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Projects & Applications
Projects & Applications
  • Video Spotlight: See Senco Composite Fasteners In Action

    The plastic polymer base for Senco composite fasteners allows these nails and staples to do some pretty neat things - things your average metal fastener can't do. These composite fasteners can be sanded, shaped, and cut without damage to router bits, cutting blades or sanding belts. Senco also claims they offer "superior holding power, excellent processing characteristics, and long-term resistance to chemicals, sunlight, and moisture." A major advantage we see at first look, no rust, corrosion or staining with these plastic nails and staples. According to Senco, their composite finish nails hold up to two-times stronger than similar sized steel nails, BUT Senco also notes adhesives will do the heavy lifting after curing. Our take, these fasteners - particularly the composite finish and brad nails - are ideal for holding materials in place while adhesives cure. Even better, the non-metal material can be sanded or cut once the adhesive has completely set; meaning you can either leave them in place without fear of corrosion, or sand them down without damaging your tool. Watch to learn more, or get the full write up here: Senco Introduces Composite Tool & Fastener Line.

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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

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

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

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

    How To Fasten Drywall

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

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

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

    Sample Nail Pop

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

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

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

    Quik Drive Drywall

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

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

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

    Senco DuraSpin Drywall

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

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

     

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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  • How To Use A Decorative Nailer

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

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

    UFFY Deco Nailer

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

    Decorative Nails

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

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

    No more expensive collated tacks. No manual alignment.

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

     

    ~ The Team At Nail Gun Depot

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  • Four Tips On How To Build A Fence

    An old saying goes, “Good fences make good neighbors.” But good fences also provide improved security, privacy, and added value to your property. Fence building is time-consuming and costly, which is all the more reason for the end result to be durable and long-lasting. After all, a well-built fence can last 20+ years with proper maintenance. 

    Before getting started, consider four important fence building factors: planning, designing, material selection, and assembly, detailed below. Then, follow our fence building steps to ensure yours is a successful project. 

    Fence Basic Pic

     

    Make a Plan Beforehand

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

    Have a Design in Mind

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

    Select Your Materials

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

    The same rules apply for fencing fasteners, regardless of whether nails, screws or staples. For attaching wire fencing to wood, we recommend one of the Fasco fence stapling guns. For traditional wood or composite fence boards, Scrails, offer the versatility of a framing nail, but with the added holding strength of a screw. In damp or coastal regions, you may even opt for stainless steel fasteners, to further guarantee corrosion prevention.

    Fence Building Bottom

    Building A Fence, Step By Step

    The big day is here, and it's finally time to build. Fence building is typically divided into three or four steps, depending on the type of fence. For this article, we'll primarily focus on the three main steps to build the fence's framework.

    Step 1: First, mark the location for each fence post. The general rule is to space your fence posts between six and eight feet, but different terrain or design parameters may dictate differently. Always start with your corner(s), or end post.

    Step 2. Once the area has been marked, the posts are ready to be set. Keep in mind, setting each fence post (especially corner-, end- and load-bearing posts) involves burying at least one-third of the post's total length in the ground, so be sure to treat the bottom portion of each post with a wood preservative before burying.

    Using a post hole digger, dig a straight hole to your desired depth, and line the bottom of the hole with gravel to help with drainage. Use a level to ensure the posts are straight and aligned. Brace the post with either cement, dirt or some other holding material, and allow each post to settle for two or three days before adding the rest of the fence.

    Step 3. After your posts have properly settled into the ground, you can begin adding rails. Your top and bottom rails will always go first, followed by any remaining rails - or a cross frame for certain privacy fences. Rails are added by simply nailing them to the posts (typically with a fencing nail gun), attaching with a bracket or block, or by cutting a groove for the rail. It's important to ensure the top and bottom rails are always attached the same distance apart on each post.

    Step 4. After measuring and positioning the first section, cut a measuring stick that equals the distance between these rails. You can use this measuring stick on the rest of the fence to maintain the same measurement on each post. It's also recommended that the bottom rail be placed at least two inches from the ground to reduce the potential for moisture damage.

    fence spacing

    The positioning of any remaining rails ultimately depends on the design selected for your fence - basket weave, picket, vertical or horizontal placement typically covers most fence designs. After all the posts and rails are in place, treat the wood with paint, preservative or weatherproofing for a long-lasting finish.

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

     

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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  • What Fasteners To Use For Deck Boards

    A common question we get this time of year is, "What fastener should I use for deck boards?" Most contractors will give the short answer: a deck screw. But regional conditions and new decking materials may expand - or narrow - the list of suitable deck fasteners. Take a look at the questions and answers, below, then decide what works best for your decking project.

    Quik Drive Decking

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

    Standard wood decking is pretty versatile in how it can be assembled to the deck frame. The least expensive option for installing wood deck boards is to use framing nails, though we don't necessarily recommend them. You'll see a lot of builder-grade decks assembled with framing nails, which remains the fastest installation method, but can lead to maintenance headaches down the road.

