Hand Nails Vs Gun Nails - General Discussion - Contractor Talk

Hand Nails Vs Gun Nails

 
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Old 09-18-2015, 06:50 AM   #1
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Hand Nails Vs Gun Nails


I read up on building info at night before going to sleep (yes I am an exciting guy). I noticed codes pertaining to using 10d , 16d , & 20d nails respectively. I am guessing those codes were developed many years before guns. In side by side comparison the gun nails dont look anywhere as strong as the hand nails.
I realize you can frame an entire house with gun nails and the inspector will never notice, they just look at the structure of the framing, Ive never seen any inspector say anything about nails.
I know using the guns cuts the time in half( I actually figured it out on a job once,but Is this an issue for you?
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Old 09-18-2015, 07:03 AM   #2
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Re: Hand Nails Vs Gun Nails


I hear your argument. But, nowadays you have to take into account steel qualities. With all the crap being made in china I bet there are some low quality gun and hand nails out there. I think some gun nails are actually stronger than hand nails. Joist hanger nails for instance.

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Old 09-18-2015, 07:08 AM   #3
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Re: Hand Nails Vs Gun Nails


There is a Hitachi framing nail gun which can take a 3 1/2" nail. Most Engineers will substitute 3 1/4" nail (since its the most common nail size for framing) in lieu of 3 1/2".
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:25 AM   #4
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Re: Hand Nails Vs Gun Nails


This is like any other element used in building. If it isn't called out in the code, there should be a manufacturer's report stating it meets the code / standard and under what conditions.

I haven't seen a code official question the use of gun nails - partly because I believe they know the manufacturers have gone through getting approval, plus it's a low risk item.

I won't mention some people will leave empty structural screw boxes lying around when an inspector comes through....
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:45 AM   #5
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Re: Hand Nails Vs Gun Nails


In my world gun nails & guns are a constant source of aggravation.

Framers miss specs on nails and that virtually every gun driven fastener must be finished with a hammer so there is not over penetration.

Residential, guns can be a convenience and may save labor, but I've been on a crew where we were side by side with us hand banging vs a nail gun crew and we beat them. Just depends....
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:48 AM   #6
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Re: Hand Nails Vs Gun Nails


Here's the gun nail document.

http://www.bostitch.com/xhtml/litera...v_Dec_2011.pdf
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Old 09-18-2015, 09:51 AM   #7
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Re: Hand Nails Vs Gun Nails


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Originally Posted by griz View Post
In my world gun nails & guns are a constant source of aggravation.

Framers miss specs on nails and that virtually every gun driven fastener must be finished with a hammer so there is not over penetration.

Residential, guns can be a convenience and may save labor, but I've been on a crew where we were side by side with us hand banging vs a nail gun crew and we beat them. Just depends....
I fail to see how it's at all possible for a hand banging crew to come close to a crew with guns that would be pretty unreal. Unless maybe the crew with guns was using paslodes......than I believe it.

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Old 09-18-2015, 09:55 AM   #8
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Re: Hand Nails Vs Gun Nails


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Just depends....
X2 on that. Remodeling, sometimes you can't really get room to swing a hammer, and other times you can't get a gun in at all.
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:01 AM   #9
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Re: Hand Nails Vs Gun Nails


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I fail to see how it's at all possible for a hand banging crew to come close to a crew with guns that would be pretty unreal. Unless maybe the crew with guns was using paslodes......than I believe it.

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If the crew is gun driving short then hand banging to get the correct drive, switching back and forth takes a lot of time. I have to do this working alone at times. Gun a section, then go back over it all to do the final drive. Toe nailing studs on a reno where you can't stand a wall would be a pretty common example, or any toe nailing.
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:05 AM   #10
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Re: Hand Nails Vs Gun Nails


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Originally Posted by NJGC View Post
I fail to see how it's at all possible for a hand banging crew to come close to a crew with guns that would be pretty unreal. Unless maybe the crew with guns was using paslodes......than I believe it.

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Well it's plenty possible and has happened more than once.

This was pure production framing by a very experienced crew.

