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Old 05-12-2008, 12:43 PM   #1
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shooting treated 2x4s into concrete


when i use 3 inch nails and the strongest loads (#5), the gun just does not drive the nail all the way in, leaving maybe 1/3 inch sticking out. if i use 2.5 inch nail, the sticking out portion is considerable smaller but still is there as to have to not be able to put a stud over it (which is fine as long as you space them correctly but it would be nice not to have to worry about it).

i also tried multiple guns and they all act the same way. mine is a remington 496, i also tried a friend's brand new ramset (el cheapo version that you have to hit with a hammer but still ...). could it be that my concrete is super strong ?

essentially, my question is: is it sufficient to use 2.5 inch coated nails for fastening 2x4 pressure-treated sole plates ?

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Old 05-12-2008, 12:55 PM   #2
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shooting treated 2x4s into concrete


If the difference is more than 1/2" you're better off using the 2.5. You'll have more nail in the concrete. I use the hammer kind and still have a portion of the nail sticking up. As far as spacing them correctly, why not nail the sole after the studs are in?

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Old 05-12-2008, 12:59 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by beer_geek View Post
As far as spacing them correctly, why not nail the sole after the studs are in?
maybe but was hoping to be able to do stick-by-stick rather than floor assembly and then raising up.
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Old 05-12-2008, 01:30 PM   #4
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shooting treated 2x4s into concrete


OK. seeing as a stud should be at each end, you could just put one in a couple of inches from there. Put in the rest when you've finished.
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Old 05-12-2008, 01:48 PM   #5
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shooting treated 2x4s into concrete


I have never done this type of thing successfully. The force from shooting the nails either cause the concrete to burst or crack or somehow weaken. I could pry out test pieces easily with a pry bar, so I shelved the project I was working on. Wouldn't it be better for pullout to predrill for cement screws and then use some tapcons or something? Lag screws with a lag shield? I don't know :(
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Old 05-12-2008, 02:13 PM   #6
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shooting treated 2x4s into concrete


Use masonry cut nails, which are wedge-shaped and are hammer-driven. They work great for this.
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Old 05-12-2008, 06:28 PM   #7
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shooting treated 2x4s into concrete


This is what I use Pricey but superior holding power.( split drive anchor) must drill 1/4" hole both 2x and concrete. 3" = $17.00 per hundred.

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Old 05-15-2008, 02:22 PM   #8
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shooting treated 2x4s into concrete


Just hit them with the ramset a second time. I've had to use 2 charges on every one I've used in my basement - I'm also setting a bottom plate before the wall.

As for the comment that the powder actuated nailed don't provide enough strength, I gotta believe you aren't doing it right if that's what you've found. I've found the nails to provide a surprising amount of strength.

PLUS there is absolutely no requirement for hold down strength in a bottom plate. Shear strength is all that matters. How is the wall going to get pulled up once it is installed? Its not - the only forces your nails have to resist is a side to side movement (shear).
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Old 05-15-2008, 03:43 PM   #9
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shooting treated 2x4s into concrete


Same thing was happening to me with my "el cheapo" hammer-hit Ramset. I did a few things that helped sink the 3" nails all the way in.

First I pre drilled holes in the 2x4's. Then when I put the nail in the gun I left the tip sticking out, just enough so I could line the nail up with the hole.

Next make sure you hold the gun steady press down as hard as you can. If the gun jumps a little you are loosing a little impact force.

Also somethimes when I hit the ramset I would miss a little and it wouldnt go off. Dont just try and hit it again, as the first hit probably made the firing pin slip down a little which drastiacally reduces the driving force. Reset the ramset and try again. (Ill admit Im a noob, so most may not be missing it like do sometimes )

Even with this I sometimes had a little sticking up, < 1/8".

I stick built my basement walls too, so having a stud land on one of these nails could have been a problem. To get around this just layout your bottom plate first, and measure and mark where your studs will be. Then you can just avoid putting nails where the marks are.

As far as holding power, I had a 2' peice of 2x4 nailed to my floor in the back of my basement. I used it as a test peice when I firstt got started. When trying to remove it using a crow bar the 2x4 pulled up, the nails stayed put and just ripped through the 2x4. I have a old large nail puller and the nails wouldnt budge. Finally I started whacking them with a sledge hammer... I now have a few 3-4" diameter craters in my floor where the nails where. My 2x4's aren't going anywhere.

Another thing I did to my Ramset... however I do not recommend it. It could be dangerous and probably voids and warrantees these things have. But I took mine apart and cleaned all the factory oil out. Then I polished the firing pin lightly and re-oiled and re-assembled. I was trying to reduce the resistance on the firing pin coming down. I think it helped. Again I do not recommend this uless you know what you are doing.

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