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How-To Instructions
How-To Instructions
  • Practicing Nail Gun & Power Tool Safety

    You have your nailer, stapler or screw gun; you have the proper accessories to tackle your project – but do you practice safety awareness when using your tools? Most job related accidents can be avoided, if you take the proper measures to ensure safety on the job site.

     

    For a 58 year-old carpenter living in Minnesota, a simple mistake almost cost his life, when he accidentally fired a 3-1/2” galvanized framing nail directly into his heart. While building a deck, the man’s framing nailer slipped out of his hands – and when he caught hold of it, hand still on the trigger, the gun’s nose bumped against his chest and fired directly into his heart. Thankfully, the nail missed his main arteries by millimeters, and he survived the ordeal after surgery, avoiding a lethal scenario. You can read the entire story here.

     

    The nail was a lucky miss, but let’s take a look at how this accident could have been avoided. In this example, a simple error could have completely altered the outcome, if the man had removed his hand from the trigger. Even bump action guns still require a suppressed trigger to fire, a safety feature most manufacturers include on their tools. If you feel as if you are going to loose hold of your nail gun or other tool, always take your hand off the trigger. Worst case, a broken tool is better than a life altering injury.

     

    A factor that helped to save this man’s life – staying calm and avoiding panic. Panic increases blood flow, which can increase bleeding from open wounds. In this example where a heart was pierced, panicking could have further reduced his ability to breath, leading to hyperventilation. Staying calm and contacting emergency medical services immediately will improve chances of survival, in life threatening situations. Treat for shock while help is on its way.

     

    As described in the instance above, nail guns are powerful tools, so let’s make sure you are set up for success, which starts with safe handling:

     

    • Start by knowing your tool and how it functions. Read the owner’s manual and look at warnings listed by the manufacturer.
    • Wear the appropriate safety gear for your job site. Safety glasses should always be worn, regardless of the project. Depending on your line of work, a hardhat, hearing protection, harness or gloves might also be required.
    • ALWAYS keep your tool pointed away from yourself and anyone else, especially when activated. When in doubt, treat your nail gun as you would treat any other firearm.
    • Don’t use a tool that is not functioning properly. Have any broken or damaged tool serviced before trying to use.
    • Do not try to drive fasteners on top of other fasteners. This can lead to misfire or backfire – resulting in injury.

     

    There is no guarantee that injury will not occur when handling your tools – on and off the job site – but practicing safety measures, such as the ones mentioned above, will increase your odds of avoiding injury and staying safe when using your nail gun or other tools.

     

    Stay Safe,

    The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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  • Choosing An Air Compressor For Pneumatic Tools

    We've talked a lot about pneumatic tools, such as nailers and staple guns, but what about the compressors that bring these tools to life? The air compressor you use can make or break your business, so it makes sense that you want to use a compressor that is durable, reliable and capable of providing the right amount of air pressure to your tool.

    Air compressors range in price, based on a variety of criteria including size, power and available features. Smaller units, such as Senco's PC1010 portable air compressor, run for $119 on Nail Gun Depot, whereas larger, more powerful units, such as Rol-Air's 7722HK28 nine horsepower compressor, has a price of $1,599 on Nail Gun Depot.

    Senco PC1010

    The first criteria to determine which compressor is right for you - where will it be used? Make sure to choose a compressor with the correct voltage for the space it will be used in. Always operate your electric compressor as close to its source of power as possible. If an extension cord must be used, consider using a heavy duty cord. If electricity is not accessible on the job site, you might find it easier to use a gas powered compressor. Gas powered compressors are generally more powerful as well - which might be useful for heavy duty projects.

    Rol-Air 7722HK28

    Next, you need to determine the appropriate tank size. Contrary to what some believe, tank size does not affect the amount of air delivered, but it does influence how much the motor runs. Planning to use more than one tool at the same time? You will probably want a compressor with a larger tank. The more tools connected, the more air pressure that is being used. If you want to reduce the amount of strain on the motor, consider a larger tank size. However, remember that a larger tank might reduce portability.

