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Thread: Framing nailer won't toe nail all the way in

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kingsport, TN
    Posts
    11

    Framing nailer won't toe nail all the way in

    I bought a new Ridgid R350RHA framing nailer a few months ago and just recently got a chance to use it. I am having trouble getting the 3-1/8" nails to drive all the way in (particularly when I toe nail). I am nailing standard 2x4 pine studs.

    I am using the twin steel tank Ridgid compressor and I have set the pressure to 120 psi. The rubber air hose is 3/8" 50' long. I am using a plastic 1/4" coil hose at the end (to give me more flexibility). I have set the adjustment on the nailer for deepest penetration and I removed the rubber no-mar pad on the end of the nailer. Even with all this, the nail still protudes about 1/2 inch when I toenail. When nailing a flat 2x4 to another (to make a TEE) it seems to work OK.

    I have read thru the owner's manual, and the only thing I can find that I might be doing wrong is the 1/4" plastic coil hose at the end of the 3/8" rubber hose.

    Any opinions?

  2. #2
    Terry,

    Are you putting the same pressure on the gun when toe nailing?

    I know at least one carpenter friend that swears by 1/4 hose at the end of his 3/8 lines so I don't think that's your problem. But, obviously take the 1/4 line out as an experiment and see what happens.

    Mike

  3. #3
    Terry,

    I'm sorry you're having problems. I hate to say it, but it might be the nailer.

    I have a Hitachi NR90AE (the alien) round head framer hooked to a Thomas 200ST compressor. The compressor is always set to 90 psi so that I can use all of my nailers. I use a 50' and 25' 1/4" Flexeel hose for short runs and a 100' 3/8" Flexeel as a feeder line for longer runs.

    Using this setup with a small line and low pressure, I've never had problems setting nails up to 3 1/2". At worst, if I'm lazy and haven't held the nose tightly to the board while toenailing, the head will be off the board by maybe 1/8". If I crank down the adjustment and hold the nose firmly to the board, it will bury even a 3 1/2" nail completely. It will easily split the wood if I'm not careful.

    Suggestion: Go rent a Senco or Hitachi nailer and connect it to your compressor. That should help narrow down the problem.

    Good luck,

    Dan.
    Domino, TS55 EQ, PSB 300 EQ, CT22, C12 w/chuckies, OF1400, RO 150 FEQ, LS130, RTS 400, HL 850 E, MFT1080, guides

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Independence, MO, USA.
    Posts
    2,474
    Some compressors, have a only one gauge, which is tank pressure. Others have two, which also includes output pressure. I had to add a regulater and gauge to the output of my HF pancake compressor, to shoot the nails completely into my brothers barn, when we built it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Mid Michigan
    Posts
    3,539
    Terry,
    Is your nail gun capable of shooting clipped head and standard head nails? I have an old Senco that will take clipped heads only. Is your gun capable of shooting 3 1/2 inch nails? My Senco is not, it shoots a maximum of 3 inch.
    David B

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Dean View Post
    I bought a new Ridgid R350RHA framing nailer a few months ago and just recently got a chance to use it. I am having trouble getting the 3-1/8" nails to drive all the way in (particularly when I toe nail). I am nailing standard 2x4 pine studs.

    I am using the twin steel tank Ridgid compressor and I have set the pressure to 120 psi. The rubber air hose is 3/8" 50' long. I am using a plastic 1/4" coil hose at the end (to give me more flexibility). I have set the adjustment on the nailer for deepest penetration and I removed the rubber no-mar pad on the end of the nailer. Even with all this, the nail still protudes about 1/2 inch when I toenail. When nailing a flat 2x4 to another (to make a TEE) it seems to work OK.

    I have read thru the owner's manual, and the only thing I can find that I might be doing wrong is the 1/4" plastic coil hose at the end of the 3/8" rubber hose.

    Any opinions?
    Try it without that 1/4" coil. I'm, guessing that 'll do it.
    If not try it with a shorter length of hose.

    The hose could also have some bit of something obstructing it.

  7. #7
    My guess is the nailer. I have a chinese framing nailer that "likes" higher pressure. When the pressure in the tank goes down so does the penetration.

    I tried using this nailer of a small portable compressor(1 gallon tank) and its the same-higher pressure equal more penetration. The only difference between the big compressor and the small one is that with the big one I can shoot 10-15 nails before the compressor comes on while with the small compressor it starts after every second nail. Slower, but handy in certain situations.

