How to Use a Framing Nail Gun

Lead Image
What You'll Need
Framing nail gun
Framing nails
Hard hat
Safety glasses

Pneumatic nail guns, such as a framing nail gun, are important tools in the construction world of today. Using a framing nail gun requires proper instruction to make sure you are using it correctly. There is no doubt that safety is always a major concern with any high-powered tool. A framing nail gun allows you to build a structure of a home or other building quickly. Here are some steps to properly use a framing nail gun.

Step 1 - Safety First

Using a nail gun is very dangerous. A framing nail gun uses compressed air to force a piston which essentially shoots a nail out of the gun and into the wood. There is a lot of concern when a novice picks one of these up to use. Always wear protective eyewear when using a nail gun. A hard hat should also be used when using the framing nail gun and when around people using one. Always be alert when using the nail gun making sure that nothing can impede your normal use of the machine. When the nail gun is not in use always engage the safety and disconnect the power supply.

Step 2 - Select Firing

nailing on roof shingles

A framing nail gun has a couple ways in which it can fire a nail. The first way is a trigger fire. With this selection you would shoot a nail from the framing nail gun each time you pulled the trigger. This method gives the user a more precise and controlled experience. The other firing selection is known as a bump firing. With this selected a nail is fired each time the nozzle of the nail gun is compressed to a surface. This method of firing takes some practice and is less controlled than using the trigger. One can argue it also more dangerous because it could fire if the nail gun is dropped. The bonus of this firing option is that the job can be done much faster.

Step 3 - Toenailing

man installing plywood on house

This is a type of nailing where a nail is placed at a 45-degree angle between two pieces of wood. Place your studs on your layout marks and dig the teeth of the framing nail gun nozzle into the stud at a 45-degree angle and pull the trigger. The trick is lining the nail up with the plate and the stud so that the nail goes through both without the nail shaft protruding through at an angle. The stud will move slightly so use a hammer to kick it back and add another nail to the other side. When you are done you will want two nails in each side.

Step 4 - Through Nailing

Strength in framing is key and through nailing gives you that strength. Build your walls with them lying down. Line the stud up on the end and come up from under the plate and shoot a nail straight into the stud. Use at least two nails for through nailing.