Saturday, March 2, 2013

Nailing by Hand, Backwards and Sideways

My new palm nail gun was supposed to be the perfect solution to my biggest problem with the new fence: I only have a few inches between the old and the new fence--not really enough room to swing a hammer--and the palm nailer is tiny. This morning I hooked it up for the first time and gave it a try on my work bench. Perfect, but then it started leaking air and would not stop. One nail, and it was broken.

So back to Home Depot for another. It was after lunch when I got home. With Cheryl out of town for the weekend I have plenty of time on my hands, but the delay annoyed me. I wanted to finish the fence today, or at least a good portion of it.

Finally I get the saw set up, I fill up my tool belt with an assortment of nails and screws, I charge up the air compressor and get the nail gun ready. I get the level, some clamps, this and that.

The stringers on my first panel took a while, but I wanted them to be perfect. I'm not doing the math in my head because the math would tell me that, at my current rate of progress, it will be a very long time before I finish this project.

I'm standing on one side and reaching around to nail the other. Somehow I thought this would be easy, that my palm nailer would do the trick. But I found out soon enough that the nailer, which works like a little jack-hammer, does not work on a bouncy surface like the fence. The nails just bounce, bounce, bounce. Then I get out the hammer and go old-school. And I try not to think about it.

About two hours later, after hammering and hammering with short little hammer strokes, I've got my first panel finished. Only twenty nine to go.

Not only is the nail gun a bust, my hammer is not working. I don't even have enough room to use the hammer normally. I'm hitting the nails with the side of the hammer.

Then it hit me--I can screw on the panels, from this side.

At least that's my plan right now. I'm tired and going to bed.

Up next: Back to Home Depot to get screws that are just the right size. Willow senses my confusion and prepares to take charge.

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