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Old 03-08-2012, 09:57 AM   #1
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Nail Gun


I was thinking about buying a nail gun to hook up to my air compressor for small projects around the house. I was thinking about buying a "Hitachi NT50AE2 18-Gauge 5/8-Inch to 2-Inch Brad Nailer" since it seems to have good reviews and is relatively cheap. Would this nail gun work for building a shed or would I need a framing nail gun for that? This gun can take up to 2 inch 18 gauge nails. If this gun wouldn't work for this can anyone let me know what gun they think would work best.

http://www.amazon.com/Hitachi-NT50AE.../dp/B000H399PC

Thanks for the help.
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Old 03-08-2012, 10:11 AM   #2
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brad nailers are for smaller jobs, baseboard trim work.
to build a shed you would require a framing nailer, as you will be using 2x4s
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:07 PM   #3
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If you're only building a shed, just do the framing the old-fashioned way. With a proper framing hammer, it isn't difficult - I built my own house and did all the framing that way. Framing nailers are quite expensive and your compressor may be too small for one.
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:38 PM   #4
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You won't find a "one fits all", so you start with the one that best fits your needs, then, when it comes time to frame a shed, you decide if you will have future need for a framing nailer, or you rent one, or you do it as previously mentioned, "the old fashion" way, with a hammer; the latter of which there is nothing wrong with, will cost very little additional time for a project the size of a shed, and will save $$ in nails. As for the 18 gauge brad nailer, if you have not done so, I would suggest a visit to your local lumber yard or big box, and look at the nails that are available for it. Depending on the projects that you have in mind, this may be the perfect tool for you, but you may find that the selection for a 15 gauge finish nailer, as an example, may better suit your needs. Or, you may find that you like both, in which case you already have your Christmas list started!
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Old 03-08-2012, 06:44 PM   #5
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a 18 gauge nailer is ONLY designed for finish carpentry applications. the nails are very light gauge and intended for installing door casings.. baseboards, 1/4 round, crown molding and the like... some use them for hanging prehung doors but is a recipe for a door that needs to be rehung 6 months later

16 gauge and 15 gauge nailers are also for finish carpentry, i use a 16 gauge for hanging doors, setting window sils and jamb extensions, installing thicker more dense baseboard moldings. 15 gauge works well for everything a 16 gauge is good for but with a slightly heavier gauge and a larger head they work wonders for installing exterior trim where wood and composites are exposed to the elements and wind. it allows for greater holding power

for framing you need a framing gun, the nails are designed specifically for structural assembly. framing guns start at around $100 and go all the way up to $800.. the $100 model is for the diy'er who might use it twice a year. the $800 model is for a production framing carpenter who is doing nothing but build homes day in day out. the other thing with framing guns is that you need a compressor that has a tank thats aleast 6 gallons,, will run at 120 psi and has a cfm rating of 4.0... meaning the pump will fill the tank much quicker so your not waiting for the air pig to fill up between shots.

if the shed is going to be a one time framing thing,, just hand nail it in combination with a cordless drill and some screws. you dont need a framing hammer, just something thats comfortable in your hand, its best to start out with a light hammer which wont cause you elbow pain, unless you have $100 to spend on a stiletto framing hammer which is made from titanium and half the weight of a steel hammer
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Old 03-08-2012, 08:38 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by md2lgyk View Post
If you're only building a shed, just do the framing the old-fashioned way. With a proper framing hammer, it isn't difficult - I built my own house and did all the framing that way. Framing nailers are quite expensive and your compressor may be too small for one.

