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Discussion Starter #1
What do you prefer for attaching bottom plates to concrete floors in a basement, powder actuated guns or Tapcon type screws? Pros and cons on labor and material costs, is 22 caliber the standard in powder actuated?
 

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Mike, if you are close to an edge stick with tapcons. I also use powder guns but if the floor is under stress it can sometimes crack right down the line of fasteners. I saw this occur in a couple of model homes where the garage had been converted into sales offices and then removed when the house was sold. I have since backed off on powder gun usage. 22 is the only size that I am familiar with but I hear that 2 new models are in the works, one in 300 Weatherby Mag and another in .375 H&H for those REALLY big jobs like fastening railroad ties to a dam. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Teetor.

I would prefer a Heckler & Koch with a silencer for my wet work, even though the Weatherby has more stopping power.

Oops talking about two different things here. I forgot about the edge limitations in regard to powder systems and cracking, thanks for the reminder.
 

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I'm in the process of a basement remodel and what I do if build the wall on the floor lift in place tighten with shims and use heavy duty construction adhesive on the floor. No holes and it holds stong. As long as the fit is snug it works like a charm. Any time you throw a row of holes in the concrete I am concerned of cracks down the road.
 

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Paul, I would not rely on construction adhesive alone and the shims will relax over time. I really don't like the practice of prefabing walls, I prefer to build in place with tight fits. The wood will shrink over time too. Tapcons create less stress to the concrete than a power driven nailing system and if spaced about 24" + should not cause a problem.
If you are adamant about not using positive fasteners call E-Bond in Ft. Laud. and ask about the epoxy that they use for bridges in one of the Virginias (I forget which). You will have to mix it with thixogens to fill the gaps and if you ever want to remove it sell the house.
 

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Just to throw my 2 cents worth into the mix...When I converted my unfinished basement to an apartment I went with the Tapcons for a couple of reasons. 1. I don't do this regularly or through my business and I didn't want to spend the extra money on the guns, cartridges, etc. 2. I already had studs and insulation on the top half of the walls. So, to save time and money, I just added the plate and half-studs on the bottom by cutting them to size. Although the tapcons take a little longer it made more sense for me.
 

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Mike - we typically use powder guns. If cracking's a concern - sometimes we'll try the cut nails to see if they work. Only in special situations do we use screws.

Tim
 

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Used a powder gun to fasten a stud to the outside of a block wall once. (I know should have TAPCONed it) But the ramset was close.

I heard a funny ping coming from inside the basement a split second after the shot. Went clean through and stuck in the drywall on the other side of the basement.

I broke out the hammerdrill after that.

Bob
 

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Glass, should have used the brown load. LOL
 

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Hello to all, I'm new here. Hey I found using 16 penny coated sinkers and some tie wire to be a great way to fasten wood to concrete. Take a 5/16 masonry drill bit and drill through the bottom plate and into the concrete another 4" or so. Remove the drill bit. Take some tie wire and cut it to 10 inches or so and fold it over and insert the wire into the hole, fold first. When you bottom out, bend the end of the wire across the plate to hold the position and free your hands. Then drive the 16 penny nail into the hole along with the wire. Good luck if you need to take them back out.

This works really well when you encounter old cinder block walls that tend to crumble when using Tapcon screws.
 

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Neat trick Elm, I think I'd rather use TapCons, but when not able, I'll give it a try.

Sounds like it could really do well with concrete bonding appoxy.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Elm - thanks, I have heard that one before used by the old timers.

After posting this I had to do the framing. It had been awhile since I had done this, talk about getting ramped back up to speed. I felt like an idiot DIYer for awhile there.

First I bought Tapcons that were philips heads, tried using the drill bit that comes with the box of tapcons, the freaken tapcons would go in up to about the last 1/2 inch and then strip and spin out trying to drive them with my hammer drill set on drill! Cussing and evil actions insued!

Finally I unfroze my brain and went back to basics. Rebought tapcons with hex heads. Bought a real 5/16 SDS bit for the hammer drill. Hammer drilled the holes like going through butter now. Drove the tapcons in with my air powered impact wrench. Started moving along like it was supposed to - about 15 seconds a tapcon start to finish. It is amazing how screwed up you can make your life when you don't do the same things every day and forget the basics!
 

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Always used Tapcons myself for all things attached to concrete/block. Yes more time comsuming buy not by much and the holding power of these of over powder actuated nials is a no brainer. If ya got one guy running the hammer drill and anotehr guy following with the tapcons it goes about as fast as you can.

I've tried the gun once in an old basement that the concrete had turned into titanium from being so old, had the biggest shot avilable in the gun and it'd barely drive the nail home. Broke out the drills and started screwing.
 

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Amen, Mike. I'm embellishing some posts for an old friend of mine and went into the cabinet shop, set up the sled and cut the first one a half inch off on the base end. The good part was that I cut it heavy.
 

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Leaned over the chop box the other day, cutting Z bar for a storm door, my coat pushed the second peace of Z bar into the blade.....WAAAM! .............It was high noon at 'NewZbartown'.

Bob
 

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Right! I don't brag on my errors but won't deny them either. GOD knows that I've made my share.
 
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