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  • Fencing, Flooring & Framing! New Freeman Tools

    Nail Gun Depot is excited to announce a slew of new additions to our Freeman tools lineup! Founded in 2008, the Georgia-based company is known for dependable, affordable tools for the professional and DIYer. In fact, their prices tend to cost 20-50% less than other well-known brands, with comparable features.

    Check out the new Freeman tools at Nail Gun Depot

    The most notable additions to our Freeman tools selection are flooring nailers and fencing staplers, many with dual (or even triple) functions. Of course, we’d be remiss to not mention the two new framing nailers, a concrete T-nailer, and two finishing nailer/staplers. Let’s review what’s new-to-us from Freeman.

    Continue reading

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  • 6 Critical FAQs Before Installing Hardwood Flooring

    Nothing beats the ambiance and timelessness of wood floors. Hardwood flooring can last a hundred years or more, adding beauty and value to your home. Installing hardwood flooring, on the other hand, can be a daunting process if you aren't familiar with the following frequently asked questions.

    Installing Hardwood Flooring is a Perfectly Sound Investment

    Q. What’s the difference between hardwood and engineered wood flooring?

    Hardwood flooring is made of solid wood. Walnut, cherry, pine, birch, ash, are common varieties of hardwood flooring. Bamboo (actually a grass and not a wood) is another popular flooring choice these days. Engineered wood, often used interchangeably with hardwood flooring, is actually made of layers of wood with a veneer of real wood. It offers the look of solid wood, but with greater versatility.

    Solid hardwood flooring typically comes in 3/4” thick boards, while engineered wood boards are usually 3/8" or 1/2" thick. Hardwood boards are typically narrower than engineered wood planks to better adapt to moisture fluctuation.

    Deciding whether to invest in solid or engineered hardwood flooring depends upon your needs and environment. Solid hardwood flooring is known for its endurance and the fact that it can be refinished many times. It's also more expensive than engineered wood flooring, which is more stable and moisture resistant. If a section of engineered flooring gets damaged, however, it usually has to be replaced, as the engineered wood flooring cannot be re-sanded or refinished as many times (If at all) as solid hardwood.

    Q. Can I install hardwood flooring on concrete?

    Yes. But there are certain requirements to ensure that moisture doesn’t reach the hardwood. The concrete floor for solid hardwood should be at-grade or above-grade (at or above ground-level). For basements, most flooring manufacturers recommend using engineered wood. Furthermore, the concrete also has to be completely dry - even before installing a subfloor. Carpeting, paint and other materials must be removed as well, and you may need a concrete grinder to prep first.

    After new concrete is laid, it can take more than a month for the moisture to evaporate from concrete, and moisture levels must be tested prior to installation. Before laying hardwood flooring over concrete, you’ll need a moisture barrier between the two surfaces. For solid hardwood over concrete, it’s recommended to use a wood subfloor, which can raise the overall floor level. Something to consider, as clearance for doorways and other items may change.

    Hardwood flooring installation with the Bostitch BTFP12569 2 in 1 Flooring Tool

    Q. What Tools Do I Need When Installing Hardwood Flooring?

    If you are installing pre-finished hardwood flooring, you’ll need a flooring stapler or nailer. The choice depends on personal preference. See our article on the Difference between a Flooring Nailer and Flooring Stapler, for more info. Freeman, Bostitch and Powernail are reliable brands for flooring tools; our most popular tool is the Freeman PF18GLCN nailer.

    Decide whether you want a manual flooring nailer or pneumatic flooring tool. If you have a large installation project, choose the pneumatic tool. While more expensive, it will make the job faster and save you fatigue. You may also want to invest in a rolling flooring accessory that will also make the process easier, with less lifting each time you fasten.

    Other tools need you’ll also need: a hammer, miter or table saw, and a pry bar for removing molding. For installing unfinished wood, you’ll need a sander, vacuum, and other finishing tools.

    Q. What Hardwood Flooring Fasteners Will I Need?

    As for wood flooring fasteners, you'll use nails or staples. Staples are generally a cheaper choice of fastener, but 16-, 18-, or 20-gauge flooring nails or “cleats” are the choice of pros. They allow for wood flooring expansion and contraction, also providing great holding power. Whichever fastener you choose when installing hardwood flooring, you'll need to use that fastener throughout the entire installation.

