Safe usage of a nail gun?

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  • radhak
    Veteran Member
    • Apr 2006
    • 3061
    • Miramar, FL
    • Right Tilt 3HP Unisaw

    #16
    Wow! Great advice from each one of you. Its like having a team of experienced buddies standing around making sure one does the right thing.

    The first right thing i did was asking before jumping into using the tool. And next i shall do is print this thread out for my shop-folder.

    Thanks a ton, people!

    Now i am thinking, maybe a good idea to browse thru the forum to find other such threads on safety and proper usage of the various tools we need in WW. Do we have any flags or 'sticky' to mark such? Has anybody done that already?
    It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
    - Aristotle

    Comment

    • scorrpio
      Veteran Member
      • Dec 2005
      • 1566
      • Wayne, NJ, USA.

      #17
      a. laws of thermodynamics say gas in a closed system has equal pressure everywhere. But if you use up air rapidly, it might not replenish fast enough. However, in your case it should not be an issue. I mean, one can use a framing nailer fairly rapidly even with a rather long hose. Air delivery ability of your A/C is probably going to be more of an issue than hose length. But far as electricity goes, extension coirds on high-amp tools is a known issue. Anyway, it is best to keep compressor further away from work site, where air intake is not contaminated with work dust, and you don't have to deal with noise.

      b. Get a hose reel. Not sure if they still have that, but HF had a reel on sale: 50' capacity reel with hand brake and 30' of hose included, only $20. Reel means your hose will come in straight instead of getting all loopy with potential for kinks.

      c. Sure - just use a good quality brass splicer - I've seen some thin-walled ones with a hex for wrench only in the middle. I prefer to use a thick-walled one, that is hex all along its length.

      d. For nail loading, if it can be done without putting hands near the business end of the nailer, shouldn't be a problem. But for making adjustments, always disconnect.

      e. I generally do not release air. But I suspect my A/C hookup has a leak someplace as it usually drops from 80-90 to 0 after about a week of non-use. I do SCUBA diving, and I know it is considered bad for a tank to completely drain it - leaving about 300-500psi is considered best. So I guess frequent draining of a compressor is not essential.

      f. Any position concievable. Air pressure is omnidirectional.

      g. I used a framer on a ladder, driving 3.5" nails with about 1000lbs of force, and it felt a lot safer than swinging a hammer. But I always diconnect the hose when climbing up/down a ladder.

      Comment

      • LinuxRandal
        Veteran Member
        • Feb 2005
        • 4889
        • Independence, MO, USA.
        • bt3100

        #18
        Originally posted by LarryG
        Although it admittedly sounds counter-intuitive, the air supply should always be fastened to the gun before fasteners are loaded, otherwise the gun may accidentally fire while being loaded.

        (Time passes ...)

        Here's a direct paste from the Porter-Cable owner's manual:

        "CONNECT TOOL TO AIR SUPPLY BEFORE loading fasteners, to prevent a fastener from being fired during connection. The tool driving mechanism may cycle when tool is connected to the air supply."

        This is the way I was taught, the way I've always done it, and I have never had an accidental discharge while loading.

        EDITED TO ADD: I just found online PDF copies of the owner's manuals from DeWalt and Senco, and they both say the same thing as P-C: connect the air hose first, insert the fasteners second.
        I do understand this, and while I don't disgree with following the owners manual:
        1. I was taught, your finger shouldn't be on or near the trigger when loading it.
        2. This is ONE of the reasons I use the safety couplers (still don't understand why there are non safety ones), there is NO air pressure, when you connect or disconnect them.

        So I guess I should have clarified my post.
        She couldn't tell the difference between the escape pod, and the bathroom. We had to go back for her.........................Twice.

