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Tag Archives: concrete nails
  • 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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  • Nail Components (Pt 2)

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

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

     

    Nail Finishes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

     

    Nail Angle

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

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

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

     

    Good Luck In Selecting Your Next Nail,

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

     

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

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  • Nail Components (Pt 1)

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

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

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

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

     

    Nail Head Types

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

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

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

     

    Nail Shank Types

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

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

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

    Spiral Shank Nail - Similar to the screw, this shank spirals the entire body of the nail.

     

    Nail Point Types

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

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

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

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

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

    Check back next week for the second half of this two-part series on nail components!

     

    Best Of Luck On Your Next Project,

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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