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Old 08-20-2010, 11:06 AM   #1
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Cut nails not holding strong in concrete


Doing some basement remodeling and most of the cut nails are not holding strong into the concrete when trying to nail down the bottom plates of the walls. I think the concrete is chipping some as the nails are going in. House is 55 years old.

I havent been using liquid nails on the bottom plates yet. Would this be enough to sure up the not-so-solid cut nails? Or should I try tap-cons? Ive never heard of using tap-cons for securing bottom plates of walls but its the only other thing I could think of.

Are there any handy tricks for this situation?

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Old 08-20-2010, 11:27 AM   #2
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Cut nails not holding strong in concrete


Tap, tap, tap, tapping is a sure way to guarantee that cut nails will never hold in concrete.

It should take you no more than two or three good strong, hard and solid hits with something like a 2 pound sledge hammer to firmly drive cut nails into concrete. I use a regular 22 oz framing hammer, but I hit the nail very hard.

And don't hit the nail again after the final hit that sinks it to the surface of the plate.

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Old 08-20-2010, 11:58 AM   #3
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Cut nails not holding strong in concrete


I assume you are using cut nails because you don't have access to a hammer drill, but if you do have a hammer drill, you can try pulling out the ones that didn't hold, drilling a 1/4 pilot hole through wood and into concrete, then put 3 or 4 cut nails into that hole, and pounding those in. Works like a poor-mans sleeve anchor! good luck
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:34 PM   #4
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Cut nails not holding strong in concrete


In my book cut nails are totally bad news. They never hold for me, I stopped using them years ago. Options include renting a 22 or 38 Ramset, that will drive the appropriate Ramset nail beautifully into concrete. Alternatively, Phillips redheads work very well, of course you need the proper installation tool, again it can be rented. Lead anchor sleeves work fine, lots of work to drill the hole, install the sleeve, then install the bolt or screw. Plastic anchor sleeves can be used, in my experience they are not as good as the lead sleeves.

The best bet for a lot of anchors is the Ramset, be sure to use appropriate ear protection.
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Old 08-20-2010, 01:57 PM   #5
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Cut nails not holding strong in concrete


I actually used my 30 lb sledge for a few of the cut nails already but some of em still didnt set right.

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In my book cut nails are totally bad news. They never hold for me, I stopped using them years ago. Options include renting a 22 or 38 Ramset, that will drive the appropriate Ramset nail beautifully into concrete. Alternatively, Phillips redheads work very well, of course you need the proper installation tool, again it can be rented. Lead anchor sleeves work fine, lots of work to drill the hole, install the sleeve, then install the bolt or screw. Plastic anchor sleeves can be used, in my experience they are not as good as the lead sleeves.

The best bet for a lot of anchors is the Ramset, be sure to use appropriate ear protection.
Is this the Ramset product you mean? Id never heard of it. Looks fun

And is this the 'redhead' you were talking about? What special tool is needed for that? Just looks like a tapcon
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Old 08-20-2010, 02:59 PM   #6
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Cut nails not holding strong in concrete


Tapcons are a pain in a poured floor. Easiest methods are a powder gun ( like the ramset you linked to), or a sleeve anchor. Forget using shields. with sheilds you need to hole spot, which means drilling a larger hole in concrete, then a smaller hole in the wood, and hope everything lines up exactly. With a sleeve anchor you just drill through wood, into concrete, then insert anchor and tighten nut
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Old 08-20-2010, 03:48 PM   #7
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Cut nails not holding strong in concrete


When I did my basement (55 year old house too!) I tried cut nails (no luck), bought a hammer type ramset (no luck), rented a real ramset used some PL4000 and all was okay, not great. Energy walls were actually okay cause draintile was installed and slab was patched around perimeter only 10 years ago.
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Old 08-20-2010, 03:54 PM   #8
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Cut nails not holding strong in concrete


i'm w/dan,,, had no idea anyone still used 'em unless they were restoring a 1800's house,,, conc screws & const glue in a caulk tube works for me.

dan's also correct in that, if you have a bunch to shoot, get the .22 or .25 cal gun - its also rentable,,, as he sez, ear AND eye protection

shoot, i couldn't even PICK UP a 30# sledge - didn't even know there was 1 made,,, betcha jomama can, tho,,, he muy hombre'
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Old 08-20-2010, 04:05 PM   #9
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Cut nails not holding strong in concrete


