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Carpenters/Handypersons, would like advice on tools to get

DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
Immediate project is to build a shed from a kit that will be delivered soon. All building materials are included and everything is pre-cut, though I will need to buy nails, a big level, a chalk line thing, and a few other small things. 2K+ nails are going to be driven so I'm getting a nail gun. What to get? My understanding is you cannot get a nail gun that can do both a framing job and a shingle job.

Next project that must be completed in next month or 2 is building of a treehouse (more of a tree-deck and we'll see where we go from there). This project still in design phase.

I am not going to, and have no plans to do, this kind of work in a professional capacity.

Also will need an air compressor.

Normally I buy quality stuff for my hand tools, but I don't see using the nail gun much after these 2 projects. I'm leaning to whatever cheap special I can get at Harbor Freight for ease of exchange in case something craps out on me during the projects, but would like external input. I've got a carpenter friend who I'd ask, but he's unavailable and I need to get something this week.

Regarding hand-hammering shingles, I get the impression a newbie can screw this up using a normal hammer, but I can't find an explanation as to why or how to avoid. These are composite shingles so I don't see the obvious advantage of buying a roofing hammer since I don't need to split shakes or wooden shingles.


  • DaimarDaimar A Million Feet Tall of Awesome Registered User regular
    A lot of home improvement stores have power tools available for rent if you don't think you'll ever need an air compressor or nail gun again. Depending on how fast you plan on doing the work it might be a better route than buying something that will just gather dust after these two projects.

    Al_watA Dabble Of TheloniusForbe!djmitchellaElvenshaeTofystedethXaquin
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    I was told that an experienced installer could put the shed up in 4 hours. So I'm budgeting 3 days. I've done enough 1st time projects where I didn't know crap to budget in way more time. For auto stuff I usually budget 4X, but carpentry is new to me. I might not finish and then have to dribble it out over the workweek. So renting I expect to be expensive.

    I'm torn on the compressor. I work on our cars and could see picking up some tools for that, but I'm really trying to avoid that rabbit hole. Trying to get only what will do these jobs. Also need to paint the shed soon after build ... and I'm going to forget I said that cause I need to focus on getting these jobs done before the sun decides to become murderous.

  • Forbe!Forbe! Registered User regular
    If you don't have a use for a nail gun outside of this project, heed Daimar's advice and just rent it, also rent the compressor. A decent compressor with the CFM you need for steady work is probably outside of your price range. If you see yourself using an air compressor for personal projects in the future, buy yourself a nice oil filled one with a good sized reservoir. Having compressed shop air with steady supply opens up a TON of options for different tools available to use for personal projects. Anything from die grinders, in line and da sanders, nailers, impact wrenches, air ratchet, air over hydraulics, hvlp painting, etc.

    I'm in construction/fabrication for a living and the two most used power tools I own are a Milwaukee rechargeable impact driver and drill. I work on my truck, build stair railings, and use it for just about any job I do around the house. The $200 I paid for the set was well worth it. Plus the batteries work with a variety of other tools ranging from portable band saws, vacuums, oscillating tools, jig saws and even a telescoping camera for engine/drain inspection.

    I would also suggest getting yourself a good beam level. A 48" level is probably enough for most jobs, though 72"+ is handy for larger framing jobs. You will want to check the plum and level of the shed you are building. A good tape measure to verify dimensions.

    It all depends on what kind of tinkering around you do, or are interested in doing. But a good 48" level, tape measure and a decent hammer are all you probably need for this job.

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited April 2016
    Checked out tool rental at HD and the framing gun is 29/day and an AC to run it 35/day. Knowing my crap ability at wood joinery I'm sure the rental would cost me more than this gun ( just for the shed kit. And to drive it I'm thinking this AC ( ZCI6IjEwMzQ3In0= ). I figure I can flog it on CL or a pawn shop when I want something better, but I'm not prepared to drop 6 bills to 1K on a proper AC to drive hvlp. Thoughts?

    Side thought, I was thinking of painting most of the shed before I assemble. Just seems like it would be so much easier to paint it that way and touch up after. Am I stupid for thinking so?

    Edit: my links aren't even working for me, will have to fix when I get home.

    Djeet on
  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    Might be worth the practice of driving nails with a hammer. Driving the nails really shouldn't be the thing that takes the longest.

