What's the Deal with Pneumatic Nail Sizes?

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Old 03-26-12, 12:06 PM
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What's the Deal with Pneumatic Nail Sizes?

I just started a project to build a shed in my back yard. I decided to invest in a nailer, for which I have also purchased collated nails. My plans call for a combination of 16D-common, 10D-common, 8D-common and 10Dx1+1/2 galvinized nails. I'm gradually reaching acceptance of the fact that I'll have to shell out $100 to buy the IBC, just to be sure (topic for another forum: why should I have to pay to know the law?), but I've done alot of reseach, all of which indicates that this is typical and often required by code. So, why can't I easily buy these sizes of collated nails? When I go into my local home improvement store, I see no collated nails larger in diameter than .131 or longer than 3+1/4": which seems deficient on both counts for the purposes of being plan and code compliant. It seems like 16D-common and 10D-common bright and galvanized should be readily available, if everyone is doing it to-code and to-plan. Am I wrong regarding what I perceive to be a common code requirement? Is there a typical clause or exception for pneumatic nails that I just don't know about?
 
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Old 03-26-12, 01:58 PM
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Welcome to the forums! Your profile shows you live in Georgia. We have no code compliance with collated nails that I am aware of. Florida requires round head, as do other states. I have never had a clipped head nail fail in all the years I have been in the business. Why do you need a nail longer than 3 1/4" and larger in diameter than .131??
A little background would help. Where are you getting your information?
 
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Old 03-26-12, 08:16 PM
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Um...I'm pretty sure that a 3 1/4" nail is a 16D
 
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Old 03-27-12, 06:15 AM
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Hi chandler,

Do you mean that you cannot comply with code in Georgia when using collated nails, or that there is no compliance issue in Georgia with collated nails? My nailer shoots full round headed nails, so that in particular shouldn't be an issue. My information is coming mostly from the internet, right now (I know). For example, a post in this thread by Doug Aleshire indicates that, according to the IRC, you must use 2 16D nails to nail a rafter to a top plate. That entire thread is a debate about what sized nails to frame with. I've almost resigned myself to buy a copy of the IBC or IRC (don't know which, yet), to see what it has to say about the subject in general.

Hi Tolyn,

Well, you might be on to something, here. After all, do you mean 16D common (3-1/2 x .162), 16D sinker (3-1/4 x .148), or 16D short (3-1/4 x .131)? If you see plans or directions that specify a "16D", which variety are you to assume? The web site that I pulled those dimensions from indicates that the 16D shorts, which are the ones I can readily buy, are not recommended for framing because they have only 70% of the capacity of the other two. More fuel for my question: if that's so, why is that the biggest collated framing nail the stores in my area stock? FWIW, my plans specify 16D common.
 
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Old 03-27-12, 10:09 AM
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Do you mean that you cannot comply with code in Georgia when using collated nails, or that there is no compliance issue in Georgia with collated nails?


What he means is there is no restriction against using the clipped nails in Georgia. Some locales won't allow clipped nails claiming they don't hold as well as the collated round head nails. As far as I know, 3.25" is the longest framing gun nail you can get. IMO it's better use the hurricane clips to fasten the rafter to the top plate.
 
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Old 03-27-12, 04:41 PM
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Why are you worried about the UBC code? You will have to conform to local codes anyway, and if they use UBC, IRC or the Southern Building Code, so be it. If you are nailing two dimensional 2x pieces of lumber together, they total 3". If you use a 3 1/4" nail even at a slight angle, you will penetrate 90% of the two boards. If you shoot a 3 1/2" nail, you will have wasted steel sticking out of your lumber, so if your plans call for 16D common, buy an Estwing 24 oz hammer. You are talking apples and pears when you compare common nails and collated nails.
Don't get caught up on codification issues unless it bears directly on your locale (speaking of which, where are you located in Georgia?). Check with your local building inspector and see what they have to say about it. After all it is the inspector who will sign off on your permits, not us.
 
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Old 03-27-12, 06:22 PM
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As far as I know, 3.25" is the longest framing gun nail you can get.
I bought a thousand of these. So, available, but this is the only place I found these after a lot of searching, and certainly not as handy as stopping by the local home improvement store.

IMO it's better use the hurricane clips to fasten the rafter to the top plate.
I agree that those look effective and convenient, but it's not clear to me that using them exempts me from having to install the fasteners otherwise required.
 
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Old 03-27-12, 07:00 PM
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Why are you worried about the UBC code?
I'm not. I live in unincorporated Gwinnett County. The relevant code is IBC 2006 with Georgia amendments.

If you are nailing two dimensional 2x pieces of lumber together, they total 3". If you use a 3 1/4" nail even at a slight angle, you will penetrate 90% of the two boards. If you shoot a 3 1/2" nail, you will have wasted steel sticking out of your lumber,
Sure, but consider end-nailing joists, or nailing trusses to top plates.

so if your plans call for 16D common, buy an Estwing 24 oz hammer.
Take a look at the IBC fastening schedule. There is not a single nail on there that I can buy for my nailer at any local home improvement or hardware store. This is the crux of my thread: why not? Contractors use nailers, where possible, and should be complying with code, so why aren't collated nails in the "common" sizes in high demand and, therefore, readily available?

You are talking apples and pears when you compare common nails and collated nails.
Well, not exactly. See my previous post. Collated nails in the "common" sizes can be found, but not easily, and sometimes in inconvenient minimum quantities.

Don't get caught up on codification issues unless it bears directly on your locale (speaking of which, where are you located in Georgia?).
Almost every guide, how-to, plan, or code I have looked at calls for 16D common. I certainly hope the builder that built my house was concerned about complying with the relevant code (amended IBC). Somehow, reading this forum and others, that's seeming less and less likely.

Check with your local building inspector and see what they have to say about it. After all it is the inspector who will sign off on your permits, not us.
Certainly good advice, but I'm no longer convinced that passing inspection and being compliant are at all the same thing. Is there no merit to actually complying with the relevant code, when I know what it is? And if builders generally know what code is, and the required fasteners are clearly specified, then why aren't they using them?
 
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Old 03-27-12, 08:45 PM
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Sure, but consider end-nailing joists, or nailing trusses to top plates.
You don't end nail joists, you use joist hangers. Nailing trusses to top plates with 3 1/4+ nails is quite sufficient, as over half of the fastener is into the holding wood.

In your reference to the IBC, you will note there are nailing specs for common (.162) and for collated (.131) Generally it speaks of using 2 common or 3 collated. It is how you read the material. You can buy (.131) nails all day at big orange or blue and use them successfully. The larger diameter nails won't feed in your gun, betcha.
 
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Old 03-28-12, 05:21 AM
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Originally Posted by chandler View Post
In your reference to the IBC, you will note there are nailing specs for common (.162) and for collated (.131) Generally it speaks of using 2 common or 3 collated. It is how you read the material.
Bingo. This is what I've been looking for. I was looking right at it, but somehow looked right past it.

The larger diameter nails won't feed in your gun, betcha.
I've got one box of the 3.5x.162. I'll try it and see.
 
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Old 03-28-12, 02:41 PM
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Curious, let us know if it works..........
 
 

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