    Some models also come with available features, such as multi-tool use with the Bostitch CAP2060P (replaced by Bostitch BTFP02012), trays and attachments for tools and fasteners with the Bostitch CAP1512-OF, or low operating noise with the Bostitch BTFP02011 (replaced by Bostitch BTFP02012).

    Bostitch CAP1512-OF

    Oil-less or lubricated? Most conventional compressors require regular monitoring of oil levels, which can be a burden if you have multiple people using the same compressor, traveling from job to job. Just as a car, if oil is not replenished, the motor will seize. There is an upside to lubricated air compressors though - they are typically more durable and capable of heavy use. If you are an amateur DIYer, you might find the oil-less compressor more suitable to your needs - if it is only intended for occasional use. Oil-less compressors typically work best with lower volume, less intense use - but don't worry, they still can pack a punch.

     

    Buying a reputable brand, such as Senco, Bostitch or Rol-Air can provide additional peace of mind - and generally brands such as these offer a better warranty.

     
    Want more information about air compressors? Let Nail Gun Depot answer all of your questions and find the perfect compressor to meet your needs.
     

    Happy Hunting For Your Next Compressor,

    The Team At Nail Gun Depot
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  • Nail Components (Pt 2)

    Welcome to the second part of our series on nail components. Last week, we talked about nail types, shank types and point types. If you missed part-one, you can check it out here. In the second half, we are going to look at finish types and the importance of angle.

    While the shape of the nail is pivotal to its use, you also want to pay careful attention to the finish. The finish of a nail can determine whether or not it can be used outside, the type of surface it works with and its durability.

     

    Finish:

    Bright: This finish is used for your basic hardware nail. There is no coating, it is just plain steel. This finish offers no corrosion resistance, meaning it can not be used on any exterior applications where it will be exposed to precipitation.

    Electro-Galvanized: Similar to the bright finish, electro-galvanized nails are coated with zinc via an electrical charge. These provide slightly more corrosion resistance than the bright finish, BUT should still not be used for exterior projects that are exposed to weather.

    Hot-Dipped Galvanized: These nails are dipped in liquid zinc to provide good corrosion resistance. The resulting finish is composed of a clumpy, zinc exterior. These nails can be used for exterior applications.

    Stainless Steel: This finish offers resistance to corrosion for the lifetime of the nail. Stainless is able to be used for exterior projects and works particularly well with wood such as cedar and redwood. It is popular in markets that have a significant amount of moisture in the air.

    Aluminum: This metal offers less durability than stainless, but also boasts a corrosion-free lifespan. It is typically used for applications such as attaching aluminum trims or gutters.

    Copper: Copper, being a more expensive material, is typically only used when fastening to other copper materials. It is used more for appearance than utility.

    Blue Oxidized: This finish is the result of degreasing and heat cleaning, which leaves the nail with a blue coating. This finish is typically used with plaster.

    Vinyl Coating: Vinyl coated nails provide enhanced holding strength and are easier to drive. The downside to vinyl coating is that these nails are not useable for outdoor or exterior projects.

    Cement Coating: The cement (resin) coating is applied to the nail to improve holding strength and can make the nail easier to drive. It should not be used for applications that will be exposed to weather and precipitation, so exercise caution if using for exterior projects.

    Phosphate Coating: The use of a phosphate coating improves holding strength and provides an excellent surface – for use with paint or putty. The phosphate attracts paint and retains it better than most other nail finishes.

     

    Angle:

    The angle of a nail is based on the variation in degree that the nail sits from the vertical (base). The angle of nail required varies from nail gun to nail gun – but typically sits in a range between 15 and 34 degrees – if the nailer is angled. If a nail gun is angled, the manufacturer should list the degree of angle required in the nail gun’s specs.

    From nails to nailers, there are a plethora of choices to select from when choosing the right tools for your project. We hope that this two-part series on nail components will help you in determining which nail works best for your needs.

     

    We always appreciate feedback and comments. Feel free to reach out to us at sales@nailgundepot.com if you have an idea or request for a future blog post – or simply want to offer input on a topic.