        Comment

        • radhak
          Veteran Member
          • Apr 2006
          • 3061
          • Miramar, FL
          • Right Tilt 3HP Unisaw

          #19
          Originally posted by LinuxRandal
          ...
          2. This is ONE of the reasons I use the safety couplers (still don't understand why there are non safety ones), there is NO air pressure, when you connect or disconnect them.
          ...
          Is that right? What do those look like? I don't think my P-C kit comes with the safety coupler, just a quick coupler.
          It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.
          - Aristotle

          Comment

          • LinuxRandal
            Veteran Member
            • Feb 2005
            • 4889
            • Independence, MO, USA.
            • bt3100

            #20
            The first style was listed in my original post (since we do a lot of HF stuff here)
            An example of these are HF item 92834


            The second, I bought from thetoolwarehouse.net , when I ordered a bunch of stuff for the garage (after a break in). It's a Tomco air coupler . It uses a sleeve verses a button.
            She couldn't tell the difference between the escape pod, and the bathroom. We had to go back for her.........................Twice.

            Comment

            • JimD
              Veteran Member
              • Feb 2003
              • 4187
              • Lexington, SC.

              #21
              Cabinetman already said this but I will say it again a little differently. I think it is important to develop good habits when holding the nail gun but not intending to nail anything. One should not hold it the comfortable way with the hand in the nailing position and the finger on or near the trigger. This is asking for an accidental discharge. Keep your finger away from the trigger until you are ready to drive the nail. Once I am loaded my hand goes on the handle but my finger still stays away from the trigger. Some firearms training helps, IMHO. My "trigger finger" is straight and outside the trigger area. It goes to the trigger when the gun is in the position to nail with the wood or trim where it is ready to be nailed also.

              If you ever have a nail exit the gun before you intended it to, and I have, it is time to stop and review what you are doing. Hopefully it will just be an extra nail hole to hide, and not a trip to the medicine cabinet. It could be a sign it's time to quit for the night.

              Guys who do framing and shingles for a living like to bounce fire nail guns and some are set up for this but I don't plan to use one. Just seems like I would be asking for a nail to go somewhere it doesn't belong.

              Jim

              Comment

              • Tom Miller
                Veteran Member
                • Mar 2003
                • 2507
                • Twin Cities, MN
                • BT3000 - Cuttin' it old school

                #22
                FYI -- Porter Cable framing nailers, unlike their brad nailers, come with the "bounce shoot" triggers installed, meaning you can hold the trigger and initiate nailing with just the nose trigger.

                But, they will send you the red, single-shot trigger for free if you call and ask for it. (I think this is noted in the manual.) With the red trigger, the trigger must be released and re-depressed before you'll get another nail.

                I found it was way too easy to inadvertently bounce a second nail, especially while toe-nailing framing. That second nail, likely as not, was aimed directly at the first nail's head.

                Regards,
                Tom

                Comment

                • Ken Massingale
                  Veteran Member
                  • Dec 2002
                  • 3862
                  • Liberty, SC, USA.
                  • Ridgid TS3650

                  #23
                  Don't do this! This guy deliberately shoots nails, yep more than one, through his thigh with a nice PC gun. It's a little past a minute into the video.

                  Comment

                  • Tom Miller
                    Veteran Member
                    • Mar 2003
                    • 2507
                    • Twin Cities, MN
                    • BT3000 - Cuttin' it old school

                    #24
                    Originally posted by Ken Massingale
                    Don't do this! This guy deliberately shoots nails...through his thigh....
                    I shall make a mental note.

                    [Can't see the video at work -- can't wait to get home!]

                    Regards,
                    Tom

                    Comment

                    • LinuxRandal
                      Veteran Member
                      • Feb 2005
                      • 4889
                      • Independence, MO, USA.
                      • bt3100

                      #25
                      Are bump triggers still around?

                      Originally posted by JimD
                      .

                      Guys who do framing and shingles for a living like to bounce fire nail guns and some are set up for this but I don't plan to use one. Just seems like I would be asking for a nail to go somewhere it doesn't belong.

