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Projects & Applications
Projects & Applications
  • Everwin MCN40 Joist Hanger Nailer: Compact & Mighty

    We're excited to announce the arrival of the Everwin MCN40 Joist Hanger Nailer, launched exclusively through Nail Gun Depot! Conceived with innovation and convenience in mind, this metal connector nailer is noticeably compact. But don't let its small size fool you.

    Imagine a pneumatic joist nailer that weighs just 4.4 lbs and can tackle metal framing hardware with respectable power. The manufacturer is so confident in this tool's capability, Everwin calls the MCN40, a “construction nailer with an industrial tool’s core.”

    MCN40 Joist Hanger Nailer from Everwin

    In development for some time, the MCN40 joist hanger gun was put through its preliminary paces. "The development took us four years, as we went through rounds of destructive testing and structural reinforcement," states Charlie Lin, Global Sales Director for Everwin Pneumatic Corp.

    So, what does the MCN40 have that its competitors don't? It offers a tool with industrial backbone, at a very accessible price point. We've coined this "expert engineering with efficient execution."

    Everwin MCN40 Nailer Features

    At just 10.8” tall, the MCN40’s compact stature lets it easily drive TICO nails in challenging spaces. This joist hanger nail gun deftly navigates 12" O.C. joists thanks to an efficient engine design. And because of its lightness, the tool has less heft; a relief for arms, shoulders and back. These qualities make it great for overhead connecting as well.

    Beyond its stealth, another notable feature is the patented tool nose. This exposes the nail’s tip, acting as a guide for driving nails into connector holes. A patent-pending Anti-Kickback pawl prevents nails from backing into the nose, offering greater stability. Overall, you can expect faster, more precise nailing.

    Features on the Everwin MCN40 Joist Hanger Nailer

    The tool's ergonomic design includes a cushioned grip, and aluminum magazine for better balance and maneuverability. Other features include a 360-degree rotating exhaust to keep debris out of the face, a rotating metal belt hook, and dry-fire lockout. The nailer has sequential firing and a safety trigger lock to prevent accidental firing.

    MCN40 Joist Hanger Nailer Fast Facts:

    • Applications: Metal framing hardware, hurricane and rafter ties, post bases, foundation caps
    • Collation: 31 to 34-degree paper or plastic collated
    • Fastener Range: 1-1/2” metal connector nails from .131 to .148 in diameter
    • Magazine Capacity: 33 nails
    • Firing Mode: Sequential
    • Operating Pressure: 70-100 PSI
    • Tool Height: 10.3"
    • Tool Weight: 4.4 lbs.

    Everwin MCN40 with SureFit 8026

    Having a great tool is only half the battle, if you don't have a well-constructed fastener to use with it. We've found the Everwin MCN40 pairs excellently with SureFit 8026 and 8026HDG metal hardware nails.

    SureFit 8026 Metal Hardware Nail Fast Facts:

    • Applications: Metal framing hardware, hurricane and rafter ties, post bases, foundation caps
    • Collation: 31-degree paper tape collated
    • Box Count: 3,000
    • Length: 1-1/2"
    • Diameter: .148"
    • Options Available: Bright and Hot-Dip Galvanized
    • Also Known As: TICO nails, Joist Hanger nails, Metal Connector nails, Positive Placement nails

     

    The joist hanger tool is now in stock at NailGunDepot.com with an MSRP of $249. You can purchase the Everwin MCN40 here, or contact Customer Service to order.

     


     

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    Metal Connector Nailers

    Joist Hanger Nails

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  • Fasten-Ating Facts: Understanding Nail Shank Types

    Often a make-or-break factor in roofing, pallet assembly or framing projects, nail shank type plays a critical role in U.S. building code. Using the wrong shank can leave you with a damaged roof, squeaky subfloor, or worse. The following are the most common gun nail shank types found in construction. Learn which is best for your job—and why.

    Choose from various nail shanks for construction applications

    Smooth Shank Nails

    Let’s start with the most common nail shank type. Smooth shank nails have no threading and are the easiest to drive. This also makes them the fastest type of nail to drive. Depending on strength and makeup, they can be driven into nearly any surface, and are suitable for a wide range of everyday construction applications—from framing to finishing.

