# Staple/stapler for builds

Discussion in 'Workshop Tips and Secrets / Tools' started by Geek1945, Nov 25, 2013.

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1. Nov 25, 2013

### Geek1945

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Staplers in wood construction why remove?
It seems the 'common as mud' T50 stapler is the builder's choice to secure wood assemblies while adhesives set. What is puzzling is then removing them afterwards considering the minimal weight distribution and labor involved. Is weight the only reason to remove staples or something else? After all doesn't the staple provide additional fastener strength and it's already set in the wood/epoxy?
I recall wasn't small cement coated brads common place for this task? I'm sure glad not to deal with those small brads, tack hammers, and brad setters since removal is PITA.
Experience has proven the value of pneumatic staplers over the hand operated ones, especially in setting proper staple depth and avoiding wood splitting. Just talk to my wife on recovering chair seats.
It would seem the majority of home builders would likely own an air compressor and want to maximize its use. After all squeezing a hand stapler is repetitive and many models fail to consider that in design. Pneumatic Surebonder T50 staplers are priced at Sears (no affiliation) for $25; 9600 Narrow Crown Stapler If wood is selected for my build, I intend on using my Grex 2116AD stapler which uses 22ga. 3/16 crown staples, 1/2 crown of T50 and leave them set permanently. See; Grex Power Tools - 2116AD - 22 Ga. 3/16" Crown Stapler You'll also notice it does light gauge metal piercing which is difficult with hand models. You may find this interesting these staplers are used in model boats to hold 1/8"x1/2" hull planking in place and are about the only way to fasten at bow/stern sharp bends without splitting while only using 2 hands. Bends and complex (steamed) curved fuselages could be built without trying to get clamps on blind or awkward places while accurately setting the staple crown flush with the surface! Then fiberglased/filled for strength and seamless appearance. 2. Nov 25, 2013 ### Dan Thomas ### Dan Thomas #### Well-Known Member Joined: Sep 18, 2008 Messages: 4,870 Likes Received: 2,082 Steel staples rust and cause rot in wood. The staples add nothing to the strength; if the glue fails, a staple sure isn't going to hold things together. There is no relative movement in the joint when the glue is holding, so the staple adds nothing then, either. Dan Pops and spduffee like this. 3. Nov 25, 2013 ### Pops ### Pops #### Well-Known Member Joined: Jan 1, 2013 Messages: 7,210 Likes Received: 6,106 Location: USA. Back in 1975 when I built a KR-2, I used staples with cardboard nailing strips. Using the cardboard nailing strips makes it easy to remove the staples. Dan, in the statement above, is 100% correct. Dan 4. Nov 25, 2013 ### PTAirco ### PTAirco #### Well-Known Member Joined: Sep 21, 2003 Messages: 3,481 Likes Received: 1,005 Location: Corona CA I have a Harbor Freight electric stapler and I'm very happy with it. Has seen lots of use and abuse and is holding up well. Best thing is, it also shoot 5/8" brads, with decent force. 5. Nov 25, 2013 ### rheuschele ### rheuschele #### Well-Known Member Joined: Jan 13, 2010 Messages: 533 Likes Received: 41 Location: Chicago Il. USA. I also use an electric staple. I found a manual stapler moved too much. I also collect those annoying plastic strips that hold boxes together. I staple through those strips and it makes it easy to remove the staples later. 6. Nov 25, 2013 ### Dan Thomas ### Dan Thomas #### Well-Known Member Joined: Sep 18, 2008 Messages: 4,870 Likes Received: 2,082 I used a modified 1/2" wood chisel to get the staples out. I ground the underside of the chisel to make it smooth and rounded so it didn't scar the wood, and would get one corner of the blade under the staple and roll it out. Some staplers, especially electric ones, can drive the staple too deep and leave a groove in the surface of the wood. That shears the surface fibers and weakens the part. And the staples should be really fine so that they cut as little of the wood as possible. The staples only have to hold the parts together until the glue sets; with modern glues there's seldom need for the big clamping pressures the old urea-formaldehyde glues needed. Moderate pressure is enough. I have never been able to find true wire staples with sharp points instead of chisel points. I have an old Regal stapler I bought in 1974 or so and it did a dandy job, but the only staples I can find for it now are 5/16" long for the small Arrow stapler. I used to be able to get staples up to 9/16" for it. Dan 7. Nov 26, 2013 ### TFF ### TFF #### Well-Known Member Joined: Apr 28, 2010 Messages: 11,708 Likes Received: 3,315 Location: Memphis, TN Go to the Biplane Forum and search for nails and staples. Discusses pros and cons with some heavy hitter builders weighing in. 8. Nov 26, 2013 ### Brian Clayton ### Brian Clayton #### Well-Known Member Joined: Dec 7, 2012 Messages: 1,042 Likes Received: 529 Location: Ivey, Ga and Centerville,Tn I used a t27 staple for mine. The t50 was a little to big for the 1/4 square stock in my opnion. The t27 seemed to good size between a paper stapler and the bigger staples like a t50. I still would think that you probably need both sizes, just like you need different lengths of staples and different clamps, in a project. There were times in mine that I used the larger stapler (1/8 ply), but 99% of the time, the t27 size worked great. Not a wire staple, but pretty close. Way smaller staple body than a t50. 