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A Thermo Fin plate job we did today

hr Member Posts: 6,106
installed the kitchen, master bath amnd entry today. We use mostly the 8 foot ThermoFin, some 4" Radiant Track.

With two guys and a nail gun we banged up all this easily in one day, even ran the vent fot the boiler.

We use a coil roof nailer, although I would consider a stapler also. The thicker T-fin takes a pretty powerful gun to drive through. We nail as fast as you squeeze the trigger.

If you plan on doing a lot of transfer plates, and making money doing it :) you really need some sort of nail or staple guns. Screw guns are way too slow.

I did demo a Quik Drive gun for a day. Working overhead with the T-fin, which are not predrilled, caused the feed mechanism to jam up from the aluminum shavings as the screw drilled through the aluminum. Save your money or buy plates with predrilled holes if you plan on auto-screw gunning, IMO :)

I also built some spacing/ holder tools. These drive into the 8 foot plates mid length and allow you to space and hold with one hand and blast away with the other. Very, very, fast and accurate :)

hot rod

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  • Darin Cook_3
    Darin Cook_3 Member Posts: 389
    Any concerns on the nails

    I was curious if those nails would loosen over time. We
    do have a large plate job coming up and like the idea of shooting nails. I looked at the quick drive gun and it seemed like a good idea. But for sure that nail gun has to be the fastest. It will be my first plate job and I would like to keep the learning curve to a minimum. I would appreciate any input. Thanks.

  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106

    we have to pull a plate down for what ever reason. It takes a pry bay at every nail to remove them! Usually mangles the plate in the process.

    That galv, or glue coating on the nails really holds! And we use a 3/4" long nail to get good purchase in the subfloor.

    Around here contractors use Advantech subflooring. It is a very dense and hard product. Any nail driven into it usually breaks the head off before it can be pulled out.

    I think the combo of good nails and dense subfloor products makes for an ideal connection.

    I would try a stapler if I were to buy a new gun soon. Costs less per shot and may drive into thick plates easier than a roof nail. Some times the roof nails bend over when they hit a very hard spot. I think a stapler would have less problems than a thick nail. Most staples are glue coated also for superior hold power.

    I saw Paslode has some cordless staplers on the market. I'd like to demo one. They look to be a fairly light gauge staple however. Perhaps more of a finish staple gun than a sheathing nailer. May not be up to the task.

    The predrilled plates are easier to fasten, no doubt. I still prefer the fit and thickness of the T-Fin brand, even with the fastening challanges :)

    Take a handful of plates down to your tool store and ask to demo a couple options. Find a nail gun store, not a box store, to get good advice on what breaks down or jams most often. Generally you can't go wrong with Senco brand pneumatic guns.

    hot rod

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  • Jeff Lawrence_24
    Jeff Lawrence_24 Member Posts: 593

    Is that a Makita roofing nailer? I haven't been able to find one locally.

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  • Darin Cook_3
    Darin Cook_3 Member Posts: 389

    We do have some contractor only tool stores. I will see what they have for a heavy duty staple gun. Appreciate the tips.

  • John Felciano
    John Felciano Member Posts: 411

    Were still using screws to attach our plates.the Grabber automatic screw gun is fast.It has had some design issues the way it's constructed that require some correction from time to time.The screw were useing have a dril tip to it and goes in quickly,but not as quick as stapling.I have to admit I will probably try a staple gun once my large supply of rather expensive screws is used up.

    That air nailer must get pretty heavy after a few thousand feet of track???
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
    Hot rod

    My concern with Nails would be the debth of the nail and floor. We have a install in a old home coming up and the last thing I want is a nail in the middle of the ktchen floor :).

    Also we use the predrilled panels and the screw gun seems to work fine. How much was the auto screw gun ?


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  • Mike Kraft_2
    Mike Kraft_2 Member Posts: 398

    your'e not a girlie man.........:) Stay warm buddy!!

  • John Felciano
    John Felciano Member Posts: 411

    LOL!....It's getting harder to stay warm here in the Notheast with the thermometer reading 0 still isn't too cold to go do some icefishing! Great to hear from you,Cheese.
  • heatboy
    heatboy Member Posts: 1,468
    Pneumatic Stapler


    It's the only profitable way to install plates in a joist bay. 16 gauge medium crown staples. Very fast and will never fall out. Like HR said, we have to pull plates down on occasion and the plates gets ruined trying to pull them down. That's how tightly they stay when stapled.


    The Radiant Whisperer

    "The laws of physics will outweigh the laws of ecomomics every time."
  • hr
    hr Member Posts: 6,106

    if in fact the subfloor is a TRUE 3/4" thick then a 3/4" nail will not stick through.

    Now I have nailed under some cheaper waferboard subfloor and some of those are thinner than 3/4", something like 21/32" or some metric number near that, and you may see some nail tips ocassionally.

    You can always get a shorter nail or staple, perhaps 5/8", but I want as much meat as possible in the subfloor.

    hot rod

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  • Dale Pickard
    Dale Pickard Member Posts: 231

    We sell a 16 ga. staple gun and high tensile staples that make quick work of ThermoFin installation Specs below. I've also attached info on the palm hammer we sell for tube installation.


    Senco SNS40 7/16" Crown Heavy-Wire Stapler
    Staple Type: 7/16" Crown, 16 Ga
    Staple Range: 1"- 2"
    Capacity: 160+
    Air Inlet Type: 1/4" NPT
    Height: 97/8"
    Length: 14"
    Weight: 4.1 lbs

    Multi-directional stitching at up to 14 staples per second.
    Lightweight and compact with excellent balance and an impressive power-to-weight ratio.
    Neverlube™ design means no tool lubrication to stain fine woods.
    Depth-of-drive control countersinks staples to a consistent and controllable depth.
    EZ Load and EZ Clear means less time is spent freeing jams and reloading.
    Quiet operation with adjustable exhaust for user comfort.
    Reload indicator lets user know it's time to add more fasteners.
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