    The fastener you choose may also depend the wood and subflooring material needed, and the recommendations of the flooring manufacturer. Per Flooring.org, the National Wood Flooring Association, states that for solid hardwood boards, nails or staples should be spaced between eight and ten inches apart, and for engineered wood boards, between four and eight inches. PowerNail has a handy Room Square Foot and Cleat Coverage Calculator.

    Q. How much wood do I need to install a floor?

    Hardwood flooring is sold in cartons. To determine how much wood is needed, first find out the square footage of space for your project. Before installing hardwood flooring, measure the room’s length and width, then multiply the two to get the total square footage. For an unusually shaped room, measure odd areas separately. It’s helpful to divide the areas into rectangles, add the measurements together and then multiply to get square footage. Don’t forget to include closet space.

    It’s advisable to add 5-10% to cover the “waste factor,” wood that will end up being unusable. If you’re completing more than one room, total the total square footage and then add 5-10% for waste cost.

    Installing hardwood flooring is a solid investment in any home

    Q. How much does installing hardwood flooring cost?

    This depends on a lot of factors—starting with the type of wood for your floor. For a rough idea on the cost to install hardwood flooring, Home Advisor states that the average homeowner will spend $4,396 to install a wood floor. On the lower end of the spectrum, softer woods such as pine can range from $3 to $6 per square foot, while more resilient and exotic wood varieties can cost $8 to $10 per square foot. In the middle lies common wood species, such as oak.

    Unless you’re planning a DIY project, add into that estimate the cost of labor, which will run from $3 to $8 per square foot. If you need to have furniture moved or carpeting removed, this will cost extra, so budget that into your costs.

    (For more on installation, see our article How to Install Hardwood Floors.)


     

    Shop Nail Gun Depot:

    Flooring Fasteners

    Pneumatic Flooring Nailers

    Manual Flooring Nailers

    Flooring Staplers

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  • 10 Surprising Facts About Wood

    Recently, we were asked what type of nailer to use with a specific wood. And it got us thinking—what about wood? We talk a lot about tools and fasteners, but not so much about the actual material we use to build, make and play. So we compiled 10 interesting tidbits about wood. After all, where would we be without pine for lumber, or the hickory bats used in America’s favorite pastime? So, let’s take a swing and learn a few things.

    A Wooden Bridge Over a Creek

    Here are 10 Cool Facts About Wood:

     

    1. Trees not only absorb water, they filter and produce it. A single tree can absorb up to 100 gallons of water and release it into the air—in a day.

    2. There are more than 23,000 types of trees. They’re broadly divided into two groups—hardwood and softwood.

    3. The terms “hardwood” and "softwood” can be a bit misleading, as they don’t necessarily refer to the strength of the wood, but rather how the tree propagates. Hardwood trees are deciduous, have enclosed seeds and lose their leaves in a season. Most softwoods are evergreen with their seeds residing in cones. 

    4. Cedar, pine, fir, and other softwoods make up approximately 80% of the lumber used in construction, including framing and roofing. (Shop our framing or roofing tools and fasteners here). Softwoods are fast growing, more easily worked, and feature a wide grain.

    Image of Wooden Flooring

    5. Often used for carving, oak is extremely durable but difficult to work. It has a high tannin content, which makes it resistant to attack by insects. Take a wild guess at America's national tree.

    6. Oak and southern yellow pine (SYP) are the two most common woods used in pallet making. (See our tools for pallet and crate assembly.) 

    7. A softwood, cedar is used to make roof shingles. Easily sawed and nailed, cedar is a good insulator and it's resistant to humidity.

    8. Some of the most common natural woods used in flooring include the hardwoods maple, cherry, and oak. Other popular choices are teak and walnut. Click here to shop flooring tools and fasteners.)

    9. Native to North America, the Douglas fir is the traditional choice of Christmas trees. Other popular types include Scotch pine, cypress, cedar, and Colorado blue spruce.

    10. A 12-ton Norway spruce was used for the 2018 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. After the holidays, the wood will be cut into pieces, kiln dried and milled. The finished beams will be donated to Habitat for Humanity.

