Hand Nailing Vs. Guns, What Is Better Quality?

 
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Old 01-27-2009, 01:04 AM   #1
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Hand Nailing Vs. Guns, What Is Better Quality?


Yeah, call me old fashion but i was taught to roof with my trusty ajc hammer & nails & hell i'm only 40 but think that it is superior to hand nail vs a gun. I love going to the subdivisions in the area after a wind storm to replace a whole roll of stairstepped shingles that were gunned down.

The only thing i like with the gun are the barbed nails if installed correct. I have seen way to many roofs done where the nails are shot to high, to deep, not deep enough (to cause ugly pop ups). I guess it really comes down to the installer which anyone that owns a company cannot keep tabs on.
I avereged 2 square an hour hand nailing which was ok in my book, i know someone is gonna laugh at that thinking they could blow me away with a gun but at least i know my nails are in the correct area & flush with the shingle, i also know if i am hitting wood or in between a gap.
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Old 01-27-2009, 05:04 AM   #2
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Re: Hand Nailing Vs. Guns, What Is Better Quality?


When I first started i worked for this old timer who felt the same about roofing guns as you do. And maybe you guys are both right! He still to this day is faster than me with his hammer than i am with my gun, but holy! I can't give up my gun! I lay around 12 -14 sq a day with it. Not a lot but with a hammer i could probley lay 1. lol i did the math and am sticken with the gun!

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Old 01-27-2009, 06:44 AM   #3
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Re: Hand Nailing Vs. Guns, What Is Better Quality?


Either way can be good ar junk. Depends on the installer and how much he cares about his work.

That being said, gunning is faster and easier on the body.

You can use hand nailing as way to look different to your prospect. You can charge more for that or for any number of reasons. If you believe it you can sell it.

"Selling is merely a transferance of feelings" Zig
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:15 AM   #4
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Re: Hand Nailing Vs. Guns, What Is Better Quality?


I stapled for the first 7 years of my roofing career. The pressure was always set right and the staples were always placed just under the tar line. Unless the wind was higher than the warranty of the shingle never had blow offs.

When I got licensed decided better start gun nailing. Same results, only blow offs were with winds higher than the warranty.

For a couple years my brother and I worked together. He would nail and I would staple. We never had call backs in those two years for wind damage and we did over 150 roofs.

A few years ago my brother and dad did a roof in which my brother stapled and my dad gun nailed. Within a couple days of putting the roof down they got a call for wind damage. My dad went out to investigate and what he found shocked him. The wind damage was on the back of the roof were they both shingled. All the shingles that blew off had nails in them. The pressure was right as was the placement. For the heck of it he decided to lift up the tabs on the stapled shingles and he figured the nails were installed better.

Hand nails are good but without barbs line gun nails they may not hold quite as well.

What I think is more important than the fastener is what it's being fastened into. Plywood will hold better than osb.
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:06 AM   #5
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Re: Hand Nailing Vs. Guns, What Is Better Quality?


Asked and answered 42000 times.
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:07 AM   #6
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Re: Hand Nailing Vs. Guns, What Is Better Quality?


My buddy is down in Houston.....he told me code makes you hand nail on coastal counties, no gun nailing allowed.

I think the only way a hand nail is better is if the guy running the gun isnt as good. I have friends who try gunning too quick, then their nails end up all over the place. I tend to take my time gunning and make sure nails are driven properly and put in the correct nailing location.

Speednailers.....they would get a better roof by hand nailing.
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:15 AM   #7
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Re: Hand Nailing Vs. Guns, What Is Better Quality?


Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyB1986 View Post
My buddy is down in Houston.....he told me code makes you hand nail on coastal counties, no gun nailing allowed.

I think the only way a hand nail is better is if the guy running the gun isnt as good. I have friends who try gunning too quick, then their nails end up all over the place. I tend to take my time gunning and make sure nails are driven properly and put in the correct nailing location.

Speednailers.....they would get a better roof by hand nailing.
There has been talk of eliminating pneumatic nailers in florida because guys over drive the nails and because they are too worried about how fast they go, they won't nail shingles properly, not sure if it will ever get passed though.

They did outlaw staples a long time ago, and not to long ago they outlawed clipped head nails.
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Old 01-27-2009, 01:57 PM   #8
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Re: Hand Nailing Vs. Guns, What Is Better Quality?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
Asked and answered 42000 times.
What was the percentage ratio of the 42,000 results?
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:07 PM   #9
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Re: Hand Nailing Vs. Guns, What Is Better Quality?


Answer:

Hand nailing.

(Pun intended) Hands down.
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:10 PM   #10
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Re: Hand Nailing Vs. Guns, What Is Better Quality?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Just a Roofer View Post
Yeah, call me old fashion but i was taught to roof with my trusty ajc hammer & nails & hell i'm only 40 but think that it is superior to hand nail vs a gun. I love going to the subdivisions in the area after a wind storm to replace a whole roll of stairstepped shingles that were gunned down.

The only thing i like with the gun are the barbed nails if installed correct. I have seen way to many roofs done where the nails are shot to high, to deep, not deep enough (to cause ugly pop ups). I guess it really comes down to the installer which anyone that owns a company cannot keep tabs on.
I avereged 2 square an hour hand nailing which was ok in my book, i know someone is gonna laugh at that thinking they could blow me away with a gun but at least i know my nails are in the correct area & flush with the shingle, i also know if i am hitting wood or in between a gap.
Couple of things:

Agreed with most everything except hitting solid wood.
I've come to develop a "feel" with a gun.
Either by sound for by feel or even by sight,
I can tell when I've hit a soft spot or no wood at all.
It's a tool like anything else that has to be mastered.