    My impression is that, unlike an air wrench which requires high flow rates (and corresponding large air lines)and high pressure , the nailer stores the air charge in the gun, thus the large air chamber.

    I would take it back. Its from HD so gauranteed forever.

    Fred Mc.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    N Illinois
    Posts
    3,415

    Imho

    If not the 1/4 inch hose @ end, then probably the nailer. If from HD, they'll take back and then u can replace/switch
    Jerry

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kingsport, TN
    Posts
    11
    Thnaks for the ideas. I just tried removing the 1/4" hose section, and it didn't make any difference.

    I will try different angles, but I am skeptical - when I tried it just a few hours ago (after I removed the 1/4" hose) the head was still a good 1/2" from going in. I drove 3 or 4 nails and they all were about the same penetration. That's with the depth adjustment set all the way down and the air compressor at 120 psi.

    Like I said before I had bought the nailer back in June and am just now getting a chance to use it. It's supposed to be able to drive a 3-1/2" nail and I was using 3-1/8" nails. I bet, even on a tee type joint, that it won't drive a 3-1/2"er. Reckon it might be a defective one?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kingsport, TN
    Posts
    11
    Some more info, the nailer is a 21 degree round head angle nailer. The compressor has 2 gauges - one tells the pressure in the tank, the other tells what the built in pressure regulator is set at. The tank pressure is 140 to 150 psi. The regular gauge is set at 120 psi. The owners manual and the tag on the tool says 120 Psi max.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    277
    I have the Senco FramePro, and the only times I've needed more than 90 psi is when nailing WELL-cured 2x material - I looked at the Rigid at HD (to compare it to Senco for a friend) and it looked almost like it was made in the same factory, except a couple of things looked a bit "cheesier" so for $30 more I recommended he get the Senco.

    If you don't wanna spend the difference, I'd at least ask for another nailer and see if it has the same problem.

    Don't take offense, but are you sure you don't have the depth control at the wrong end of it's range? (Spoken by an experienced "senior moment" person ) Steve

  12. My Bostitch does the same thing

    Hey Terry, did you get any resolve on this? I just bought a Bostitch 28 framing nailer, bought Bostitch 3" full head nails, and it does the same thing. I am new to the framing nailer thing, a home improvement hobbiest. I was hoping reading your responses that a framer could have just told you what you were doing wrong. I hope I don't have a bad one as well.

    Take care,
    Kevin

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    South Jersey
    Posts
    1,463
    I have a Bostitch and it has a fastener depth adjustment. Is your's turned all the way and you still can't bury a nail. The longest I used in mine were 3-1/4" and never had any trouble burying a nail at 90 psi. See the section I copied from the user manual from the Bostitch site.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. Quote Originally Posted by Peter Stahl View Post
    I have a Bostitch and it has a fastener depth adjustment. Is your's turned all the way and you still can't bury a nail. The longest I used in mine were 3-1/4" and never had any trouble burying a nail at 90 psi. See the section I copied from the user manual from the Bostitch site.
    Thanks Peter, your gun is different than mine. I've adjusted the depth adjuster all the way up, which allows my gun to go all the way down ( I assume ). I have a F28WW Bostitch framing nailer. My only problem is with toe nail joints; butt joints work great. I was wondering if I was holding the gun at the right angle, height, or whatever.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    N.E. Ohio
    Posts
    3,962
    Hello,
    I have set the pressure to 120 psi.

    Thankfully, your Ridgid offers free lifetime replacements on the hammer.

    My short lived HF 28* framing nailer needed 120 psi also. After having it jam something like 10 times in the first dozen nails, I ran out and picked up a Bostitch. Forgot to dial down the pressure and almost blew a 3 1/2" nail clear though a 2x4.

    Anyhow - my Bostitch also leaves toenails proud.
    It's not the nailer, it's the operator's technique. W/the Bostitch you'll notice they package a sequential trigger.

    The "trick" to toenails is to use that trigger. You trigger the nailer and "mash" it down against the wood so it fires the nail on impact. You don't place the nailer against the wood and pull the trigger. Doing that causes the framing nailer to "kick back" and the nail to stand proud.

    IIRC,, it was Amy Deavers on DIY to the Rescue that explained how it works. Unfortunatly, it was after I'd done all the toenails. The good news is that my Bostitch came with a free palm nailer and I got to play with that .
    (Palm nailers rock!! Almost as much fun as a hammer drill )
    try to remember that the very first step in finishing a project is choosing the material. You want to select wood that has the color and grain pattern than best suits your requirements as "covering up" those things after the fact makes your work much, much harder - Jim Becker

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