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Tag Archives: fasteners
  • 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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  • All-American Fasteners - A Second Look At Senco

    For many, the term "Made in America" is still a deciding factor when making a product purchase, whether it's a truck, tool - or even a fastener. One of the last large-scale examples of a fastener manufacturer that is "Made in America," Senco Brands, located in Cincinnati, produces more than 80 percent of their fasteners - nails and staples - here in Ohio.

    One of the largest fastener production plants in the U.S., the Senco factory spans a whopping 500,000 square feet - and includes fastener manufacturing, tool research and development (not production), a warehouse and office space.

    The trip each American made fastener makes at the Senco plant is as follows. Starting off as a spool of metal wire, each collated fastener journeys through the plant, as it goes from unrecognizable wire to the nails and staples that help build America's infrastructure.

    The wire enters a machine that cuts the thread into partially finished nails, including head, shank and point. From there, the nails go onto a conveyor that sorts and organizes them - so that they are all facing the same direction as required for collation. Each fastener then goes through a finishing process - prior to being prepared for collation. For wire coil nails, the fasteners are then welded to a wire and spun into coils - keep in mind this process varies depending on the type of collation for a fastener (adhesive for staples, paper-tape strip nails, etc). Once the collated nails are complete, they are packaged and stored for delivery to distributors, such as Nail Gun Depot.

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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  • Nail Gun Depot Is Celebrating Its 15th Anniversary

    It's hard to believe, but did you realize Nail Gun Depot has been around for 15 years? Launched in 2000, the site has played its part in the explosion of the Internet and e-commerce - surviving several events that have shaped the world we live in today. The NGD site we have come to know has lived through several refreshes and reconfigurations, the addition of new tools and technology, and the demise of outdated products. With annual visitors in the millions, Nail Gun Depot offers one of the largest, most comprehensive collections of fastening products available. From nailers to staplers, screw guns and fasteners, we've got something for every application. Don't take our word, see it for yourself!
    Nail Gun Depot 15th Anniversary
    Did you know Nail Gun Depot isn't just an e-commerce site, it's an information database? Choose from several resources to help pair the correct tool or fastener with your application. For example, the Fastener Finder feature on Nail Gun Depot let's you choose your tool - searching the site and matching your query with the appropriate fasteners. Need a bit more? Visit the Nail Gun Network blog and content database for how-to projects, tool news, maintenance tips, and virtually everything else you need to know about power fastening tools.
    Nail Gun Network Logo
    But wait, there's more! Without loyal customers, Nail Gun Depot would be nothing. We want to take a second (or year) to thank all of our customers and visitors, whether you have purchased from us once - or visit the site weekly - thank you for your continued support. To remain one of the best in customer service, we are excited to announce a refreshed, mobile-friendly Nail Gun Depot is on its way. Look for the new Nail Gun Depot to launch later in 2015. Other initiatives on the way include a 15th Anniversary Giveaway - featuring Nail Gun Depot's "Bleed Orange Bundle" - as well as several other smaller giveaways and promotions throughout 2015 to thank our customers for 15 years in business. Look for a more extensive, larger Nail Gun Network too!
    Nail Gun Depot Brands
    It's customers like you that keep Nail Gun Depot alive and growing - so thank you again from the entire staff at Nail Gun Depot.
    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team
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  • American Made Fasteners - A Senco Tradition

    This Friday is Independence Day, July Fourth, a time in America where we celebrate the birth of the United States - and everything the nation has come to represent. For many, the term "Made in America" is still a deciding factor when making a product purchase, whether it's a truck, tool or even a fastener. One of the last large-scale examples of a fastener manufacturer that is made here in America, Senco Brands, located in Cincinnati, produces more than 80 percent of their fasteners - nails and staples - in the state of Ohio.
     
    One of the largest fastener production plants in the U.S., the Senco factory spans a whopping 500,000 square feet - and includes fastener manufacturing, tool research and development (not production), a warehouse and office space.
     
    The trip each American made fastener makes at the Senco plant is as follows. Starting off as a spool of metal wire, each collated fastener journeys through the plant, as it goes from unrecognizable wire to the nails and staples that help build America's infrastructure.
     
    The wire enters a machine that cuts the thread into partially finished nails, including head, shank and point. From there, the nails go onto a conveyor that sorts and organizes them - so that they are all facing the same direction as required for collation. Each fastener then goes through a finishing process - prior to being prepared for collation. For wire coil nails, the fasteners are then welded to a wire and spun into coils - keep in mind this process varies depending on the type of collation for a fastener (adhesive for staples, paper-tape strip nails, etc). Once the collated nails are complete, they are packaged and stored for delivery to distributors, such as Nail Gun Depot.
     
    A fascinating process, this short video highlights Senco's American-made tradition.
     
     
     
    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team
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  • What Type Of Nail Is Correct For My Application?

    At the end of 2013, we posted about the various components of a nail and offered some in-depth explanations as to the importance of these components. If you missed our previous posts on nail components, here is a quick refresher - with some added knowledge.

