A framing nailer, which can be called a framing gul or nail gun, is a common tool you might come across a lot in construction.
It is used to quickly drive nails into a framing assembly, so you don’t have to manually drive the nails one by one. The main uses of a framing nailer is to attach boards, connecting planks and beams, and making decks.
If any of your project calls for deep nailing work, then maybe you should consider getting a framing nailer. Don’t worry if you’ve never used them. Today, we will talk about how to use a framing nailer.
1. Wear appropriate safety outfits
Unfortunately, there have been too many accidents due to careless use of the framing nailer. So, take this seriously, even your outfits! Before you even start handling this tool, make sure you are dressed properly.
This includes helmets, safety goggles, earbuds, gloves and appropriate clothing. Wearing these will make sure that you are protected even if incidents happen. This could significantly minimize the risk of injuries.
2. Check the framing nailer
It is also important to check if the framing nailer is in good condition, including if there is any stuck nail. If the gun is too hot or too cold, try to return it to normal temperature before using.
Once everything is good, oil the connector and you are ready for the next step!
Also read: 9 Types of Nail Guns and Their Uses
3. Load the nail strip
Next, you have to load the magazine, which is generally attached to the foot. It could have a variety of angles, but the most popular ones are 21, 28 or 34 degrees.
You can load the nail strip from the rear or bottom. This depends on the model, then remember to lock it back to properly and safely engage the nails.
4. Select the trigger mode
Many framing nailers today feature a smart button that can be used to switch between the two trigger types, sequential or bump. Sequential is safer as you can only fire the nails one by one.
Meanwhile, the bump mode is recommended for faster, continuous nailing. We advise not to use the latter mode unless you are very comfortable with the tool, as it can be quite dangerous.
5. Test the framing nailer
If you are a beginner user, we recommend testing the framing nailer first before the actual usage. Use spare wood to practice how the gun feels in your hand.
This will let you figure out the timing. Practicing your precision will also help, so you can work more effectively later on.
6. Place the framing nailer
The next step is to place the framing nailer in the right place! Put it on the area that you want to connect or fasten, and position your hand so the trigger is easily accessible.
Make sure that you hold it steadily and firmly. Also, remember that there will be a kickback, so brace yourself.
7. Press the contact tips
There is no need to push excessively because the contact tips are usually spring-loaded. This means you just need to press the tips gently onto the wood.
Do not forget to release the trigger after the first nail, or this might shoot out multiple pins and eventually jam them.
8. Use face nailing or toe nailing technique
There are several techniques to use with a framing nailer, including face nailing and toenailing. The first one is more practical as you only have to place the gun perpendicularly to the target object.
Meanwhile, toenailing is used to drive nails at an angle. This is more difficult to do.
9. Check the flush condition
After driving in the nails, check the condition of the flush. Is it right or did it stop halfway in? If the nail is only halfway into the wood, this could mean you did not push enough or set the correct air pressure.
10. Disconnect the framing nailer
Once you are done driving the nail, it is time to disconnect the framing nailer. It is safer to do this before continuing with the next cycle, then reloading it later. Some framing nailers come with a dry-fire lockout system too.
Hopefully, this article has been helpful as you try to use a framing nailer for the first time. If you are ever unsure, get someone to help you out as you wouldn’t want to injure yourself.
Woodworking is a truly rewarding activity and it is not difficult to get started. Good luck and stay safe!