9. Nov 26, 2013 ### Geek1945 ### Geek1945 #### Well-Known Member Joined: Aug 14, 2013 Messages: 144 Likes Received: 34 Location: Erath County TX 76462 My staples are CC (cement coated) and no rust has been seen, recall I mentioned steamed bending wood even so it has some spring back so the staple must hold. My main thought was pneumatic staplers and pinners penetrate the wood so fast it reduces splitting even on end gain. If you haven't tried it you're missing a better way. If you wish to remove the staples simply reduce the air pressure which is impossible with manual and electric staplers. Sure the staples cost more, but their industrial quality otherwise commercial users wouldn't buy them time is money so they won't tolerate consumer grades. Till I purchased a pneumatic stapler, I was using a B&D like most manual staplers it was hit and miss even one miss removing staples is a PITA and time consuming. The sales rep told me there are several types of staples for my gun besides metal one is divergent and straight. For experience a divergent CC staple is permanent you'll brake the crown before it even moves even in steamed wood. 10. Nov 26, 2013 ### Geek1945 ### Geek1945 #### Well-Known Member Joined: Aug 14, 2013 Messages: 144 Likes Received: 34 Location: Erath County TX 76462 Dan, what if the epoxy doesn't hold Glue strength testing ? With staples at least you have a back-up, redundancy is my favorite word, that is worth much to me since even with a parachute thing do happen. If you test every gusset then you're verifying a static state and flying isn't a static state updrafts, downdrafts, crosswind landings, and other real world tests is what concerns me. A few extra ounces of protection is worth it at least to me! I mentioned using adhesives on aluminum the replies also suggest using rivets too. No matter what type of joint failures are always a possibility so why not on wood too. 11. Nov 27, 2013 ### Geek1945 ### Geek1945 #### Well-Known Member Joined: Aug 14, 2013 Messages: 144 Likes Received: 34 Location: Erath County TX 76462 Dan, what if the epoxy doesn't hold Glue strength testing it's a great woodworking site too? With staples at least you have a back-up, redundancy is my favorite word, that is worth much to me since even with a parachute thing do happen. If you test every gusset then you're verifying a static state and flying isn't a static state updrafts, downdrafts, crosswind landings, and other real world tests is what concerns me. A few extra ounces of protection is worth it at least to me! FAA inspectors judge for safety so they have told me going beyond the minimums is encouraged. Remember FAA regulations are minimums so don't consider them the best that can be had, because FAA budgets haven't allowed staffing to post all new innovations, their always behind, that's why they want user input. Remember FAA's mission statement: Mission Safe airspace and efficiency which mainly applies to commercial carriers after all how many fees do you pay? I mentioned using adhesives on aluminum the replies also suggest using rivets too. No matter what type of joint failures are always a possibility so why not on wood too. 12. Nov 27, 2013 ### Dan Thomas ### Dan Thomas #### Well-Known Member Joined: Sep 18, 2008 Messages: 4,870 Likes Received: 2,082 Try making a couple of joints with just staples, then load those joints to see how strong they are. Then make a couple of the same type of joint with glue and see how strong it is. You will find that the glue is about a thousand times as strong as the staples. Therefore, any load that breaks a glue joint is going to rip a stapled joint apart quicker than you can say "oops." Many years ago I made some test pieces using 1/16" birch plywood and epoxy glue. The birch ply I cut into one-inch-wide strips and scarfed the ends at a 15:1 slope and glued them together. I ended up with several of these strips about six inches long and an inch wide with the glue joint across the middle. I modified a hydraulic press to pull instead of push, and made some force calculations based on gauge pressure and cylinder area. I pulled on those strips until they broke. The results? (1). None of them broke at the glue joint. The epoxy apparently had penetrated the wood fibers in the joint and made them stronger. (2). All of the strips took about 1500 pounds of pull to break. There is absolutely no way that staples, no matter how many, could have improved on that, and they sure wouldn't have held if the joint did fail. In fact, punching a bunch of staples into the joint would have sheared enough wood fibers that it would have weakened the joint. All wooden aircraft structures are glued in shear, not tension. If a tensile load is anticipated, you use bolts. Glue has far greater strength in shear than in peel, especially epoxy. Reinforcing a glued wood joint with anything is a