How to Use a Coil Nail Gun

What You'll Need
Roofing shingles
Coil nail gun
Power supply
Safety glasses

A coil nail gun is used for roofing mainly due to its capacity. While other nail guns have a magazine which can hold 30 nails the coil nail gun use a drum much like those seen on a 1920s-era Tommy Gun. This drum can hold several hundred roofing nails. This means that one roofer could install a small roof with one coil nail gun without having to reload. Larger jobs can be done just as quickly using more than one roofer each armed with a coil nail gun. The following article will explain how to properly use a coil nail gun for your roofing project.

Step 1 - Connecting the Power

A coil nail gun like most other nail guns has three ways in which it can be powered. The first is by being plugged directly into an outlet. This will most likely require extension cords. Another method is using a rechargeable battery. This is a great choice for small jobs as the battery can die quickly and charging them takes time if you do not have extras. But it also gives you a lot of freedom when using the coil nail gun. The final way power is fed to the coil nail gun is compressed air. This is often chosen by roofers due to the consistency of air flow and power to get the roofing nails in place fast and tight.

Step 2 - Loading the Coil Nail Gun

You first need to unhook the storage compartment latch that can be found either in the front or the side of the nail gun. It will be on the storage tray. Swing the cover over so that you can gain access to the nail compartment. There is a rubber band (typically) that is placed around the coiled nails. Remove it and then place the nails (keeping them formed in a coil) into the compartment. Make sure the shank ends of the nails are not facing in to the storage tray. Place the first end of the nails into the chamber where the nails are discharged. When you have the nails in place you can close the storage compartment and re-hook it.

Step 3 - Select the Firing Mechanism

A coil nail gun can be set to fire in three different ways. The first is by simply pulling the trigger and each time it is pulled a nail is fired. The second way is called bumping. You hold the trigger in and bump the nozzle on the roof and every time it is compressed it fires a nail. The third way is an automatic firing where a single trigger pull can fire multiple nails in between a brief pause.

Step 4 - Proper Nailing

When you nail down shingles you want to make sure they follow the slope of the roof and are straight along that path. Put the nozzle along the top of the shingle leaving 1/2-inch and firing. You should use two to three nails per shingle maintaining a 1/2-inch perimeter.