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sidewall shingles: staples vs. nails?

roberttp's picture

Hi all,


  I'm looking at doing a couple of sidewall cedar shingle jobs and am looking to tool up to make the work go faster.  I don't own a pneumatic stapler yet, but am considering getting one for this because from what I understand this is the standard way that cedar shingles are installed these days.   Does anyone use a nailer for this?  I have a job coming up that involves either a lot of clear cedar claps or maybe fiber cement.  If it's decided that it will be fiber cement I'm definitely going to get a siding nailer for it.  It seems to me that one could use the nailer for both applications and more.  I don't see why a nailer wouldn't work on shingles, so is the advantage of the stapler that it is so compact and light?  I hear that staples hold pretty tenaciously due to the glue on them.  How about future repairs; is it easy to replace a shingle that have been stapled?


  Finally, anyone have advice on models to buy?  I'm leaning towards the Hitachi's, maybe the older model that is a bit more money but feels a bit more durable and looks less flashy.


Thanks in advance for the advice.


- Rob

(post #127712, reply #1 of 24)

I did a large amount of red cedar R&R's in the 80's and early 90's with a 1/2" crown stapler, 1-5/8" length if memory serves. Never had an issue with cupping, splits or the other issues I've seen raised here...... I have seen those jobs 20 years later, and the ones that were maintained still look great. I will say that it was all sidewalling, and not blowing 10 staples into a 9" wide shingle. Followed the " 1" in from the edge, 2 to a shingle up to 6", then 3 to a shingle" rules (approximating on those, by the way)


I will say that for people doing roofing with Reds, staples would be a nightmare to strip. I'd be inclined to use a nailer on those, I guess


Sounds like it would make more sense for you to get a siding nailer anyhow. More useful down the line for a few more things, although I still don't like em for clap..


Bing

(post #127712, reply #2 of 24)

This gets debated here every year or so.... you'll find various threads in the archives. IIRC, it's pretty much an even split. Some prefer to hand nail, some use staples.

Scott.

(post #127712, reply #3 of 24)

Depth setting with either is the most critical issue. I hate staples, but I know guys who can do an acceptable staple job and others who can ruin th ejob with nails.

If you have ever had to patch something done with staples, you would not even consider them.

 

 


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(post #127712, reply #4 of 24)

I hand nail with ss ring shank. If you want to speed up the job for claps get Bear clips from Harvey Industries. It's the only product I've ever purchased from them and they really allow you to make up time. Once you've leveled the first course they allow for a consistent 1 1/4 overlap all the way through.
Mark

(post #127712, reply #5 of 24)

For me I find SS overkill if the siding is blind nailed

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(post #127712, reply #6 of 24)

Hey Andy,
I agree, it just seems easier not to have both galvy & ss nails on site. Mark

(post #127712, reply #7 of 24)

My reason was b/c SS is a small fortune that you don't need to spend if the nail head is being covered by another course of shingles.
If one is paronoid you can always used dbl dipped galvies for your gun. My supplier sells single and dbl dipped galvies for my Max guns.

I also hate how SS looks when exposed on a siding thats not going to be stained or painted. Looks gawd awful. Looks like a million little mirrors on your house.

Really depends on your location as to wheter or not it's mandatory to use SS nails.

The Woodshed Tavern Backroom
The Topics Too Hot For Taunton's Breaktime Forum Tavern

(post #127712, reply #8 of 24)

For the most part I agree with you, Andy. I would [usually] rather not see nails in siding. If a customer doesn't specifically ask and the reveal isn't too drastic then I hide nails. Occasionally I will recommend that nails are exposed, such as in rustic cabin situations where the look of exposed fasteners fits the style of the house. On some historic remods I will even use exposed cut nails - can't use SS there!

As far as the shingle siding goes...

I use staples. Usually I use 1/2" crown staples but lately I have been using 1/4" crown staples. The 1/4 gun is lighter, the staples are cheaper, they seem to hold just as well as 1/2" staples, and any necessary face staples are less noticeable. Why should I care how difficult they are to remove. Removing a single shingle is easy with a MultiMaster anyway.

One time I had to shingle a garage gable and had forgot to bring my stapler. The GC lent didn't have a stapler but lent me a roofing nailer (a Porter Cable). What a PITA that was. The nails split about 1/3 of the shingles I tried to install. Adjusting the depth either put the nails right through the shingle or I had to finish nailing by hand. I would never use a nail gun to install cedar shingles again.

If the OP is more of a framer type he should get a 1/2" stapler since it makes plywood install much easier. If he does mostly trim then he should get a 1/4" stapler as there are so many interior and exterior trim applications to use it for. Either way, he'll wonder why he didn't have one sooner.

DC

(post #127712, reply #9 of 24)

My MAX side wall gun is the lightest out there and durable. Lightest gun I own.

The Woodshed Tavern Backroom
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(post #127712, reply #10 of 24)

How many guns do you own?

Seems like a "sidewall gun" would be rather limited.

Might be great if I just did siding.

I looked at a MAX siding nailer that was 4.9 lbs. w/o nails.