    Over time, the nails will start to work themselves out of the wood board, which greatly compromises holding strength - and can even make the deck dangerous to walk across if nails begin to protrude. For decking boards, we recommend using a deck screw such as DuraSpin collated screws or Scrails. Both offer improved holding strength thanks to a threaded shank, which keeps the fastener locked into place - and can be reversed, allowing for easy removal if a board needs to be replaced.

    Senco DuraSpin Deck Screw Diagram

    What fastener coating, color, or material should I get?

    Choosing the right type of fastener is only part of the process; you'll also need to figure out the size and variation of fastener. Collated deck screws come in several different colors, coatings and materials. If you're installing composite deck boards, we recommend color-matching yours with DuraSpin composite deck screws or BeckDeck Scrails.

    In damp or coastal regions, or for decks that are regularly exposed to weather, opt for a stainless steel deck screw or Scrail to prevent rusting and corrosion over time. Most standard wood deck screws by Senco or Quik Drive fasteners by Simpson Strong-Tie feature a basic corrosion-resistant coating.

    Deck Building Diagram

    What are hidden deck fasteners?

    A growing trend in designer decking, hidden deck fasteners and hidden deck screws are rapidly increasing in popularity. Hidden deck fasteners are more luxury than necessity, but for high end decks, they may prove worth the extra investment. The beauty to using hidden deck fasteners is that you get a flawless deck surface with no apparent blemishes or gaps.

    Senco Mantis Hidden Deck Fasteners are held in place with a clip, which allows the fastener to be driven into the base of a deck board at an angle. CAMO also offers a hidden deck screw system, which eliminates the need for clips, and also installs the deck fastener at a similar angle. Hidden fastening systems create evenly spaced boards and a flawless looking surface, however, they typically command a higher price and require a longer installation time.

    Senco Hidden Deck Fastening System

    How many fasteners do I need?

    Different fastening systems often require different quantities of fastener. On average, you can complete around 100 square feet of decking with approximately 450 deck screws, using two screws per joist. The true number of deck screws required ultimately depends on the width of your deck facing, and the spacing between your joists.

    A 3-1/2" face with 12" on center joists will run closer to 700 deck screws for 100 square feet; whereas a 5-1/2" face with 24" on center joists will only require about 225 deck screws per 100 square feet. Knowing your joist spacing and facing width will help narrow the project estimate window tremendously.

    Ready to get to work? Contact us if you have a question about deck fastening or decking tools.

     

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team 

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  • How To Assemble An Oak Barrel Using Metal Hoops

    A highly specialized and unique process, the assembly of oak barrels for wine, whiskey and other spirits is an age-old art, known as cooperage, dating back to ancient times. While we don't expect many readers to take up the trade, the process is too interesting to not talk about - especially since Aerosmith now offers a tool, the ST3025C steel pinnerto fasten the metal hoop on an oak barrel. Keep reading to learn more about the art of oak barrel assembly.

    Work primarily done by hand, even in a time when modern machines dominate assembly, crafting an oak wine barrel starts with selection of the right wood. High-quality oak is assessed on a variety of criteria, including tree shape, growing conditions, wood texture, grain and tannin content. The wood must be hand split, then weathered outside for several years to reach optimal quality. Once ready, the wood is cut into staves, and prepared for the barrel assembly.

    Oak Barrel Assembly How To

    The staves that "make the cut," meeting the assembler's standards, are then formed inside a metal hoop, known as an assembly jig. Metal hoops are used to create a structural framework for the barrel, as the wood staves are formed together inside the metal bands through a process of heating and dampening the wood. The joints are sealed and tested, and the final metal hoop is eventually fixed into place.

    Metal hoops are fixed into position through the hammering of a mallet. New technology now allows barrel makers the luxury of using a power fastening tool, such as the Aerosmith ST3025C steel pinner, to pin each metal band into the oak barrel staves. Hoop nails (wine barrel nails) hold the steel whiskey barrel hoop or wine barrel ring, into place. We recommend using Aerosmith FP012C metal banding pins.

    Aerosmith ST3025C

    While the original oak barrel artisans drove their pins by hand, tools such as the Aerosmith hoop nailer make it easier than ever to install oak barrel rings - reducing build time and improving efficiency.

    Ready to build a barrel? Give us a shout if you need help.

     

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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  • Top Projects In Finish And Trim Woodworking

    When it comes to finish woodworking, there's a good chance your first project will be one of the following: window casing, door casing, or baseboards and molding. Trim woodworking is a great introduction for hobbyist woodworkers looking to get started with the art.

    Paslode 916000

    Before you take the first cut, make sure you have the right tools at your disposal. For each of the trim woodworking applications listed above, a 16-gauge finish nailer will most likely be your best nail gun for the job - especially if working with thick, heavy pieces of wood casing and trim. An 18-gauge brad nailer can also be suitable if working with thin or lightweight pieces of wood trim, but keep in mind it won't offer as much overall holding strength. When in doubt, consider the density of the wood trim you are using. You can also see a more in depth explanation about the difference between finish and brad nails here.