    Pro Tip: Consult with building codes and material manufacturer guidelines before starting a project, to determine if you need to use a certain kind of nail or other fastener. You can also check with the International Code Council (ICC) construction-related specifications. 

    As you might imagine, smooth nails are the easiest shank type to produce, and thus, among the most affordable. What smooth shank nails offer in versatility, however, they lack in optimal holding ability. So you wouldn’t use them for jobs like roofing, where greater pull-through or withdrawal resistance is needed.

    Applications: Framing, Siding, Trim and Finishing, General Woodworking

    From Simpson Strong-Tie, a Smooth Nail Shank

    Ring Shank Nails

    Ring shank nails have annular (ring-shaped) threads on them that prevent them from being removed as easily as smooth shank nails. When driven, the thread creates a “locking” effect with wood fibers, which gives it greater resistance from withdrawal.

    The ICC considers this and other nail shank thread types as "deformations." According to the International Staple, Nail and Tool Association (ISANTA), "The most common method to make a "deformed" shank is to start with smooth round wire that has been drawn down to the nominal diameter of the finished nail. During the manufacturing process, special machinery rolls and compresses the steel to "deform" the smooth shank into the desired shape:  ring, screw, etc."

    So in other words, the term "deformation" is not a negative one. It simply describes the fact that threaded shank nails differ from smooth shank nails, which have what’s considered a "regular" formation.

    If you’re driving nails into a material where expansion and contraction is an issue (such as with subfloors, or where fasteners are exposed to the changing elements), you’ll want ring shank nails. Ring shank nails are great for surfaces exposed to high winds that might pull out a common nail. They’re ideally suited for softer woods that might otherwise split when nailed.

    Applications: Siding, Roof Decking, Asphalt Shingles, Underlayment, Subfloors (See Installing Subfloors: Nails Vs. Screws.) 

    Another example of nail shanks, the ring shank nail

    Screw Shank Nails

    Screw shank nails combine the benefits of a nail with those of a screw. You get the ease of drive that a nail offers, and approximately the same holding power as that of a screw. The thread forces the nail to turn as it’s driven, essentially forging its own thread in the wood. As with ring shank nails, the threads create a locking effect that makes the nail more difficult to remove.

    This type of nail takes more force to drive than both smooth and ring shank nails, but provides greater pull-through resistance than either. While ring nails are more suitable for softer wood species, screw shank nails are ideal for hardwoods. A longer, more complex manufacturing process (and increased holding power) means that screw shank nails are generally more expensive than smooth and ring shank nails too.

    Applications: Decking, Flooring, Pallet Assembly, Siding, Fencing, Framing, Sheathing

    Simpson Strong Tie Nails With Screw Shanks

    Helical & Other Nail Shanks

    Specifically designed for use with hard yet brittle materials, such as concrete or brick, masonry nails are hardened to prevent bending or breaking when they’re driven. Rather than a threading, as with ring and screw shank nails, fluted shank nails feature linear grooves that allow them to be easily driven without breaking apart the concrete. You may also see the term helical nails, which are also used for concrete and steel. 

    Applications: Furring, Floor Plates, Drywall Track To Concrete, Steel Beams

    There are other specialty types of nail shank, such as barbed shank, helical threaded shank, stepped-shank, knurled shank, and others—each designed for specialized applications. To further sharpen your nail knowledge, read more about nail components.

     


     

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    Coil Framing Nails

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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.)


     

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  • Within Reach: The Quik Stik Rafter and Truss Fastening System

    For contractors who fasten rafter and truss-to-top plate connections, falling is a potential safety hazard. The Quik Stik Rafter and Truss Fastening System from Simpson Strong-Tie resolves some of issues associated with overhead fastening, making it safer and simpler to get the job done without the need for a ladder.

    The Simpson Strong-Tie Quik Stick Rafter and Truss Fastening System Being Put to Use

    How Does the Quik Stik Work?

