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Roofing Sage
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This thread is soooo 70's!
There is a learning curve to ANY TOOL...hand tool, or power tool.

Think about it. Don't most carps hit their finger's now & then when first learning to use a hammer? The same applies to power tools, but the danger factor is increased. The learning curve applies to every aspect of using air tools...the compressors, hoses, regulators, couplers, & overall maintanance. Having all new stuff is fairly simple, but that only lasts so long, & that's where the complications set in. Maintainence, tool knowledge, & safety practice is the key to efficient use of air tools.

As far as sloppy shooting, I always threatened to charge my guys for wasted nails. They usually don't understand the cost per shot. Ask them if they have a quarter you can borrow, & then see how far you can throw it! Call them out, put a number on it. Once guy understand that they are shooting money into the lumber, they are usually more careful. Refer to careless sloppy shooting as "shotgunning"...it gets the point across.

Even Norm Abrams eventually saw the ways of the nail gun!
It's a no brainer.
Joe

Joe
Yeah Joe. :thumbsup:

Every tool has to be learned. I made mistakes when I first began to use guns, but generally, as with any tool, I had to learn it's idiosycrosis.

Once I learned the gun, I was able to begin to learn to master the gun. And, the mistakes went down exponentially.

It's like working with a hammer...first you learn it, then it becomes and extension of your arm.
 

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1,571 Posts
This thread is soooo 70's!
There is a learning curve to ANY TOOL...hand tool, or power tool.

Think about it. Don't most carps hit their finger's now & then when first learning to use a hammer? The same applies to power tools, but the danger factor is increased. The learning curve applies to every aspect of using air tools...the compressors, hoses, regulators, couplers, & overall maintenance. Having all new stuff is fairly simple, but that only lasts so long, & that's where the complications set in. Maintenance, tool knowledge, & safety practice is the key to efficient use of air tools.

As far as sloppy shooting, I always threatened to charge my guys for wasted nails. They usually don't understand the cost per shot. Ask them if they have a quarter you can borrow, & then see how far you can throw it! Call them out, put a number on it. Once guy understand that they are shooting money into the lumber, they are usually more careful. Refer to careless sloppy shooting as "shotgunning"...it gets the point across.

Even Norm Abrams eventually saw the ways of the nail gun!
It's a no brainer.
Joe

Joe
Joe,

It's like anything else, you learn how to use the tool, it's that simple. If a grown man can't learn how to use a tool, he should walk away and go find another job.

The problem here is that on these forums you get guys that say hand nailing gives a better job and the quality of the job is better, which is all garbage and lies. Some guys use it as a selling point telling the customer that and will charge more money, which is another lie and misleading the customers.

If the guys think that in their own mind then they shouldn't use any power tools at all and cut with handsaw and hand nail.

All this garbage about how much time it takes to set up the compressor and the hoses in the way, all nonsense. Only old timers think that way and don't want to get with the times.
 

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Then I suspect you're being less than honest.

As I said, I DO use the tools and use them as carefully as I can, but even I find myself on occassion mis-shooting a nail and saying "Aw I don't want to go get my catspaw and hammer, I'll just leave it there." And I've come too darn close to shooting a nail into the hand holding the stud.

I've never seen a worksite using nail guns in which those three problems weren't evident.

And, yes, the analogy holds true with power saws. It's just that they've been around longer and we're more used to them (as well as to their foibles).

I have to say that I am as used to a saw as a nailer I 've used them both for the same amount of time. I always give a 4" "safety zone" in all directions from the tip of the gun. I've had nails curl back from a knot.

My partner is old school and doesn't really like air nailers too much. The only time he uses one is when he's banging a wall together. I kick the living crap out of him for speed.


On a side note I bought an impulse nailer this afternoon, I actually look forward to putting in joist tommorow. lol
 

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Roofing Sage
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3,409 Posts
I have to say that I am as used to a saw as a nailer I 've used them both for the same amount of time. I always give a 4" "safety zone" in all directions from the tip of the gun. I've had nails curl back from a knot.

My partner is old school and doesn't really like air nailers too much. The only time he uses one is when he's banging a wall together. I kick the living crap out of him for speed.


On a side note I bought an impulse nailer this afternoon, I actually look forward to putting in joist tommorow. lol
While using framing guns as compared to a roofing gun, I have a ton more caution for a framing gun (not that I don't have any for a roofing gun). Framing guns are different animals by their nature (besides the fact that they shoot up to 3 1/2" nails).

