When Ethan Hutchinson crafts a furniture piece, he pours into it his passion, creativity and curiosity. Each piece takes on its own character and flare. The crafting process comes with various challenges but Ethan says that using RAPTOR® nails has helped to alleviate some of those difficulties.
We use the Raptor nails for all of our pattern work. When making multiple seating pieces you want the fastest and simplest way to attach the leg patterns for shaping. We used to use 18 gauge metal brads, but when removing patterns from the shaped legs, it was always a 50/50 shot that the nail would come off with the pattern. Most times we’d have to try and remove the nail with a puller or pliers and always with very limited success. So then we’d have a broken nail embedded in the leg that we still needed finish on the band saw or even the joiner. The embedded nail was then a real pain. Embedded nails dull the blades and in order to use the leg we would have to use a punch to bury the nail deep enough to keep the rasps and router bits away from it. In addition, we’d then have a large hole to fill. Now, since we use Raptor, all of that is a thing of the past. We assume that it will break off in the leg when we remove the pattern. We clean it off with a chisel and continue the shaping process with no concerns about damaging the tools or ourselves.
We also use Raptor nails as a “micro clamp”. When you can’t fit a conventional clamp onto an area of a glue-up and you just need the surfaces to be in contact long enough for a good glue joint to form, a Raptor nail will do the job well. So, what’s the difference between a Raptor nail and a regular metal nail in “micro clamping”? The majority of the pieces we build are custom and all the designs are pieces that are part of an ongoing design evolution. Very often we tweek the designs during the build process and can have changes such that the areas we first thought would be hidden are now in full view and require more shaping. A metal nail again becomes a pain to deal with and can really stand out. Not so with the Raptor nail. When sanded or shaped, the nail takes stain and finish and is pretty well inconspicuous. The Raptor nail is a superior tool for our shop’s needs.