     

    Good Luck In Selecting Your Next Nail,

    The Team At Nail Gun Depot

     

    P.S. We will be taking a two-week break from blogging during Christmas and the New Year to observe the holidays and enjoy time with friends and family - Our store will remain open during regular business hours. Keep an eye out for our next post on January 7, 2014.

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  • Nail Components (Pt 1)

    We've talked a lot about using nail guns, but what about the nails that go in them? We get questions all of the time asking about the components of a nail. The type? The shank? Point and finish?

    What makes each nail different? The average person only knows about one type of nail, the simple flat head design with a smooth shank and blunt diamond point. This is the most common style for nails used in everyday construction, but what about other nail types? Let's take a look at some of the variations in nail design and function - but first, let's go over some basic terms that define the structure of a nail.

    A nail is composed of three parts - the head (top), the shank (body) and the point (tip). Size and length will vary depending on the type of job you are working on - your nail gun will tell you which size nails it will work with. Finally, you have the finish of the nail, which represents the nail's exterior - and can come coated (resin), galvanized (dipped) or untreated.

     

    Now that we know some of the basic terms regarding the structure of a nail, it's time to look at the variations in their structure.

     

    Type:

    Flathead: This is the most common type of head for a nail. Available in different forms such as full (regular), clipped (reduced head size) and off center (head sits to the side of base), this nail's larger head size offers stronger holding capability.

    Brad & Finish Nails: These nails are typically used for finishing work, such as attaching trim and molding. Having a smaller head means these nails do not have the holding strength of their flathead counterpart, but they are able to fit in tighter places and are less noticeable to the naked eye, after installation.

    Duplex: The duplex nail is intended for temporary use, featuring a double head for easy removal. These nails resemble a push-pin, and are designed to work as a placeholder - before a permanent application has been made.

     

    Shank:

    Smooth: The smooth shank is the most common shank that can be found on nails. The easiest to produce, this type of shank also provides the least amount of holding strength.

    Ring: The ring design on a shank provides improved holding strength and can be recognized by the threaded rings that run along the body of the nail. Its appearance resembles a smooth body nail running through a spring.

    Screw: A screw design has a body similar to its screw counterpart, but is driven into wood without the traditional screw head. It features a spiral design that covers about 3/4 of the nail's body.

    Spiral: Similar to the screw, this shank spirals the entire body of the nail.

     

    Point:

    Blunt: This is the most common of nail points. It reduces splitting when being driven, which makes it an asset to anyone using a nailer.

    Long: This point is mostly used in drywall installation, as it has a long, sharp, needle-like tip that can be driven deep.

    Chisel: This type of point is mostly used for heavy duty projects, such as pallet-building and industrial assembly. The chisel tip also helps to avoid splitting.

    Flat: This point does not have a sharp or jagged edge. It features a smooth point.

    Clinch: This point is off center, but is sharp like the chisel. One side of this point is shorter than the other.

     

    Have we sparked your interest? Check back next week for the second half of this two-part series on nail components.

     

    Best Of Luck On Your Next Project,

    The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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  • Getting Ready For The Holidays

    The holiday season is now in full-swing, so what are you doing to make merry this year? Depending on where you live, it's probably too cold to work outdoors (unless absolutely necessary) - which means it's the perfect time to get projects done around the house, in preparation for visiting friends and family. You might not have time to renovate the entire bathroom or put in a new kitchen, but consider these simple weekend projects that can spruce up your home - and even add value.

     

    Add a chair rail in the dining room:

    The dining room is one of the busiest rooms in many households during the holidays. Between family dinners and holiday parties, it's certain to see a lot of traffic from your guests.

    Installing a chair rail can serve more than one purpose in your home - it not only adds detail to the room, it also helps to protect your walls from scrapes and scratches. Using a Finish Nail Gun, such as the Paslode IM250A-Li, can help you complete this project with ease. Depending on the size of your dining room, installation can be completed in a relatively short amount of time, leaving your room with an added detail that improves its form and function.

    Tip: Make sure the rail is level before attaching. This is a simple step that is often overlooked, but can save time and money in the long run. If your home has crown molding, try to match the color and style of the rail for continuity.

