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Thread: Best/Favorite fasteners to use with ply?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Willamette Valley, OR

    Question Best/Favorite fasteners to use with ply?

    Hey out there:

    I'm putting 3/4" ply on the interior walls of my post beam shop building. Floor to ceiling is ~10'6", so mostly full 4x8' sheets, with some cutting and fitting to fill in the gaps and smaller sizes, above windows, etc.
    Would you fasten the panels to the 2x6" horizontal girts with nails or screws? The construction is so-called "commercial style" girts so I've got the full side of the 2x6" for attachment. I don't think I need any more than 1.5 to 2" fastener, but 3" wouldn't be a problem. Which type/size of nail/screw? Spacing on panels?
    I've got a bunch of nifty screws, but keep thinking that a 15 or 16 ga finish nailer would be faster...thoughts?
    I guess I'm taking a poll - don't post much, so thx for your $.02.

    Sam B
    Polk Co. OR
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    NE OH
    Well, screws would let you remove a panel if you had to, for wiring or whatever. Get yourself a Senco tape fed screwgun with subfloor screws and it'll be almost as fast as gun nailing.
    --Certainty is the refuge of a small mind--

  3. #3
    I used 1/2 ply in my shop. Used 2" drywall screws and pre- drilled the holes. Took a little while but you only do it once. And I have removed a piece before so screws are nice. I put some smaller pieces around my electrical panel that could be removed in case you ever needed to run another wire.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Wayland, MA
    I expect almost anything will work. A lot depends on the finished look you want and how much time you want to spend. Ranging from a full head framing nailer to staples, to finish hails, to screws. I'd worry slightly about the holding power of finish nails, but not much. Staples and power driven nails will dimple or fracture the surface for a rougher appearance. Screws offer great holding power, reversibility, and can be done neatly (or not!).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    E TN, near Knoxville
    i covered the walls and ceilings in my post&beam shop with 1/2” radiata pine plywood, vertically on the walls. Can’t remember - I used either 2” or 1.5” deck screws with torx heads. I didn’t predrill. Fastened with a cordless impact driver, very fast. BTW I didn’t use girts but installed non load bearing 2x6 10’ studs on 16” centers between the 6x6 posts. (my ceilings are 10’ - wish mine were 10’6”!)

    I used screws so I could easily remove a panel if needed. So far i’ve removed wall panels twice, once to add a 220v circuit for a new lathe and once to wire in an emergency exit sign with lights in case of power failure. I removed a ceiling panel once to repair a slow leak in an air line connection.


    Last edited by John K Jordan; 11-26-2021 at 11:20 AM. Reason: added photo

  6. #6
    I skinned my shop walls with 1/2" CDX and found construction screws with Torx heads to be best choice. Fastened with my M12 impact driver.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Portland, OR
    I used 3/4 ply for my shop walls. The whole reason for doing so was so I could essentially ignore studs and hang almost anything I wanted anywhere. If you hang that ply with 15g finish nails I would not trust it long term if you hang a lot of heavy stuff on the walls unless you are searching for studs through the ply to hang. I used GRK screws for everything. They blend right in with the ply and were easy to install, or remove if necessary.

  8. #8
    I have 7/16" OSB on my walls. I air nailed them because I wouldn't have any reason to remove them; all my wiring is surface mount conduit and I don't have any other utilities in the walls.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Personally, I would tend to use screws, both because the provide easy removal for any future renovation as has been noted and because I always avoid hammering nails when I can due to hand pain...but that wouldn't really apply here because a pneumatic gun would be the right tool for it. I'd use GRK in the 1.5-2" length you mention and would consider using a driving stop to insure that the head was flush but not over-driven which could be unsightly. It wouldn't be out of the question to use both methods...nailing in places where you know there will never be a need to change it because it's faster and more efficient and screws where there is potential for changes later.

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  10. #10
    Plywood might have some warp so that fully threaded screws hold the plywood away from studs. A clearance pilot hole in the plywood allows the plywood to be pulled down snug. A better solution is deck screws with a smooth shank at the top that is the same diameter as the thread root. This allows the plywood to be pulled down without a clearance hole. Deck screws have self drilling tips.
    Last edited by Thomas Wilson; 11-28-2021 at 8:34 AM.

  11. #11
    My shop is 1/2 ply and done with GRK screws. As previously noted future access into the stud bay is key. My shop is 10 walls. I added a 1x4 horiz band to cover the seam at 8.

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