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  • Advice Needed on Nail and Brad Guns

    I'm blind and need some advice regarding nail and brad guns. Specifically, do you guys think it's somewhat safe for me to use them. Since I went blind I've resorted to using screws and when I need to use nails I use a slap hammer (it's hard for me to "git the nail on the head, so to speak". This has worked well for me except that dow I want to build a workshop that will involve some stud walls. I can't get my slap hammer in between the studs and screwing will take forever, thus the need for a nail gun.

    What gun do think is the safest and how about toe nailing? What about a compressor? Any recommendations?
    I've got a lot of good ideas from this forum in the last year and have come to respect the opinions you guys throw out. Don't be bashful about expressing them.
    Blind BILL

  • #2
    Re: Advice Needed on Nail and Brad Guns

    One of my workers has shot himself twice, once in the other hand and one time it rick a shaded and got his wrist. I don't know how many times I've seen nails shooting through the air. Can a blind man use a nail gun, I would think so, since you'll be more careful than some one who can see. Carpenters are careful but I do see that the young ones are in a hurry and they just slap, slap, slap walls together, the faster they go they will end up shooting nails through the air. Now with you having no sight I would get the straight gun and not an angle air gun, I would think this would be easier for you, and don't have anyone standing in the direction you'll be shooting, safety first. And always keep your hand away from the back side of the place you'll be nailing, nails do go through for a short distance. If you do go ahead and get a air gun, lets us know how you did with your job of building. I don't mean to offend any carpenters out there about being unsafety, but I have seen some weird shooting and I'm sure so have you. And blind bill, please have someone with you the first couple of times, so they can see how well your doing and to see where you need to make any adjustments in your technique. Good luck and good shooting, no pun intended. Garager
    Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

    http://www.contractorspub.com

    A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Advice Needed on Nail and Brad Guns

      These guys probably could tell you of a safer rough framing gun,but I use a Makita NR85,picked it up at a pawn shop.My ridgid compressor supplies a lot of sfpm so its quite noisy,perhaps you could find one that would produce the 120 p.s.i. but doesn't have to supply as much air as needed to shoot 20 nails a minute.

      I can definately see a toe nailing jig in my minds eye,one that not only gives you a suface to keep both pieces flush,bit also would give you an edge to which you could reference your gun head.One jig for perpedicular matterial nailing and another for parrallel nailing.

      Bill, I connot stress enough how dangerous these tools are,please be careful.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Advice Needed on Nail and Brad Guns

        Hi Bill, I admire your tenacity in not letting your handicap slow you down or impede your independance.

        I read your posting here and a couple of thoughts came to mind...

        I happen to own a Bostitch N89C coil - fed pneumatic framing nailer and although this gun works great for me in my profession, fencing decking contractor, I don't think a coil loading gun would work very well for you.
        The reason is that it can be a pain to load sometimes. You have to pop open the cannister that holds the coil of nails, make sure the height adjustment is set right then open another flap near the front of the gun and line up the nails and the wire that holds them together in the proper grooves and finaly manage to close the flap and the cannister cover while making sure that the nails and wires stay in their proper grooves.

        The upside to coil nailers is that they take about 300 nails or so at a crack ranging from two to three and a half inches in length. This eliminates the need to constantly reload the thing. These guns are geared more for production. Another positive is that these guns are also shorter overall then a coventional pneumatic strip fed stick framing nailer. This allows you to maneuver the gun into tight fitting places a little easier.

