My Staplers - Choosing the lesser of two evils

Jake14mw

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Hi all,

I am in the middle of my 58" round budget table build. It's time for the rail. I have two different staplers available. The first is an old Swingline electric stapler. It's just a PITA to use. You need to keep pressure on it with your other hand for it to work well. Even with that, it doesn't drive staples very well. Every third (or so) staple is a problem. I am using 1/4" staples with that one. My other alternative is a cheap brad nailer/stapler. The only compressor I have for it is one where you can't adjust the pressure. This one fires great, but the only problem is, it's not an upholstery stapler. The staples are only 3/16" wide. They tend to want to go to deep, and have a tendency to cut through the vinyl too much. Because of this, I need to use much longer staples to prevent that. Removing them later would be close to impossible. It would however be fairly easy to just pull the vinyl out of them.

I did just test it out a little, and the air tool is so much easier. Buying a different stapler is not an option. Is there anything I'm not thinking of here? There is no adjustment on these brad nailers to help with depth, right?
 

MatB

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I have this and think it is the greatest thing ever.

Screen Shot 2020-01-20 at 4.37.27 PM.png
 

justsomedude

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I have the Arrow PT50 also, cost me $27 a little over a year ago. They're all the same...

View attachment 395349
View attachment 395348
Wow... they just completely ripped it off. Maybe a slightly different trigger assembly (I'm guessing the Arrow has a better safety mechanism).

Gotta live Chinese made stuff... just paint some parts a different color and slap a different brand sticker on it.
 

Darson

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They're all made in China, probably in the same factory.

1579560479025.png


The cheapies are fine for the occasional table build. But all my other nail guns are Hitachi (made in Japan) and are flawless. The Hitachi small crown stapler is nearly $100 and that's what I'd buy if I was doing this regularly!
 

justsomedude

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Spend a little to get an inline pressure regulator for your harbor freight gems.
I got one a few years ago when the pressure gauge on my Porter Cable compressor went on the fritz. It was unreliable, so I added a regulator with a new gauge off the compressor output. :tup:
 

Kensco

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Whether the Arrow and the Chicago Electric are likely made in the same factory to each company's minor differing specs; they both do an equally good job at what they were built for. https://thepopularhome.com/chicago-electric-power-tools-review/

To the OPs question
...Is there anything I'm not thinking of here? There is no adjustment on these brad nailers to help with depth, right?
Depth is regulated by air pressure & no setting on the gun to accomplish that. Put an inline regulator between the gun and the compressor.

Youtube how-to vid
 

Irish

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+1 for the harbor freight stapler. I bought this 13 years ago, have probably put close to 100,000 staples through it and its still chugging along. Zero jams. Compressor with a regulator is a must.

20200120_210850.jpg
 

Eloe2000

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OP, don’t use a manual stapler. I screwed up my elbow building my table using a standard Stanley stapler. You need to use too much pressure for too many staples to do it manually. I work with my hands/arms and support my family and that was pretty scary. Took 3 months for my elbow to completely recover.

FWIW I wouldn’t necessarily even give Arrow the credit to have designed and originated the device. Often even medium sized brand name companies will license the design or buy the end units white labeled.
 

Jake14mw

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OP, don’t use a manual stapler. I screwed up my elbow building my table using a standard Stanley stapler. You need to use too much pressure for too many staples to do it manually. I work with my hands/arms and support my family and that was pretty scary. Took 3 months for my elbow to completely recover.

...
Thanks, I won't use a manual one. My choices are what I listed above, either electric, or pneumatic brad nailer/stapler.
 

Jake14mw

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One additional question for everyone. I am wondering if I can get away with using fewer staples on the outside than I have in the past for two reasons:
1) With a 58" round, the curve is more gradual than say an oval table. I think one reason to need more staples is to help pull out any wrinkles.
2) On this table, there will be a layer of plywood covering where the staples on the outside will be. This should help hold the vinyl in place long term and remove stess on the staples. The plastic diffuser will also be covering the staples on the inside.

Does this make sense? Illustration below. Poorly hand drawn line is the vinyl.
table rail 2.jpg
 

Kensco

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One additional question for everyone. I am wondering if I can get away with using fewer staples on the outside than I have in the past for two reasons:
1) With a 58" round, the curve is more gradual than say an oval table. I think one reason to need more staples is to help pull out any wrinkles.
2) On this table, there will be a layer of plywood covering where the staples on the outside will be. This should help hold the vinyl in place long term and remove stess on the staples. The plastic diffuser will also be covering the staples on the inside.

Does this make sense? Illustration below. Poorly hand drawn line is the vinyl.
That makes sense & we all love a good build thread. Looking forward to the answer to this question!
 

BGinGA

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Q1 -- if this is your one and only table rail build, just buy something cheap (electric or air, minimize costs), and you may even be able to rent something for even less (check Home Depot and local tool rental companies). If air, a regulator is a goid idea if you want decent results. If you already have both, I'd pick air and get a regulator. However, if you plan to do this regularly, don't skimp now -- buy a solid-performing air unit and set it up properly.