    The Quik Stik System is a screw driving extension tool that attaches to a drill or driver with a minimum 1,200 RPM−including cordless screw drivers. To use the tool, insert the Quik Stik’s hex-drive shaft into the drill or driver motor’s chuck. Then push down on the head of the tool to expose the magnetic bit holder, and insert the T30 driver bit until it clicks. Ensure everything’s properly connected by doing an installation motion, sliding the drive shaft though the guide sleeve while running the motor. When you're all set, insert the compatible Strong-Drive SDWC truss screw into the head and you’re ready to go. 

    Like many of the screw driving systems from Simpson Strong-Tie, the Quik Stik makes the fastening process considerably faster and more convenient. With this particular innovation, Simpson Strong-Tie asserts the Quik Stik is essentially "eliminating the need for ladders, power nailers and compressor lines.” It's certainly a step up for those who do a lot of overhead fastening.

    The rafter and truss fastening system has been evaluated and approved for five different types of installations: offset from stud (underside of top-plate, bottom edge of top-plate), wide face of stud, narrow face of stud, and front corner of stud (compound angle). Click here to see more specifics about Quik Stik approved installations.

    Safety Improvements with the Tool

    One of the most obvious issues with rafter and truss applications is the reach factor. You’ll likely need a ladder to fasten those connections, and with that comes with risk of falling. This tool provides a minimum of 43” extension for screw driving, so for most wall heights, you can forgo the ladder. If you use a cordless screw driver with the Quik Stik, you don't have the hassle of a cord, giving you greater freedom and mobility.

    Another benefit of the tool is that, since you can work from the interior of a structure, you won’t have to lug a ladder outdoors—or have to contend as much with the elements. So there's less potential for slipping, tripping and dropping.

    Also, you don’t have the heft of a pneumatic tool, thanks to the extension tool’s weight. Not including the motor you choose, the tool weighs about 6 lbs. This means less strain from lifting a tool overhead, which could lead to inaccuracies in fastener placement. The Quik Stik has a comfortable, rubberized grip; it’s really a well thought-out solution for driving screws overhead.

    Special features onthe Quik Stik

    Unique Features on the Quik Stik

    You’ll notice the special positioning prongs on the head of the tool, which is over-molded with nylon. The prongs help securely grip the top plate while driving screws. The manufacturer has also included a bubble level that can be positioned along the handle or tool's head. The level may be angled, and even removed.

    On the head of the tool, there are bright-orange guidelines to help direct the screw to the optimal angle for truss and top-plate to rafter connections. An orange centerline guide on the Quik Stik's head is useful for locating 90-degree angles in vertical connections. Rocker arms on the head let you adjust for precision fastening.

    When you pull back on the tool's head, this exposes the screw, letting you see exactly where you're going and preventing mis-installation. And, should you need to remove a screw, set the driver motor to reverse and just unscrew the fastener.

    The Strong-Drive SDWC Screw, Compatible with the Quik Stik

    Quik Stik's Compatible Fastener

    As mentioned, the Quik Stik drives the specially designed Strong-Drive SDWC truss screw. The 6” screw is fully threaded, engaging the entire length of the fastener. A cap-head on the screw allows it to be countersunk into double top plates. The SDWC screw also has a type-17 point for easier starting and driving.

    The screws are code-listed under IAPMO –UES ER-262 and are tested in accordance with ICC-ES AC233 and AC13 for wall assembly and roof-to-wall assembly. With a bright-orange coating, the truss screw is easily visible and has a wide “tolerance” on angle installations, making it easy to install in a variety of positions.

    Those familiar with the Quik Drive auto-feed systems from Simpson Strong-Tie will be curious about fastener collation. The Quik Stik system drives one screw at a time, so you won't be able to use collated screws. But who knows; perhaps Simpson Strong-Tie has already considered a solution for that, too.

    Quik Stik Fast Facts

    • Applications: Rafter Assembly/Truss-to-Top-Plate Connections
    • Approved Installations: Offset from stud (Underside of Top-plate, Bottom edge of top-plate), Wide face of stud, Narrow face of stud, Front corner of stud (compound angle)
    • Fasteners: Strong-Drive SDWC Truss Screws
    • Screw Driver/Drill Motor: 1,200 RPM or Greater
    • Driver Bit: T30 6-Lobe
    • Attachment Weight: 6 lbs.
    • Driver Bit Included: Yes

    Are you ready to reach higher with the Quik Stik Rafter and Truss Fastening System? We’re certainly up to the task.