     

    Update the numbers on the front of your house:

    We know, this IS an outdoor project, but it can be completed in a matter of minutes and will help any first-time guests find your house with ease. Simply visit any local hardware store to purchase the numbers you need for your address. A Screw Gun, such as the Senco DuraSpin, can be of use in attaching them to your home, depending on the material you are affixing them to (brick and other stone materials will require something heavier duty).

    This quick project can improve the curb appeal of your home and will certainly be appreciated by any visitors looking for your house.

     

    Build a new mantel for the fireplace:

    This might be a bit harder for the average DIYer, but can add tons of character to your home if completed properly. If you don't have a fireplace, you can improvise by building shelving to display decorations and other knickknacks.

    Design the mantel to fit your style and character - there are a lot of sites online that can fuel your inspiration. Once you have selected the perfect design for your home, plan to invest at least five to ten hours (or more) into this project.

    A Finish Nailer, such as the Bostitch N62FNK-2 will most likely be your tool of choice when assembling the big parts - although you might also consider a Pin Nailer, such as the Grex P650L 23ga. Pinner, if attaching smaller, more intricate details - such as trim.

    Tip: Some people prefer to paint their mantel rather than stain it; keep this in mind as you visualize what the finished project will look like. Depending on the design you choose, you might have to paint or stain the materials prior to assembling.

     

    Good Luck & Happy Holidays,

    The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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  • How To Choose A Nail Gun For Your Project

    You've decided to use a nail gun on your next project, but what type of nailer do you need? Nail guns come in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on the project you need it to complete. To learn what makes each type of nail gun unique, let's look at some of the main ones homeowners use:

    • Framing nail gun - This type of nail gun is used for larger projects such as fencing, deck building, sub-flooring and (of course) framing. These nailers are also excellent for projects involving plaster, as hammering can crack and loosen plaster.
    • Finish nail gun - This nail gun drives either 15 or 16 gauge nails - depending on the finish nailer - and is used for crown molding, baseboards, cabinets, chair rails, wood furniture, decorative trim, millwork, caskets, hardwood flooring, furniture and paneling. Finish nails are sturdy enough to hold these larger pieces, but small enough that they can be puttied over for the finished product.

    FinishPro42XP

    • Brad nail gun - A brad nailer drives even smaller, 18 gauge brad nails, versus a finish nailer. Brad nailers are used for smaller trim, as larger nails can split the wood. Using a hammer to drive brad nails can be frustrating due to their ultra-thin pins that can bend easily.

    Hitachi NT50AE2

    Now you need to decide how to power your nail gun:

    • Gas-powered - This nail gun uses a fuel cell with a rechargeable battery. This nailer does not require an air compressor, hose or cord - which makes it convenient. However, this is a more costly way to power your nailer.
    • Air powered or pneumatic - This is the most popular choice for power fastening tools, as it is a cheap, powerful and convenient way to power your nail gun. This nail gun uses compressed air to drive nails. If you choose pneumatic, make sure that the air requirement for the nail gun and the compressor match - ensuring your nail gun will work properly.
    Bostitch Pneumatic Finish Nailer

    Don't forget to consider the brand when making your decision, trusted brands such as Stanley Bostitch, Hitachi, Senco or Paslode will usually lead to less jams and repairs. Nail guns can speed up a job, allow you to drive nails into hard to reach areas, and drive smaller nails without the frustration of bending or breaking. NailGunDepot.com offers a wide selection of nailers, so check us out - and good luck on your next project!

    Nail Your Next Project,
    The Team At Nail Gun Depot
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  • How To Clean & Maintain Your Paslode Cordless Nailer

    Many people aren’t aware of how little maintenance is required to keep your Paslode tools in top working condition. Less than twenty minutes, once every six months, that’s all it takes. We’ve compiled the steps for maintaining your cordless tools:

    • Gather Needed Supplies - Grab your lint free rag, tool oil, tool cleaner, and Allen wrench. A lint free rag is important as you don’t want to leave any particles in the tool.
    • Safety First - Remove everything; battery, fuel, and nails.

