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Spline gun

wood_doctor's picture

Spline gun (post #165731)

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Has anyone seen a gun that shoots long splines. Im looking for the gun that stair parts companies like LJ Smith, and Coffman, shoot their handrail parts together. It is a long spline..about 2 inches log and about 3/4 - 1 inch wide. They must make one...Ive seen the rail parts attached with the splines...I know they don't hammer how ever many thousand parts they make a day.......

(post #165731, reply #1 of 21)

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doc,

Are you talking about a corrigated fastner gun?

Ed. Williams

(post #165731, reply #2 of 21)

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Its not a corrigated fastener, at least I dont think so..Im not sure what that is...Have you ever seen the metal splines that go in the outside corner of the miters in a window trim kit? They are usually in a little yellow envelope. The splines that LJ Smith uses are the same just longer...Thanks for your help

(post #165731, reply #3 of 21)

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Hey doc,

How 'bout the Senco 'Sen-clamp'?

(post #165731, reply #4 of 21)

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I'm pretty sure it's not a gun that inserts those "splines." I went Coffman stair conference, and they were pushing a little power saw that cuts the grooves in the handrail parts, and then the connectors were indeed pounded in. I've heard the saw was taken off the market for safety reasons. They were also pushing a special glue, which, turned out to be only be available in 55 gallon drums.

Still boltin' the rails, BB

(post #165731, reply #5 of 21)

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Thats too bad, those bolts sure are a pain in the .......Sure wish I could find one of those saws. Has anyone experimented with a biscuit joiner and somekind of jig. You could cut a slot in the handrail letting the bottom of the biscuit hang out the bottom of the handrail. Then cut and sand flush. The wood wouldnt match but I dont think it would be too noticable. Would it be strong enough with a good glue and ample setup time?

(post #165731, reply #6 of 21)

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Have you tried the PC 557 joiner and FF biscuits ? They're smaller in length than the 0's, but wider across and take a slightly deeper dado. They use a 2" diameter blade to create that geometry (I use a router with a 2" fly cutter most of the time).

For really small biscuits there's a mini-joiner from Ryobi; but, I keep hearing that all Ryobi's are going to be orphaned pretty soon, so I'm hesitant to buy one.

(post #165731, reply #7 of 21)

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Phil,

Do you think half a face frame biscuit would be strong enough for a hand rail? I could see attaching balusters, but I don't know if a biscuit could take the same stress as a bolt in the handrail.

(post #165731, reply #8 of 21)

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Maybe I'm not visuallizing the question correctly. I thought it's about joining two pieces of standard handrail together. It must be a very small handrail to only take 1/2 a biscuit (??) - you can usually put two FF biscuits, horrizontally and spaced about a biscuit-width apart. That, and some good glue/epoxy, should make a joint that's stronger than the wood. It can't be stronger than those double ended steel bolts, but it wouldn't be unsafe. I glue in the spindles with dowels top and bottom, so the integrity of the unit is really sound. I don't know what happens if you only toe-nail the spindles in.

If this isn't a good practice, then I'd like to hear about it.

(post #165731, reply #9 of 21)

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Sorry Gents,

Nothing holds better than a rail bolt. I trust those more than the glue. The glue just fills up any gaps in bad joinery.

Ed. Williams

(post #165731, reply #10 of 21)

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Can I just take a checkpoint here to make sure we're on the same page Ed ? To me, a "rail bolt" is one-half screw and the other half has a bolt thread and it's specifically for joining a rail to a newell (you screw the bolt into the end of the rail, put the bolt end into a hole in the newell, and then secure it with a nut). The application that I'm thinking about is where you're joining two rails together: that hardware is a two-ended screw (both ends are pointed). In my limited experience, that two-ended screw isn't a good solution: it's virtually impossible to finish with the two rails aligned at the same time as the torque is correct; you either have to back off and leave a gap, or keep turning and seriously weaken the joint by stripping the female thread in the union. Also, I find the pilot holes are never perfectly aligned and you have to do some serious shaping to bring the joint to a match.

