The Sammy Super Screw has been on the market for quite some time. You have likely seen them being used by any trade suspending rod from the ceiling. You will find similar products like the Powers Vertigo, Simpson Titen Rod Hanger, Elco Hangermate and others. While the most common size is 3/8″ we are now stocking them for 1/2″ threaded rod. These are perfect for when you need a little more than a 3/8″ rod. For wood we stock both the Sammy Super Screw GST2 (ITW Buildex #8013925) and the GST3 (ITW Buildex #8015925). The Sammy Super Screws for 1/2″ rod are available for concrete and steel. We are a full line Sammy Screw dealer so if you don’t see what you are looking for, give us a call.
Hilti and Ramset tools have been a great asset to many trades including the data comm field for hanging cable hooks. Overhead fastenings can be a challenge in some concrete. If your having trouble with low success rates when shooting ceiling clips into the concrete deck above, the problem many times can be traced back to the quality of your pin. Most tool supply houses and even the big box stores offer pins and loads for Ramset and Hilti tool. The problem is, many are stocking the cheapest pins available to maximize sales and profit. The result is that when you run into brittle concrete or pre cast decks, you can have a lot of blow outs. If you are shooting up a ceiling clip with pre attached, every failed fastening can start to add up. If you are having more blow outs than you like, or you are getting a lot of fish hooked pins, consider a ballistic point pin like the Ramset SPC78 and Ramset SPC114 series of ceiling clips. These clips are assembled using a polished point pin rather than a standard “pinched” point. See the pictures, there is a difference. Add to that the thicker shank on these ceiling clips and you will see fewer blow outs and less fish hooking of your pins. The SPC114 pin has an even thicker shank than the SPC78 and while you may not be able to sink it all the way, get it in 3/4″ and you will have a solid support for your light fixtures and cable hooks. For even better success, use a Ramset or Hilti tool made just for overhead work like the Ramset Viper 4.
The Ramset Cobra tool has become a staple for many of the trades including the low voltage and electrical trades. The Ramset Cobra is what we call a Hilti DX-350 clone tool as is the Simpson PT27 and tools from other manufactures as well. This is a well proven design that is easy to use and quite reliable. One of the things I like is how stable it is when mounted on a ceiling extension pole tool, making it a great choice for ceiling grid wires for suspending not only ceilings but j hooks and light fixtures. One of the most common wear parts on these tools is the piston, or drive pin. How can you tell when it is time to replace the piston on your Ramset Cobra? Murphy’s law dictates that what can go wrong will so even if you piston looks good, having a spare will save you down time. When your piston is new, it has taper around the end. Like a tent stake that expands when repeatedly pounded, the piston will start to flare over time. This bevel accommodates this flare. If you piston is starting to flare or chip, it is time to replace it, or at the least have one on hand. As for the ring, typically they will last the life of the piston. You can replace them but it isn’t easy. To replace the piston on your Ramset Cobra, slide the annular spring to release the piston stop and slide out the barrel. Remove the barrel clip and now the barrel halves will come apart. Simply pull out the old piston and replace it. Reassemble the tool in reverse order. If you have any problems or questions, give a call toll free at 1-877-212-2377 and we will walk you through. Find a complete line of Ramset Cobra parts here.
If you are running into applications where you are needing more power or would like a durable .27 caliber strip tool for shooting concrete and steel, consider the Ramset XT540 tool. The XT540 offers an automatic return and power adjustment feature. You can actually drop two power levels with the power adjustment wheel. Designed to develop the power needed to handle a full 3″ pin. If you job calls out a .157 check out the Ramset .157 shank true embedment pins, stamped with the size of the pin. A magazine and lathing disc attachment are available as well. So if you need a little more power, consider the Ramset XT540 tool, made in USA.
If you do any amount of cabling in commercial buildings, you can’t avoid pulling cables through masonry applications. Typically you will need to drill anywhere from a 1″ to 4″ hole to accept a sleeve of some kind be it a piece of EMT conduit or a pass through device. You have several choices. Number one, you can hire someone to core the holes for you. If there is another trade already coring through the wall, cost may not be so bad. If you have to hire a coring contractor, it can get expensive. There are times when hiring someone is the best way to go. If you have a lot of holes, bigger holes or you have post stressed concrete, you may be better off passing the liability and cost to a concrete cutting coring firm. Choice number two involves poking a bunch of smaller holes with a hammer drill and then breaking out the center. There are times where this may get you buy, but consider an easier option first. SDS core bits. Most contractors today utilize SDS hammer drills. These hammers can also perform coring jobs quite well. A standard SDS hammer like a Hilti TE15 or Bosch 11255 hammer should be able to 2-1/2″ core with relative ease. The core bits used for these types of hammers are carbide tipped and have a thin wall. This thin creates less resistance than what you may find on bigger core bits making for an easy drill.
Check out the video, you will be impressed on the speed! Click here to find Bosch Speed Core SDS Thin Wall core system.