I have over a dozen air guns... the 1/4" stapler that I recommended is 2.5 lbs., one of my lightest guns, even lighter than my brad nailer (3.1 lbs) but only slightly heavier than my pin nailer (2.3 lbs). 1/2" stapler [actually 7/16"] is 5.1 lbs. but seems to me much more versatile than a sidewall gun.

DC

(post #127712, reply #11 of 24)

" I would never use a nail gun to install cedar shingles again."

Nothing wrng with it if you use the right tool and nails. Roofing nails should never be used on cedars, whether from a gun or by hand.

 

 


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Taunton University of
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(post #127712, reply #12 of 24)

Why not use roofing nails?

(post #127712, reply #13 of 24)

<<<Why not use roofing nails?>>>

They split a third of your shingles.

(post #127712, reply #14 of 24)

Gauge of roofers much too wide for a cedar shingle. Thus=splits


Stainless ring shank, Galvy box nails, staples all have much thinner wire.


Bing

(post #127712, reply #15 of 24)

Because the shanks are too large and they split cedars.

 

 


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Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
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(post #127712, reply #17 of 24)

"Because the shanks are too large and they split cedars."

unless you pre-drill them.

I'll just stick to staples.

DC

(post #127712, reply #16 of 24)

If stapling, then SS is essential. The galvanizing on staples is just about enough to keep them from rusting in the box in the store. Most of the time.


I'd bet a staple job with standard or galv wire wouldn't last ten years in a damp climate.


Ron

(post #127712, reply #18 of 24)

I'd never use staples...but thats just me. Just call me ol' fashioned : )
On blind nailing like I said b/4 in most conditions I'd just go galvies or dbl dipped galvies.

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(post #127712, reply #19 of 24)

I'll take that bet.

Wanna see pictures tomorow? One block from this job I am on there is a house I renovated in 98 and the cedars were stapled with galvies. It would be about 120 yards from high tide either east or west. That salt air would make it a humid place, right?

 

 


Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #127712, reply #20 of 24)

>>>One block from this job I am on there is a house I renovated in 98 and the cedars were stapled with galvies.

Good to know, thanks. I was wondering if we needed SS (and we're 75 miles from salt water). Apparently not.

Scott.

(post #127712, reply #21 of 24)

Piffin,


OK, then, you win that one, How about fifteen years?


Do you know what kind of shape your staples are in?


I know that common galv nails will last about a century. Then there isn't much metal left. Staples have a lot less metal to start with.


Ron

(post #127712, reply #22 of 24)

You are right. The staples will not last as long as nails. I prefer to hand nail with hot dipped galvies myself, and I know that electroplates will start to show some rust pretty quickly.

On a roof much better to use SS either, but sidewalls just don't see that much moisture once installed. I will try to sneak a peak at that job today for reference and my own knowledge.

The crew instaling them had to talk hard to get me to allow them, and I was over their shoulder like a hawk making sure they didn't bruise the wood with crowns. IMO, that is the bad part of staples on cedars - they set too much air pressure or depth and fracture the wood with the crowns from trying to work too fast.
The narrow crows models are worse at that. This job was done with wide crowns

 

 


Welcome to the
Taunton University of
Knowledge FHB Campus at Breaktime.
 where ...
Excellence is its own reward!

 

 

Oh Well,

We did the best we could...

(post #127712, reply #23 of 24)

I did a cedar siding job using the Hitachi NV75AG Utility coil nailer. Can shoot both siding nails and framing nails, plus it has a depth adjuster. I would recommend it, and its a lot more versatile than a stapler or straight siding nailer. I used stainless steel ring shank siding nails.

Check out the Cedar Shake and Shingle Bureau online for proper installation.

If you never did this work hear are a few tips:

Bid high- they take a while to install correctly.

Woven corners take forever, even after you've done them awhile. Corner board on the outside corners and a stick on the inside corners will vastly speed up the process.

Only us 30 lbs tar paper with plenty of staples!!! The tannin in cedar will degenerate most house wraps, giving it the water resistance of burlap. I don't trust the guy at building supply to know which one to use, besides 30 lbs tar paper is better. 15 lbs is too light, tears too easy, and is not as durable, especially while it sits on the house before the siding goes up (hence lots of staples).

If you are painting it, are responsible for the paint, or are looking to avoid a huge headache, follow the proper painting schedule to the letter, or, again, the tannin will bleed through and look terrible.

The Fine Home Building archive has a couple of good articles from years ago that were very helpful, they are long and have lots of details, unlike the USA Today format Fine Home Building has adopted today.

Cedar Shingle nails (post #127712, reply #24 of 24)

I've used ss staples, galvnized #3 nails, and #2 blued nails. My cedar shingled house was built in 1912 and 2-1/2 miles from the San Francisco bay salt water. All the shingles were installed with #2 blues.

After 80 years, I removed the shingles because they were split and very thin on the south side of the house. There was no building paper installed in 1912. There was no evidence of Any water drops hitting the doug fir 1 x 12 skip sheathing, even in the worst shingle deterioration area on the south west side–were the storms blow into.

I can't find any #2 blues anymore. Using a staple gun is slower overall than holding/rolling several nails by hand. There is no setup/breakdown with hand nailing.

If I lived at the beach in Florida, I'd consider stainless steel nails.