        For a person like yourself I would recommend a three and a half inch twenty eight degree strip fed clipped head pneumatic framing nailer (what a mouthful), from Ridgid, Bostitch, Porter Cable, Paslode etc. The piston head is angled at twenty eight degrees to the magazine. This makes it easier to get into tight places for toe nailing etc. Each strip holds aproximately 70 nails or so which would probably be fine for you.
        The other factor is that these guns are a breeze to load. You just slide a strip of nails into the end of the gun and pull back on the spring loaded retainer and you're good to go. Both types of guns, coil and strip loading, have a serrated collar around the opening where the nail exits the gun when being driven. With a little pratice it's very easy to determine where and what angle to place or butt this serrated collar onto the wood for toenailing. The serrations bite into the wood with a little pressure and prevent slipping. Most of these guns have a plastic exhaust cap on the top of the cylinder or power head that can be rotated to direct the exhaust from the blast of air away from your face etc. Another thing you should be aware of is the fact that most of these guns come with two types of triggers or settings for the way the gun fires. One type of firing is sequential firing and by that I mean that you have to press the gun against the wood which presses in the safety machanism in the nose of the gun and then you pull the trigger which fires one nail. You cannot fire another nail until you let go of the trigger, lift the gun off of the wood and start the whole process over again. This would be your preferred method of firing.
        The other method of firing or triggering lets you set the gun so that you pull the trigger and keep it pulled while you tap or jab the gun onto the wood. As long as you keep the trigger pulled you can keep tapping or jabbing. This method is for production framing and could be dangerous for someone like yourself.

        You asked about air compressors and there are lots of combo packages out there that include a nail gun and a compressor suited for each other.

        There are also electric nail guns available but they are generally more expensive and usually cost more then a decent pneumatic gun compressor package does. The only advantage I can see is that there are no cords or hoses involved, something that may benefit you.

        Hope that helps a bit

        Take care - Jim
        Cheers! - Jim
        -------------
        All truth passes through three stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. - Schopenhauer

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Advice Needed on Nail and Brad Guns

          A thought come to me, a few Min's ago, and wonder if a self feeding either attachment or complete screw gun would be a better option, my guess is the price would not be much different, and for some one blind I would think the safety factor would be much better,
          and I would think by having the self feeding screws the process would be fairly quick,
          Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
          attributed to Samuel Johnson
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Advice Needed on Nail and Brad Guns

            BHD,

            Now that definately makes more sense than a bunch of nails flying around like bullets.

            How durable are they making them now,The senco I used 3 years ago was a little fickle.How long are they making the screws for these devices, it would be nice to see 2 1/2 inches.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Advice Needed on Nail and Brad Guns

              Thanks for the replies, guys. A couple of follow-up questions:
              Rtyhand, i've been thinking of a template that would be a basic box about 14-1/2" wide and 24" long. If it were truly square with the world i could use it to space the studs on 16" centers and be square with the top and bottom plates at the same time. It could be clamped to the adjoining stud (with a one-handed clamp) and the rest would be relatively easy. What were you conjuring up when you talked about a jig to hold the gun in the right position?

              The other question that comes to mind is about using screws. in my experience you almost have to pre-drill a hole for the screw to prevent the wood from splitting. Do you think this would be true of a screw gun? i can see this as being a time consuming and frustrating problem. What do you think?

              With regard to safety, believe me I'm cautio
              us. As soon as I say that I'll probably have a brain fart and whack off a finger. let's hope for the best.


              Blind Bill

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Advice Needed on Nail and Brad Guns

                blind bill,

                I have tried to explain by words twice and when I preview my potential post the attachment to the top of the gun to hold your angle and the jigs sound like hokey jokey.I don't know how to post pictures on this forum as of now.I am going to put a few things together in the garage,probably take a few minutes,then spend whatever time trying to get a picture to the forum.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Advice Needed on Nail and Brad Guns

                  Bill one more thing, all my guns do not in any way show me when my guns are empty, they just keep on shooting with no sound difference or act like their jammed, so you'll have to keep count, or find one that jams when it gets empty. My roofing guns will act like there jammed (Hitachi) when they are emptied, so there must be a framing gun brand out there must do the same. All my framing guns are Paslode, I am very pleased with them.
                  Great Link for a Construction Owner/Tradesmen, and just say Garager sent you....

                  http://www.contractorspub.com

                  A good climbing rope will last you 3 to 5 years, a bad climbing rope will last you a life time !!!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Advice Needed on Nail and Brad Guns

                    Bill,

                    I have the Ridgid framing nailer. It accepts 21 degree nails I think and I really like it. It does pack quite a punch though. Also it has a safety feature to prevent it from firing once it gets low so that you just don't fire the piston into the wood. I don't know if this makes any difference or not but maybe that will help.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Advice Needed on Nail and Brad Guns

                      blind bill,
                      Back from garage,

                      I put 2 pieces of 1-1/2 wide x 18 guage steel,1 on each side of the cylinder of the gun,and secured them with 4'' hose clamps.So that takes care of the angle.

