Thursday, August 2, 2012

If I Had a (Pneumatic) Hammer

Pete Seeger's got nuthin' on me.  This picture doesn't tell you a lot, and that's not just the fault of the camera that's embedded the wrong rotation code..  No, this picture reflects a good half hour or more of work yesterday evening trying to countersink the nails in the plywood with a claw hammer and a center punch, and blast me if it did any good at all.

This is not working this is not working this is not working!  And I can't do anything more with that floor until those nails are hammered in.  They have to be covered over so I'll have a decent surface to paint.

So I went upstairs  and started looking things up on the Internet, hoping to get a better idea.  I learn it could be the previous owners used ringshank nails to pin down that plywood (the mandatory 2" on center around the perimeter and 4" oc apart in the field.  Or closer), and that's why I couldn't get them to budge.  I mean, I can countersink a very pretty nail and have in my day, many a time.  Something is different in my hall, and I doubt it's because the nails are bewitched.

This is the most useful idea I came up with in my research.  It's a palm impact nailer, it uses regular standard nails and not the strip sort you use with typical nailguns.  YouTube videos I watched tell me I could use it to force existing nails deeper into the wood, as well as driving new nails into a countersunk position in the first place.

You can also get it in a smaller version, which apparently does the same thing, if a bit more slowly.  It's a lot cheaper and less fatiquing, too, being a third of the weight.

But I really don't need to be buying new power tools at this juncture.  And these things need to be connected to a compressor.  I know of one I can borrow, but not for another three or four weeks.  I don't want to wait that long to deal with this floor; because painting will involve my sleeping downstairs for awhile, I want to get the project finished before the new school year starts and I go back to work.

So this afternoon I went to the used tool paradise up in Beaver Falls.  Biggest reason was to see if they had any ½" pipe long enough to use with my pipe clamps to put the screen door back together.  But I also wanted to ask them if they had any ideas about countersinking those nails.

Guy there thought they had one of those little impact nailers for sale, used.  But no, it'd been sold.  He tells me I could rent one from his boss, and a compresser, too.  Hmm.  For what that'd cost I could buy the smaller nailer and have it-- assuming I could borrow the air supply.

Came home with a new (to me)36" pipe clamp assembly and a ¼" diam. centerpunch.  Tried the latter on the plywood floor.  Oh, crumb.  I can make a dent with it, but not a dent with the nailhead sunk in.  .

Fresh ideas welcome.  But I know what I wish I had so I could get things over with . . .