OK to air-nail 2x4s together on their flat faces?

Can I use an air-actuated framing nailer gun to nail parallel 2x4s together?
I have a home business, and one of the tasks is to screw 2x4s together to make one thick post. I spread glue on the 3.5" wide faces, then clamp them together before fastening.
Instead of driving deck screws for fastening, I am curious if I can use a pneumatic framing nailer.
Would I split the wood?
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I think you would be fine. Nails won't have the holding power of the screws but this may not matter depending on your application. Out of curiosity why don't you just use a 4x4?
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You do it all the time for King/Cripple studs for framing in a doorway.. Or at least I've always nailed them together.
The 3" nail is usually a Tad long though so I usually add a slight angle to it.
Scott<-

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I angle half my nails in one direction and half in the other, a real pain to pull apart. If he glues it too it going to be like one solid piece of wood, maybe stronger.
Jimmie
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Set the framing nailer depth to flush nailing rather than toenailing. The nailhead should sit flat with the wood surface rather than countersunk. It it's countersunk, the nail point will protrude on the other side. If the boards are clamped together, it should not be a problem.
On Sat, 15 Mar 2008 16:16:44 -0700 (PDT), bryan

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Why bother with nails or screws if you are gluing the two bys together? Simply use enough clamps to hold them overnight and you're good to go in the morning. If it makes you feel better, use a couple ring shank nails at each clamping site or someplace where it might impress a customer. Framing nails are available in thicknesses unlikely to split the wood. Check out the Senco line for some of the best tools and fasteners in the business. HTH
Joe
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Others have answered the nail question.
I will add a bit.
The trick to nailing two (or more) 2X members together so you have a straight member is to eyeball them and then lay them so the curve is opposite. Start nailing at one end and keep pulling the opposite ends to make the area being nailed match each other as you proceed. A helper is nice but not really needed.
It will be easy at the start but grows harder the nearer you approach the opposite end. The last nail or two may require a clamp to make the members match.
If you start with two members of approximately equal curviture, the finshed product will be straight.
Harry K
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Why use a nail gun? Just do what this guy does...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BH_bOmqtqVc

Scroll to about the 1:50 mark.
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On Sat, 15 Mar 2008 16:16:44 -0700 (PDT), bryan

Sounds good. It doesn't matter much if screws or nails are used as the wood glue will do most of the holding power. It is possible to split the wood, especially near the end grain.
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bryan wrote:

No need to use screws of nails. If you're gluing them together you could use tape, string, or old bicycle inner tubes as big rubber bands to hold them together while the glue sets up.
R
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Interesting, when I've been in this situation I've always aligned the ends and nailed those off, then aligned the midpoints and nailed that, and then the quarter points, etc. At a certain point it becomes very difficult to eliminate the slight difference remaining, so I give up on the straightening. This gives me something that is on average straight, but with perhaps small amounts of curvature between each nailing point.
So that raises the question of whether one of these ways is better than the other. I don't know, any thoughts?
Cheers, Wayne
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You need to be a lot more picky about your lumber. It shouldn't be necessary to go through all that fuss to get a good result. When you sort through the junque lumber at the box store, look at the endgrains and then check for excessive knots, warping, cupping, twist and whatever. There is a relationship between the endgrain pattern and quality of the wood straightness. Doesn't take too much inspection to see the differences and pick out the better pieces. If that stack is hopeless, go to the other box store or maybe a real lumberyard. Some species are better than others, too, so it pays to know if is aspen, pondersosa pine, spruce (not likely), larch, or hemlock (ugh). Yellow pine is neat stuff but a bear to work with unless you must have its special properties. HTH
Joe
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It is all but impossible to find perfectly straight 8ft or more lumber of any dimension and has been so since I was a pup way back in the 40s.
Harry K
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Hmmm...never heard of doing ti that way. Looks more difficult than what I described. The method I use is what I learned in a carpentry course back in the 70s. Biggest member and length I helped with was a triple member 2x10x30ft for a basement support. Even 2x10 can be forced straight that way although the last foot or so definitely needs clamps.
Harry K
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Well, I skip the clamps, and I give up when I can't readily do it by hand. So I have a bunch of little deviations along the length of the two members. With the linear method, you accumulate all the deviations at the free end, so you have to keep going till the end, using more and more force as necessary.
Cheers, Wayne
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It's a lot easier to align each end and then pull the center into alignment.
http://www.ont-woodlot-assoc.org/images/sawmillconcepts5/Drying-Defects-bow-kink.jpg
You can straighten bowed lumber by opposing two warped boards boards and nailing them together. You can't straighten cupped lumber. You can straighten crooked lumber by driving nails in a corner of the bowed board at a 45 degree angle into the other board - that will beat up an edge, but it will straighten most crooks. Wish it was that easy in politics. ;)
R
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