Concrete Nailer for Studs

Hey all:
Happy New Year!
Quick question before I start boozing it up.
I have been wanting to refinish parts of my basement and was wondering how good those 22 caliber nail guns do. I have a old house and parts of the basement differ with age. The main part is aggregate foundation with others being filled cinder block. Would studs hold the same in both using the gun?
I did one portion with those long blue concrete screws but frankly, it was a PITA to drill the aggregate, and the studs, while secure never seemed to hold right.
The local Home Despot have the 22 caliber nail to rent for not so much money, plus the price of ammunition. I am sure I will have sign a waiver ;-)
Thanks,
Phred
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Only time I ever used one of those cartridge powered nailer was a complete failure. Trying to attach some brackets to a concrete wall. All it did was blow chunks out. It probably would have worked in finer concrete but this stuff had rocks in it about 1" diameter.

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Phred wrote:
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Phred wrote:
> I have been wanting to refinish parts of my basement and was wondering > how good those 22 caliber nail guns do. I have a old house and parts > of the basement differ with age. The main part is aggregate foundation > with others being filled cinder block. Would studs hold the same in > both using the gun?
Talk to Hilti.
This is the tool that built the company.
Lew
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I have used a hilti,worked very well but they are expensive to buy. I have a cheep remington that is not quite as nice to use(needs a good hammer blow to shoot the nail) but gets the job done. You have to do some experimenting as to what charge to use and what length of nail to use. If you are blowing out chunks of concrete you are using too long of nails or too high of charge. To give you some idea as to length of nail it can be as short on one quarter inch longer than the material nailed is thick.

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Arvid Sorsdahl wrote:

Home Depot rents Hilti nail guns.
The good Hilti guns have a pressure adjustment which allows you to fine tune the driving force which is great when one load doesn't set the pin far enough and the next higher load sets it too far. Just use the larger load and dial it down a bit.
Pete C.
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A PAT (powder actuated tool) can be a great tool. They are touchy about strength of powder charge, consistency of concrete, length of fastener. They can break out concrete if you are close to the edge, such as the joint along the wall.
You've not said just what you were trying to do. Are you shooting the base plate into the floor? Are you nailing furring strips on the wall?
I would not use a PAT (even though I own one) as first choice for general fastening. Save it for special things like steel and base plates in good concrete. A really good, SDS type hammer drill would be a better purchase in my opinion. You can either use the Tapcon type screws (expensive) or put in a piece of copper electrician's wire with the insulation on to hold a nail or screw. If you size this stuff appropriately, you will need a 3 foot crowbar to get them out!! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ DanG A live singing Valentine, the most romantic thing you can do with your clothes on snipped-for-privacy@okchorale.org (local) http://www.singingvalentines.com/ (national)

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A powder gun is marginal on aged concrete and may not hold very well in porous cinder block. The aged concrete will tend to spall or pock, leaving less nail in contact with something to hold it.
The answer is ROTARY HAMMER. Not a hammer drill, rotary hammer. Bosch makes several in the 7/8" to 1" range that should do the trick in no time. I drill through the wood and continue into the concrete behind. Remove the bit from the hole and drive in an anchor (with the nut and washer already installed) with a framing hammer or drilling hammer (3#).
wrote:

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wrote:

I bought a $20 BORG version and have been happy with it. You need to read the directions to determine the overall suitability and proper load to use with your concrete. Concrete varies, and the package describes how to know if your's is OK.
If you can't use the gun, there's always a hammer drill and anchors.
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My experience has been that it is better to nail/screw into the mortar between the cinder blocks. However my preferred method now is to glue the wood framing to the concrete with construction adhesive or silicone rubber. This never blows out and holds extremely well. You will need to wire brush the surface of the concrete first but this isn't a big task with a drill mounted brush.
Art

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I'd have to agree with the others in using a rotary hammer instead of the gun. These powder guns are more suited for use in "green" concrete, but is pretty hit or miss in old concrete, cement or cinder blocks, and worthless in brick. I've had the best luck with "number 3" loads for the .22 caliber guns made by Remington. Hilti guns use .25 caliber loads and are not as readily availiable. The fasteners however will fit both brands. Using the gun in older concrete may prove to just blow out a chunk of concrete and leave the fastener loose in a large hole. I now use a Bosch rotary hammer like this one for basement remodeling: (Amazon.com product link shortened)67606063/ref=sr_1_15/102-9901637-0822547?ie=UTF8&s=hi You can also purchase a tapcon (the blue screws) install set from Bosch that comes with two drill bits and a driver that fits over the bits. It allows you to drill the hole, slide the driver sleeve over the bit, and drive the tapcon. Pretty quick to install plates for a wall on a concrete floor. Or furring strips on a block wall. You can drill holes for wedge anchors or wedge screws easily with this tool if needed. And the drill can be fitted with a chisel and set to just "hammer" thus creating a small jackhammer if you find the need to demo some brick walls or chisel out some concrete. I will say this, I miss the smell of gunpowder from using the .22 cal guns though, but not enough to trade in my rotary drill. --dave

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My experience has been that it is better to nail/screw into the mortar between the cinder blocks. However my preferred method now is to glue the wood framing to the concrete with construction adhesive or silicone rubber. This never blows out and holds extremely well. You will need to wire brush the surface of the concrete first but this isn't a big task with a drill mounted brush.
Art

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I just used a RamSet-brand gun to fasten 3/4 plywood to a concrete floor as a underlayment for a solid wood floor. 95% of the nails held just fine. The other 5% pulled back out, and I had to move over a few inches and shoot again. This is in a 30-year-old house. We put in about 150 nails for the whole room. I'm surprised the neighbors didn't report us to the police.
When I first used one to fasten down plate on
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I just used a RamSet-brand gun to fasten 3/4 plywood to a concrete floor as a underlayment for a solid wood floor. 95% of the nails held just fine. The other 5% pulled back out, and I had to move over a few inches and shoot again. This is in a 30-year-old house. We put in about 150 nails for the whole room. I'm surprised the neighbors didn't report us to the police.
When I first used one to fasten down plate on a 10-day-old Habitat for Humanity house, every nail went in and held.
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Worked fantastically for me. I made the mistake of using the highest charge first, and ran the nail right through the floor plate. The lowest charge turned out to be fine. I was amazed at how easy it was.
Phred wrote:

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wrote:

Not really... but they should hold in each. The difference will come in powder loads in the blanks. Get at least one box of each load, so you can test. Too much powder will chip the material out when you shoot them, not enough will not drive the nail (If this happens, you can usually finish driving them with a hand sledge) It never hurts to run a bead of construction adhesive before nailing, either. Expect to split at least one or two studs, so overbuy accordingly.

Those are a PITA, but they will work the best. Of course, that kind of holding power isn't always needed when you're setting firring strips.

Don't know how much they are to rent, but they're not that expensive to buy, either- provided you get the type that you whack with a hammer, and not something with a trigger mechanism. Get yourself some good earplugs as well- it'll be really loud.
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Prometheus wrote:

If you rent a good Hilti gun you hardly need earplugs, they are fairly well silenced. Well, unless you're shooting electrical boxes onto I beams, those are loud no matter what.
Pete C.
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I tried those blue screws in my concrete floor and they kept snapping. I next tried one of those $20 Remington tools and it either wouldn't fire when hit or it wouldn't drive all the way.
I finally rented a Hilti PAT with trigger from Home Depot and it worked with no problems.
Brian Elfert
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