    Closeup of a Christmas Tree and Light

    Need a fun project for using leftover pallet wood? Habitat posted some steps for making a pallet Christmas tree. If anyone decides to try it, please post about it, below!

     

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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  • The 2018 Holiday Tool Buying Guide

    Somehow, December's crept up and it's already time to grab a holiday deal for your favorite woodworker! If you've got a tool nut on your list, we've got you covered.

    NGD Christmas Guide

    You can find an affordable gift for the carpenter, flooring installer, upholsterer or all-around handyman in our holiday tool guide, below. Psst: Special sale prices—and stocking stuffers—are only around while supplies last.

    Now, without further delay, Nail Gun Depot’s 2018 Gift Guide...

    Under $150—Flooring Tool, Micro-Pinner, & Upholstery Stapler

    We love the Freeman PFBC940 Mini 4-in-1 Flooring Tool, not just because it doubles as nailer/stapler, but also because it's completely affordable. The versatile tool drives narrow-crown staples and brad nails from 5/8” to 1-5/8” in length. So you can switch from woodworking to flooring like a boss.

    Stocking Stuffer: Free 50’ air hose, complete with fittings.

    Grex tools' dependability and power are practically legendary. The robust P635 23-gauge headless nailer features an auto-adjust fastener mechanism and a rear-exhaust with silencer. Part of a special holiday gift set, this micro-pinner's industrial-grade, yet lightweight design, is suitable for craft projects, decorative trim, and light furniture assembly.

    Stocking Stuffer: Free edge guide, a $30 value.

    Powerful but lean at 1.7” wide and 2 lbs., the German-made. BeA 71/16-421 upholstery stapler drives 1/4" to 5/8" staples with gusto. Great for handling trim work, bedding, upholstery, and cabinetry, this dexterous little tool is reliable and reasonably priced.

    BeA 71 16-421 stapler

    $150 to $300—Fencing Staplers, Brad Nailer, & Tool Belt

    Freeman pneumatic staplers make installing (and repairing) fences more efficient, and easier on the user. The 10-1/2-gauge Freeman PFS105 fence stapler and 9-gauge PFS9 fence stapler feature ergonomic engineering, quick jam releases and top-loading magazines, not to mention they're relatively lightweight. The 9-gauge nailer includes an optional T-handle for greater control.

    Stocking Stuffer: Free 50” hose with fittings & special holiday price.

    For those who appreciate the quality and dependability of Hitachi/Metabo tools, the NT50A5 PRO 18-gauge brad nailer is a great choice for the carpenter. Ideal for crown molding, paneling, and window casing, it's powerful and versatile. The NT50A5 even has a thumb-actuated duster for easy cleanup.

    Stocking Stuffer: Free stainless steel insulated tumbler.

    Really, just take your pick of Occidental Leather's awesome gear. Their hand-crafted tool holders are made here in America, in Sonoma County, California. The leather is top-grain cowhide and reinforced with copper rivets. For the greatest flexibility, we suggest the OxyLight Adjust-to-Fit Belt, which has a high-mount hammer holder. 

    Occidental Leather Adjust-To-Fit Tool Belt

    $300 and Above—Finish and Framing Nailers, & Air Compressor

    Senco's Fusion series eliminates the need for fuel cells, potentially saving hundreds of dollars per year. The 16-gauge F-16S Finish Nailer features a fast-charging battery and nose-mounted LED light. This powerful straight nailer is perfect for molding, furniture and cabinet framing, and paneling. 

    For framing, the brawny Paslode CF325XP Cordless framing nailer offers impressive battery life and runs in temps as low as 14°F. For finishing, the Paslode IM250A-Li finish nailer has an angled magazine lets you navigate challenging areas. Each tool comes with a carrying case, battery, charger, and more.

    Stocking Stuffer: Free spare battery, plus two fuel cells. 

    Finally, we suggest the AIRSTAK Systainer compressor from RolAir. This compact cubical wonder is ideal for carpentry work that requires mobility and a quiet output (70 dB). The compressor rests in a Systainer case with pull-up handle, and has a removable cord that can be stored inside. The compressor weighs about 30 lbs and delivers 2CFM at 90 PSI.

