Working with wood: hammering nails

Driving nails is one of the most common and seemingly simple operations when working with wood. But this operation also requires certain knowledge and skills. For example, to drive a nail into an easily cracked tree, you need to bite off the tip of the nail with pliers or blunt it with hammer blows. Such a nail will not split the wood (Fig. 1, a).


If it is necessary to hammer in several nails, then, so that the workpiece does not split, it is necessary to drive in the nails not in a straight line, but in a checkerboard pattern in two or three rows (Fig. 1, b). To give greater rigidity to the hammered bars, nails are driven in at an angle to each other: one with an inclination to the right, the other to the left (Fig. 1, c).

It is not so easy to drive a nail into a workpiece that does not rely on anything: it bends and does not fit well into the wood, the workpiece is springy and the connection of two knocked down parts may not be strong enough. Therefore, when driving in nails, you need to provide a rigid support. The support is placed from below at the point of hammering in the nail. It is convenient to use a hammer (Fig. 1, d) or an ax as such a support.


They begin to drive in the nails with light blows, with a movement of the wrist, and the handle can be held closer to the head of the hammer. If the nail enters the wood incorrectly, it must be guided with light side impacts. After making sure that the nail is directed correctly, it is driven in with strong perpendicular hammer blows, which must be held by the end of the handle, bending the arm at the elbow. The head of the hammered nail should not protrude from the wood (Fig. 2, a, b). To bend a nail protruding from the other side of the board, it is most convenient to use an old triangular file of such size that the protruding end of the nail is 1, 2-2 times longer than its edge. The edge of the file is tightly applied to the protruding end of the nail and lightly bends the nail onto the file. Then the file is pulled out and the resulting hook is driven into the wood (Fig. 2, c) without damaging it.

To avoid damaging your fingers when driving in a nail, you can also use old pliers to guide it (Fig. 2, d).

It is not uncommon for a home craftsman to pull out old nails. This operation is performed as follows. First, with a screwdriver or other tool, pry and bend the tip of the old nail, then with light blows on the tip of the nail knock out its head and grab it with pliers or a nail puller (Fig. 2, e). After that, the slit of the nailer is pushed under the head of the nail, the outer side of the bend of the nailer is positioned so that there is an emphasis on the surface of the tree, and, pressing on the handle of the nailer, the nail is pulled out. When pulling nails out with a nailer, the V-notch should be as tight as possible around the nail. A block of metal or wood must be placed under the bend of the nailer so as not to damage the surface of the wood. As the nail is pulled out, thicker bars are placed under the nailer so that the nailer handle has support. Pads are also used if the nails are pulled out with pliers or nippers (Fig. 2, f).


You have to use nails almost every day, for example, when you need to hang a picture, upholster furniture, fix a loose chair. It is important to be able to choose nails for each type of work and each material. To connect the elements of wooden structures, usually used carpentry nails with a small head (Fig. 3, a), nails with a flat head (Fig. 3, b), locking nails (Fig. 3, c), headless nails sharpened from both ends (Fig. . 3, d).


The sizes of nails can be expressed as a fraction, for example 25/25. The top number is the thickness of the nail in tenths of a millimeter, the bottom number is the length of the nail in millimeters. With an increase in the length of the nail, its diameter also increases.

When choosing nails, you need to know their type and names. Consider the types of nails.

Joiner’s nails (Fig. 4, a) have a flat head (large nails are grooved so that the hammer does not slide off). These nails can be used when working with lumber from different types of wood..

For carpentry nails (Fig. 4, b), the head is smaller and somewhat rounded. Such nails are used for carpentry work: in the manufacture of furniture, flooring, etc. The head of a carpenter’s nail penetrates deeply into the wood and therefore does not touch the plane knife when processing the product.

Wallpaper nails (Fig. 4, c) are used for furniture upholstery.

Decorative wallpaper nails (Fig. 4, d) are used to decorate furniture. The industry produces decorative nails in several colors.

The locking nails (Fig. 4, e) have a rounded head. The length of the nail usually does not exceed 20 mm. These nails are used to nail down locks in cabinets, desks and other furniture..

Construction nails (Fig. 4, e) are made with a notch on the rod, due to which they are better retained in the wood. These nails are used to hammer down door and window frames. The head of a construction, like a carpentry, nail completely enters the wood.

Hairpins (Fig. 4, g) are bent nails, pointed at both ends. The dimensions of the studs are affixed in the same way as for nails, with the only difference that the lower number shows the full length of both bent ends of the nail (for example, 18X18). Studs are used to attach wires, springs, rods, etc. to wooden parts..

Plaster nails (Fig. 4, h) in size 22X30 are used for plastering work, as well as for preliminary fastening of tensioned wire and fabric when upholstering walls.

Crutches (Fig. 4, i) have a flat four-sided head located perpendicular to the nail shaft. They are indispensable when you need to hang any heavy objects: mirrors, paintings, shelves, etc..

Slotting nails (Fig. 4, j) belong to the category of special nails. These nails come with a flat, rounded head. Slotting nails can even be driven into brick walls.

Boot nails (Fig. 4, l) are used to repair shoes. They can also be used for hammering together small items. When affixing dimensions for boot nails, only the length is indicated.

Glass nails (Fig. 4, m) have a triangular shape and are used to fix glass when glazing windows and doors. A hammered glass nail does not interfere with working with a spatula.

At present, screws are increasingly used to connect wooden parts, since nails, no matter how firmly they are driven in, often loosen after the wood dries and it is difficult to pull them out without damaging the wooden surfaces.

According to the shape of the caps, four types of screws are distinguished: with a semicircular head (Fig. 5, a), with a countersunk head (Fig. 5, b), with a semi-secret (cone-shaped) head (Fig. 5, c) and construction (Fig. 5, d). The first three types of screws have a slot in the head, they can be screwed in or out with a precisely matched screwdriver. Large-sized construction screws are used for fastening scaffolding. The construction screw is screwed in and out with a wrench.

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