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    This can be closed. Have decided the hardware purchase or rent and got into contact with my carpenter friend.

    If the solution suggested to "I want hardware to quicken the pace of driving in thousands of nails" is "use a hammer" then I think this threads gone off the rails.

  • HevachHevach Registered User regular
    edited April 2016
    I used to work at a Harbor Freight as a retail warehouse supervisor, so I know a bit about that particular nailer (though looks like they've changed the style on all the Central Pneumatic stuff since then, they used to be gray and yellow).

    You can drop down to the 6 gallon oilless compressor with it and save some cash. The box insists you can drop to the 3 gallon, but don't - it really can't keep up and if you go too fast and get "ahead" of the compressor's ability to put air back in the tank, you risk a low pressure fire jamming the gun, and the 3-in-1's already more prone to that due to complexity compared to the fixed angle versions. You probably won't break the gun, but it's a pain in the ass and we got a lot of returns that were resellable after I went at them with some needle nose pliers for a few minutes because people just couldn't be assed to fix it themselves and Harbor Freight's return policy is just suspiciously generous.

    Also, you'll need fittings and a hose. HFT has some good starter kits for compressors, but skip the 20 piece, because the hose in it sucks. Get one of the smaller ones (either the 12 piece kit or just a couple of the small ones with just quick release connectors) and one of the red hoses (the orange ones are lighter, the green ones kink less, and the black ones are more durable, but the red ones are dirt cheap). If you get any of the black compressors you'll need compressor oil, the smaller bottle will lasts months, the big one will last so long you'll probably misplace it long before you get the value out. The red compressors don't need oil.

    *I'll add one thing on the smaller compressor: If you're planning on making that shed a tool shed, and might want more air tools, drop that extra for the big 21 you linked to. A lot of air tools just won't run on smaller. Once you've got the compressor and a good stock of various fittings, air tools are cheaper, smaller, and more powerful than power tools. Their cost is all front loaded in that compressor.

    Hevach on
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Thanks @Hevach

    Lots of food for thought for me.

  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    Djeet wrote: »
    If the solution suggested to "I want hardware to quicken the pace of driving in thousands of nails" is "use a hammer" then I think this threads gone off the rails.
    A big tip from a good general contractor friend: drive some of the nails by hand, particularly the ones that join support beams together. The one problem with nail guns is that they don't have enough power to really push wood together solidly. Non support structures, like shingles, I'd nail gun all day, but for support structures, make sure you hand hammer at least one nail for every joint. That said, I prefer screws for support structures, to get around this problem.

    ElvenshaeDead Legend
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited April 2016
    Thanks. That's fair (makes sense) and will do.

    Edit: haven't bought any tools or fasteners yet, but I dont think I have the resolve to do all of this with screws and a driver. If I were to be selective, where does using screws help me most (framing, shingles, decking, etc)?

    Djeet on
  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    I would screw together all load bearing structures (aka, the wood skeleton) using a cordless 18 volt hex head impact driver (if I had to buy one tool, this would be it) with extra batteries. While I've helped friends screw down deck floors, you'd be fine nailing down the flooring, as worst case scenario is just a loose floorboard.

  • ElvenshaeElvenshae Registered User regular
    Like @hsu said - the place to use the screws is on the load-bearing, supporting pieces.

    If you're not wanting to go all out with the tool he recommends, a good socket wrench set and some lag bolts will do a good job on the structure itself, and a socket wrench set is a good thing to have, generally.

    Steam: Elvenshae // PSN: Elvenshae // WotC: Elvenshae
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  • schussschuss Registered User regular
    Screws can also be more likely to back out, so you have to be careful in some applications, as the hot-cold cycle can cause them to move around and unscrew themselves in some cases.

  • SatanIsMyMotorSatanIsMyMotor Registered User regular
    edited May 2016
    You are probably not going to want to use a nailgun to build a shed. Definitely rent it as you'll primarily use it for framing then switch to a hammer for everything else.

    As for tools you'll want to own as a homeowner:
    - A good hammer
    - A good set of screwdrivers
    - A good set of wrenches
    - A tablesaw
    - A skillsaw
    - A jigsaw
    - A level
    - A ladder
    - An awesome drill

    I get by with all that stuff and just rent/steal from my father when I need a mitre saw or something like that.