    Stocking Stuffer: Free RolAir T-shirt and limited-time sale pricing on select models.

    Rolair AIRSTAK Systainer Compressor

    ~The Nail Gun Depot Team

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  • Cyber Weekend 2018 Tool Giveaway!

    Wouldn't it be nice to score a Free Tool when you shop Nail Gun Depot from November 23 – November 26? Coupled with our Cyber Weekend sale, there's even more to be thankful for!

    Purchase any item from the following categories for a chance to win! Prizes are detailed below.

    Power Tool Giveaway for Nail Gun Depot Cyber Weekend Sale

    Cyber Weekend Giveaway Details:

    All orders must be placed between November 23 and November 26. An order number in the specified category/brand counts as an entry. Winners will be featured on Nail Gun Depot's Facebook page and/or Nail Gun Network.

     

    Grand Prize:

    A LiT brand LED-light cooler AND Dewalt heated jacket, PLUS Nail Gun Depot swag. 

    LiT Cooler Grand Prize Nail Gun Depot Cyber Weekend GiveawayDewalt Jacket

     

    Hitachi/Metabo HPT

    Buy any Hitachi/Metabo HPT item for a chance to win a FREE Hitachi DS18DSAL 18V Li-Ion Compact Pro Cordless Drill W/ Flashlight - A compact yet hardworking drill and its bright companion.

    Senco

    Get any Senco item for a chance to win a FREE Senco PC1342 23-Gauge Micro Pinner Kit - A micro-pin nailer and a compressor combo; a winning team for a pro-looking finish.

    Paslode

    Order any Paslode item for a chance to win a FREE Paslode 515600 Brad Nailer - A perfect combination of reliability and versatility engineered into the same tool.

    Dewalt

    Purchase any Dewalt item for a chance to win a FREE Dewalt DWE575SB 7-1/4" Lightweight Circular Saw - Boasting a 15 Amp motor and weighing just 8.8 lbs, it's a lightweight powerhouse.

    Framing

    Order any framing nailer for a chance to win a FREE Martinez 4000 Wood Handle HammerSporting a 19 oz. steel head and curved hickory handle, this hammer packs some punch.

    Flooring

    Get any flooring nailer or stapler for a chance to win a FREE Powernail Power Palm Face Nailer - With a specially designed nose, magnetic nail holder and 160-degree swivel, it's a well-rounded tool.

    Roofing

    Purchase any roofing tool for a chance to win a FREE FallTech 8595A Roofer's Kit - A five-piece set that gives peace-of-mind; includes harness, vertical lifeline, shock absorbing lanyard, and roof anchor.

    Finishing

    Buy any finish/trim gun for a chance to win a FREE Hitachi RB18DSL 18V Cordless Blower and Li-Ion Battery - A great light-duty  tool for clearing debris and wood shavings from your work surface.

    Good Luck! And Happy Thanksgiving to All!

     

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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  • New Fastening Tools At STAFDA 2018!

    While at the STAFDA (Specialty Tool & Fastener) show in balmy Phoenix last week, we got a sneak peek at these sweet new cordless and pneumatic nailers. Check out Nail Gun Depot’s YouTube channel for quick-videos from the show, or read below to see the innovative new products coming from Metabo HPT, Grex, Cadex, Fasco, and other top brands in fastening.

    Fasco America shows off the F70G Cordless Joist Hanger Nailer

    Fasco’s Faster Joist Hanger Nailer

    Fasten metal plates without being “tied down” by air compressor hoses. Fasco’s F70G Cordless Hanger Nailer is fast and powerful, driving two to three nails per second, from 1-1/2” to 2-1/2” in length. Already available at Nail Gun Depot, the joist nailer has a positive placement nose, non-slip grip, and single-shot actuation. Use it for fastening joist hangers, stud plate ties and post bases.

    Fasco F70G Joist Nailer Video

    Grex's Cordless Micro-Pinner

    Certain to stir up interest, the new Grex GCP650 23-gauge cordless pin nailer conveniently runs on a propane cylinder and two AAA batteries. Based on the popularity of its 18 gauge sibling, the GC1850, this Grex 23 gauge cordless should be a hit when it arrives in December. Already trusted for the performance of their corded 23-gauge tools, the cordless micro pinner features durable components, all-metal construction (minus the outside housing) and shoots 2” pin nails.

