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dickm

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At the Scottish Woodworking Show one of the exhibitors had some deWalt palm nailers at £39, which seemed very reasonable. I havered over buying one for a biggish construction job in the near future involving lots of plywood panels. They have the advantage that they can be used with any sort of nail, BUT what worries me is the vibration aspect. I get vibration whitefinger very easily, so wondered if anyone who has one of this type of nailer can give a view on the amount of vibration you get using them?
 

kalvt22

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Never used one, But I can't see that they'd be very quick if its the type I'm thinking of. I'd go for either a normal nail gun (air or gas) or a good old claw hammer. Sorry I couldn't be more helpful!
 

Mark A

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I've never used one, but my D&M tools catalogue says that the vibration level for the Bostitch palm nailer is 18.08m/s2 while the finish nailer is only 3.1 m/s2. What about getting a good framing hammer so that you could whack the nails in with one strike?

I don't know if this is any help to you

Mark
 

jasonB

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They are not that good with long nails, if you must use one then keep it for the square twist nails used on joist hangers.

For fixing ply a gas or air framing nailer with ring shank nails will be best.

J
 

wallace

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Hi, I have a lot of experience with vibration with tools, In my last place of work I used recipricating saws and stanley bostitch nail guns firing 75mm shanked nails for 17 years, this caused me to have vibration white finger quite severely. I was the safety rep and tried for years to get peoples exposure reduced. In the end I had to get the HSE involved. Anyway I digress, 18.8m/s2 is quite a high level of vibration but you must put into perspective. You can work out what exposure you would get by working out how many nails you will use in a 8hr period. The HSE have a exposure calculator you can input the figures and find out if your within safe limits. Heres a link http://www.hse.gov.uk/vibration/hav/vibrationcalc.htm
You would have to fire hundreds upon hundreds in a day for it to have a detrimental affect. To help protect yourself you can get impacto gloves and should try to keep your hands warm when working.
Hope that is of help
Mark
 

dickm

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Thanks, guys. That's exactly the sort of information I needed. Looks like a palm nailer is a definite no no. I'll have to clean up the head of the old claw hammer and get some exercise :D
 

angelboy

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I have one and I think they're great value for money! Although I think I paid £25 from an ebay store in Doncaster.

I don't think they vibrate too bad.

The last job I used it for was for 35m of close board fencing with 60mm ringshank nails, 6 per board so a few thousand and 4+ hours nailing - easy peasy!
 

Max Power

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Will be putting a brand new ,never used Bostitch one on the for sale section tonight if anyones interested (hammer)
 

wallace

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Hi Dick, you are better off useing the nailer than a hammer. The nailer is percussive but only for a split second, for it to be damageing you would have to be useing constantly for hours on end. Whereas a hammer transmits more shock to wrists and hands. There is more chance of damage useing a hammer and causing a repetitive strain injury like carpal tunnel than doing the same number of nails with a nailer.
Mark
 

angelboy

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wallace":127rsamn said:
Hi Dick, you are better off useing the nailer than a hammer. The nailer is percussive but only for a split second, for it to be damageing you would have to be useing constantly for hours on end. Whereas a hammer transmits more shock to wrists and hands. There is more chance of damage useing a hammer and causing a repetitive strain injury like carpal tunnel than doing the same number of nails with a nailer.
Mark

I agree - I'd already fitted 15m of fence with a hammer and my wrist was shot for days afterwards - that's why I bought the nailer!
 

superunknown

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I have one, I don't think there is any bad vibration from it, just the thump when you push it down. It's fantastic for tight areas when you can't fit a hammer and it does not vibrate the work.
 

dickm

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Aw, heck, just when I'd made a decision not to go with the palm nailer.......... :D

Interesting comment about traditional hammers. Have to say I've never had problems with prolonged use of one, but now you've got me worried.

Probably silly for me to worry about vibration from smaller tools anyway, as there's also about 200m of fencing to go in and in our "soil", that involves a Kango to make holes for the posts :(
 

wallace

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One thing you should be aware of is that vibration can have an accumulative affect. for example you could use a sander then a nailer and then a grinder, all that exposure adds up. By the way some tools that are really bad for vibration are things like angle grinders and those recipricating saws. My best advice would be not to use a tool too long without a break. Wear impact gloves. I only say these things because I suffer realy badly with VWF. The weather is getting quite cold and now I will not be able to do any wood turning untill things warm up again.
Mark
 

superunknown

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This is really interesting, I have never heard of the VWF condition before. Is it something that effects some people and not others, or will it eventually effect you if you use a lot or vibrating tools etc?
 

wallace

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Hi, VWF - vibration white finger is caused by excessive exposure to vibration. Shipworkers, miners and roadworkers were renowned for getting it because of the constant use of heavy drills and riveting guns. The vibration damages the capilliarys in the hands and restricts the flow of blood to the extremitys. When it gets cold thats when you mostly get attacks and believe me it really hurts. I have it moderately bad. I have heard stories of old shipworkers begging to have fingers removed to stop the pain. Some people can get a condition called Raynauds which is naturally occuring with similar symptoms. The company I used to work for did very little to prevent peolpe from getting VWF. It was only when I helped numerous fellow colleagues win personal injury claims worth hundreds of thousands. And me getting the HSE involved did they do anything. Funny I got made rudundant not long after all these things happened.
My advice to anyone useing alot of vibrating tolls is have plenty of breaks from the tool, keep your hands warm and dont smoke. Oh and have fun wittling wood
Mark
 

dickm

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Very good summary of VWF, Wallace. I would add that there seems to be a genetic component to susceptibility to VWF and to Reynauds. It runs in my family, through several generations, with younger daughter now suffering. So if any of your family have it, be particularly careful. A potentially difficult complication is Dupuytrens (which also runs in my family :( ) From what I've read, the closing down of the capillaries with Reynauds/VWF allows free radicals to build up in the tissues of the hand, and this causes the skin and tendons in the palm of the hand to contract, so you can't straighten your fingers. It's "sort-of" correctable by surgery, but seems to recur. DAMHIKT.

Oddly, I find the worst things are driving the car on a cold morning, when the slight vibration through the steering wheel deadens my ring finger, or sitting in a cool/cold room reading the paper! Keeping the fingers still to hold the paper seems to set it off too. Must get the central heating sorted out.....
 

TheTiddles

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Reynauds and VWF are very different things, albeit with similar effects. Yes people were exposed to dangerous levels of vibration in the good old days, but they all smoked too which made it a million times worse. The amount of vibration to give you REAL VWF is pretty big, gettign numb fingers isn't the same thing

Aidan
 

angelboy

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To be honest, I don't think that the OP will get VWF from putting up 200m of fencing with a palm nailer.

Go for it - they're great for a number of hard to reach places where a gun or hammer can't get to as well.
 
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