                      The jig for stud lay-out is even easier.Once the bottom plate is secured to the floor just stand a 2x4 up on end,it helped when I cut a 3/8'' chamfer out of the inside of the backing guide,the design of my hitachi NR83 necessitated this because nails were bighting the guide.

                      Once you have your upper and lower plate flush guides clamped into place just take your 14-1/2"spacer block placed from the previously installed stud and nail away.

                      I would check your overall layout every 4' or drywall install might be brutal.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Advice Needed on Nail and Brad Guns

                        construction grade hemlock is usually fairly forgiving with screws, and there are screw that have a special tip that helps the splitting issue, (normally it has a small flat side that drills and not separate the wood)
                        here is a picture of one,
                        http://www.mcfeelys.com/product/1033...Co-Rode-Screws

                        I personally like the square drive the company in the link sells, much superior to Phillips head,

                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        here is a company that makes a auto feed screw attachment or complete Drivers ( I do not have one so I can not comment on the effectiveness of this tool.)
                        http://www.strongtie.com/products/qu...html?source=qd
                        Last edited by BHD; 03-06-2007, 12:11 AM. Reason: more information
                        Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                        attributed to Samuel Johnson
                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                        PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Advice Needed on Nail and Brad Guns

                          I wonder if construction grade hemlock is the same product that HD sells for the cheapest 2x4 material.The only time we can use hemlock down here is for when we are doing plumb and line,top plate only.

                          It never fails,the homeowner im helping offers to pick up matterial,I tell him how many 2x's,forget to specify doug fir,and man so many times they show up with the HD discount stuff.I think he picked out the worst ones. Anyway its an uphill battle all the way

                          Is there a better hemlock?

                          Don't mean to distract too much

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Advice Needed on Nail and Brad Guns

                            Hem-Fir Is about the only construction lumber available in our area,

                            http://www.weyerhaeuser.com/ourbusin...ies/hemfir.asp
                            Hem-fir is the name given to a combination of hemlocks or firs that share similar characteristics. These include western hemlock and the true firs (noble, California red, grand, pacific silver and white fir)—species primarily found commercially in the Northwest states and British Columbia.

                            Hem-fir design values are nearly as strong as Douglas fir, resulting in an economical and excellent structural product. High ratios for strength and stiffness make it a good choice for framing, and the color of its wood is among the lightest of the western softwoods. Hem-fir is a species with excellent preservative treatment characteristics, which makes it an economical option to naturally durable species like western cedars and redwoods.

                            Hem-fir products are available in structural, appearance and remanufacturing grades.

                            Legal Notices • Copyright © 2001-2007 Weyerhaeuser • All Rights Reserved.
                            Softwood Lumber > Softwood Lumber Species > Hem-Fir



                            more information,
                            http://www.wwpa.org/hemfir.htm
                            Push sticks/blocks Save Fingers
                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                            "The true measure of a man is how he treats someone who can do him absolutely no good."
                            attributed to Samuel Johnson
                            ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                            PUBLIC NOTICE: Due to recent budget cuts, the rising cost of electricity, gas, and oil...plus the current state of the economy............the light at the end of the tunnel, has been turned off.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Advice Needed on Nail and Brad Guns

                              I just had another thought regarding this issue Bill.

                              Have you ever heard of a pneumatic palm nailer?

                              It's a baseball sized tool with what looks like a small gun barrel or steel tube projecting out from the bottom. You slide a nail head first into the tube then press it against the wood while squeezing the trigger. It has a driving head inside that vibrates or jackhammers the nail into the wood. Very useful for awkward spots and in particular joist hanger nails etc. Sometimes they come with a leather glove or sleeve for the tool to eliminate fatigue.

                              I'm in Canada and they go for about $100.00 bucks here.

                              I like dirtyhands idea of a angled jig to guide the gun as well
                              Cheers! - Jim
                              -------------
                              All truth passes through three stages: First it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. - Schopenhauer

                              Comment

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