    Grex 23-Gauge Cordless Pinner Video

    Grex 23 Gauge Cordless Micro Pinner

    Metabo HPT’s Slick A5 PRO Nailers

    Continuously innovating, the brand formerly known as Hitachi Power Tools adds sleek framing and finish nailers to their A5 PRO lineup. Check out the NP50A 23-Gauge Pin Nailer, the NT50A5 2” Brad Nailer, and the NR90AC5 3” Framing Nailer.

    Each nail gun features dry-fire lockout and depth adjust. The 2” brad nailer has an integrated air blower and a “true” dry-fire lockout that lets you use the last nail in the magazine before shutting off, unlike other nailers which cut out with a handful of nails left.

    Metabo HPT A5 PRO Nailers Video

    Metabo Hitachi shows off NT50A5 Pneumatic Nailer

    Cadex’s 7 For 2019

    Cadex has big plans for 2019. Taking the sturdy V3 tool as a foundation, the company, known for precision trim tools, has spawned five different models: two L-series cleat nailers (one with a rolling base), a 20-gauge cleat nailer for thin floorboards (such as bamboo), an 18-gauge cleat nailer, and a 16-gauge brad nailer.

    But wait, there's more! Cadex will also release two cordless nailers, a 16-gauge finish and 18-gauge brad nailer with built-in light, 4 amp battery and no-mar tip. Cadex plans to drop all of the new nailers in early 2019, so stay tuned.

    Cadex Nailer Video

    Cadex Cordless Nailer

    So, which of these new tool(s) are you most interested in? Let us know in the comments!

     

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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  • How To Find The Correct Air Staples For A Staple Gun

    Why can’t I order staples for my pneumatic stapler by dimension?

    Unlike nails, staples are often sold by series, which doesn't tell you much about size. Furthermore, staples are not "one-size-fits-most," contrary to most categories of collated nails. Staples are instead measured not only by leg length and wire gauge, but also by crown width.

    Pro Tip: If you’re having trouble deciding on a staple gun, see “Choosing A Staple Gun For Your Project.”

    BeA Heavy Wire Stapler

    Crown Size

    The crown is the bridge, otherwise known as the horizontal part of a staple that joins the legs. Crown sizes are typically segmented into wide, medium and narrow designations. This can become tricky, as some manufacturers measure the inside of the crown, while others measure the outside (or exterior) of the crown.

    Staple crown type can vary by application. For example, some staples come with a flat top, while others have a round or "U-shaped" crown. However, we'll take a closer look at the various crown types in a later article.

    Leg Length

    While a staple series is typically determined by gauge and crown (which we'll cover later in this article), leg length can vary significantly - even within the same series of staple. See the different leg lengths for the 7/16” crown staple, for example, below.

    Staple with measurements

    There are a couple rules of thumb with regard to staple length:

    1. Leg length requirements vary by application type, as well as the base material you are driving the staple into. The staple has to be able to fully penetrate and clasp to form a tight bond.

    2. The longer the staple legs, the greater the hold or withdrawal strength.

    Pro Tip: Never try to force a staple into the wrong tool. Not only can this create a jam, but it could break the staple or damage the tool.

    Getting To The Point

    Most staples have chisel points, which taper to a point on both legs. This lets the staple legs drive directly into the base material.

    Another variation is the divergent-point staple, where the tips taper to opposing points. This forces the legs to bend outward in different directions. Divergent point staples are more difficult to pull out, providing greater holding power.

    Wire Gauge

    As with nails, staples are categorized by different wire gauges or thicknesses. Gauge is determined by the wire diameter, a standard set in the early half of the 20th century by American Wire Gauge standards. It might seem counter-intuitive, but the thinner the wire, the higher the gauge number. The smallest gauge staple wire we carry here at Nail Gun Depot is a 23-gauge staple for upholstery applications, while the largest is 9 gauge for wire fence building.

    Generally speaking, the thicker the wire gauge, the more rugged the application. For finer applications, like fastening upholstery to a furniture frame, a thinner gauge staple is preferable.