Safety first. We here it all the time but what does it mean to be safe when operating a Hilti, Ramset or other powder actuated tool? There is the obvious and please don’t skip thesm basics as some do. Safety glasses. A Hilti, Ramset or any powder actuated tool develops enough power to sink a nail into 1/2″ steel. That should be enough power to put a piece of that pin or other fragment through your eye lid! Secondly, use your hearing protection. When using a Hilti or Ramset tool on an extension pole like when you are installing pre tied grid wires for ceilings or supporting fixtures and data cable runs, the tool may be far enough away from the operator for your comfort, but it is still recommended. If you fasten into steel with a powder actuated tool, you will likely only make the mistake of not wearing hearing protection once, it will leave your ears ringing. Certification is required on powder actuated tools. You can get certified on a Ramset tool on Ramset’s website. Besides the obvious safety guidelines, certification will give you more safety guidelines for proper application and nail selection when using your Ramset or Hilti tool.
Keeping your powder actuated tool clean and in proper repair is often overlooked. If any of your tool parts are chipped or cracked, replacing them now can not only save you down time later but could vary well prevent an injury. You can find a complete line of Ramset Parts. If you need any assistance with your powder actuated tools, you can give us a call toll free at 1-877-212-2377.
If you are mounting any EMT conduit or BX cable to masonry materials, give these one hole straps a try. Designed for use with Ramset, Hilti and other powder actuated tools, these straps are available in sizes for BX cable, 1/2″,3/4″ and 1″ EMT. The straps are preloaded with a 1″ pin with a .300 head for use in most powder tools offered by Hilit, Ramset and others. Where can you use them? The main application is for poured concrete or metal decking with concrete over the top. I have seen many contractors use them in cinder block or in the horizontal mortar joints of brick as well all though you won’t find pullout data for some of these applications. Pre cast concrete slabs can sometimes be fastened with a Hilti or Ramset tool but they can be very brittle, be ware of post tension with shallow cables. Any time you use a Ramset, Hilti or other powder actuated tool, be safe and follow the manufactures recommendations, starting with lowest power level first. Safety glasses and hearing protection are a given. You may want to make others, especially in an occupied office aware that you will be using a nail gun! Try these great time saving BX/EMT conduit straps with your Hilti, Ramset or other powder actuated tools to save time on your next project.
Turn Your SDS Hammer Into An Overhead Drill Machine Hammer Drill Extension
How do you suspend grid wire or all thread from a concrete deck while standing on the floor if the the concrete is to brittle for your Ramset or Hilti tool or you simply are not allowed to shoot. For those times when you need to suspend a cable run or anything for that matter to a concrete deck that is just out of reach, consider the ODM overhead drill machine. Designed to work with most D handle SDS rotary hammers, the ODM overhead drill machine extends to reach ceilings decks up to 13′. The hands free probe trigger system allows you to keep both hands on the tool. After you drill your hole, use the I Driver to drive in tie wire wedges or spikes with ceiling grid wire pre attached. If you want to install threaded rod, simply drill the hole and then install a concrete Sammy Screw, with the threaded rod already attached using the Torque Master tool. Think of the time savings over a lift that can be had in many situations. Click here to see a video of the tool in use.
If you are faced with the challenge of drilling an extra deep or long hole in masonry, you know it can be a real challenge to find a hammer drill bit long enough for your SDS hammer drill. Usually you can find a bit that will drill up to about a foot, but some projects, especially projects that are older buildings or additions will require you to drill deeper holes. Now what? Be prepared. We offer a full line of SDS bits from 3/8″ to 3/4″ diameters that will give you a drill depth of anywhere from 16″ to 34“! If you need a whole a little wider, you can drill a pilot with the smaller diameter and then come from either side if possible. We have bits 7/8″ diameter to 1-1/4″ that have 16″ diameters. If you have an application that requires a larger hole, consider one of our thin wall cores designed for use with SDS hammers. You will find a size range of 1-9/16″ to over 4”. There thin wall design reduces the amount of friction allowing even small to medium size SDS hammers to handle up to 2-1/2″ hole or more with ease.
Is my hammer an SDS hammer? Sometimes we get the question, especially with Hilti hammers, is my hammer an SDS hammer drill? If it is a smaller hammer, likely so. It can get confusing, with some brands. For instance, Hilti calls the bits for SDS hammers a TE-CX bit. An SDS shank hammer drill bit is about 3/8″ diamter and has to dimples opposite each other, and two slots opposite each other. If that is what you have, any SDS bit will fit in to your hammer drill. If the shank is about 3/4″ you likely have an SDS Max or possibly a spline bit. These are typically bigger, and noticeably heavier tools.
Fastening to the ceiling from the floor with you Hilti DX-350, Ramset Cobra, Simspon PT-27 or other Hilti DX-350 or Hilti DX-35 clone tool is easy with the longshooter extension pole. Available in both 6′ and 8′ lengths, your powder actuated tool mounts quickly and securely. Check out the video at our site, it’s easy to set up and use. Team it up with our quality pre tied ceiling clips or our SC14 rod hanger system and you will wonder how you ever worked without the extension pole for you Hilti DX-350