Fastener FAQ?

Is there a FAQ somewhere that explains the various types of fasteners and terms? I am browsing around for air staplers and nailers and am perplexed by the choices...
For example, what is the difference between a "L" nail and a "T" nail?
Some of the nailers or staplers says they can shot say so many shots per second. I wonder when this is applicable? I would assume most carpentry usage is one nail at a time somewhat precise where you want it? When will you shoot so many nails or staples a second? Is this for attaching oil painting on portrait frames?
Some staplers and nailers that can do up to 2" says the 2" depth is "FOR SOFT WOOD ONLY". What does it mean by "soft wood". Is regular 2x4 wood studs soft wood? I would assume so. What about pressure treated 2x4 or 2x6? Those are still considered soft wood right? I assume soft wood in this context mean not hard wood, not oak or cherry - not to be used to nail hard wood flooring or baseboard? or shallower depths is ok for hardwood?
Is it better to use a staple or nail to attach baseboards? If my baseboards are to be stained and not painted?
I assume there are websites with these answers already but I searched and couldn't find any relevant ones.
Thanks,
MC
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First, I don't know of any specific FAQ. Most major manufacturers have good overviews of products and what each is intended for. I'd recommend looking at Bostitch, Senco, Hitachi, Paslode, etc., for input.
I have to admit I've don't recall ever seeing "L" or "T" in a pneumatic nail so if have a link to specifics, would go look and see what it might be.
"Soft" in the context of a stapler means physically soft, not the distinction of hard/soft as deciduous/evergreen as is used for categorizing lumber. Obviously, it's pretty doggone tough to expect to fully seat a 2" or longer staple in a solid piece of dry oak whereas the same tool could likely drive and sink the same fastener in a fresh tubafor.
As for the specific application of baseboard, if you're thinking of stain- as opposed to paint-grade, you don't want a stapler at all to have to try to finish over the crown. There you would want a finish nailer and an equivalent nail size to what you would use if driving by hand.
There's rarely any need for rapid-fire; the uses would mostly be for things like upholstery or similar tacking jobs, not finish carpentry or cabinetry. Roofing nailers are often multi-/contact-trigger optional for similar reasons. Some framers have the capability but I would recommend against them for the average a.h.r reader/homeowner/ diy-er as they can be quite dangerous if inexperienced and rarely is the speed of the professional framer warranted other than for the pro making a living that way.
HTH, more detail required, repost w/ specific questions.
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OK, I did look them up--they're for extra holding power w/ the increased head area. Definitely _not_ what you want for finish work, particularly if you're planning on not painting over it. They would leave as messy/large a hole to fill as a staple when finishing.
I've never personally felt a need for them -- for underlayment, etc., I'd simply use a FRH ring-shank and set pressure to leave them slightly below surface. But, they would certainly work for the purposes outlined by the manufacturers but definitely stick to either brads or conventional finish nails for finish work.
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Wow! that's a ton of questions!
www.porta-nails.com/datasheets/nails.pdf
Is a start on answering some of them, esp L vs T nails...they show some pretty specialized fasteners
Cyclic rate is important is production situations; like nailing off shear walls or sub-floors or any other situation where the operator does not want to be waiting on the tool. Like pallet building using staples.
When they mention softwood vs hardwood, they are concerned with the driving force / driving capacity of the tool / fastener combination. Some guns can drive longer fasteners but only into "softer" materials. One can crank up the pressure but there are limits.
Framing timbers are typically softwoods but 80 year old DF (or cedar) old growth, tight growth rings can be quite "hard" and refuse nails & brads unless you max out the pressure.
Oak flooring (production work / large areas) should be done with flooring tools & special fasteners....hand driven or air driven.
I just R&R'd a small section of oak flooring in a closet to "fix" an 80 year old sub floor anomaly....... instead of busting out my hand driven flooring nailer for 36" of flooring, I used a Paslode 16 gage brad nailer. Not exactly the right but it was in a closet and not even the traffic area.
A good 16 (.062) gage brad nailer is fine for base. A true finish nailer 15 gage (.072) might be a little better choice. I have a PC 18 gage & a Paslode 16 gage and they seem to cover the range.
I could never justify getting a 15 gage true finish nailer also plus my inventory of 16 gage SS brads is a further block to going with 15 gage..
I've used the 16 for oak base. The brad fires through the base, through the plaster or drywall and into the studs, lath or bottom plate. Never had a problem even with 2" brads. But they're typcially only going through 9/16 or 5/8 of oak and the rest is "softer" materials.
For oak base shoe over oak base, I use 18 gage brads but usually they're only about an inch or so long. No driving problems.
For base I use the smallest fastener diameter that I think will do the job...smaller holes hide better and smaller brads are less likely to split the wood. My buddy has a 23 gage micro pinner, often one cannot even see the holes depending on grain or finish.
I would recommend against staples for any kind of finish work. They leave a pretty nasty surface.
HTH cheers Bob
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MiamiCuse wrote:

One with an "L" head is the same as a "T" with one side of the "T" missing. ______________

It means wood that is soft. As opposed to hard. It is referring to density, not the type of wood.

