Nail Gun

by Scott Smith

My biggest fear using a nail gun — putting a nail through my toes. My friend Mike correctly pointed out that I don’t use my toes to type, so what’s to fear. A fair point.

Off I go, or, as my nephew Keegan says, “Ready set to go!”

I rent a nail gun and compressor. The hardware store doesn’t have the nails in stock. No problem. Laura and Gail are heading to Lowes for wood and painting supplies — no worries, they can grab some1-1/4″ nails.

They return with the nails, straight nails. I put the straight nails into the nail gun that takes angled nails. I can’t figure out why it doesn’t work. I grab a scrap 2×4. I re-insert the few angled nails that were left in the gun; I want to make sure the gun works properly. Yep, three 2″ nails fasten the 2×4 right into the hallway flooring.

As you can see, I am completely ignorant about nail guns (and that a 2″ nail is 2″ and a 2×4 is actually closer to 1-1/2″).

After easing the 2×4 out of the floor, it is my turn to drive to Lowes. I search the shelves for angled nails that would fit the nailer and not exceed 1-1/2″. Nothing. Hell no. I have rented the wrong type of nail gun for fastening shoe mold.

I buy a straight nailer. The nipple thing at the end of the gun looks like the one I rented. You know what happens, right? The compressor’s fitting doesn’t work with the new nail gun.

Tomorrow I return to the rental place and hope they have the right fitting for my new nail gun. This feels about right: four or five trips to hardware stores to get a simple project completed. When will I learn to keep my fingers on a keyboard and off a power tool?

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