the valve is probably sealed. However, once you engage the trigger, the valve looses its seal, therefore creating a gap for the escaping air you hear coming from your air compressor, as it flows into the tool.
    On a properly working pneumatic tool, when air is forced into the firing valve, this pushes the valve upward, which opens the main cylinder sleeve and allows the air to drive a fastener. If the "O-Ring" fails to seal, the air will escape, creating your leak.
    While this may seem to be a complex repair, don't get rid of your tool just yet - fixing the issue may be easier than you think. Simply stretch the "O-Ring" on the firing valve and apply grease. This should take care of the issue - helping your air tool run properly. Keeping a tool's "O-Ring" lubricated will increase the ring's lifespan, and prevent drying out.
    We must note, this is not the only cause for a pneumatic nailer or stapler to leak air, just a common source when troubleshooting a leak.
    Always remember to stop using your air-powered tool - or any tool - when it is not functioning properly. Take your tool to a certified repair technician or complete any necessary adjustments yourself, before using the tool again. Failure to take the necessary preventative measures can result in injury, or can lead to further damaging of your tool.
    Like this article? You may want to learn more about choosing the right air compressor for your application. An under-powered compressor can also lead to misfire or weak firing of your pneumatic nailer.
    Here's To Many Years Of Service From Your Pneumatic,
    The Team At Nail Gun Depot
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