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Nails 101

Which Nails and When?

Nails not only are "acceptable" in your woodworking projects but they have experienced a resurgence in popularity.  But these are not the wire nails you will find at the typical hardware store.  These are the 18th and 19th century variants: cut nails and wrought nails.  Both of these types of nails have substantially more holding power then the modern equivalents but require a bit more care when driving them in.  First and foremost, in almost all cases you will want to bore a pilot hole before you reach for the hammer.

Rules of Thumb for Cut & Wrought Nails

  • Pilot Hole Diameter equal to the nail 1/3 from the tip
  • Nail very near the end of a board should have a larger pilot hole
  • Depth of Pilot should be equal to 2/3 the length of the nail
  • The softer the wood the smaller the pilot hole and vice versa.

Learn More in The Hand Tool School

Everything discussed today and more has already been covered in The Hand Tool School. If you want to up your hand tool game, this is the place to be.

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