Steering a nail .......? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 01-28-2018, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
where's my table saw?
 
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Steering a nail .......?

Having hammered more nails than I care to remember, I learned at some point how to steer the nail. Starting a nail at an angle is also a bit tricky. Have any of you got any tricks or tips on how to do this?

Hammers are just not run of the mill either, 16 oz being the standard weight. I must have 20 or so in different weights in rip and claw versions. The small ones are just "cute" but have their purposes. The large ones over 24 oz are more than I care to swing these days, when the Senco air powered framing nailer can be used instead.

so, whaddya got?

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #2 of 12 Old 01-28-2018, 08:58 PM
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The question is though, how do you steer them when they get S shaped.
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post #3 of 12 Old 01-28-2018, 09:20 PM
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Hammers: one which is flat-faced for making shallow dents in the wood.
A much larger one (32oz?) with a cross-hatched head surface which can drive 10" spikes or pulverize a thumb.

For wood carving, a 12 oz ShopFox and a 32oz lead core SF for the bigger work. They don't slip. Don't know how.
The froe mallet is a 48oz chunk of alder log. They are disposable.

Been some times where drilling a partial pilot hole for the spike was a good thing to do in a tight space.
My SIL bought me a gear-driven gimbal for drilling pilot holes in any direction. Fits a 3/8" drill.
Don't know how the guts work but the range of axis motion is impressive. (Lee Valley)
Edit: I found it = Orbiter # 46J82.10 If it ever breaks, I'll buy another one.

Pilot holes and 3" x #14 screws usually finishes the job.

Last edited by Brian T.; 01-28-2018 at 09:25 PM. Reason: Research into meadow muffins
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post #4 of 12 Old 01-28-2018, 09:29 PM
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I have always had better luck nailing when my hammer is properly sharpened.
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post #5 of 12 Old 01-28-2018, 09:47 PM
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I sold nails to framing contractors. Lots of nails. Boatloads of nails over 35 years. I know nails if little else. Some nail facts will surprise you.
* sharp points will split the wood more than blunt points
* a deformed shank adds holding power
The shank can be deformed in many ways including:
* screw shank
* ring shank
* acid etched
* hot-dipped galvanization
The old method of sizing nails ( 4 penny, 6 penny, 12 penny, etc.) has been completely changed for the most part.
Many hand drive nails are now coated with a vinyl coating for ease of drive.
All galvanized steel nails will eventually rust.
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If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #6 of 12 Old 01-28-2018, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
where's my table saw?
 
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Drive down to the .......

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
The question is though, how do you steer them when they get S shaped.
When nails start getting S shaped, take a drive down to the saloon and tip back a few cold ones. There ain't no cure for those, so may as well chill out.

Once a nail starts down it's own road, stop and consider if you can steer it back on course. If not ..... you gotta pull it out and start a new one in a different hole. Some times you have to come at it from a different angle to make it go where you want it. There some wrist English you can apply to steer it, but if it's started crooked, you had better be really good or start over.

I don't care for the cross hatching on the heavier hammers used for slammin' home deck nails and they will turn a thumb into hamburger.
Nails are disappearing in decks as deck screws are now corrosion resistant and easier to remove when a board rots away.

My favorite hammers are the Titanium long handled Death Sticks, over $100.00 per back when and maybe not available any longer...?

https://www.amazon.com/Death-Stick-D...ct_top?ie=UTF8

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #7 of 12 Old 01-28-2018, 11:29 PM
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I use a nail set, after that as you know it's a feeling thing. No idea how to describe it other than you just sorta do it. I always liked stiletto hammers but no way am I coughing up the money to own one. Don't have a real use for another framing hammer.
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post #8 of 12 Old 01-29-2018, 07:15 AM
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I really do not use nails anymore. I obtain my screws from a supplier where screws only sold in boxes of 200 or more. Rarely have to make a pilot hole and gradually converting from Pozidrive to Torx heads.
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post #9 of 12 Old 01-29-2018, 09:37 AM
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I can't hammer a nail to save my life. They always bend. Always. Same goes for staples, especially the Romex wire and little telephone wire staples. They get crooked and flattened before being driven home. It's a skill that I simply don't have. I hate nails.

Dave in CT, USA
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post #10 of 12 Old 01-29-2018, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
* sharp points will split the wood more than blunt points
My dad would turn a nail upside down and tap the point to blunt it for that reason.
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post #11 of 12 Old 01-29-2018, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gj13us View Post
My dad would turn a nail upside down and tap the point to blunt it for that reason.
You can buy pointless nails for pneumatic nailers. They look like a piece of wire with a head on it. Point configuration can be a very big deal. Some companies absolutely cannot have a shiner. (Shiner is when the nail comes through the side of the wood).
Think of nailing on the wooden lid of an ammo box for the military. No shiners.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #12 of 12 Old 01-30-2018, 11:06 AM
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When I'm toenailing trusses to the top plate, I use 16d spikes. I lay one on the plate and hit it with my hammer in the middle to slightly bend it. Makes it easier to start and once it starts going in, it ends up at a slightly less angle than when I started, preventing it from poking out the other side of the truss. I have a whole collection of hammers, but the only one I use is a 40 year old Klien electrician's hammer. It has an extended nose on it for nailing in tight spots. I just got use to it and use it for everything from framing to finish.
Mike Hawkins.
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