Begin by attaching the hose from the air compressor to the pneumatic nail gun by pulling back the metal collar at the end of the hose and pushing the hose into the gun's male receiver. Note: Remember to always wear safety goggles when operating any kind of pneumatic tools.
Make sure the tip of the nails point in the same direction as the gun and slide the nails all the way down in the magazine.
To engage the gun, pull the pusher housing all the way back to the opposite end of the magazine. The pusher housing slides on a track over the nails. If done correctly, you should hear a clicking sound when the pusher housing reaches the end of the magazine. Release the pusher housing to engage the nails.
Release the pusher housing to force the nails into the magazine, then the gun will be fully loaded and ready to be used. To shoot nails, apply pressure against the tip of the gun to release the safety and pull the trigger.
Pneumatic flooring nailers use a compressor to provide pressurized air to drive nails into flooring materials. Nailers and compressors can be rented from local hardware stores. A flooring nailer rental kit should also include a rubber mallet.
The shoe plate attached to the bottom face of the nailer allows the floor nailer to adapt to various thicknesses of flooring. The shoe for 3/4-inch flooring is standard with all nailers. Some rental kits also include a number of extras to accommodate 3/8 to 5/8-inch floors. If you need the 3/8 or 5/8 includ shoe plate, be sure to ask about it when you are renting the nailer.
To nail down a board, place the shoe plate of the flooring nailer along the tongue of the plank. Make sure the flooring nailer rests flat on the wood. The exposed knob, which should be facing you, is called the driver head.
Using mild strength, strike the driver head with the rubber mallet. This causes the nailer to shoot a nail into floor. Some pneumatic floor nailers use staples and some use L or T-shaped cleats. The cleats require more air pressure than the staples or the nails because the staples and the nails are often thinner. Before starting on the actual floor, test the air pressure by driving a few nails on a scrap piece.
The nails or cleats are driven at an angle and should sit just below the wood. Flooring nailers usually operate between 80 to 90 PSI. The pressure setting can vary depending on the type of wood and the thickness of the floor. Always refer to the user's manual and the floor manufacturer's specifications to determine the appropriate PSI setting.
The nails should be spaced according to the length of the planks. In this project, since the planks were only about 3-feet long, cleats were placed approximately 4 to 6-inches from each end. Move the flooring nailer to the next board and repeat the process. Note: Some floor nailers have an adapter plate to nail the first and last rows. For details, consult with the hardware store at the time of rental.
Check your work as you go. Too much air pressure will cause the nails to break the tongue of the plank and too little pressure will leave the nails sitting too high, preventing the next board from installing tightly against its neighbor.