Yes
Wrong. Where you are, PT is Southern yellow pine. Depending on species - there are several lumped into "Southern yellow pine" - it can vary from hard to hard as a rock. _______________

Would you rather look at a small, puttied nail hole or a gash from a staple?
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dadiOH
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Unless it's extremely old, any new PT will still be quite soft compared to, say, oak. Even dried PT SYP isn't the density of old, virgin-growth SYP that is legendary as it is harvested from very fast- growing young trees and simply doesn't have the narrow growth rings of old-forest timber. It's harder than spruce and the other common "whitewoods", granted, but it ("it" being PT) won't be a challenge for a pneumatic gun--it's simply too new if it's PT and since OP is doing major renovation/construction, he's looking more at brand-new than really old, anyway.
Given an older (60+, say) structure, I'd agree it could be an issue...
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dpb wrote:

Just yesterday I was cobbling together a PT plinth for a cabinet in my shop. There were two pieces I could *NOT* get a nail through with a 26 oz. hammer. Had to drill holes. Hard as a rock SYP still exists.
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... Never seen it in new material.
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MC-
I forgot whether you had a compressor or not.
If not, consider a Paslode gas operated gun.
I was not a big fan of them but recently my buddy got one and now I'm sold on them. My crappy 16 gage air driven brad nailer recently failed and I used his Paslode a bunch.
You can get them on ebay for under $200.
cheers Bob
No compressor, no hose.
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Bob:
I have rented a Paslode finish nailer once from a big box store for baseboards and was happy with them. I will keep that in mind.
No I do not have a compressor but I figure I would need one sooner or later.
Now I am reading the pros and cons of clipped head nailer versus round head nailer. Everyone seems to say round head is better, but reading Senco's web site they said:
Q: What are the pros and cons of clipped head and full round head nails?
A: The clipped vs. full round head (FRH) nail question:
1) Clip heads were the original type of collated nail for air tools, and still remains popular in most parts of the USA.
2) FRH nails came on the scene in the late '80s as a popular product in the earthquake/hurricane markets (SoCal-Fla). In these markets, discussions about possible code changes led many builders to change from the clip head to the FRH nail. Building inspectors started to discriminate against the use of the clipped head nail. They felt the FRH would help prevent an overdrive into shear wall (structural sheathing).
3) Today, it seems the FRH nails are the dominant format on the West Coast, Florida and the South Atlantic regions. Again, FRH is the product of choice in the earthquake and hurricane prone markets.
4) Independent lab research results yield no significant difference in performance between both types.
5) FRH nails come in strip or coil format. The FRH strips are collated with a plastic material; the coils are collated with wire. Clipped head nails are only available in a strip format and are collated with paper strips and adhesive. The FRH strips will leave some plastic debris on your job site, and some plastic chunks embedded into your work surface trapped by the nail head (flagging). The paper-collated clipped heads are a bit cleaner, with some flagging, but most of the paper seems to disappear.
6) The clipped head tools have a shorter magazine track because the nails are right next to each other. The FRH tools feature a longer magazine track, which protrudes to the rear of the tool body. Some users prefer the shorter magazines for the maneuverability they offer, and some users like the longer magazine tools for the exceptional balance.
Our advice: Buy the format that is popular in your market, so it's easy to buy the nails where and when you need them. Our dealers tend to stock only the popular format for the specific market you are in, so if you buck the trend, you might have difficulties finding the nails designed for your tool.
So anyone has experience of one versus the other? Is a clipped head hard to pull out if one misfired?
Thanks,
MC
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MC-
I read and agree with all their points except the point #4.......
I actually did shear wall tests; some walls built with FRH's, some with clipped heads & some with finish / casing nails.
Yes, the results differed only slighty BUT (IMO) the cyclic test protocol we used tended to de-emphasize head behavior and cause nail shank behavior to dominate.
I have an NR83A FRH nailer, I like it
cheers Bob
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