I don't use either, I use 7" Spax screws at the newell, which means I can align the rail up to the newell and then run a pilot hole from the bottom of the counter-sink in the newell (drilled first) right into the rail and then run the screw in with a Torx driver. Bonus with the screws is that you can run one on an angle when you have rail on both sides of the newell (try that with a rail-bolt).

But for joining rail (like when you join up the volute, the ease, a couple of 1/4 turns, and a cap; or, even just joining two straight rails), I think the agent of choice is adhesive. For a very long run across a balcony I chicken out, dado the bottom of the rail and put in a 7-ply spline (even without fillets, it doesn't really show from the floor below); but, everywhere else I'd use biscuits.

A rail does present a fair amount of cross-section to work with and a good epoxy has a shear strength in the 14,000-15,000 psi range, an oak rail will shatter before the bond breaks. The only golden rule is to scrub an end-grain joint with a brass or nylon brush to get the wood-dust out of the pores in the wood (particularly oak).

(post #165731, reply #11 of 21)

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Phill, Ed's got it right. Don't take this the wrong way, but your limited experience must not have actually met up with a real rail bolt. It's got a lag thread on one end to screw into one rail section, and a machine treaded half, which goes through a hole in the soon to be adjoined rail section, which accepts a nut which pulls the two sections together. No twisting involved, unless Chubby Checker is playing on the radio. There's also no way any biscuits I've seen will pull anything up tight.

You don't do this for a living, do you?

Up tight and outta sight, BB

(post #165731, reply #12 of 21)

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The more I think about it, the biscuit idea wwould never work. I don't care if you have some super powered glue because you could never get the thing clamped tight enough for long enough to create that indestructible bond. I'm reminded of a picture on a box of an over the shelf newel post mounting system. I think its called the flying j's. Its a picture of a rail system falling into pieces with some guy on the landing lookin real scared. Funny picture.
Phil, the double sided bolt you're thinking of is a dowel bolt, I use them to attach ballusters to the shoe rail, or landing tread. Its a two sided lag screw basically, they are great for guardrails, and keep it real sturdy.
Which brings me back to the original question...where can I get one of those saws, anyone seen one ....
Dont cha hate startin those little bolts in a 1" hole...need--- a-- smaller --ratchet ..my 15$ rail bolt wrench is bent again!?!?!?

(post #165731, reply #13 of 21)

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Oh, clamping is easy. As you know, epoxy and PVA mustn't be clamped too tight as that will squeeze out the adhesive and starve the joint; all that's required is light pressure and 5 minutes of immobilization. A wooden handscrew across each piece of rail about 2" from the joint with their jaws parallel to the joint and each on the same plane, then a 2 FA clamps to pull the two handscrews (and obviously the joint) together.

(post #165731, reply #14 of 21)

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Phil,

Put the lag end of the rail bolt in one end of the rail. I suggest a pilot hole first.

Then drill a hole just a little bit bigger than the machined end of the bolt in the end of the ajoining rail, but not bigger than the washer. Tighten the two together with some Elmers yellow between. The slop in the second hole will let you line the two pieces of rail together before you tighten down the castle nut. I use a nail set to tighten the castle nut. Wipe off the excess glue with a wet rag. You will have to shape the two together. They never match exactly. Then glue in the plug, sand it smooth, and away we go.

They work great on volutes, upeasings, goosnecks or connecting to newels, or whatever.

Ed. Williams

BENT WRENCH (post #165731, reply #18 of 21)

TAKE .50 CENT BOXED END WRENCH GRIND IT DOWN THINNER ALL AROUND  IT REALLY HELP GETTING INTO THE 1" HOLE AT BOTTOM FITTING

TAKE FINGER OFF OF SHIFT KEY (post #165731, reply #19 of 21)

TAKE FINGER OFF OF SHIFT KEY AND PULL HEAD OUT OF A**.


Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

Limited experience (post #165731, reply #20 of 21)

"Bucksnort_Billy" your VERY limited experience in carpentry is amusing. You harrass people as if you know what your talking about just because you have seen or heard of a rail bolt before. FYI rail bolts suck!! A spline nail works great when attaching handrail fittings. A DANAIR Spline Hammer,  "uses compressed air to "hammer" a spline(ranging from many different lengths) into the two fittings creating a very strong hold. 

