hi folks, in a follow up to my shed building woes...
i'm building a 10x15 shed outside. 2x4 walls, 16in on center...
ready to start sheathing (osb, was planning on doing 1/2in) do i nail
or screw sheathing in? I have a nail gun, but part of me thinks it
should be screwed in... what kind of screws if so?
My choice would be nails. Screws will tend to break out the back of
the OSB on the way in and won't snug down tight to the studs. This can
be avoided , if necessary by predrilling the holes and using an impact
driver with Torx head screws. For nails, the studs should be straight
and plumb. Ring shank nails are the choice these days on many building
I've put up tons (literally) of OSB sheathing on /Habitat for Humanity/
builds, and we use 8d nails. You can check your local building code,
but I tell the volunteers to stretch their thumb an little finger as
far as they can, then put nails that far apart in every stud.
Be sure to use a moisture barrier. Down here, we put Tyvek on the
8d nails, what size is that, every time an American uses this term I have to
hunt up a conversion chart. Why use this outdated arbitrary system? Here in
Canada the nail companies, including companies that sell on both sides of
the border, sell nails by type and length in inches with metric size as
I can buy 1 1/2", 2", 2 1/2" 3", 3 1/2, etc. etc, in common (plain shank,
not used much anymore) ring (grooves around the shank) ardox (spiral
grooves, which are common for construction) along with the other types
without having to convert.
Well, I use it because that's the way they're sold. You're right; it's
confusing. I'll be happy to convert as soon as the manufacturers come
to their senses. Based on our progress in converting to metric, I'm not
going to hold my breath.
The terminology comes from England. "8d" is short for "8-penny". The
"d" is apparently the symbol for "pence", by way of "denarius", thanks
to the Romans. Way back when, you paid a blacksmith eight pence for 100
nails of this size.
Here's a chart:
Where is this project located? Any special wind or seismic issues?
Are we building a bunker or a shed?
Steve Bell's suggestion is the way to go. Nails are fast & the right
fastener for sheathing
And per EXT's comment....yeah nail diameter and length is the way to
spec nails and I've nagging the CE/SE's & contractors I know to stop
with the penny designation. But I'm wondering if he'd still
complain since I'd spec them in Imperial units :)
8d nails (full head style) can range from .113" dia to .131" dia.
IMO, .113 is a little on the skinny side for sheathing nails but
this is pretty normal for 8d gun nails
I prefer .128" or .131" diameter
So for sheathing, imo, the best nail with .131" dia by 2.5"
minimum with spacing at about 4" o/c.
I've actually tested the 10d plywood shorts (.148" x ~2.25") are "too
short" and tend to pull out under cyclic testing.
But again this is a shed...not a fire station or school
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