Swing Nailing

bobgaggle

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Philadelphia, PA
Having never worked west of the Mississippi, I have apparently missed out on a west coast construction trick called swing nailing. Anyone heard of this? When you're building a hollywood flat and want to put in verticals between your toggles, lay the board parallel to the toggle, up against your mark for the edge of the board. Drive in 2 or three staples at an angle, then swing the board up and staple down through the next toggle. I watched the new guy do it today and had to ask him where he learned that trick. He said its pretty standard practice out west.

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DRU

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This is the first I've heard of it. At first glance it seems like the staples would break or pull out when the vertical is swung. Or the staple would blow out enough wood to be useless when fired.

Did he explain what he considered to be the advantages to this over shooting the staples from the outside through the toggle and into the vertical?
 

Amiers

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This is the first I've heard of it. At first glance it seems like the staples would break or pull out when the vertical is swung. Or the staple would blow out enough wood to be useless when fired.

Did he explain what he considered to be the advantages to this over shooting the staples from the outside through the toggle and into the vertical?
This would likely happen for a first timer. But I would assume if it’s been done a while you would know how much force to swing to not pull out or break the staple.

Also never heard of it. We always corner blocked our flats with ply and glue n screwed.
 
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DrewE

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Vermont
I'm having a hard time seeing how this would be preferable to or easier than toenailing. Maybe I'm missing something pretty obvious? It wouldn't be the first time for that.
 

sk8rsdad

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It looks like it could speed up assembly. The 2 pieces are held flat and stacked so alignment can be done with one hand, which is easier than holding 2 pieces perpendicular to each other on 2 planes and hoping the first staple or brad doesn't kick them out of position.

The bend might help keep the pieces from separating, but that problem goes away when the flat is skinned anyway.
 

Van

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Yes, a lot.
This is a really common technique in Movie walls, at least that is where I learned it. It's also used in 'Real construction' for installing continuous backing in a wall. When you have studs 16" O.C. you cannot get a framing nailer or stapler between the studs to install a toggle between studs. As well, the swing nail technique allows you to install all your toggles in a continuous line without having to offset every other one.
The biggest issue is having a good assembly surface and a good fence to hammer against. a swing nailed wall will grow or get wider because they don't sit as tight. To fix this you have to either compress the whole thing with a Bessy or Pipe clamp or smack the hell out of it with a sledge once the framing is done.

Oh, and I also try not to nail when the toggle is parallel to the stud. I always hold it up at a 45° if possible; less bending of the staple or nail that way.
 

kicknargel

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Aug 10, 2009
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Denver, CO
Yup, common on film sets (you know, Hollywood flats), where framing is often on a 2' x 2' grid and walls are often built in larger sections than we tend to in theatre. I assume the tighter framing grid has to do with the camera being less forgiving to imperfections than the proscenium.
 

Van

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Yup, common on film sets (you know, Hollywood flats), where framing is often on a 2' x 2' grid and walls are often built in larger sections than we tend to in theatre. I assume the tighter framing grid has to do with the camera being less forgiving to imperfections than the proscenium.
I think it has to do with the imperfections as well as loading. You never know when you are going to wild the ceiling and need to install a pipe grid across the section of a room to support some 6k's or a camera platform. It also gives the Grips more places to climb the backs of the walls and stouter edges to support when a wall is Wilded.
 

bobgaggle

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You never know when you are going to wild the ceiling and need to install a pipe grid across the section of a room to support some 6k's or a camera platform. It also gives the Grips more places to climb the backs of the walls and stouter edges to support when a wall is Wilded.
Since I'm learning Hollywood things this week, what's it mean to "wild" a ceiling?
 
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Van

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Since I'm learning Hollywood things this week, what's it mean to "wild" a ceiling?
When you remove a ceiling or a wall so you can set up cameras and shoot from the perspective of where the wall is. Sometimes you'll establish a shot outside a window, pull in and then the window disappears and you have a static cameras from that point, that usually means the window unit has been 'Wilded' or removed. Sometimes you are shooting an interior and you need to see the ceiling in the background, then the DP wants a reverse shot from a higher angle, you 'wild' the ceiling and shoot from that upper corner.
 

bobgaggle

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When you remove a ceiling or a wall so you can set up cameras and shoot from the perspective of where the wall is. Sometimes you'll establish a shot outside a window, pull in and then the window disappears and you have a static cameras from that point, that usually means the window unit has been 'Wilded' or removed. Sometimes you are shooting an interior and you need to see the ceiling in the background, then the DP wants a reverse shot from a higher angle, you 'wild' the ceiling and shoot from that upper corner.
Good to know, we're building a TV news set right now, and the concept came up in the designer's presentation but no one used the term...
 
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bobgaggle

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Philadelphia, PA
It looks like it could speed up assembly. The 2 pieces are held flat and stacked so alignment can be done with one hand, which is easier than holding 2 pieces perpendicular to each other on 2 planes and hoping the first staple or brad doesn't kick them out of position.
That was the reason I was told
 
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