     
    Collated nails are offered in a variety of degrees, sizes and types. This article will take you step by step in determining the classification, range, type and finish required for your application. A popular choice, check out Nail Gun Depot's SureFit nails, if you are looking for a high quality fastener at a fraction of the cost. Another popular choice, Senco nails offer a wide variety of fasteners to choose from, with genuine, time-tested durability.
     

    The first step is to determine what collation angle your tool is designed to run. Some degrees include 20 °, 35 °, 28 ° and 15 °. The next step would be to classify what types of collation the tool handles. Collations include plastic, wire and paper - which can be used in place of plastic.

     

    When you have completed the nail classification, you will then determine the tool range. The length and diameter are known as the range. Length is the size of the nail, each tool will have a minimum and maximum length. Note: some nails are sized in pennies (symbol, D). Diameter is the thickness of the shank or wire gauge. The bigger the number, the thicker the nail.

     

    The type of nail can be broken into three categories; head, point and shank. Head types include duplex, headless, finish, drywall, clipped and full round which is the most common. The type of point determines how the nail will penetrate into your application and the splitting severity. The most common is chisel (diamond) point and the easiest to drive. It is ideal for soft wood applications. Blunt point allows minimal penetration resistance and is commonly used in pallet construction. Flat point, also known as chisel point, requires the most drive power and is frequently used with a screw shank nail.

     

    The nail shank is the part on the nail which does most of the holding. The shank is one of four types: smooth, spiral, ring or screw. Smooth shank nails have exactly that: a smooth appearance and has the least holding power. Spiral shank nails have either a threaded appearance, like a screw, or they can have a helical twist to them. Screw shank nails are used in hardwood applications. Ring shank nails have a series of rings punched into the surface of the shank and offers the most holding power.

     

    The nail finish can be bright, cement coated, electrogalvanized, hot dipped galvanized, flash-coated with zinc, hardened steel, stainless steel or aluminum. These different finishes, coatings or material of nails give different levels of protection of resistance to rusting or other special properties to certain applications.

     

    The factors mentioned above such as degree, collation type, nail size and shank diameter can all affect the compatibility of nails with any nail gun. Contact Nail Gun Depot Customer Service to confirm compatibility and determine the best nail for your application. You can also use Nail Gun Depot's Fastener Finder Tool to locate the right nail for your tool.

     
    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team
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  • Practicing Nail Gun & Power Tool Safety

    Do you practice safety awareness when using your tools? Most job related accidents can be avoided, if you take the proper measures to ensure safety on the job site.

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

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

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

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

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

     

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

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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  • What Are Scrails - And Why Should I Use Them?

    Have you heard of a scrail? Scrails can be driven using most pneumatic nailers, but offer better holding power than a standard nail. These fasteners are driven at a rate twice as fast as collated screws - and eight times faster than bulk. Available in a variety of collations, heads and coatings, the ease and speed of a scrail increases productivity and saves labor cost. 

    Relatively new to the fastener market, scrails, manufactured by Fasco, are available in 20-22 degree plastic strip, 30 degree plastic strip, 15 degree wire coil and 15 degree (90 degree) plastic coil. Just as you would with a traditional nail, you will need to stay within the range of fastener that your nail gun works with - visit the tool manufacturer's specs for nail length and diameter.

     
    Scrails
    Bulk and collated screws commonly feature a Phillip's or Square drive. Scrails on the other hand, are available with Phillip's, Square, Pozidrive and Torx heads. They are also available in a range of heads including flat, composite, combo trim and more. You can choose between fine, coarse and double threads.
     
    Scrail Heads
    Depending on your application, the coating of the scrail is essential. For subfloor, pallet, crating and manufactured housing, a yellow zinc coating is typically recommended. Colored screws for composite lumber are available in brown, cedar, gray and tan. Hot-dipped galvanized coated scrails are recommended for any pressure treated lumber application. If corrosion resistance is required, scrails are also available in 304 and 316 stainless steel.
     
    Scrail Collation
    Odd to look at, scrails have become a revolutionary new item within the fastener industry. These handy fasteners can save time and money for contractors and DIYer's alike.
     
    Ready to start using scrails? Feel free to contact a customer service specialist at Nail Gun Depot to ensure you are ordering the correct product for your application.
     

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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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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  • Nail Gun Depot Now Offers Full Line Of Fasco Scrails

    Nail Gun Depot now offers a full line of Fasco Scrails. Scrails can be driven with a nail gun and feature a Phillips or Square drive head, for easy removal. This product can be used anywhere a screw could go. Scrails offer an extremely fast and efficient way to get the job done quickly - without having to worry about floor squeaks or nail popping. They are twice as fast as collated screws - and eight times faster than bulk screws. Scrails are the answer to any project that demands exceptional holding power - with the potential need for disassembling.

    Scrails are available in a wide variety of types and collations including coil or strip, galvanized, stainless steel and a mixture of colors for composite decking. These fasteners are an excellent choice for decking, crating, fencing, framing, sub-flooring, manufactured housing, concrete forms, scaffolding, stage sets, outdoor furniture and much more!

    See how Scrails work here! Fasco Scrails are in stock and ready to be shipped right to your door. For questions concerning this exciting new product, feel free to contact one of our friendly staff members at 888-720-7892, or via chat.

     

    ~ The Nail Gun Depot Team

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