    What’s In A Staple Series?

    Finally, let’s talk staple series. Is there a rhyme or reason for the different series numbers?

    In short, yes, it’s true that tool manufacturers want you to use their staples -- and they do make proprietary fasteners to drive the point. Most staple series are determined by the staple's crown size (width) and gauge (thickness).

    One way many manufacturers make staple shopping easier, they may designate a particular "series" of staple that is compatible with their tool. Each staple series makes it easier to find the exact staple you need, without having to know all of the dimensions—or how the crown is measured.

    In order to consistently get the right staples for your tool, rely on the staple gun itself. More often than not, staple dimensions are printed on a staple gun's magazine.

    Types of Air Staple

    Finding The Right Fasteners

    To help you find the right series, we’ve created the Fastener Finder tool on Nail Gun Depot. Just choose your stapler brand/model from the drop-down menu, and we'll do the rest.  Even if you’re using an older model of air stapler, we can help identify the correct staples for your tool.

    Have other questions? Contact us here.

     

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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  • 10 Tips For Air Tool Safety

    Almost everyone who works in construction has a horror story that involves a power tool. You may have read our January 2014 blog post about a carpenter who accidentally fired a framing nail into his heart. Luckily, he survived the incident, but not without becoming a cautionary tale in Vice magazine.

    According to OSHA, nail gun accidents alone account for tens of thousands of serious injuries each year, and they account for more construction-related injuries than any other power tool. And those are only the reported ones.

    Just because you’re working on a weekend project, or using a lightweight power tool, doesn’t reduce the risk for injury.

    Nail Gun Safety

    Before You Pull the Trigger

    What are the best ways to prevent air tool accidents? Job one is to READ THE INSTRUCTIONS. In fact, you should do so before even firing the tool, which we admit is hard to do when a brand new air gun is burning a hole in your tool bag.

    You’ll notice the larger part of a tool’s manual is comprised of warnings; exclamation points in rounded triangles, circles with diagonal slashes through them and occasionally curious illustrations. You’ll see “no horseplay” a lot in user manuals. The warnings are easy to gloss over, but heed them. A power tool mishap can simply ruin your day, or it can shorten your career. Before becoming a statistic, familiarize yourself with the following safety tips.

    Senco Safety

    10 safety tips to follow when using an air tool:

    1. Read the manual.
    2. Wear protective gear, including safety glasses, shoes, gloves, hard hat, face shield, ear plugs, and whatever else the task requires.
    3. Use the right fasteners for the tool. This can prevent damage to the tool as well as accidents down the line.
    4. Maintain your tool, hoses, and compressor. Occasionally inspect tools for damage, replace worn parts and use air tool oil, if need be. RolAir has some great tips for maintaining an air compressor.
    5. Store tools in a dry place and clear off any debris after using. Moisture, dust and fumes can damage tools. Read our blog on How To Avoid Destroying Your Pneumatic Nailer for more information.
    6. Keep a clean work area to avoid tripping and combustion. NEVER blast away debris from a workspace or from skin using a compressor. It can propel metal particles, fragments or chips. Air driven under the skin can cause an embolism. If you clean an object with a compressor, OSHA has specific regulations for protective gear, chip guarding and air pressure (below 30 PSI).
    7. Always use the correct air pressure required for the tool. Check the user manual for guidelines, or learn more about PSI here.
    8. Opt for Sequential over Contact fire. Reserve rapid bump firing for high-volume, high-speed applications. See our video on safe trigger use. Also, respect the rebound. After driving a fastener, allow the tool to recover before for making contact with the surface again.
    9. Keep your finger OFF the trigger until you’re ready to drive a fastener. Always refrain from pointing a tool at anyone.
    10. Turn your tools off when not in use. That includes air nailers, staple guns, air compressors, etc.

    Construction Safety

    Besides ensuring your tool is in working condition, make sure you are, too. Don’t overreach, and avoid alcohol or other substances that can cloud judgment or impair movement. Want to see more? Our friends at Senco have even more great safety tips for using power tools.

     

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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  • Easy Tips To Install Shiplap

    If you thought the shiplap trend had sailed, think again. Shiplap has a classic appeal and natural warmth that never truly goes out of style. Those horizontally hung boards instantly bring a rustic, inviting look to interiors.

