According to the three Chester brothers, Ed, Ron and Jim, nails havent changed much since that anonymous nursery rhyme first saw print over 600 years ago.
Jim says that a nail is a pretty simple idea... "a steel shaft with a point on one end and a head on the other that you whack with a hammer to fasten two pieces of material together."
Ed, Ron and Jim grew up in Chicago, and for fun they got into hot-rodding, drag racing, and then stock car racing. They became self-taught engineers who learned metallurgy, chemistry and physics so they could make their cars go faster. They were so successful, that soon other racers were asking them to make chassis equipment for their cars.
So in the early 1970's, Ed, Ron and Jim began their own company to design and manufacture heavy duty chassis equipment for racecars.
Nineteen years later, the Chesters had a chance to buy some used nail-making equipment. With their background in the industry, the three brothers thought they could make a few dollars on the side manufacturing collated nails and staples for pneumatic tools and selling them locally to distributors and contractors.
"This old equipment needed work," says Ron, "so we went at it with perfection in mind. Basically, we modified the equipment ... redesigning the machines to work more efficiently and, at the same time, designed ways to make our nails better, too."
The modified machines worked faster and had greater output. Thus, says Jim, "we could use higher quality steel than most manufacturers and still be very competitively priced."
This was the beginning of Pneu-Fast™ and its long line of Pro-Nail™ fasteners.
"We stay with our original philosophy," Jim says. "We constantly figure ways to improve manufacturing techniques and ways to improve the nails ... to make them stronger and have more holding power."
Even when the brothers acquire new machines, they tear them down and modify them to improve production and improve the product. "Our steel is higher grade. Our collating is more uniform than other brands. Our collating tape is manufactured with our own Hi-Bond™ resin so our strips are more rigid and resistant to decollating, even when wet. We even make ring shank nails that have more grip than the other guys."
Coatings are important, too. According to Jim, "Many manufacturers use commercial coatings that are supposed to bond with the wood and hold better ... but really are more cosmetic than effective." Jim worked with his chemist and developed Pneu-Fast's exclusive Hold-Fast™ acrylic coating. He states conclusively, "This coating really works! No other manufacturer beats our Hold-Fast acrylic!"
Two years ago, Pneu-Fast introduced Tri-Coat Hi-Galv™ Pro-Nails which deliver triple corrosion protection in ACQ-treated lumber. "Our product is far superior to hot-dipped galvanized nails and far less costly than stainless steel," Jim reports. "Our corrosion tests have exceeded 10,000 hours with no deterioration in ACQ treated lumber at 120°F and 90% humidity."