     

    Maintenance:

    • Clean - Grab your tool cleaner. Begin removing dirt and residue from the filter, cylinder head assembly and combustion chamber.
    • Oil - Oil your motor assembly sleeve, seal rings and combustion chamber.
    • Reassemble - Make sure that all screws are tight. Loose screws can result in personal injury or malfunction - for example, a loose nose could cause your nailer to fire multiple nails.
    • Test it - Make sure everything is in working order. It is normal for the tool to release a small amount of smoke. However, if something is malfunctioning, you are going to want to consult the product manual. If you can’t resolve the problem, contact the manufacturer.

     

    Tips:

    *Don’t forget to check the expiration date on the fuel cells. If your fuel is expired, this could be causing problems.

    *YouTube videos can be a great resource for tool maintenance, if you are doing maintenance for the first time or prefer a visual example.

    A well maintained tool can lead to improved productivity and years of reliable service.

     

    The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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  • How To Load A Pneumatic Stapler

    Learn how to load your air stapler properly. Loading a pneumatic stapler varies slightly from tool to tool, but the following instructions demonstrate how to load most common models. Learn more on Nail Gun Depot.

    First, you must ensure you have the proper staple - this will determine whether or not the tool can even be used. After identifying the correct staples, you are ready to load them.

    Most staple guns are either top or bottom loading. Medium and heavy wire pneumatic staplers generally load from the top, while most fine wire staplers are bottom load. Before loading, be sure to disconnect the air supply and keep the stapler pointed away from you.
    A top loading stapler is fairly straight forward. 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.
    Bottom load staplers operate differently. First, locate the magazine release, generally found at the rear of magazine. Depress its release and slide the magazine rail away from the nose. Turn the stapler upside down and insert the staples into the channel toward the nose of the stapler. After the staples have been loaded, slide the magazine rail back toward the nose until it locks into place.
     
    Now you are ready to connect your air supply and test fire.
     

    The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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  • How To Use A Framing Nail Gun Or Nailer

    Strip Nailers
    To use a strip nailer, pull back the magazine follower to prepare for loading. Insert the proper nails into the nailer's magazine - see manufacturer specs for fastener information.
    Keep in mind, some nail guns load from the top, while others load from the rear.
    After inserting nails, release the magazine follower to allow for tension on the nails. Now, you will want to attach your air line to the tool.
    To fire, most nailers will require the safety to be depressed against a surface, while the trigger is pulled at the same time.

    Two modes of operation are available, bump fire and sequential operation. Bump firing will eliminate the need to release and pull the trigger after each shot.

    Most nailers also feature an adjustable depth of drive. This allows for flush driving or countersink.

     

    Coil Nailers

    To use a coil nailer, open the magazine basket and front door latch. Inside the basket is an adjustable nail tray. Be sure to set the tray for the length of fastener you are using, to allow for optimal performance.

    Insert nails into the magazine basket. Toward the nose of the tool, you will find a feed pawl. The feed pawl guides nails into the chamber. Be sure to align the collation wire and nail head into the proper grooves.

    Close the magazine basket and door latch, attach your air line, and follow the same steps listed above to fire.

    Always consult the manufacturer's operating manual for exact instructions detailing the specific tool you are using.

     
    The Team At Nail Gun Depot
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  • Welcome To Nail Gun Depot's Blog - The Nail Gun Network

    Nail Gun Depot is pleased to announce the re-launch of its blog and content library, coined "The Nail Gun Network" - or "Nail Gun Network" for short. Beginning as a basic tool and fastener blog that was launched in June 2011, Nail Gun Depot phased in the Nail Gun Network brand starting in 2014, in preparation for the brand's 15th anniversary. Please stay tuned for project tips, tool news and all-else relevant to the tool and fastener industry. Get great "how to" advice for DIY applications - and contractor-grade tips for the professionals.
    Nail Gun Depot's Nail Gun Network
    Have a topic you want us to talk about, drop us a line at sales@nailgundepot.com and tell us what you want to see on The Nail Gun Network.
     
    **This post has been modified and updated to reflect advancements at Nail Gun Depot. Original post was updated on February 10, 2015.
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