Q2 -- all of my rail builds are stapled in a cross-table fashion.... so eventually the spacing between staples gets smaller and smaller and you move back/across and around the rail. I've never found that *leaving* a large space between staples gave me the smooth results I wanted, so all of my builds are nearly non-stop staples all the way around, inside diameter and outside. Always seems like another staple to stretch and fill the last little gap is worth it. My 2c, anyway.
 
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DoubleEagle

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Buy this stapler from Yourautotrim.com. Code SCOTTKEEN for 15% discount. When you are finished with your table sell it here or on eBay. It will be like renting for a small fee. You will need a compressor so if you don't have one you can easily rent one for a day for minimal cost.

I have on just like it and have been using it for over 10 years.
 

AS69

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I'm actually building a blackjack table with a raceway and just ordered this stapler:
https://www.homedepot.com/p/Porter-Cable-22-Gauge-Pneumatic-3-8-in-Upholstery-Stapler-US58/100609337
1579640205694.png

No bad reviews and I can use to redo my dining room chairs. I also have several other PC tools for many years with zero issues.
I am also building a similar rail to what you have drawn LED strip diffuser shown in blue:
1579639779647.png


May I suggest you extend the top rail to recess the LED strip (Blue rectangle). Then you won't have issues with the diffuser. I assume an 1/8" space to allow for the vinyl wrap around the top of the rail.
I am using this LED diffuser strip mounted to 3/4" plywood which claims to be flexible to bend around the curve:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072HP5K3C/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Also, Michaels has cheap table table foam to place under the felt:
https://www.michaels.com/14-x-60-x-72-closed-cell-foam/D006906S.html
 

Jake14mw

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...
I am also building a similar rail to what you have drawn LED strip diffuser shown in blue:
View attachment 395807

May I suggest you extend the top rail to recess the LED strip (Blue rectangle). Then you won't have issues with the diffuser. I assume an 1/8" space to allow for the vinyl wrap around the top of the rail.
I am using this LED diffuser strip mounted to 3/4" plywood which claims to be flexible to bend around the curve:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B072HP5K3C/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Also, Michaels has cheap table table foam to place under the felt:
https://www.michaels.com/14-x-60-x-72-closed-cell-foam/D006906S.html
Thanks for those suggestions. That LED diffuser strip looks like a great product! Do they sell sections longer than 1 meter? If the table I'm working on wasn't under such a strict budget, I would consider using it in conjunction with my current plan in order to further diffuse the light. My only concern with using that by itself is that it is so close the the LED that the individual LEDs will be very prominent. I was trying to get a smoother diffused light look. In my design there will be about 3/4" between the LED and the diffuser. I'm hoping it winds up being more even, but it will probably will not be significantly better than your design.

As far as the Michael's foam goes, I didn't even know that they sold it there! It's a perfect size for large round tables. Has anyone on this forum used it? Is it softer than volara? Again, my table is a budget build, so I'm using $8 carpet foam from HD, but if I don't wind up liking it, I would consider this. With a 40% off coupon, it would come to about $31 delivered. Not bad if it's better than volara.

Link to my budget round table build if you're interested. https://www.pokerchipforum.com/threads/starting-my-budget-58-round.51349/
 

AS69

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I haven't seen the strips in longer lengths than 1 meter offered. If the they are properly aligned the seam should be a problem.
I also had some concern about the LEDs being too prominent. So I ordered a set that is dimmable and I can change colors from the remote to match the felt.
LED Strip
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006LW2NJM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Remote Control
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AF5YOK2/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Power Supply
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008FKDK2M/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o04_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Your table looks like it's coming out good. I'm interested to see it completed.
 

Jake14mw

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Jake14mw

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Well, I struggled through with the electric stapler tonight. It was a frustrating experience. So many staples didn't go in correctly, jammed numerous times. I tried the air nailer/stapler, but too many went through the vinyl so I had to abandon using it.
 

BGinGA

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Well, I struggled through with the electric stapler tonight. It was a frustrating experience. So many staples didn't go in correctly, jammed numerous times.
The key is two-fold -- holding the gun at the correct angle, and applying enough pressure prior to firing to compress the material and minimize the travel distance.

Experiment a bit to find out what angle works best for your gun, then have another go at it.
 

Darson

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I tried the air nailer/stapler, but too many went through the vinyl so I had to abandon using it.
If your compressor has a regulator on it, just drop the pressure. Start at 60psi - the gun may say 120psi but this is probably for going through 1/4" plywood or something. 60psi may not be enough but ramp up from there in 10psi increments until the staples seat well.
 

AS69

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Well, I struggled through with the electric stapler tonight. It was a frustrating experience. So many staples didn't go in correctly, jammed numerous times. I tried the air nailer/stapler, but too many went through the vinyl so I had to abandon using it.

Just a quick Note on the air staplers, I'm sure you already know, there is usually a depth adjustment for the staples. A few test shots should allow you to adjust so as not to penetrate the vinyl.
 
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