Since the house is 55 years old, the concrete has probably cured a lot and could be very strong and tough to get into. If you rent a tool to shoot them in, it might need a heavier load than normal (I don't remember the color coding) but I found out that I needed a heavy load for my old home that was the same age when I did the work on it.- Built in 1917 with a flat roof (wonderful concept if done right with interior drains), but I assumed it was because it was engineered and the construction was controlled, but other homes in the area that were slightly newer, but had similar old concrete that cures as long as there is some moisture present. - I would love to be able to buy it back now, but the price is really out of sight now.

Dick

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Old 08-20-2010, 04:34 PM   #10
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Cut nails not holding strong in concrete


That old of a house, I doubt there is any vapor barrier plastic under the slab. If this space will be heated, I suggest adding some sill sealer between the p.t./slab for a thermal and capillary break. Many slabs look dry because of the air circulation until finishing, then the truth sometimes comes up through the slab.... P.t. wood will wick water to the dry studs for rot if any water is present: http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/...-building-code

http://docs.google.com/viewer?a=v&q=...Sf-fmaa9ayOUVg

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Old 08-20-2010, 06:25 PM   #11
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Cut nails not holding strong in concrete


Quote:
Originally Posted by concretemasonry View Post
If you rent a tool to shoot them in, it might need a heavier load than normal (I don't remember the color coding) but I found out that I needed a heavy load for my old home that was the same age when I did the work on it.-
If memeory serves me it goes ( weakest to strongest)

gray
brown
green
yellow
red

Hilti used to offer a purple load for a couple of there guns, not sure if they still do or not. Don't make the mistake of just going right away to the red load, it may be too strong. Buy a box of green, yellow, and red and see which one works best, starting with the green

If your floor has a lot of aggregate in the concrete, you might have trouble getting anything to go in
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:34 PM   #12
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Cut nails not holding strong in concrete


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Chips View Post
I assume you are using cut nails because you don't have access to a hammer drill, but if you do have a hammer drill, you can try pulling out the ones that didn't hold, drilling a 1/4 pilot hole through wood and into concrete, then put 3 or 4 cut nails into that hole, and pounding those in. Works like a poor-mans sleeve anchor! good luck
That would be my suggestion as well, but you can really use any nails that are long enough.


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shoot, i couldn't even PICK UP a 30# sledge - didn't even know there was 1 made,,, betcha jomama can, tho,,, he muy hombre'
Nope, never even seen a 30#'er in my life. 20#'s is where I draw the line..............

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If memeory serves me it goes ( weakest to strongest)

gray
brown
green
yellow
red

Hilti used to offer a purple load for a couple of there guns, not sure if they still do or not. Don't make the mistake of just going right away to the red load, it may be too strong. Buy a box of green, yellow, and red and see which one works best, starting with the green

If your floor has a lot of aggregate in the concrete, you might have trouble getting anything to go in
I think they used to make a "black" load as well, which for attaching through steel beams. I know the powder actuated are highly restricted in the professional field (by OSHA) w/o the proper training and license, so I'm pretty sure that anything over a "green" load is hard to come by for a DIY'er.
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:37 PM   #13
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Cut nails not holding strong in concrete


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Originally Posted by jomama45 View Post
. I know the powder actuated are highly restricted in the professional field (by OSHA) w/o the proper training and license, so I'm pretty sure that anything over a "green" load is hard to come by for a DIY'er.

Not anymore. You can now get licensed over the internet just by taking a test, and Mr OSHA Man has no way to know if the person whose name is on the license is the actual person who took the test. it's become a real joke....
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:45 PM   #14
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Cut nails not holding strong in concrete


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Not anymore. You can now get licensed over the internet just by taking a test, and Mr OSHA Man has no way to know if the person whose name is on the license is the actual person who took the test. it's become a real joke....

Hmmmmmmmm, interesting.......

But, can an un-licensed DIY'er get their hands on the higher powered loads, or will the supplier's generally not sell them?
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Old 08-20-2010, 06:55 PM   #15
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Cut nails not holding strong in concrete


there are no license requirements for a contractor or DIY'er to buy loads. i'm not sure, but would be willing to bet you can buy red loads at your local depot or lowes

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