waste of time and adds weight. Wooden airplanes can be terribly strong, and too many builders worry about joints coming apart. There are wooden homebuilts from the 1950s still flying, some doing aerobatics, all on joints made with glues inferior to what we use now. The real danger is rot, so it needs to be kept dry. Rot often starts around steel bolts, and I have seen rotten wood around steel staples, too. Just ask any carpenter who fixes old houses. Gluing aluminum riveted joints has to be done with great care and research. The rivet is only a part of the joint's strength; much of it comes from the friction created between the sheets, under the pressure created by the rivet. Again, the loads are in shear, not tension. Gluing can act like a lubricant if adhesion is a problem, as it often is with aluminum. Dan wsimpso1 likes this. 13. Nov 27, 2013 ### wltrmtty ### wltrmtty #### Well-Known Member Joined: Oct 26, 2013 Messages: 78 Likes Received: 38 Location: Kenosha, WI 14. Nov 27, 2013 ### Geek1945 ### Geek1945 #### Well-Known Member Joined: Aug 14, 2013 Messages: 144 Likes Received: 34 Location: Erath County TX 76462 Thanks, I've done that everyone one too. Here's my take on building a plane: From 50 years working on computers I know the only constant is change, yesterday is history to be written and the future is full of risks yet not taking any isn't the way to go. So let's agree to disagree and move on while you take the high road I'll take the low road and who cares who arrives first as long as both arrive safely. I told my youngest son taking risks is what life and he always wanted to learn, why did you do that dad, is all about so I figure owning a beautiful home paid for and new Bentley V12, Mc Learen M4, Lotus Evora, and taking dad to Austin for formula one race and sitting in box seats adjoining Carlos Slim before 40 isn't too bad especially without a sheep skin. His older bother is another story, dad was too old to listen to while his peers were all budding geniuses but it didn't work out so well. Removing properly set staples just appears like busy work to me even a two boxes of 5K doesn't seem like a no fly item compared to eliminating drag in a design while doing so safely. If it's your thing then knock yourself out, I'm too old to worry about such. Besides I believe 130HP will eliminate the extra drag nicely if 65 or 70 are inadequate. Yes it is crude inefficient and not elegant but spending years building perfection where every extra ounce and not perfect joint is a worry does too. Just how many partial homebuilts are aging away in the pursuit of perfection consuming life's non-replaceable hours over removing staples or which adhesive is the best. Kinda reminds me of our government too. If "it works so why change it" is wrong mindset good luck standing like an oak tree while the world passes you by. Being retired I don't want a part finished bucket list plane left to be disposed of. I enjoy building, repairing, and other handiwork yet I allot just so much time for success or failure since my clock never stops ticking. As for retired folks having nothing to do, forget that I'm learning everyday there are new ways to do things. Sure I'm not sleeping 8 but I'll catch up when I'm dead. Looking back and noticing every miniscule flaw never works. Look at what you did right is a winning outlook, remember your ice cream favor might not be mine, but it what we learn from each other is what really counts. 15. Nov 27, 2013 ### Kyle Boatright ### Kyle Boatright #### Well-Known Member Joined: Nov 12, 2012 Messages: 807 Likes Received: 438 Location: Marietta, GA Geek, if I was you, I'd listen to what these experienced builders are suggesting. Aviation best practices have been developed the hard way, and if there were easier, less labor intensive methods that worked well, people would flock to them. 16. Nov 27, 2013 ### TFF ### TFF #### Well-Known Member Joined: Apr 28, 2010 Messages: 11,708 Likes Received: 3,315 Location: Memphis, TN The Biplane Forum - Registration The summery is the pros building$300K airplanes leave them in, the craftsmen use nails left in, the UL guys take them out, and the guys who hate the way staples look take them out. With a good epoxy varnish, they will not rust out in two to three lifetimes.

17. Nov 27, 2013

### Dan Thomas

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Nails left in are brass. Even then we see staining of the wood, and even under a good varnish. There's always residual moisture in the wood, ideally 15% for maximum strength.

Dan

18. Apr 26, 2016

### rbrochey

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Which one of their staplers did you get? And what staples did you use?? Thanks!

19. Apr 26, 2016

### don january

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I found myself using a GS brand hand stapler using 1/2 x 5/16 chisel point staple mainly on FUS gusset's. I found that a light tap with a small ball peen hammer help's set them tight. I try and go light on the amount of staple's and pull once glue has set for 24 hr's. Each person has their own way and Equip. but this has worked well for me. Rib's are a different mission and staples. Don

20. Apr 26, 2016

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