  Even CAK (Conect-A-Kit) is a better waythan using rail bolts for attaching handrail fittings. So please don't try and make yourself look smart by trying to prove someone else uneducated and misguided. Because your complete ignorance just makes you look like a complete DUMBA$%. Be nice and inform someone with your knowledge and opinion, nothing more.  Thank you, and if you have any other questions reguarding stair installation, feel free to ask!

So Jake (post #165731, reply #21 of 21)

For a first post you sure try to make friends with your prose.

Did you happen to notice that the post you jumped on was from 2000?

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/

 


(post #165731, reply #15 of 21)

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Has anyone seen a gun that shoots long splines. Im looking for the gun that stair parts companies like LJ Smith, and Coffman, shoot their handrail parts together. It is a long spline..about 2 inches log and about 3/4 - 1 inch wide. They must make one...Ive seen the rail parts attached with the splines...I know they don't hammer how ever many thousand parts they make a day.......

RAILING FITTINGS FOR (DOC) (post #165731, reply #16 of 21)

I WILL HAVE TO AGREE RAIL BOLTS ARE THE WAY TO  GO FOR STRENGTH. A COUPLE OF OTHER THINGS THAT I FIND HELPFUL .I RUN IN TWO FINISH NAILS TO THE INSIDE OF ONE SIDE OF A FITTING FACE #4'S PILOTED IN AND CUT THEM OFF REAL CLOSE SAY 1/4" LEFT. PUSH FITTING TOGETHER TO MARK OTHER SIDE,MAKE SMALL NAIL HOLES IN THAT FITTING THIS HELPS REAL WELL WITH KEEPING PARTS ALIGNED. MAKE SURE THAT YOU RUN #4'S TO THE OUTER-SIDE OF INSIDE OF FITTING..RAIL-BOLTS ARE THE STRONGEST BUT I DO RUN SPLINES ALSO MAKING SURE TO KEEP SPLINE OUT OF POSSIBLE BALUSTER HOLE LAYOUT  CAUSE IT SEEMS THAT A BALUSTER LANDS THERE EVERY TIME..DON'T FORGET TO RUN A GOOD SWAT OF YELLOW GLUE TO JOINT AND WIPE FOR POSSIBLE STAINED RAIL.YOU WOULD BE SURPRISED HOW WELL GLUE AND SPLINES HOLD IF SHOT CORRECTLY.I KNOW BOLTS ARE A PAIN IN THE D~~K  BUT THERE THE BEST WAY TO GO !!  LIKE I SAID I HAVE A SENCO SPLINER THAT JUST SITTING HERE I AM RETIRED FROM DOING RAILING MY HANDS CANT TAKE IT ANYMORE AND MY WRIST ARE  SHOT FROM YEARS OF FITTING- FITTINGS. YOU WILL SEE IF YOU DO A FEW HUNDRED RAILS BUT I WILL SELL THIS GUN FOR $125.00 ITS IN NEW SHAPE LIKE I SAID I RAIL-BOLT 95% OF THE TIME.BUT IT SURE MAKES LIFE A LOT EASIER.AND I DIDN'T BUY THIS GUN TILL THE END OF MY RAILING DAYS.SO IF YOU WANT CALL OR ITS GOING TO GARAGE SALE.IF YOU DON'T LIKE IN 30 DAYS SEND IT BACK FOR REFUND.BUT ITS NICE TO HAVE IN YOUR TOOL BOX. ALSO  I HAVE ENOUGH SPLINES TO LAST YOU FOR YEARS CONSIDERING YOU ONLY SHOOT TWO PER FITTING  CALL ME AT   -----------------------1-(231)-972-8667 ------------------MY NAME IS DAVE             

Dave (post #165731, reply #17 of 21)

Hit your caps lock button-to off.

And tidy up the post for what it seems you want to do-sell the gun.  Put that post in the Classifieds folder.

Best of luck.

 

With your experience, please come back and look for the questions pertaining to your expertise-it would be invaluable.

 

And please, use a capital letter at the beginning of a sentence only (or for emphasis) and throw in a few paragraphs-I had trouble following from line to line................

thanks.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


http://www.quittintime.com/