     

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    Quik Stik Rafter and Truss Fastening System

    Strong-Drive SDWC Truss Screws

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  • Fasten-Ating Facts: 6 Stainless Steel Fastener Myths

    With nature's most recent onslaughts, we're reminded of the need for fortitude in our structures, and dependability from the fasteners that secure them. Stainless steel fasteners outlast the elements better than other fasteners, and offer corrosion resistance where others don't.

    In addressing 6 myths about this durable metal, we uncover the qualities that make stainless steel fasteners among the most reliable you can buy.

    Families of Stainless Steel Fastener

    Myth 1. Stainless Steel Fasteners are coated.

    Stainless steel is a solid material throughout. In fact, it’s a self-healing metal, which means that if the surface is scratched, the metal naturally creates a transparent, protective layer. The process is known as self-passivation, and the protective layer is chromium oxide. This outer layer keeps the metal beneath from corroding.

    Some stainless steel fasteners are treated to a passivation process. The can involve putting fasteners through an acid bath that removes iron from the nail's surface, followed by an oxidizer to force conversion of chromium into an oxide form. This is done to mimic the nature self-passivation process in order to immediately enhance the corrosion resistance of the fastener.

    Myth 2 - Stainless Steel Doesn't Stain.

    The name “Stainless Steel" is actually a bit deceiving. Grease can leave its mark, minerals like calcium carbonate can build up (think of an old shower head), and hydrochloric acid, for example, can eat away at steel.

    Keep in mind that while stainless steel is resistant to corrosion, it’s not corrosion-proof (no metal is). Once it oxidizes, stainless steel does corrode, but at a much slower rate than other metals.

    Stainless Steel Fastener Myths

    Myth 3. Stainless Steel is a “pure” metal.

    Like many metals, including brass and bronze, steel is not an element itself. Rather, it’s an alloy or mix of metals. Regular steel consists of iron + carbon, often with other elements added to achieve desired characteristics. Steel is a strong material, but it’s also prone to rust.

    In 1913, Harry Brearly discovered that adding a specific mix of chromium to steel made it resistant to the effects of certain acids. The element chromium is added (at least 10%) to regular steel to make it stain-resistant.

    Myth 4. All stainless steel is the same.

    There are more than 100 grades of stainless steel, each sub-classified into its own “family."

    The most common kind of stainless steel is grade 304, part of the austenitic family, which contain 15 to 30% chromium. Grade 304 stainless steel contains 18% chromium, 8% nickel and a mix of other elements. This versatile material is known as 18/8 stainless, and is typically less expensive than higher-grade stainless steel, as it has less built-in chemical resistance.

    You may also be familiar with the second most common type of stainless steel. Grade 316 stainless steel has a greater portion of nickel--and the addition of molybdenum. Molybdenum is resistant to chloride, making it suitable for areas with exposure to harsh chemicals, salted roadways or coastal environments.

    Myth 5. Stainless Steel is stronger/weaker than regular steel.

    Stainless steel has a low carbon content and can’t be hardened by heat treatment, as regular steel can. So regular, untreated steel isn't as hard as stainless. However, in its hardened state, regular, heat-treated steel is in fact harder than stainless.

    Grades of Stainless Steel Nail

    Myth 6. Galvanized fasteners are just as good as stainless

    Even a well-coated steel nail will corrode before a stainless one. When it corrodes, this can affect the fastener's holding power.

    An added risk, there's the potential that the tool driving the fastener (or other abrasion) will chip the corrosion-resistant coating and prematurely begin the oxidation process. Furthermore, the tannins in certain woods (redwoods and cedar, specifically) and the metals used to treat lumber can react to the galvanized coating in fasteners, expediting corrosion.

    In many applications, including exterior construction, and in climates with humid, marine or extreme weather conditions, stainless steel is simply the optimal choice for fastener. Stainless steel fasteners aren't just used in construction; many boat and automotive upholsterers use stainless steel staples. To learn more about the differences between galvanized and stainless steel fasteners, see our article Everything to Know About Galvanized Nails.