...absolutely. A shed won't take that much hammering to be worth the expense of a framing nailer. But a finish nailer will be handy for small projects, trim, cabinets, bird houses and other honey do's.
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:43 AM   #7
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Thanks for all of your help. I'll stick to a hammer for now!
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Old 03-12-2012, 09:49 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by bsmith95610 View Post
Thanks for all of your help. I'll stick to a hammer for now!
Or buy a palm nailer.
I added one to my collecting of air nailing tools and glad I did. They really come in handy for those awkward jobs.
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Old 03-12-2012, 10:32 AM   #9
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the other thing with framing guns is that you need a compressor that has a tank thats aleast 6 gallons,, will run at 120 psi and has a cfm rating of 4.0... meaning the pump will fill the tank much quicker so your not waiting for the air pig to fill up between shots.
Disagree. I use my 3 gallon Craftsman compressor without any issues on DIY framing jobs. If I were pro, maybe I'd be moving too fast for it to keep up, but at DIY speed for framing my basement I have never had to wait for the compressor to power my framing nailer.

To the OP, if you are only going to use it occasionally, there are good deals on ebay for refurb. models. I think I paid about $70/shipped for my reconditioned Cambell Hausfeld framing nailer and it has never let me down for any DIY use in the 3 years I've had it.
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Old 03-12-2012, 06:57 PM   #10
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Disagree. I use my 3 gallon Craftsman compressor without any issues on DIY framing jobs. If I were pro, maybe I'd be moving too fast for it to keep up, but at DIY speed for framing my basement I have never had to wait for the compressor to power my framing nailer.

To the OP, if you are only going to use it occasionally, there are good deals on ebay for refurb. models. I think I paid about $70/shipped for my reconditioned Cambell Hausfeld framing nailer and it has never let me down for any DIY use in the 3 years I've had it.

using a 3 gallon compressor for framing is useless. the motor will be cycling non stop with such a small tank.. i have a 6 gallon twin tank hitachi which has to cycle virtually every 12 nails. if the 3 gallon is oilless you will shorten the life of the compressor's motor as it will burn out much quicker.. my previous compressor was porter cable pancake.. it only lasted me 2 1/2 years under light to moderate use before the pump piston wore out
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Old 03-12-2012, 07:53 PM   #11
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it only lasted me 2 1/2 years under light to moderate use before the pump piston wore out
Didn't know if you knew or not but a piston kit is only like $35,I just did my 30 gallon oil less
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:05 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by woodworkbykirk View Post
using a 3 gallon compressor for framing is useless. the motor will be cycling non stop with such a small tank.. i have a 6 gallon twin tank hitachi which has to cycle virtually every 12 nails. if the 3 gallon is oilless you will shorten the life of the compressor's motor as it will burn out much quicker.. my previous compressor was porter cable pancake.. it only lasted me 2 1/2 years under light to moderate use before the pump piston wore out
I'll count my nails next time I'm down there and see how far it goes. Due to the speed I work, I probably am still nowhere near the spec of half-duty for cycling the compressor. It is not oil-less.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:58 PM   #13
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Didn't know if you knew or not but a piston kit is only like $35,I just did my 30 gallon oil less

$35 part for a porter cable compressor is a waste of money. factor in the part and the cost to get it replaced... cheaper to buy a new compressor,

as for how often your compressor will cylce.. based on a 3 gallon tank.. if your stick framing a wall and using the proper amount of spikes when toe-nailing... after every stud it will want to cycle give or take
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Old 03-13-2012, 06:50 AM   #14
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I'd look into a rental. Get a wheelbarrow compressor and a framing gun. There is no way it won't pay for itself in time saved. Pre-cut everything in advance. I built my shed and shingled it in two days by myself, minus the doors.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fDoWt1fSPc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=flGIVDjnvxI
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Old 03-13-2012, 10:04 PM   #15
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riz is right.. if your framing your better off with a wheelbarrow.

as i mentioned i have a hitachi twin tank.. i can run a framing gun off it but it has to run near nonstop if im full out framing.. however 98% of the time if im full out framing im plugged into either a "EAGLE" or "ROL-AIR" 20 gallon compressor for which both are designed specifically for framing purposes. we can run 4 framing guns off these two large compressors.. and when were sheathing a roof we switch the rol-air over to "open mode" where it runs non stop ensuring the psi never drops below 90 on the tank itself
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