    Luckily, adding shiplap siding to walls or ceilings is an easy project you can do yourself.

    What Is Shiplap?

    The term “shiplap” most likely gets its name from the manner in which ship hulls were once built, with planks overlapping one another to form a watertight joint.

    FP Supply Shiplap Kitchen

    Shiplap is a type of wood siding with a rabbet joint (or rectangular tongue) on either side of the board. Placed one after another, the rabbets of the boards overlap, creating a snug connection and insulator that keeps out water and weather.  Shiplap can be found on the exterior of homes, old sheds and outbuildings (even floors), but has recently gained notoriety as a popular interior design element for accent walls - and even ceilings.

    Not only is shiplap functional, but it adds nice texture and dimension. The result is a series of horizontal seams that add interest to an otherwise flat, faceless surface.

    Ready to get started installing shiplap?

    FP Supply Shiplap in Progress

    What You’ll Need:

    Safety Glasses: A given for any project using power tools, always have a pair of safety glasses on hand.

    Stud Finder: Attaching the boards securely requires knowing where your studs are located. Identify stud placement before making your first cut.

    Wood Boards: Choose pine, cedar or even plywood for your shiplap wood. You don’t need new boards, as the look of rough, unfinished or reclaimed wood merely adds to its character and texture (some people intentionally weather the wood to give it a rustic appearance). Either way, for a traditional look, you’ll want 8’ long boards, between 5” and 8” wide. If starting from scratch, plan to have a power saw on hand for accurate, easy cuts.

    Shiplap Detail Amerhart

    Nail Gun: There are a few options when it comes to how you're attaching the shiplap to your sub-surface. Some installers prefer to use a lightweight flooring nailer, such as the Powernail 50F, which drives 18-gauge cleat nails. This flooring nailer installs engineered and natural wood planks from 3/8” to 3/4," but is particularly unique thanks to its easily adjustable FLEX Foot, which accommodates different board thicknesses - without the need for adjustment tools. If using a flooring nailer to install shiplap, you'll also want to make sure the tool is lightweight (since gravity will be pulling it in the opposite direction), and is capable of running a wide range of fastener lengths (to accommodate varying board thickness).

    Powernail 50F Side View

    It's also not uncommon for shiplap installers to use either a finish nail gun or a framing nailer. If using pre-manufactured shiplap, consult the board manufacturer for fastener specific requirements.

    Nails: The type of nail you use ultimately depends on the nail gun you're using. If using a tool, such as the Powernail 50F, you'll need to use the respective flooring cleats that fit the tool. If using a 16 gauge finish nailer, the same applies.

    For a room or area that sees a lot of moisture, like a bath (or if you intend to face nail the boards), consider using corrosion-resistant stainless steel nails.

    Air Compressor: If you're using an air-powered nailer, make sure you have a compressor capable of completing the job. Take a look at the CFM (air volume delivery) requirements for your tool of choice, and ensure the air compressor is able to withstand the pressure.

    Pro Tips:

    • If you plan to paint/sand the shiplap, do so before nailing the boards in place.
    • Using a stud finder, locate the studs and mark them on the wall. With the assistance of a level to keep things even, apply the first board starting at the bottom and work upward.
    • The spacing between boards is traditionally 1/8”. To make sure boards are evenly spaced, place a nickel or quarter between the boards as a spacer. 
    • Some people like the look of visible nail heads on shiplap. To avoid visible nail holes, nail boards through the rabbet or tongue.
    • Don’t feel that you have to apply shiplap to an entire wall. You can always select an area to accent, such as a pantry, or highlight a feature, like a fireplace.

    Amerhart Shiplap Color Wall

    Shiplap installation can vary in complexity, depending on the surface it is being adhered to, the angle it is being installed, and other factors such as material composition. Always refer to your board manufacturer for specific instructions on how to install their product properly.

     


     

     

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  • Installing Subfloors: Nails vs. Screws

    Can’t decide whether to use nails or screws to install subflooring? Choosing the right subfloor fasteners can make all the difference in the quality and value of your installation. Before making a decision, consider the following key points:

    Which is faster?

