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Thread: Sort of OT - Nail Guns

  1. #1
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    Default Sort of OT - Nail Guns

    As part of SWMBO's gift of remodeling the shop, I am putting vinyl siding outside, a little new framing inside, OSB on the framing inside, and nailing OSB to new rafters. Eventually I might put new shingles on the roof. It seems like a nail gun might be handy.

    My total knowledge of nail guns is ZIP.

    Can all of those jobs be handled by a single nail gun?
    Do I need one gun for framing, one for roofing, and one for the OSB?
    Can I get away with a cheap nail gun if I don't plan on doing construction for a living, or will a cheap one break before the sort of list of projects given above?
    Whats this stuff about coils, cartridges, packs, etc?
    Should I just rent one?

  2. #2
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    Roof/siding nails have some similarities with large heads and short shanks and use a different nailer than an OSB/framing nailer. Siding is nailed loose, ie nail head proud
    of underlayment, unlike roofing which is nailed hard but not so hard as to penetrate the shingle, so precise adjustment is needed. Nails for siding and roofing are
    frequently sold as coils, much longer than the sticks of nails used in framers. One framer can handle nails from 1.5" upto 3.5" so any task involving framing and OSB.
    I prefer the solid head framers as contrasted with clipped head framers. Some codes do not allow clipped head nails. Clipping the head permits a steeper angle on the
    stick of nails and denser packing, not really problem for you. Check out craigs list first. I used an Hitachi framer and it handled everything when I re-sided my house
    with full OSB underlayment and new soffits and fascia 6 yrs ago, but found a coil siding nailer useful for the fiber cement siding I used, but it was a big project needing two stacks of scaffolding.
    At minimum one framing nailer and a hammer. I suspect a novice roofer/siding installer will not be any faster with an air nailer, but it does make the OSB/framing work
    noticeably faster.

    An additional complication is the advent of electric nailers, now giving you three choices: air, fuel cartridge and full battery electric. Air nailers will be ~1/2 or less the price
    of fuel or battery electric nailers.
    Last edited by sch; 01-07-2019 at 12:43 PM.
    Steve

  3. #3
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    Nail guns are made for each type of nail you need. Each gun will handle a range of nail lengths but only one type of nail. Two handle what you want you would need a roofing gun, a framing gun and a possible a siding gun for the OSB. You could get buy with shorter nails in the framing gun for the OSB or just use screws for it.

    Renting vs buying that would depend on how much of this type of work you would be doing in the future. An option I have used is to purchase a name brand tool from craigs list do the job then relist the tool on craigs list and get most, if not all, my money back. Works better then renting because no time rush to finish the job.

  4. #4
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    For all the wood, a 21 degree framing gun will work.

    Don't know about vinyl siding.. needs to nailed proud as sch said.

    Need a coil gun for asphalt shingles.

    Renting depends on what the place charges, if the guns are in good working order, your schedule (fast or drawn out), and what you can buy one for locally.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by portlandRon View Post
    Works better then renting because no time rush to finish the job.
    That is exactly the reason to rent!!!! If not the wife will be hammering on you to finish that project you started six months ago!!!
    How to become a millionaire: Start out with 10 million and take up machining as a hobby!

  6. #6
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    I have had a Porter Cable framing nailer for quite a while and like it a lot. Then I got a good deal of a Paslode gas powered framing nailer. My plan was to sell it but when a friends roof caved in on his pole barn I used the Paslode to nail the rafters back up. Man was it nice to not have to drag a hose around not to mention run a generator as his barn doesn't have power nearby. They cost a little bit more but to me it's worth it.

    Brian
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  7. #7
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    Probably the most fundamental decision to be made is pneumatic vs cordless. i.e. do you mind being tied to an air compressor, or is the convenience of "go-anywhere" useage more important? I'd say pneumatic offers more versatility, in that the nailers and operating costs tend to be less expensive than the really good cordless systems.

    I have a Paslode cordless framing nailer, which uses a small canister of fuel along with a rechargeable battery to fire the nails. The battery is there just to ignite the fuel charge in a closed chamber, which is what drives the nail. It is a really good system, but a bit expensive compared to the air guns; however the portability is nice. Paslode also makes a similar type cordless finishing nailer, which I don't have ...but I think it uses the same fuel cells, tho I'm not sure about that. Paslode also makes pneumatic nailers as well.

    The framing nailer will handle the OSB ok, but roofing will need one for that purpose. Likewise, a finish nailer is still different yet.

    I bought a little Ryobi cordless 18 gauge brad nailer for doing trim work. It's nice, but I'd be leery of pure battery operated nailers for framing. Given my age, and dexterity and physical agility (or lack of), these nailers are almost a neccessity for any out-of-position nailing.
    Last edited by lynnl; 01-07-2019 at 12:51 PM.

  8. #8
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    I'd agree with PortlandRon if time permits. Keep an eye open for used nailers, then sell when finished, if no more need is anticipated. That's how I got the Paslode. ...then liked it too much to get rid of it.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by portlandRon View Post
    Nail guns are made for each type of nail you need.

    That's only generally true. Both of my framing nailers handle both ring nails and framing nails. They won't handle finish pins though. For those I have smaller finish nailers.
    *** I always wanted a welding stinger that looked like the north end of a south bound chicken. Often my welds look like somebody pointed the wrong end of a chicken at the joint and squeezed until something came out. Might as well look the part.

  10. #10
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    Re: vinyl siding - the Vinyl Siding Institute has an installation manual (https://www.vinylsiding.org/installa...lation-manual/) that is very specific about how it is to be nailed. Part of it is that there needs to be a 1/32" gap under the nail head. If the nail is tight, the siding can buckle when it expands in hot weather. It is going to be really hard to get a nailer to leave that gap. Screws are much easier to control & can be backed out very easily when too tight. Screws are more expensive than nails, but you don't have to buy a gun.

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