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Thread: rack build question - nails ok?

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    Default rack build question - nails ok?

    Here is my situation.

    I am getting ready to build some racks again this year. Last year, I used brad nails (2" from a pneumatic nailer). It seemed to work fine, the rack held together well and felt solid. I used 3 or 4 nails at each joint. Before I do that again this year, I wanted some feedback from you guys on whether this is a good idea or not. Pros, cons? Also, these are racks for consumer shells using 12" DR11 tubes. Thanks in advance!

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    Member Array tyler-durden's Avatar
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    Default Re: rack build question - nails ok?

    I've always used wood screws. I drill pilot holes and use wood glue as well, solid as a rock. I would think that after several uses a rack with nails would show some wear.
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    Default Re: rack build question - nails ok?

    Despite what some may have you believe, a rack is a pretty simple beast but brads are not designed for structural loads - they are intended to keep trim together or to hold pieces together while glue sets, etc.

    If you use a good quality construction adhesive and the brads, I think you would be in ok shape. Otherwise, use screws or ring shank nails - something with some grip and shear strength. You can shoot brads and use adhesive to hold your spacers in, if you use spacers, but the main body of the rack should be a built with something besides brads. Although it may hold up fine during normal shooting, you want your rack to withstand or fail safe during a CATO. If you have a tube blow out and your rack is held together with brads, you're risking blowing a side rail off entirely and then possibly loaded guns could fall everywhich way putting you and your audience in danger.
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    Default Re: rack build question - nails ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fasttrack View Post
    Despite what some may have you believe, a rack is a pretty simple beast but brads are not designed for structural loads - they are intended to keep trim together or to hold pieces together while glue sets, etc.

    If you use a good quality construction adhesive and the brads, I think you would be in ok shape. Otherwise, use screws or ring shank nails - something with some grip and shear strength. You can shoot brads and use adhesive to hold your spacers in, if you use spacers, but the main body of the rack should be a built with something besides brads. Although it may hold up fine during normal shooting, you want your rack to withstand or fail safe during a CATO. If you have a tube blow out and your rack is held together with brads, you're risking blowing a side rail off entirely and then possibly loaded guns could fall everywhich way putting you and your audience in danger.
    This is the primary reason to use glue dipped screws.

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    Default Re: rack build question - nails ok?

    Liquid nails works very nice as well

    scott

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    Default Re: rack build question - nails ok?

    If you use wood screws with properly drilled pilot holes and no adhesives, repairs are nice and simple.
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    Default Re: rack build question - nails ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by nater219 View Post
    If you use wood screws with properly drilled pilot holes and no adhesives, repairs are nice and simple.
    True, however I would rather build for safety than ease of repair. We can't always have the best of both worlds.

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    Default Re: rack build question - nails ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by tradami View Post
    True, however I would rather build for safety than ease of repair. We can't always have the best of both worlds.
    Everyone should do what they feel most comfortable with anyway, but you can have the best of both worlds:

    The only safe rack is one that is far enough away from the crowd that they do not get hurt when it fails.
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    Default Re: rack build question - nails ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by tradami View Post
    True, however I would rather build for safety than ease of repair. We can't always have the best of both worlds.
    What nater is suggesting doesn't make it less safe. In this case, you really CAN have the best of both worlds.
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    Default Re: rack build question - nails ok?

    A lot of people on here have a ton experience making racks. I'd just make sure you make them safe.

    You can use brad nails, but glue them for sure. Brad nails alone won't be enough. Secondly, screws are a nice option as well. i prefer screws and glue myself. I'm ok if I can't repair a rack, i'll just make another one, and better than before.
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    Default Re: rack build question - nails ok?

    I witnessed my first flowerpot this weekend. A 60 shot rack had two separate tubes shredded. Fortunately the pyro who made it built it well and it wasn't catastrophic. Point being make it safe no matter what you use.
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    Default Re: rack build question - nails ok?

    When SSP and I build our racks we will quickly tack it together with brad nails then go back through and predrill holes and put in heavy thread deck screws. The screws have a lot of bite and can handle a lot of sideways pressure if we have a blowout. It won't stop a salute, but between the nails and the ratchet straps, and the concrete stakes, oh and the kick boards they hold up quite nice. LOL Like Nater said distance is your friend too!!!!
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    Default Re: rack build question - nails ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by nater219 View Post
    ... when it fails.
    Good point, Nate

    Quote Originally Posted by QMAN View Post
    When SSP and I build our racks we will quickly tack it together with brad nails then go back through and predrill holes and put in heavy thread deck screws. The screws have a lot of bite and can handle a lot of sideways pressure if we have a blowout. It won't stop a salute, but between the nails and the ratchet straps, and the concrete stakes, oh and the kick boards they hold up quite nice. LOL Like Nater said distance is your friend too!!!!
    Hey I know another group of guys who do it the same way
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    Default Re: rack build question - nails ok?

    Quote Originally Posted by MovingChicane View Post
    Hey I know another group of guys who do it the same way
    I can think of 3 groups that do it that way, but they're all friends too.

    I agree that the kickboards help, they can really take a beating. I've seen salutes blow out one rail of a rack, and the rest of the racks that were bound to it were undamaged.
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    Default Re: rack build question - nails ok?

    As long as you use a quality adhesive, you can use whatever fasteners you want, as long as they will hold the pieces in place until the glue dries. The glue stands a better chance of holding up than any screw heads as the bond is spread across a greater surface area. For those who doubt me, use good adhesive and brads nails on one side and just screws on the other. Let the glue dry and attempt to tear it apart...let me know when you get that glued side broken down 'Course, this does make repairing a major pita, but then again, how much money do you have tied up in the rack, just replace it instead of repairing it.

    As for brads alone, don't use that one for more than just comets and mines as a cato from a shell break will take out your rack.
    Last edited by coachtimmyj; February 27th, 2012 at 08:59 PM. Reason: spelling
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    Default Re: rack build question - nails ok?

    For what it's worth, whenever I build ANYTHING with nail's, I angle at least two of them opposite of each other (Kinda like this \ / ). It make's it more resistant to coming apart. Although, I prefer screws almost every time.
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    Default Re: rack build question - nails ok?

    As usually, you guys have been incredibly helpful! Thanks! I am going to consider using screws but I really like the idea of using the brads to hold things together before I put in the screws. Thanks again!

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