    When time is of the essence, nailing is the quickest fastening option when installing subfloor. Regardless of firing mode, an air nailer lets you drive nails within seconds of each other, which saves time compared to using a screw gun. Screws need to be twisted into the subfloor, which takes more time than simply shooting a nail into subfloor material.

    SN902XP_SUB-FLOOR

    However, some screw guns, like the Senco DuraSpin DS440-AC, are auto-fed. A collated strip of screws in this case makes screwing subfloors a little faster, although it’s not as swift as nailing.

    Which is more economical?

    If you’re on a tight budget, nails are the more economical solution. But, not all nails are created equal. Stainless steel nails, for instance, offer a higher quality, but are pricier. Overall, screws tend to be somewhat more expensive, but like nails, some offer better quality for a higher price.

    With that said, it’s imperative you choose a fastener compatible with your subfloor thickness and material. The quality and correct type of subfloor fastener can literally make or break your floor. The better the quality now, the longer your floor will last later – not to mention the sturdier it will be.

    Which has better holding power?

    As far as nails go, ring shank nails are a popular choice for subflooring. A ring shank has extra grip and holding power, compared to other shank types, and creates a tighter subfloor. Although ring shank nails have a good hold, screws have more overall holding power by comparison. With a larger thread gripping a bigger surface area around them, screws hold your subfloor very tightly – allowing no wiggle room for shifting or loosening.

    Paslode TetraGrip Installation

    Several nail manufacturers, such as Senco and Paslode, have released their own proprietary solutions to improve the holding strength of a subfloor nail. Senco's Whisper Grip subfloor fasteners feature lower rings designed to fully engage and grip the joist or studs, while upper rings ensure the nail remains countersunk - even if the joist or studs are missed. Paslode's TetraGRIP Subfloor Fastener takes it a step further, with a barbed thread design that when driven into wood, bonds with the fibers without destroying the wood. Paslode describes it as “rotation without destruction.”

    Which is more durable?

    Consider the heating and cooling of floors during the summer and winter months. Subfloors, like any other material, will expand and contract with temperature. This means that movement, even at a micro level, will occur. The smaller thread on a ring shank, compared to the larger screw thread, doesn’t provide as much grip as the larger one does. This means that the ring shank nail acquires less stress, but can essentially “move with the floor” more so than a screw can.

    By comparison, the screw has much better holding power, and can therefore contribute to an overall tighter subfloor. However, when the subfloor expands and contracts with temperature, or even house movements, the screw can’t move with the shift. This builds stress in the screw, which can cause the screw head to shear off in extreme circumstances. Likewise, if a screw is not driven flush, is over driven, or the wrong size screw is used, the screw head as an increased chance of breaking.

    Which fastener prevents floor squeaks?

    The fastener you choose will certainly play a part in whether your floor squeaks or not. Nails have greater potential for causing squeaking floors, due to their temperature flexibility. Movement between the subfloor and nail (even a ring shank) inevitably causes the two to become loosened over time, which creates floor squeaking – particularly in high-traffic areas.

    Screws, if driven properly, prevent creaking floors. A screw firmly holds the subfloor in place, which ensures a squeak-less floor for years to come.

    Quik Drive Subfloor Installation

    Are there any alternative options?

    Perhaps a happy medium in the subfloor nail versus screw debate, SubLoc Pro Scrail Fasteners offer a hybrid between the traditional nail and screw. Combining the versatility of a nail with the hold strength of a screw, they can be used with most framing nailers – meaning these subfloor fasteners can be driven much faster than screws. Like a screw though, Scrail Fasteners can be adjusted and removed after placement.

    With aggressive threading along the whole shank, Scrails have exceptional holding power, ensuring the subflooring remains tight. Scrails also have a diamond coating, which provides extra grip once installed into the subfloor material. This improved holding strength means floor squeaks are virtually non-existent.

    For any subflooring project, always consult your local fastening schedule, and find out what fastener length is appropriate for your subfloor. Nail Gun Depot offers nails, screws and Scrails, as well as specifications for all of our subfloor fasteners.

     


     

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    Fasco Scrails

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    Senco Whisper Grip Nails

    TetraGRIP Subfloor Fasteners

     

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