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Nailing into concrete?


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#1 miamicanes

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 11:17 AM

OK, time for another "first" -- I need to securely mount the conduit to the concrete wall. The original builder used nails that were kind of pointy rectangles, about 1.5mm wide. Should I just go out to Home Depot and buy a box of reasonable-looking concrete nails of comparable size, or are there other things I need to be worried about... like whether they can be hammered in with a normal-sized hammer, or need something special instead?

#2 aehusted

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 11:46 AM

Do yourself a favor and either use a powder actuated driver or a hammer drill.
The first uses .22 charges to drive the nails into concrete or blocks. You will need good eye and ear protection, but it is actually quite fun. You can get these at most big hardware stores. (PM me if interested, I may have a spare laying around somewhere.)
If you want to screw in concrete anchors, you will have to get a hammer drill and special bits to predrill the holes. This process is slower and more molar rattling.

#3 beelzerob

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 11:52 AM

Here are the only 2 options I'm aware of, and I've done both:

1) Use a hammer drill and a concrete screws. You'd mark where you need the hole, then drill it with the hammer drill, then pound in the anchor (sometimes it's simply plastic) and then screw your thing into it. It expands in the hole to keep it fixed. If you have a hammer drill, this is the least dangerous method.

2) Get one of those exploding nail drivers. You buy the driver for it, and the charges (which are basically 22 cal bullets) and the special nails. You load the charge, insert the nail, and then hit the end with a hammer to make it go off. Obviously you need hearing protection. It fires the nail into the concrete. I hate hate hate mine. It usually takes about 10 or so whacks of the hammer to finally make it spark the charge. So you never really know when it's going to go off and every time you hit it with the hammer, it moves away from where you were trying to drive the nail. This was hard enough nailing wood to the floor, I can't imagine trying to nail to the wall. The kind I should have gotten has a trigger instead of hitting it with a hammer, so it's probably a bit less nerve wracking. Anyway, this is what I used to secure my basement walls to the floor, as it was what the contractor had used for his walls too.

There's probably other ways, but I don't know them.

#4 keepersg

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 11:53 AM

Check out this thread where we discussed this before.

http://www.cocoontec...=concrete drill

If you're going to use nails, definitely use the .22 cartrigde system unless the concrete is new. I prefer concrete screws myself.

#5 mustangcoupe

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 11:59 AM

I hate hate hate mine. It usually takes about 10 or so whacks of the hammer to finally make it spark the charge.


Co'mon Beelzrob... I know you are stronger then that... It only takes me one GOOD wack to get the charge to fire. ;)

( I also use a 3 lb sludge hammer)

#6 aehusted

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 12:16 PM

after much swearing and cursing myself for being too cheap to get the trigger version, I switched to the 3lb hammer as well. It works better and is a good workout too! ;)

I hate hate hate mine. It usually takes about 10 or so whacks of the hammer to finally make it spark the charge.


( I also use a 3 lb sludge hammer)



#7 123

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 12:33 PM

Tapcon concrete screws. Available in many sizes and in a kit that includes an appropriate drill bit. A hammer drill works best but, for the hole-size you need, a regular drill should work well. The materials you'll be drilling, cement parging over cinder-block, don't put up much of a fight.

Edited by 123, 09 September 2008 - 12:35 PM.


#8 beelzerob

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 12:54 PM

Co'mon Beelzrob... I know you are stronger then that... It only takes me one GOOD wack to get the charge to fire. ;)

( I also use a 3 lb sludge hammer)


Is that all it takes, hitting it harder? I just always felt like I wasn't hitting it "right". I've got a small sledge...I guess I'll switch to that. And I agree with aehusted...it was one of those times when my cheapness wasn't worth it.

#9 IVB

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 03:03 PM

I second the tapcon stuff, i used it in the thread referenced above, works freaking awesome.

#10 judge_l

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 08:07 PM

Two things I've found that are faster than Tapcon (which I'm also a fan of) are these: http://www.fastenal....il.ex?sku=50504
and these: http://www.fastenal....il.ex?sku=50624

The first one I used with the clamps for conduit and they worked great, the second I used to secure some lath to the wall.

Edited by judge_l, 09 September 2008 - 08:10 PM.


#11 personalt

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Posted 09 September 2008 - 09:08 PM

I am also a tapcon man. However I also have a hammer drill SDS plus(the smaller one). I buy in bulk without the bit (cheaper)and then buy my own SDS bit. Bosch makes a nice drill for about $175 if you want a new toy. I have done 4' holes for plumbing vents with it.

Drilling into concrete without a hammer drill just sucks. I never had good luck with mason bits in a regular drill. If you have hollow core block you might be okay or if you have only a few holes to do.

If you have more then 2-3 but dont need any new toys just get a ramset. The $20 bang it with a hammer job will work fine. If you see a future use for nailing into concrete the pull the trigger kind are way better.

I rented one of those when helping a buddy finish a basement.

#12 mdesmarais

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 08:51 AM

Another vote for tapcon. I also have a powder charge (whack with a hammer) type, but since I found the tapcons, I don't use it. Too many "almost" all the way in nails.

#13 miamicanes

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 09:59 AM

I vote for the Tapcon. I've been using them for 2 days now (pics soon), and they work great.

#14 murphy

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Posted 11 September 2008 - 05:39 PM

I vote for the Tapcon. I've been using them for 2 days now (pics soon), and they work great.


Yes Tapcon is one possibility, -

another is Gorilla-Glue! The only disadvantage is: it needs around 4 hours until it holds. But this is the only one.
This PU-glue is sticking excellent on concrete and is absolute resistant to water/moisture.

Edited by murphy, 11 September 2008 - 05:41 PM.


#15 Ranger Digital

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Posted 19 September 2008 - 05:17 AM

Tapcon is the answer! We use them all the time and they are never a problem. Using a 22 "gun" sometimes blows out concrete especially old concrete. If concrete is green, it works everytime, otherwise its hit and miss.

Tapcon = cheap, easy and it works.




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