    Stay away from brands like Ryobi. They make entry level tools that will work for a couple jobs but probably break inside of a year with regular use. I like Black & Decker because they have awesome warranties and are built like tanks. They are expensive.

    Edit: Disclaimer that I am 100% an amateur that just likes taking shit apart.

    SatanIsMyMotor on
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Can someone tell me the difference between a driver and a drill? I've been told drills are for drilling holes in things and drivers are for putting screws in. I take it then that a driver puts screw in better than a drill?

    If I decide to use screws in the framing, do I need to pre-drill? I mean, cause if I do, then it's all going to be nails; just being realistic since materials arrive today and it's rainy so I want to get this stuff up ASAP. I don't suggest others go the way I'm going, but I'm OK if in 15 years I need to have the whole thing torn down and taken away and I put up a new one.

  • mtsmts Registered User regular
    drivers are for screws, drills are for holes

    a driver is usually way more powerful than any drill.

    i personally own a ton of ryobi stuff and its been great and durable., but I would recomend buying into a system and sticking to it. its nice to be able to swap batteries etc between tools

  • hsuhsu Registered User regular
    edited May 2016
    I personally have Ryobi too. Works just fine for me, has so for years. I don't own every Ryobi 18v cordless tool, but I have an impact driver, corner sander, leaf blower, and string trimmer, so I can vouch for those specific cordless tools.

    An impact driver is a special type of driver, that hammers at your screws (it actually makes hammering type noises in action). It's the only electric screw driver style that doesn't strip your philips head screws, and you can screw in 3.5" deck screws all day* without pilot holes, one handed even, with a good magnetic bit holder.

    * well to be truthful, if the cordless tool heats up more than normal, you should let it cool down. But that's true for pretty much any cordless tool, even DeWalts.

    hsu on
  • FoomyFoomy Registered User regular
    there are 3 types of things that can spin to drive bits:

    drill: spins via an electric motor, almost all models have rpm and torque adjustments. Great overall for just about everything from drilling holes, driving screws, mixing motar.

    impact driver: instead of being driven directly by the motor instead the bit is held by a spring and then a small hammer hits the side of that 100-1000s of times a second to make it turn. This gives you immense torque, but doesn't drive very well for things that have low resistance. Great for driving bolts/screws but that's about it.

    hammer drill: same idea as a normal drill but it also has a hammer that hits the back of the bit 100s of times a second, mostly used for drilling into brick/concrete.

    If your just framing 2x4's then you can use driver to put screws in all day without needing to pre-drill, the lumber is thick enough to not split.

    Steam Profile: FoomyFooms
  • djmitchelladjmitchella Registered User regular
    Other difference is that an impact driver tends to have a fixed end that takes 1/4" hex bits, which is mostly screwdriver bits, or sometimes smaller drill bits with a 1/4" hex shaft stuck on them.

    A drill has a proper chuck that'll take anything round-ish up to (generally) 3/8" or 1/2", which includes screwdriver bits, but also drill bits in all sorts of different sizes, hole saws, forstner bits, grinding/polishing/etc wheels, lots more options.

    You can do anything you can do with an impact driver with a drill, just sometimes a bit more slowly -- but there are lots of things you can do with a drill that you can't do with an impact driver.
    unless you get into the really big impact wrenches for taking wheel nuts off cars and stuff, but that's not something you'd use for putting screws into a 2x4

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    After returning a Porter Cable combo (included gun wouldn't do 3" nails) I ended up getting this Makita. I'm sure I'm overbuying, but it can do 2-3.5" and I see projects ahead. Still figuring out the AC, will probably get something economical that can do nail guns and some auto tools, and forego the idea of using it for hvlp for now. Think I'll get some kind of air driver. I've got some cheap cordless drill but I bet the batteries on it (nicads) are shot.

    I moved literally a ton of wood and materials out of the pallet and into back yard last night. I'm sore already and haven't even nailed/screwed 2 things together yet. The plan was to pay them $2-300 to build it but they are booked solid for the next 4+ weeks and I need to get this up so we can do landscaping and stuff.

  • FoomyFoomy Registered User regular
    edited May 2016
    Ah the joys of home renovation/building. Where the time schedule in your brain and what your body can actually do never quite line up.

    Go get yourself a big bottle of robax and I wish you luck.

    A few cold beers while soaking in the tub after building all day is also a good idea.

    Foomy on
    Steam Profile: FoomyFooms
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