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View Full Version : Powder actuated nail gun...



II Jake
12-17-2009, 01:54 PM
I did a couple of searches and didn't turn anything up here... I was wondering if anyone uses a "Powder Actuated Nail Gun" to install banners on buildings -- in brick or concrete.

The reason I ask is that I am still pretty new to the shop I work at currently, when I arrived here I was shown the standard way that this company has been installing banners -- drill with a masonry bit in a cordless Makita hammer drill, then use Tapcon screws. This is so time consuming...

One day, while going through our shop's tool area I happened upon a Remington nail gun. I have used these in the past while working construction to attach wood to concrete... so I thought, "What the hell, let's give it a try."

It worked great. Banner up in a quarter of the time...

Is there any reason to NOT use this? Why don't more people? In my area I have seen banners put up with nylon sleeve anchors and screws, with rivets (also in some sort of sleeve), and others -- all which require predrilling and some that aren't very friendly to de-install when it is time to take the banner down...

d fleming
12-17-2009, 01:59 PM
my opinion only

1 More dangerous than drilling
2 more potential for damage to building
There's a big difference in nailing a floor plate to a slab and hanging in the air with a 22 cal. nail gun shooting to a vertical surface.

Billct2
12-17-2009, 02:02 PM
2 reasons we don't, potential damage and difficulty for removal/replacement.
I have used them a few times when the install warranted it.

Mosh
12-17-2009, 02:04 PM
Hilti Gun, used to shoot nails in concrete. Wait until you have to remove it....
Also be sure to use the correct nail/load. Using a slab load on a concrete block will result in the nail blowing through the block.

Chad.
12-17-2009, 02:08 PM
drill ... lead anchor ... washer and zip screw ... at least that is how we roll.

Just Another Sign Guy
12-17-2009, 02:11 PM
faster is not always better. use the right tool/hardware/method for the application.
there is no single answer, everything we all do is custom and varies by the project.

II Jake
12-17-2009, 02:14 PM
Hilti Gun, used to shoot nails in concrete. Wait until you have to remove it....
Also be sure to use the correct nail/load. Using a slab load on a concrete block will result in the nail blowing through the block.

So is that "Yes, I use them." From what I have read on here, I figured if anyone did it would be Mosh.


my opinion only

1 More dangerous than drilling
2 more potential for damage to building
There's a big difference in nailing a floor plate to a slab and hanging in the air with a 22 cal. nail gun shooting to a vertical surface.

I did a test first with the loads that were on hand here and they were far to powerful, so I went to our local hardware store and asked... The less powerful charge drove the nail in and left me with a slight space to be able to remove it later.

As far as removal and damage goes... I had to take down a banner that someone else had put up... It was attached with some sort nail with an expanding sleeve (kind of like a rivet...) -- I don't think anything I could do with the nail gun will equal that kind of damage...

d fleming
12-17-2009, 02:24 PM
"It was attached with some sort nail with an expanding sleeve (kind of like a rivet...)"

redhead. They're definitely not made to come out easy. If you have to remove them you will be doing some mortar patch for sure. I've seen where other people have tried to put them in the block instead of the joint and done real damage. Some people shouldn't have access to tools. I can use a hammer drill pretty quick to set anchors in mortar joints and rarely have any problem, I always repair mortar when removing anything, mine or someone else's, it's not that time consuming and I'm already there.

Mosh
12-17-2009, 03:06 PM
http://www.signs101.com/photopost/data/500/medium/shop.jpg


So is that "Yes, I use them." From what I have read on here, I figured if anyone did it would be Mosh.

Of course I have one.....

B Snyder
12-17-2009, 03:27 PM
I used one of them Remington nail guns when installing my new shed's wall base plates to a concrete foundation. Didn't take more than 1/2 an hour for one of my neighbors to call the police to report "gunfire." :)

II Jake
12-17-2009, 04:02 PM
That was my biggest fear... especially since the banner I did my field test on was on a building in a mixed use neighborhood and it was around 4:30 with the light fading fast. I kept expecting the cops to show up.

Brandon708
12-17-2009, 04:31 PM
I was looking into using them to install banners but decided otherwise.

1. Damaging Bricks / concrete or completely cracking them
2. Taking them out will be a pain in the ***.
3. Holding banner and firing the gun seems tricky since there is some recoil

I thought i had more points when I started numbering my list but I dont.
I just rather do it with my Makita hammer drill and tapcon them in using my Mikita impact drill. Works great. I just make sure that I have sharp bits and it goes smooth.

Brandon708
12-17-2009, 04:33 PM
I used one of them Remington nail guns when installing my new shed's wall base plates to a concrete foundation. Didn't take more than 1/2 an hour for one of my neighbors to call the police to report "gunfire." :)


another good point. Then they start asking for permits :doh:

II Jake
12-17-2009, 04:51 PM
I was looking into using them to install banners but decided otherwise.

1. Damaging Bricks / concrete or completely cracking them
2. Taking them out will be a pain in the ***.
3. Holding banner and firing the gun seems tricky since there is some recoil

I thought i had more points when I started numbering my list but I dont.
I just rather do it with my Makita hammer drill and tapcon them in using my Mikita impact drill. Works great. I just make sure that I have sharp bits and it goes smooth.

Problems I had drilling an then using the tapcons:

-Drill bit seemed to dull quickly.
-If one overtightens the tapcon it seems like it "pops" and loses it's grip
-Drilling into mortar - good. Drilling into bricks - bad. Causes me to lose alignment with grommets...

Do you put silicone, locktite or some other sort of adhesive in the hole?
What diameter do you use? Do the larger diameter drill bits hole their tips longer?

Brandon708
12-17-2009, 05:23 PM
Problems I had drilling an then using the tapcons:

-Drill bit seemed to dull quickly.
-If one overtightens the tapcon it seems like it "pops" and loses it's grip
-Drilling into mortar - good. Drilling into bricks - bad. Causes me to lose alignment with grommets...

Do you put silicone, locktite or some other sort of adhesive in the hole?
What diameter do you use? Do the larger diameter drill bits hole their tips longer?
I use 1/4 inch hex head.

Thats the key dont over tighten. Its even better to under tighten rather it break loose and be useless. No i dont use any silicone or anything. They hold very well if you dont break the hole tread.


As for losing alignment. If the grommet doesn't line up with the motar lines then just drill into the webbing of the banner. I wouldn't suggest you do this on all spots but if you need to do it on a couple it will be fine.

I always keep a lot of extra bits in my van. I even have extra drills just incase.

John L
12-17-2009, 07:58 PM
Season specific.... "Your gonna shoot your eye out with that thing".


Tapcons are always hot and cold. You develop a "feel" after a while but sometimes they fail anyway. If you are using the bit that comes in the Tapcon box.. it sucks, so get a better quality bit. I never get more than a few holes with their bit and then it starts making the holes too big for the Tap to grip. Masonry or concrete that it too sandy requires a good bit, longer Tapcon, and a steady hand.. keep it straight and don't blow out the dust. Concrete that is cured real hard or fired masonry units require the shorter Tapcons.