There are good points to Riversong's posts with regards to the risks and dangers of using a gun and it's never wrong to prefer to hand nail, but the benefits wayyyyyy outweigh the risks in using a pneumatic nailer.

I think now is a good time for the pros here to talk about what "can" go wrong with a nailer (as you brought up the curling issue). Without bringing the gloom and doom of bad news, let's talk about it. I'd offer the "nailer only" potential problems that can't happen with a hammer.

There was a worker on a 40' ladder nailing in a fascia board on a rafter set. For some reason, he tried to toenail it from behind (sending a spike into the rafter & "out" to the fascia board). The nail shot right through and "into" his chest piercing his heart killing him instantly. He fell 3 stories (may he RIP).
 

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Motorboatin' son of a ...
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1,104 Posts
Last time I exclusively hand nailed was over 15 years ago. There's no way you can hand nail faster then a gun.
 

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I am not a hack.
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34 Posts
Gun most of the time. Hand bang 'em when I'm stacking a roof or trussin'.
Also check Powertank.com for some of their Co2 kits. Work great for small jobs.

Who the "F" is hand bangin' their sheathing?!:eek:
 

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Average Joe
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I could pull back the safety on a gun and lick off shots at my crew if production is slowing down. I can pick off cats, pigeons, schoolkids...so on and so forth...on every smoke break to keep myself amused.

Can you do THAT with a hammer? Methinks not.:thumbup:

Argument over. Period.
 

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When I was 20 (i'm 40 now). I got my second job on a framing crew. The ol'man didn't like guns. He didn't think they were any faster. He had a 6-8 man crew on average, and we were framing 3k feet houses on average.
One day a new guy came on the crew who had his own gun and compressor. We were doing condos. The guy broke it out, and with his own nails back nailed the deck. When he was done, the ol'man told his son to go buy 3 guns a compressor and hoses.
He had never seen one in action before,and no matter what we told him he had to see it first hand.
By the way I was 26 when that guy came on. After that and after the ol'man saw wall jacks used, we had guns and jacks, and did the same work faster with a 3-4 man crew.
I notice that most guys i get on my crew can't swing a hammer to save their lives(in my opinion). So even though it was tough working for the ol'man, I can swing a hammer better than 99% of the guys out there, which comes in handy in some situations.
 

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Palisade Point Const.
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2,276 Posts
I was talking to a friend of my dad's that's been in the trades for a while, his comment was "I fired a guy the day I bought a nailgun- I didn't trust him with it, plus, with the gun, we didn't need him"
 

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the only instance I can think of where I would use hand-drives over a nailer is building a barn or post-framed building. I like to use 4" ring shank hot dipped spikes on barns and pole-buildings, and a nailer won't shoot anything that stout.
 

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Palisade Point Const.
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2,276 Posts
the only instance I can think of where I would use hand-drives over a nailer is building a barn or post-framed building. I like to use 4" ring shank hot dipped spikes on barns and pole-buildings, and a nailer won't shoot anything that stout.
actually, there are a number of guns that shoot 4" nails, and Bostich makes one that shoots a 6 1/2 inch nail. If you look farther up this thread, someone posted some information on it I believe.
 

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I used to be an purist about hand-nailing too. I mostly did work on older homes and historic buildings and felt I had some sort of tradition to uphold.

When I bought my house in 1998, an old Victorian, I added two additions, 2X6-16oc all by hand. 20 squares of roofing, all by hand.

I started with an Impulse finish nailer while doing the trim and found it now took longer to cut it than to nail it. It was also much nicer to the material than a hammer face. I was hooked.

Now the hammer is to "adjust" and "beat into submission." Framing nailers are by far the answer to frame construction as slicing was to bread. There's no way you can manually set a multitude of nails better, stronger or faster with a hammer and still have any sort of arm at the end of the day.

I still love my hammer and it's still an extension of my arm. In fact I feel naked without it. I too love the sound of hammers on a construction site. I hate compressor noise and usually set my compressor at a distance or behind something to keep the noise at a minimum. I'm not fond of radios on a job site either.

In today's construction, unless you're really lucky, speed is the ticket to making a decent income in this business. The way the economy is going, we'll be in these trades a lot longer than our grandfathers and machines like pneumatic nailers will keep us from being completely crippled when we do decide we've had enough.

So, my vote goes to nail guns.
 
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