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Unread 10-26-2020, 10:40 PM   #1
Shady at Best
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How to attach hardi trim and nail guns woes

Hi everyone. I am looking for some tips for attaching the 5/4 hardi trim to the exterior of a house. I know that some of you would say that you do it following the manufactures instructions. It's safe to assuming that the manufacturers instructions aren't cutting it.
They suggest 2" 16g nails. The installation videos show a pneumatic nail gun. My nail gun is turning the nails into little zig zagged metal strips. They are not coming close to fully penetrating. I have adjusted the psi from 80 to 140psi. I have had 1 successful nail out of 20ish. I do have a harbor freight 16g nail gun. I suppose this could be the problem. Maybe the energy transfer to the nail isn't good enough. One of the suggestions online were to use stainless steel nails.

Have any of you installed this stuff? What did you use? Could it be the nail gun? I will buy a new one in a heart beat if i need to. The nail gun works great in ever other situation.

Travis

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Unread 10-27-2020, 07:37 PM   #2
Tool Guy - Kg
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Some of that ‘smart’ trim is pretty hard. I pre-drilled and hand-nailed the last window job I had where I trimmed everything out so that I could use hot-dipped galvanized nails.

If you want to use the gun, the backing behind the trim has to be absolutely solid. If it’s at all spongy, the nails won’t penetrate properly. Turning up the pressure only works so well. If you go over 100 psi on a Bostitch finish nailer, you risk damaging the o-rings. Once you do that, each pin strike is weaker. I don’t think a Harbor Freight gun can tolerate 140 psi as you’ve described, but I can’t say with authority. I think your gun has a fair amount to do with the problem. But I’d be inclined to take a very small mock up of the stuff to your local Home Depot (with a rental department). Talk to a manager and tell him/her that you will buy a new nail gun on the spot if you can use their rental for 20 seconds and the nails properly penetrate into your mock up. Not all managers will be agreeable. But it’s worth a shot. Otherwise, an Ace Hardware with a rental department would likely be more agreeable. It’s been my experience that the Ace Hardwares around my neck of the woods have been price competitive.

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Unread 10-27-2020, 08:56 PM   #3
wwhitney
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I recently was involved in a job installing 1/2" thick Nichiha fiber cement siding. We had nothing like the problem you are describing. We used Bostitch nailers and stainless nails. I would think that a stainless nail would be alot stiffer than an HDG nail, I think the HDG treatment maybe reduces the nail stiffness?

Cheers, Wayne
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Unread 10-28-2020, 02:11 PM   #4
smifwal
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I repaired a pillar for my snow company last year , it was hardie siding and trim. The trim was 3/4 or a 1in I can't remember. But I used a Ridgid finish nailer and had no problem and wasn't using stainless nails. what ever is most common at HD
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Unread 10-28-2020, 04:07 PM   #5
Raymond S
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I usually pre-drill and drive spiral/ring shank galvanized nails by hand. Doesn’t take too many, and I hate bending nails with the siding nailer!
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Unread 10-30-2020, 05:23 AM   #6
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The grove area in the nail gun head and tip that the nail feeds through needs to be fairly tight so the nails do not have room to bend easily. The cheaper nail gun might not be well made. Same for the nails. Senco or Bostich are two good nail brands. Their are many others of course. Stainless steel nails will be stiffer than normal nails.
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Unread 11-01-2020, 02:36 PM   #7
Tool Guy - Kg
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What’d ya decide, Travis?
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