Does anyone use a Raptor Nailer to secure workpieces?

I’m curious what you think of it. It looks pretty interesting and useful.

Essentially plastic/composite nails so you can mill right over them without worrying about damaging bits or skipping steps.

I know someone who uses one and likes it. I’ve thought about it but would need a compressor by the CNC which I don’t currently have (it’s upstairs in the garage).

Another cheaper alternative:

Reading some online woodworking forums, you have a 50/50 chance that a non Raptor gun will work or will work until it gets gunked up.

Frank uses something close to that only I think it shoos a composite wood nail. You can see him use it I think in his latest bridge video, maybe? I looked it up and the gun with nails was pricey.

I’m sure Harbor Frieght will be coming out with one soon :laughing:

I’m still partial to the tape/glue method…

Super cool tool and I can well picture its usefulness with the CNC.

I’d have to be much MUCH more than a hobbyist to consider it, though!

If you could get it to work with a HF brad nailer it would be pretty useful. The nail gun is a deal breaker, no doubt about that. If my memory serves me right I think 500 nails are about $40-50 or so, and it goes down considerably with higher volume. Basically you just nail down your workpiece and machine away. Some shops mark out fastener locations to have the mill machine them out at the end of the toolpath so the piece can be picked off the table.

I think I am the person that @JustinBusby knows, and I love the Senco nailer that he listed.
I cut mostly 1/2" and 3/4" hardwood and have found that predrilling a small hole can help prevent the wood from splitting. I use 1" composite nails for my 1/2" boards and 1.25" nails for the 3/4" boards. A little tap from a mallet at the end of the carve and it releases easily from the waste board.
The upfront cost seems high, but having the peace of mind knowing the workpiece isn’t going to move and that it will be ok if the bit accidentally hits a nail is worth it to me.

I got the 18ga Senco and it’s awesome. I actually nail a scrap 3/16" luan board to the bottom of the part so there are no holes in the top. This way I can use the smaller composite brads. This keeps the clamps far away and have access to mill 5 sides of the part. The 3/4 and 1" brads sometimes shatter with hard surfaces like MDF skin. A guy at raptor nails sent me free samples of all their nails to try in the Senco and my other regular air guns. He said the 15ga was what all the cnc cool kids were using, but the 18 works for me. Highly recommend!

Do these nails work in regular brad nailers?

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I tried the Raptor brand 16ga nails with a Senco air nailer. I tested on 3 stacked 1/4" MDF strips and a few made it through, but I wasn’t impressed. I didn’t try the 18ga Raptor brads with an air nailer, but will test soon. My understanding is that the drive pin has much less mass on the special nailers. Even w my Senco composite brad gun some nails (both brands) just shatter and go flying everywhere so definitely wear safety glasses! For shooting through 3/4" ply or MDF the 15ga raptor composite nails are what the pros use. I don’t have access to a 15ga straight nailer so haven’t tested those yet, but they are a lot thicker than the others.

Appreciate the feedback, trying to find the quickest/best method for holding ability to reduce after-carve time.

I have used a (23ga) pin nailer to secure thin (.2in) work pieces to the table several times because the middle would lift from the table. Since the nails are so small, the cutter has no problem if it hits one.

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Hey Justin,

How would you incorporate the composite nails with not having to have tabs?

I’m thinking if going the senco route, and it 1st I was trying to think “how would I know where to place nails for smaller cut-off pieces like on door hanger monograms” but then realized I could do a quick engraving pass so I would know where to put nails at. Although I’m not sure if there is a better/quicker solution.

But now I’m at the point of trying to understand how to use these to avoid needing to use tabs, any suggestions?

Great idea with the engraving pass. You could also use the ‘blue tape and superglue’ trick, double stick tape, or continue using tabs. To avoid tabs I plan where should shoot composite nails to secure all pieces during full cut outs.

I have one of these. It’s a modified Omer gun. They are popular with lapstrake boat builders.

For those asking if the composite brads work in a regular brad nailer – they do until they don’t.