     

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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.

     


     

     

    Shop Nail Guns at Nail Gun Depot

    Flooring Nailers

    Framing Nailers

    Finish Nailers

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  • MAX TwinTier: A New Era in Rebar Tying

    Rebar, or reinforcing bar, is the backbone of concrete work. While concrete is strong in some ways (compression strength), it’s weak in others (tensile strength). In simpler terms, it means concrete can stand to be pushed more than it can to be pulled.

    That’s where steel rebar comes in. Steel has a high tensile strength and is added to concrete structures to give the needed strength to support buildings, roads, retaining walls and the like. Before concrete is poured and set, steelworkers lay the rebar according to specified building and construction codes.

    Rebar comes in a range of coatings and gauges, depending upon application. The rods must be connected by corresponding ties, a tedious yet important process, to keep the rebar from moving while the concrete is poured.

    Max Rebar Tool and Rodbuster at Work

    From Manual to Power Tiers

    To save costs, materials and manpower, it was only a matter of time before a powered rebar tying tool was created. Tying rebar is tough on the body, mainly the wrist, shoulder and back. For a rodman, or rodbuster, repeatedly twisting metal wire can be permanently damaging over the long-term. A NIOSH (National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health) study in 2005 revealed the potential health hazards and suggestions for making a safer work environment. If a worker is tying rebar for more than an hour per day, NIOSH recommends providing a cordless tying tool and a tying tool extension arm.

    Purchasing a cordless rebar tier is truly an investment. Looking for a strong lithium ion battery that holds a decent charge is key, as is a balanced tool that prevents fatigue and potential injury. Before you buy, make sure the tier is not only fast, but makes a strong, secure tie.

    The MAX Effect

    Without a doubt, one of the most familiar names in rebar tying tools is MAX USA Corp. They’ve been perfecting power tools for more than 20 years. MAX created the first battery-powered rebar tying tool, the RB262 (which used a nickel cadmium battery) in 1993. In 1998, power tiers became available to the American market, and the rest was history.

    Progression Max Rebar Tying Tool

    Currently, the cordless MAX RB398 is among the most popular tiers at Nail Gun Depot. Weighing a mere 5 lbs. and delivering more than 2,500 ties per battery charge—that’s 5x faster than manual tying—the RB398 can hold its own. Plus, it eliminates the need to disperse and cut rebar wire, saving on materials waste.

    But just when you thought they were done, MAX once again improves on their already bullet proof design.

    Dual Wire, Dual Savings

    New to the market for 2018, the MAX RB441T TwinTier offers an incredible output of 4,000 ties per battery charge. That’s a 200% increase from the previous models. The TwinTier also creates a highly secure connection thanks to a dual-wire feeding system, which dispenses two 19-gauge wires at once to form a tie. The tie is 50% tighter to boot.

    Max Rebar Tier with Extension Arm

    Like most rebar tiers, the RB441T comes in three tie wire options: regular or annealed steel, the most commonly used; galvanized with a zinc coating, which adds 40 times more corrosion resistance and is used for moist or marine environments; and polyester-coated wire, which is abrasion-resistant and at least 70 times more corrosion-resistant than annealed steel. The tie wire rolls are changed out in about half a second, an improvement compared to previous models.

    Due to the TwinTier’s patent-pending wire bending mechanism, the tie it creates has a 50% shorter height than the projecting “rabbit ears” produced by older cordless models. What does this mean to the concrete construction job overall? It means less concrete is needed to cover the tie, which further saves on materials. Check out this video from MAX, taking a closer look at the new RB441T. Hear what professionals in the field have to say.

    Max RB441T TwinTier

    Not only does the rebar tying tool save on materials and time, but labor. Fewer tiers are required per job, and an ironworker doesn't need the advanced tying skills and speed of years past. The tedious, wrist-twisting work is done for you - no strings attached.

    Need more? Ask one of our skilled customer service specialists about MAX USA rebar tiers and tie wire.

     

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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  • Paslode HardieNails: No Studs Required

    Will a new siding fastener transform fiber cement siding installation?

