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Thread: Air nailer question

  1. #1
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    Air nailer question

    So I just purchased my first air operated nail gun (WEN 18 gauge brad nailer) for a project here at our home. I never assume I know everything so I figured I would flip through the instruction manual to see if there might be something in there that would teach me something that I didn't already know or was common sense. I'm looking at the safety instructions (on page 5) and I see #13 that tells me to basically make sure the air is ON before loading the nails into the chamber of the gun. This I found to be odd as I assumed I should do that with the air disconnected....so I tell myself...hmm I did not know that so I did indeed learn something about safely using a tool that I had never used before.
    I continue to flip through the manual until I see (on page 8) about how to properly load the nails into the gun and it warns me to ALWAYS load the gun with the air disconnected. Now that's just the opposite of what it said a few pages earlier.

    Common sense tells me to load the gun with the air disconnected but for a newbie...which way is correct?
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  2. #2
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    I can say I've done it both ways with various guns, but always make sure it's pointed in a safe direction when connecting the air or adding nails/staples. I've never had one go off upon connecting the air supply to date or adding fasteners. I typically leave the fasteners in the gun until next use, but disconnect the air supply between uses. I even disconnect it when I'm in between assembly steps just because inevitably the cord gets caught and I drag the gun off the workbench.

    Other than that, biggest safety, especially with brads is keeping your fingers out of the way by at least the length of the brad. Those thin ones have a tendency to follow the grain sometimes and poke out where you don't expect them, many times where you really want to hold the work at.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  3. #3
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    I think they are being overly safety minded (watch out I see a law suit coming if the manual is not covering every subject, just so). You could depending how you hold the gun, trigger the gun as you close the slide over the nails and fire the gun off. I've loaded and unloaded the guns (I have four) with the air connected many times with no problems. The lawyers did not read the full text before approval, they got hung up on the first warning.The biggest item to watch on the small brad, pinners is the pressure. Check the manual and set the pressure as listed if not slightly lower and test in the same kind of wood you are working with.

  4. #4
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    I've done it both ways with a brad nailer, pin nailer and framing nailer. Never had a problem, but always aim the business end away from me.
    Bill Arnold
    Citizen of Texas residing in Georgia.
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  5. #5
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    another guy who has loaded them many times hooked up and unhooked to air, just leave your finger off the trigger and like bill mentioned keep your fingers away from the projected target, it hurts when they go out the wrong spot tom.. 18 gauge nails arent as bad as 23 gauge on the grain following but still will on some woods.
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  6. #6
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    I don't care what the manual says. I would never load nails, pins, or staples with the air line connected to the gun,.and when plugging in the air line I always make certain that the business end of the gun is pointed in a safe direction, usually pointed toward the floor, just in case it decides to cycle when the air pressure reaches it. All of the air nailers that I've ever used have a safety at the business end that requires the gun to be pressed against something before you can pull the trigger and make it fire, except for my pin nailer and my upholstery stapler. Both of these have a second trigger that has to be held on for the main trigger to fire the pin or staple. If the safety ever fails, stop using the nailer and have it repaired.

    Always wear safety glasses when using an air nailer and always keep your fingers several inches away from the point that the nail is entering the wood. Occasionally, a nail will hit a knot or unusually hard spot in the wood, curl around, and come out of the wood near where it's being driven in. You don't want this nail going into your other hand when it does this. Also, make certain that if the nail should go all the way through the wood, that no one or your own body parts are anywhere behind where the nail is being driven in. I've had brad and pin nails go through voids in the wood, especially plywood, and come completely out the other side of the wood. Make sure the area behind is clear before you pull the trigger, just in case.

    With the present impact driver technology and high quality screws, I now do all of my framing work with these hardened screws and my impact driver. It's almost as fast and produces a far stronger joint. My air powered framing nailer hasn't been used in years. This is ideal for remodeling, because the impact drivers are cordless, and because you don't shake the frame and pop the drywall nails in the work area like happens frequently when driving framing nails with a hammer or nail gun.

    Charley
    Last edited by Charles Lent; 09-24-2016 at 12:10 AM.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Lent View Post
    ...With the present impact driver technology and high quality screws, I now do all of my framing work with these hardened screws and my impact driver. It's almost as fast and produces a far stronger joint. My air powered framing nailer hasn't been used in years. This is ideal for remodeling, because the impact drivers are cordless, and because you don't shake the frame and pop the drywall nails in the work area like happens frequently when driving framing nails with a hammer or nail gun.

    Charley
    Your precautions about popping out drywall nails are prudent, but be a bit wary of using screws for structural (load-bearing) framing. Nails have better shear strength; screws have better tensile strength. One example I've seen repeated over the years is to use nails to attach joists to the deck framing, and use screws to attach the decking to the joists.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vaughn McMillan View Post
    Your precautions about popping out drywall nails are prudent, but be a bit wary of using screws for structural (load-bearing) framing. Nails have better shear strength; screws have better tensile strength. One example I've seen repeated over the years is to use nails to attach joists to the deck framing, and use screws to attach the decking to the joists.
    Generally yes, but there are some structural screws with high shear strength that have come out over the last few years that work fairly well in this sort of application.

    For example (no specific application design implied of course):

    http://www.grkfasteners.com/products/structural/rss
    http://www.grkfasteners.com/products...e/multipurpose

    https://www.strongtie.com/strongdriv...-framing-screw
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