    Other items you may need include a miter saw and blades, as well as other basic carpentry tools such as a tape measure, sharp pencil, wood file, wood putty, combination square, safety glasses and other miscellaneous essentials. Typically, you want to make sure the saw blade has at least 40 teeth, as more teeth offer a crisper cut. Of course, don't forget you'll need nail gun nails too.

    Senco Brad Nails

    EXPERT TIP: Don't just measure before you cut. It's often better to hold a piece of trim directly to the location it is being installed, versus relying strictly on numerical measurement. While holding the trim in place, take a pencil and mark where you need to make your cut.

    Door & Window Casing

    When it comes to trimming a door or window, the process is relatively similar. For door casing, fit one side casing, then install the top and second side. Make sure you match your pieces of wood, to ensure grain pattern is similar at the joints. Never get careless with the corners, you'll need all sides to fit together nicely for a clean finish. It's recommended that you pencil light lines, also known as reveal lines, from the edge of the jamb to align the casing.

    Bostitch Smart Point BTFP71917

    Installing window trim follows closely to door casing; mark reveal lines, check corners with test scraps, and transfer reveal lines for cutting and nailing. If installing window trim "picture frame" style, be sure to start at the top, and work your way to the bottom.

    EXPERT TIP: Avoid exposing end grain, as it stains differently than flat wood grain. Always cut a return for your molding, even if it ends abruptly.

    Baseboards & Molding

    Among other popular projects in finish woodworking, installing baseboards or molding doesn't have to be hard - if the proper steps are taken. For baseboards, locate the studs - then lightly mark or use painter's tape to note where to attach. You'll install the large base first, butt to butt, then nail the cap and shoe into place separately. The base cap will install the same as the large base, except in the corners where the outside must be mitered, and coping is required on the inside due to the cap's curved profile. The base shoe conceals small gaps between hardwood flooring and the baseboard, and is installed last. For the shoe, you'll do the same mitering and coping for corners. Be sure to nail the base shoe into the baseboard directly, not the floor, to prevent pulling away when the flooring expands and contracts.

    Senco Fusion F-15

    EXPERT TIP: Don't be picky when you don't have to. If you know your baseboard, cap or shoe will be covering a surface, you don't have to worry about spaces or blemishes - since they won't be visible anyway.

    For a full background on each of these finish and trim projects, check out The Family Handyman magazine.

     

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team 

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  • Do I Need A Finish Nailer Or Brad Nailer?

    Debating which tool in the Finish Nailer Face-Off is right for your project? Let us help.

    For detailed woodwork and trim, where you need more holding strength than a micro pin can provide, a brad nailer is typically the top choice among contractors and weekend warriors alike. Brad nails are formed from a fine, 18-gauge wire, which means they are smaller in diameter and typically have less holding strength. The benefit to an 18-gauge brad is its size. Thanks to a smaller head and diameter, brad nails are easier to conceal in small pieces of wood trim. In fact, there's a good chance you won't even need carpenter's putty to conceal a brad nail after installation. A brad nail's size helps prevent surface splitting, which could occur if the fastener is too large for the item it is nailed to. The only real downside to using a brad nailer and nails, these fasteners do not have the holding strength required for larger, heavier projects - such as large crown molding or baseboards.

    Hitachi Cordless Finish Gun

    While the downside to a brad is its holding power, finish nails are made from heavier 15- or 16-gauge wire, which means they can handle a greater payload. For larger trim, such as baseboards or crown molding, a finish nail is the more suitable choice. However, because it leaves a larger hole in the wood surface, a fully driven finish nail almost always requires followup attention - which includes being puttied over to conceal the "shiner" or exposed insertion point of a nail. A finish nail offers increased support and withdrawal resistance when compared to the brad nail.

    Finish nailers will run 15- or 16-gauge finish nails, in both angled and straight varieties depending on the tool. Be sure to confirm whether your tool uses a straight, or angled magazine type. Especially important for 15-gauge finish nailers, determine whether your tool runs "FN" or "DA" type nails, as these fasteners are not interchangeable. Cordless models, such as the Hitachi NT1865DM or the Senco Fusion F-16S (6U0001N), are both excellent examples of 16-gauge straight magazine finish nailers. As mentioned earlier, the one risk to using a finish nailer on small trim; an increased probability for wood splitting and formation of imperfections on the wood surface.

    Senco Fusion F-15

    According to Senco, "The initial tool purchased by most consumers is typically some kind of brad nailer for attaching trim molding. Most who have used a hammer to drive small brads know the frustration when these nails bend - not to mention the possibility for damage if using too much force. The brad nailer makes these small trim jobs a breeze, with high-quality results."

    The fact is, most carpenters use a combination of finish and brad tools. If you're just getting started, it's probably best to compare your application against the tools you are considering. From there, consider the tool that will suit your overall needs best.

    Want more on these tools and their applications? Be sure to check out our video on brad vs. finish nailers; or read more on the difference between finish and brad nailers here.

     

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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