    In partnership with Paslode, James Hardie Building Products created HardieNails, a patented 1-1/8” long fastener that attaches siding without the need to hit a stud. The manufacturers have designed a nail that’s shorter but stronger, so it doesn’t need to be driven as deeply.

    So, how does it work?

    HardieNAIL Studless Siding Fastener Sheet

    Revolving, Evolving Nails

    With standard nails, you run the risk of puncturing electrical wire or plumbing behind sheathing (known as a “shiner”). Not so with HardieNails. These fasteners use the same technology behind TetraGRIP Subfloor Fasteners, which work like a screw by rotating into the material. The distinctive threading is based on the barbed helix design of the TetraGRIP Subfloor Fastener, as can be found in our Paslode TetraGRIP Article.

    Paslode HardieNAIL System

    Unlike ring-shank nails, which are commonly used for siding, HardieNails will not split wood or shred wood-based sheathing. Essentially they create a “lock” into the material, so there’s less “play” or movement, even as weather and time affect materials. The nails are used exclusively with the lightweight Paslode 515400 Coil Siding Nailer, featuring Paslode TetraGRIP technology. The 0° fasteners come 120 per coil and can be driven (at a pressure between 100 PSI and 120 PSI) with the same speed as nails.

    HardieNails are made of type 304 stainless steel for superb weather resistance. Without chance of staining or streaking, popping and corrosion, they’ll outlive and outperform galvanized ring shank nails, extending the life of the overall siding project.

    Studs Need Not Apply

    HardieNails boast a 0.300 full round head, .117 diameter and the same withdrawal strength as a 2-1/4” nail. The fastener’s engagement in the wood creates a mechanical bond, which imparts a high-load capacity, so there’s actually no need to attach them to a stud. Instead, the fastener uses 7/16 wood structural panels (WSP) as the base to attach to frame. Workers can shave even more time off installation, as there’s no need to locate and mark studs.

    The manufacturers of HardieNails report that just 35-85% of the nails hit the studs. Instead, these nails fasten directly to OSB (Oriented Strand Board Sheathing). You also don’t have to measure and cut planks to fit on the studs. Simply apply the off-cuts in the next course, without cutting further. This means less product waste as well.

    HardieNAIL Siding Fastener Closeup

    Imagine the savings in time, money and manpower when a siding crew can skip the stud-finding and marking steps. To give you a better idea, Paslode estimates a 20% reduction in installation time. That’s according to a study comparing standard nails and HardieNails, when installing HardiePlank Lap Siding.

    HardieNail Compatibility

    A combination of sand, cellulose fibers and cement, fiber cement has been used as a siding material for more than a century. Most commonly known as HardieBoard in North America, it was developed by James Hardie Industries in the 1980s, when the prevailing reinforcement material (asbestos) was determined to be unsafe.

    HardieNails are compatible with all HardieBoard siding options, including HardiePlank, HardiePanel and HardieShingle. Lap and panel siding are 5/16” thick, while the shingle panel siding is 1/4” thick. With each of these options, fasteners are placed as follows for moderate basic wind speeds:

    HardiePlank
    • Place fastener 1” from top edge and 3/8”-1-1/2” from the ends of lap siding
    • Place fastener every 16” o.c.
    • Space butt joints at least 6” apart

    HardiePanel
    • Place fasteners 3/8” to 1” from edge of panel vertical siding
    • Place fastener every 12” x 12”

    HardieShingle
    • Place fasteners 3/8” to 1” from edge of siding from the edge of shingle siding
    • Place fastener every 16”

    HardieNAIL Studless Siding Fastener DosDonts

    For a technical data sheet on the HardieNail, click here. The fasteners can also be used with plywood and Huber Engineered ZIP. You can expect the same withdrawal strength with those materials as well, says Paslode.

    The HardieNail offers many advantages over standard siding nails, preventing damage to utility wires, greatly reducing installation time and effort, and producing less material waste. Similar to TetraGRIP subfloor fasteners, the Paslode HardieNail is not available for sale online or in most stores. While an exact release date has not been confirmed, we anticipate HardieNails will be available before the end of 2018. For more information on how to become a HardieNail customer, contact Nail Gun Depot.

     

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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