But! Hand nailing is always best.
If I ever did my own roof with shingles,
I'd hand nail it all the way.

And, 2 squares hand nailed is always better than 4 squares gunned.
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:12 PM   #11
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Re: Hand Nailing Vs. Guns, What Is Better Quality?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mnjconstruction View Post
When I first started i worked for this old timer who felt the same about roofing guns as you do. And maybe you guys are both right! He still to this day is faster than me with his hammer than i am with my gun, but holy! I can't give up my gun! I lay around 12 -14 sq a day with it. Not a lot but with a hammer i could probley lay 1. lol i did the math and am sticken with the gun!
True...I won't give up my gun.
The great thing is that when in doubt,
it takes less than a split second to simply tap another nail in with a gun.

Lovvvvvve guns.

I always thought I'd have business cards with the slogan "Have gun, will travel", but I didnt' think the customers would get it.
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:14 PM   #12
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Re: Hand Nailing Vs. Guns, What Is Better Quality?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Grumpy View Post
Asked and answered 42000 times.
Correction Grumpy...42001.
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Old 01-27-2009, 02:17 PM   #13
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Re: Hand Nailing Vs. Guns, What Is Better Quality?


Quote:
Originally Posted by bwalley View Post
There has been talk of eliminating pneumatic nailers in florida because guys over drive the nails and because they are too worried about how fast they go, they won't nail shingles properly, not sure if it will ever get passed though.

They did outlaw staples a long time ago, and not to long ago they outlawed clipped head nails.

Hey B,

Again, it all depends on the installer.

The same guys who'd not properly use a gun would not properly use a hammer/hatchet as well.

When I first used guns, I was a hot dog.
But to be brutally honest, my line was arching.
I just couldn't sleep at night.
I slowed myself down, got my muscles trained to follow the course's line and began developing speed the "right" way.

As far as I'm concerned, improperly nailed/gunned shingles don't count as installed period.

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Old 01-27-2009, 02:30 PM   #14
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Re: Hand Nailing Vs. Guns, What Is Better Quality?


Quote:
Originally Posted by 2ndGen View Post
Hey B,

Again, it all depends on the installer.

The same guys who'd not properly use a gun would not properly use a hammer/hatchet as well.

When I first used guns, I was a hot dog.
But to be brutally honest, my line was arching.
I just couldn't sleep at night.
I slowed myself down, got my muscles trained to follow the course's line and began developing speed the "right" way.

As far as I'm concerned, improperly nailed/gunned shingles don't count as installed period.

Well said 2nd Gen, I think a gun is a great tool if used properly, the problems start with the guys that are getting paid by the square trying to shoot down as many shingles as possible. It seems guns are better then hand nailing on 1x decking in some situations where the wood isn't technically bad but you try to hammer a nail & you almost hit yourself in the head from the backlash whereas a gun would shoot it in.
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Old 01-27-2009, 03:24 PM   #15
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Re: Hand Nailing Vs. Guns, What Is Better Quality?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Just a Roofer View Post
Well said 2nd Gen, I think a gun is a great tool if used properly, the problems start with the guys that are getting paid by the square trying to shoot down as many shingles as possible. It seems guns are better then hand nailing on 1x decking in some situations where the wood isn't technically bad but you try to hammer a nail & you almost hit yourself in the head from the backlash whereas a gun would shoot it in.
It always boils down to the professionalism (or lack of it) in the individual holding the tool (which ever tool it is).

A good roofer could use a bad hammer/hatchet/gun and do a decent job, but a bad roofer can use the best hammer/hatchet/gun and still F it up.

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Old 01-27-2009, 07:13 PM   #16
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Re: Hand Nailing Vs. Guns, What Is Better Quality?


Hand nailed, which we still do to this day. Have never used guns. I feel if one puts a nail in the location required by the manufacturer with a gun, it wont be any faster then doing it by hand. Doing a better job, the gun loses it advantage.

Just last year and this year compared to the last several, we have gotten back to shingles. I am considering giving a price for both ways to the homeowner, let them decide how they want it done.
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Old 01-27-2009, 07:24 PM   #17
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Re: Hand Nailing Vs. Guns, What Is Better Quality?


I nail using my feet like Chuck Norris. One roundhouse kick and every thing is nailed forever!
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:04 PM   #18
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Re: Hand Nailing Vs. Guns, What Is Better Quality?


Certainteed prefers to have shingles hand nailed. Guage depth better.
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Old 01-27-2009, 08:45 PM   #19
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Re: Hand Nailing Vs. Guns, What Is Better Quality?


Quote:
Originally Posted by XanadooLTD View Post
Certainteed prefers to have shingles hand nailed. Guage depth better.
Speaking of guage for you hand nailers, do you use the hammer guage like on a ajc hammer? That's how i learned & still do it to this day. Of course you have to adjust every now & then if the roof is out of whack.
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Old 01-28-2009, 06:35 AM   #20
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Re: Hand Nailing Vs. Guns, What Is Better Quality?


Adjustable AJC gauge for asphalt shingles. A light Eastwing with fixed holes for the gauge for cedar shingles. A pretty light ax /hatchet for non gaugeable wood roofs.
For me with handnailing, the tool needs to feel good and balanced in my hand.
My hammers, hachets, I have had for many years. Some as long as 30 years.
Ajc seem to be all the same feel for me, except for the differnce in fixed or adjustable.
Also use a nail stripper. ( tin can hanging from neck ). If you know how to use it they work extremly well.


Last edited by red_cedar; 01-28-2009 at 06:42 AM.
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