Maybe with the constant use of guns and the belief that they are always faster & more efficient today's framers are just not as fast at hand nailing as we were in the olden days.
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Last edited by griz; 09-18-2015 at 10:07 AM.
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:26 AM   #11
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Re: Hand Nails Vs Gun Nails


I agree with Griz, most guys on the framing crews today couldn't drive a 10p nail with a hammer if their life depended on.

Experienced crew will eat a 50LB box of 10D nails before you blink, or experienced sheeting crew will nail plywood using sinkers before you blink without a miss, in comparison to a framing crew today with guns who can hit a stud for s^*t without putting 100 nails in one stud to make sure they didn't miss

In the 80's we did everything by hand, framing, sheathing, roofing, trim work, etc.

Sure it's faster with a gun, but is it better? I would have to give some serious thought on that to make a comparison.
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:45 AM   #12
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Re: Hand Nails Vs Gun Nails


If an inspector can't tell the difference between hand nailing and gun nailing, he's probably not going to red tag much of anything.
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Old 09-18-2015, 10:48 AM   #13
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Re: Hand Nails Vs Gun Nails


Maybe the guns are slower on the west coast...

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Old 09-18-2015, 11:06 AM   #14
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Re: Hand Nails Vs Gun Nails


What's a hand nail? Those boxes of rusty metal sticks I have?
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Old 09-18-2015, 11:52 AM   #15
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Re: Hand Nails Vs Gun Nails


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If an inspector can't tell the difference between hand nailing and gun nailing, he's probably not going to red tag much of anything.

Some gun nails use the same approved nailing pattern as hand drives, others don't Once it's in the wood, nobody is going to pull one out and check diameter to see if it meets or not. If someone specd what fasteners to use, they might check the purchase records to make sure what they specd was what was bought.
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Old 09-18-2015, 12:00 PM   #16
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Re: Hand Nails Vs Gun Nails


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Some gun nails use the same approved nailing pattern as hand drives, others don't Once it's in the wood, nobody is going to pull one out and check diameter to see if it meets or not. If someone specd what fasteners to use, they might check the purchase records to make sure what they specd was what was bought.
On school jobs the Engineer & Inspector must see and approve the nail before use.

Biggest issue comes up nailing shear wall & sheathing. Nail can not break top veneer. Gun is set to leave nail 1/4" or so proud then hand driven flush.

West coast guns are just as fast as anyone elses....
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Old 09-18-2015, 12:09 PM   #17
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Re: Hand Nails Vs Gun Nails


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On school jobs the Engineer & Inspector must see and approve the nail before use.
I was thinking residential - commercial guys get a lot more headaches. Makes for less corner cutting, though.
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Old 09-18-2015, 06:43 PM   #18
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Re: Hand Nails Vs Gun Nails


Wow. This is something I have actually thought about.

Started out with hand nails. Now I don't even have 16d cc in the truck.

A couple differences. With air nails, there are alot more nails, nailed, than by hand drive. Guys will just tap alot more times than drive by hand.
I know this from personal experience. Even I put in more nails with pneumatic than by hand drive.
I also know the air nails hold better than hand drive. Try to pull them out. It's not easy.

As a side note, the house across the street just got re-roofed. I remember when I worked as a sub doing the roof. The General required all staples in the felt to be 1/2" apart. All nails in singles required 7 hits per nail.

My elbow hurts today.
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Old 09-18-2015, 07:07 PM   #19
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Re: Hand Nails Vs Gun Nails


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I also know the air nails hold better than hand drive. Try to pull them out. It's not easy.
4 of the toes on my left foot agree with your assessment.

Quote:
My elbow hurts today.
Mine hurts every day, and I put down my Vaughn and picked up a air gun in the mid 80s.
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Old 09-18-2015, 08:37 PM   #20
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Re: Hand Nails Vs Gun Nails


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I also know the air nails hold better than hand drive. Try to pull them out. It's not easy.
Been a while since you pulled a 60 year old 20D spike, eh?

One thing hand nailing excels at is pulling framing members together. A gun slams that thing in so fast the wood doesn't have time to move and get all cuddly with its mate.

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