The task of securing timber or metal framework into concrete with fixings that need to be drilled, screwed and/or glued leaves the potential for plates and structures to move during the process of fixing. Ramset’s FrameBoss XPM allows the instant firingof up to 100mm pins through steel, timber and concrete, which significantly reduces the risk of movement during other fixing processes.
It’s been a while since I’ve used a Ramset™ tool – at least a good six or seven years – and my prior experiences involved inserting individual pins with individual firing shots. It was a slow process, and the gun provided inconsistent results because the tool was at least 10 years old.
So, did I notice more than a few improvements?
You bet I did! The FrameBoss XPM felt more like a heavy-duty nail gun than a fully automatic powder actuated tool. The tool can be set up to fire individual pins (up to 100mm) by inserting into the nozzle of the gun, or by setting up the tool with a new 10 pin magazine that accommodates 60mm and 75mm pins, which twists onto the front of the tool replacing the single-shot nozzle.
You have your choice of power load strips, with Weak (green), Medium (yellow) and Strong (red), which come in strips of 10 and allow you to choose the required strength for your task. Choice is important with a tool like this and Ramset™ has some great options for 60mm and 75mm collated and individual drive pins between 25mm and 100mm for fixing into concrete and masonry. If individual drive pins are your go-to there are options for both structural steel and concrete/masonry/steel.
TEST 1. TIMBER INTO CONCRETE SLAB
Our first test involved firing through a ripped down LVL bottom plate into a floor slab. We used 75mm drive pins with the medium yellow power load strip. It’s worth noting there is a very cool depth adjustment at the rear of the tool, which provides another element of control with the depth of your pin. Our very first shot went precisely to plan on all fronts and we were, of course, wearing both eye and ear protection throughout the process of testing.
On inspection of the first shot the pin was still sitting slightly above the top of the timber surface. After checking the depth adjustment it was at the minimum setting so after dialling it up to halfway, our next shot sat the head a mm or two beneath the timber surface which was perfect. After placing numerous pins into various sections of timber into the slab with success, the adjustment dial provided good control of depth variation.
TEST 2. TIMBER INTO STEEL POST
For the next test we decided to fire a few pins through a 90 x 45 timber stud into the steel post it was butted up against. The post had already been screwed to the timber, but we wanted to check the tool’s ability to fire into steel as well as timber/ concrete. The first thing we noticed was the tool was too long to fit in-between the stud placings, which wasn’t the end of the world because we used a very slight angle to allow the tool to sit beside the study before firing. The medium power setting on the tool with the medium power load strip was a perfect setting for this use. We decided to test several shots with the stronger (red) power load strip, which seemed to push the pin about 5-6mm deeper into the timber/concrete slab than the medium power strip. For our test the medium was great, but if you are working with thicker steel (up to 10-11mm) the strong red strip is a better choice.
A tool like this is a must-have for tradies installing structural framework in either timber or steel. The Framesboss’ ability to quickly and accurately pin multiple carbon steel pins into critical framework not only significantly improves workflow, but reduces the risk of movement of plates, posts and frames at critical times. With simple yet essential safety measures like correct PPE being used at all times and training for those who haven’t used a tool like this before, the Ramset™ FrameBoss XPM will be a valuable and safe addition to your toolbox.