                      Jim
                      I don't have a framing nailer yet, but have used both them and roofing nailers. I do have to hide my nail guns (according to dad, who I don't live with), in case mom ever comes to visit.
                      I thought the nail guns NO LONGER come with bounce triggers, after some lawsuits and ftc type stuff. I know of one case, where the guy WAS wearing safety glasses (reason for mom FREAKING OUT about them), and he was double shooting, and ended up with a triple shot. It went through the wood, hit a steel plate behind it, ricocheted out, back at him. First nail cracked the safety glasses, second penetrated, and stuck through them and his eyeball, third penetrated the eye, and into the brain cavity (they found out that, in emergency surgery, as he was unconscious and they were trying to save the eye.
                      Now if I mistakinly mention an impact gun, meaning an impact wrench, I get a lecture on the dangers......
                      She couldn't tell the difference between the escape pod, and the bathroom. We had to go back for her.........................Twice.

                      Comment

                      • LinuxRandal
                        Veteran Member
                        • Feb 2005
                        • 4889
                        • Independence, MO, USA.
                        • bt3100

                        #26
                        Several places have carried them (I looked up here, the old HF number, but no longer valid). I first found a style at a site called thetoolwarehouse.net (automotive stuff, back when I wrenched). The next ones I found were from the tool trucks, Harry Epstein's, HF (basically, who had them, when I needed them). Branded as both Milton and Prevost, but they are safety air couplers:
                        Milton S-99705 Safety Coupler which fits the common settings
                        Prevost PRVURC061201 coupler, which fits truflate fittings (we used on higher air required tools, so things couldn't be used in the wrong area)
                        Haven't been on here in MONTHS, feels like years. Too much work and I envy you all that are off.
                        She couldn't tell the difference between the escape pod, and the bathroom. We had to go back for her.........................Twice.

                        Comment

                        • LCHIEN
                          Internet Fact Checker
                          • Dec 2002
                          • 20983
                          • Katy, TX, USA.
                          • BT3000 vintage 1999

                          #27
                          Originally posted by radhak
                          Hi Everybody,

                          I wonder if I could request all of you to come up with some directives on how to safely use a compressed-air driven nail gun? As you might know from my other posts I now have a new toy (P-C 6 Gallon Comp + 1 brad nail gun + 1 finish nail gun) that I want to start using today. I would have gone with just the instructions on the manual when I realized that I have access to a great resource for advice : you all here

                          My first takes after reading the manual(s) were :

                          a. It says 'dont use a extension cord. better use a longer hose'. But how long a hose is safe? Long hoses are accumulators. The air guns use impulse of air from the tank on the gun. More accumulators are better.

                          b. If i need to use the gun indoors, can i leave the compressor in the garage and allow the hose to snake in? YES

                          c. Can I join two 25' hoses for longer reach? YES, like I said before, more accumulators.

                          d. Do i load the gun with the nails, then attach the hose, or vice-versa? Intuition says the former...or is my intuition wrong? Nails first. Treat every gun like a loaded gun, haha.

                          e. Manual says to release the compressed air after each use, and to drain the water. So if i use it in the morning, with the intention of using it again in the evening, should i still decompress-drain and repeat? Once a day is probably fine. Its the water sitting there for weeks that rusts out the tank.

                          f. Can i use the nail gun upside down? (as in using for putting the quarter-round moulding agaisnt the baseboard, an upside gun might give me a better angle) Upside down is fine

                          g. Manual says don't use it on a ladder etc. But there would be times when I need to use it on a ladder or elevated surface (like nailing edging to the storage shelf in the garage). Is that a total no-no, or can i do it and still be safe? Maybe disconnect the hose, and connect it when i have climbed the ladder? Judgement call, they are protecting themselves against you accidentally firing the gun as you climb.

                          As you can see, i have more questions than seem right for a new owner of a dangerous looking equipment. But hopefully your replies help others like me too.

                          Thanks in advance.
                          See my notes in red above
                          Loring in Katy, TX USA
                          If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
                          BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

                          Comment


                          • woodturner
                            woodturner commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Regarding g, use on a ladder. What I do is disconnect the air at the tool, tie a string to the air hose, carry the end of the string and the air tool up the ladder, then use the string to pull up the air hose. I connect the air hose to the tool once I am in position on the ladder, and think carefully about how I will be using the tool so the reaction force does not tend to push me off the ladder.
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