How to Handle a Concrete Nail Gun How to Handle a Concrete Nail Gun

What You'll Need
Concrete nail gun
Concrete nails
Drill bits

A concrete nail gun does what the name says—it puts nails into concrete and masonry. To an extent, it’s similar to a regular nail gun, but far more specialized. That means it’s important to know how to handle it properly. It’s not particularly complex but it’s important to realize that it’s a potentially lethal piece of machinery. It needs to be treated with great respect.

Step 1 - Concrete Nail Gun

A concrete nail gun will be used to join wood to concrete. It packs greater power than the regular nail gun. This is necessary to penetrate the concrete. For this reason the concrete nail gun is powered by compressed air.

It’s vital to use concrete nails with a concrete nail gun. They’re heavier and stronger than wood nails and will hold the wood to the concrete tightly. Other types of nail simply won’t work in a concrete nail gun; they will break on bend when reaching the concrete.

Step 2 - Preparation

Measure everything before using a concrete nail gun. Have the wood in position on the concrete and a firm mark where you want to nail through into the concrete. It’s important to have the wood secured so it can’t move.

Clamps are ideal for this, if feasible. If not, use some other method to ensure that the wood won’t move when you use the concrete nail gun. Once in, the concrete the nails are extremely difficult to remove.

Step 3 - Loading

The concrete nail gun needs to be loaded with a rack of concrete nails. Pulling the trigger will only release a single nail at a time for the sake of safety. To load the gun you need to open the magazine latch and then pull the cover off the magazine. Insert the nails, ensuring that the points are facing forward.

Return the cover and close the magazine latch. In most cases the concrete nail gun won’t operate if these are open. This adds an additional layer of safety. Put on safety goggles. You should always wear these when working with a concrete nail gun. They can save your eyes from small flying chips of wood and concrete when using the tool.

Step 4 - Compressor

Now the concrete nail gun needs to be attached to the air compressor. The hose will connect to the nail gun. Turn on the compressor and set the air pressure. It needs to be between 70 psi and 100 psi.

Line the concrete nail gun up to the place where you want to join the wood to the concrete. Pull the trigger. Be aware that the gun will kick a little bit. Holding the gun against the wood will minimize this and ensure that the nail goes where you intend. Move the gun along and use on the wood in all the places you’ve marked. Set the gun aside and pull on the wood to test the bond. If not secure, add more nails.

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