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Driving Cut Nails

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Forum topic by Jackcarter0714 posted 08-17-2017 10:44 PM 600 views 0 times favorited 19 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Jackcarter0714

17 posts in 156 days


08-17-2017 10:44 PM

I’m building two dovetailed planter boxes. All of the joints are solid and ready to go. I’m nailing the bottoms on the sides, so that the bottom in inside the box rather than being directly under the sides. I’m using 8D cut nails. I don’t trust the strength of modern wire nails. Admittedly, these are meant for masonry, but they’re as close to the real thing as I can get. I go to drive in the first nail, it goes in about 3/8ths and stops, a dead stop. Does anyone know any tricks to driving these nails? I drilled a pilot hole the thickness of the nail, and am nailing it in with the grain.


19 replies so far

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

1532 posts in 401 days


#1 posted 08-17-2017 11:23 PM

May I assume your pilot hole went through the side into the bottom? How thick are the sides? How thick is the bottom? What species lumber are you using? Cut nails do need a pretty good wallop!

I usually put a bit of grease (boiled linseed oil and bee’s wax) in the pilot hole before driving the nail.

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

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Jackcarter0714

17 posts in 156 days


#2 posted 08-17-2017 11:41 PM



May I assume your pilot hole went through the side into the bottom? How thick are the sides? How thick is the bottom? What species lumber are you using? Cut nails do need a pretty good wallop!

I usually put a bit of grease (boiled linseed oil and bee s wax) in the pilot hole before driving the nail.

- Ron Aylor

The lumber is 4/4 pine. The hole goes through the side and the bottom. I just might have to try that grease trick. The last board split on me after forcing it with a heavier hammer.

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

560 posts in 570 days


#3 posted 08-18-2017 01:31 AM

Why not use stainless steel screws or silicon bronze ring shank boat nails? I think your real problem is going to be rust rather than weak fasteners.

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Jackcarter0714

17 posts in 156 days


#4 posted 08-18-2017 01:40 AM



Why not use stainless steel screws or silicon bronze ring shank boat nails? I think your real problem is going to be rust rather than weak fasteners.

- ArtMann

Screws hold the wood too tight. They would never allow for enough wood movement. The wood would be splitting after a matter of days.
Those nails have no taper, just like a wire nail. That means there is nothing wedging to hold the wood. The wood is virtually free floating on the nail when using untapered nails.
Rust, or rough surfaces rather, on nails is desirable. A nail that is too slick has no texture to grip the wood.

View bandit571's profile

bandit571

17962 posts in 2437 days


#5 posted 08-18-2017 02:12 AM

Maybe as simple as turning the nail 90 degrees, so it doesn’t wedge the wood apart?

-- A Planer? I'M the planer, this is what I use

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Jackcarter0714

17 posts in 156 days


#6 posted 08-18-2017 02:17 AM



Maybe as simple as turning the nail 90 degrees, so it doesn t wedge the wood apart?

- bandit571

I wish it was, man. The nail is already aligned with the grain.

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TheFridge

7729 posts in 1240 days


#7 posted 08-18-2017 03:13 AM

Lie Nielsen carries cut nails.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

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AlaskaGuy

3232 posts in 2063 days


#8 posted 08-18-2017 06:08 AM

To go along with bandit’s suggestion

http://www.tremontnail.com/faqs.htm

-- Alaskan's for Global warming!

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

5715 posts in 1953 days


#9 posted 08-18-2017 06:13 AM

Does anyone know any tricks to driving these nails?

I hate those things! The trick is usually to get a bigger hammer :)

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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AlaskaGuy

3232 posts in 2063 days


#10 posted 08-18-2017 06:13 AM

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

1532 posts in 401 days


#11 posted 08-18-2017 10:13 AM


May I assume your pilot hole went through the side into the bottom? How thick are the sides? How thick is the bottom? What species lumber are you using? Cut nails do need a pretty good wallop!

I usually put a bit of grease (boiled linseed oil and bee s wax) in the pilot hole before driving the nail.

- Ron Aylor


The lumber is 4/4 pine. The hole goes through the side and the bottom. I just might have to try that grease trick. The last board split on me after forcing it with a heavier hammer.

- Jackcarter0714


You might also consider using 6d nails with the 4/4 pine … just a bit thinner. Good luck … and don’t forget to post your planters!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View tomsteve's profile

tomsteve

584 posts in 973 days


#12 posted 08-18-2017 01:24 PM

Screws hold the wood too tight. They would never allow for enough wood movement. The wood would be splitting after a matter of days.
.
- Jackcarter0714

i have 7 year old planter boxes on my deck i assembled with stainless screws. not one spilt through 7 years of michigan weather.

im willing to bet that those nails will work their way out.
if your wood splits after a matter of days, youre starting with too high an MC in your wood.

i dont think cut nails are intended for exterior wood work.
as you stated- they are meant for masonry and say that for a reason.
why not assemble the project like millions of people have built outdoor projects for years and years?

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Jackcarter0714

17 posts in 156 days


#13 posted 08-18-2017 05:05 PM


Screws hold the wood too tight. They would never allow for enough wood movement. The wood would be splitting after a matter of days.
.
- Jackcarter0714

i have 7 year old planter boxes on my deck i assembled with stainless screws. not one spilt through 7 years of michigan weather.

im willing to bet that those nails will work their way out.
if your wood splits after a matter of days, youre starting with too high an MC in your wood.

i dont think cut nails are intended for exterior wood work.
as you stated- they are meant for masonry and say that for a reason.
why not assemble the project like millions of people have built outdoor projects for years and years?

- tomsteve

Was the planter sealed? That’s interesting. That problem with splitting is that you start with dry wood, and introduce the constant water later. The reason for using cut nails is to practice technique for period furniture. Practicing on small, unimportant projects is much better than messing up on the real thing.

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

1532 posts in 401 days


#14 posted 08-18-2017 06:24 PM

... the reason for using cut nails is to practice technique for period furniture. Practicing on small, unimportant projects is much better than messing up on the real thing.

- Jackcarter0714

Now you’ve gone and opened up that can of worms. Oh my! Please be prepared for every Internet Troll on this site to offer complaint, criticism, and their unasked-for advice about how you are not building period furniture  correctly or truly period … been there, done that!

I for one shall look forward to seeing your efforts and hope you will learn to ignore the inevitable barrage. Keep it up and good for you!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

831 posts in 336 days


#15 posted 08-19-2017 12:10 AM

Brooklyn Tools & Craft sells cut nails, too. Just ordered three pounds of them myself. Don’t have any tips to offer yet, but maybe in a few weeks….

-- Dave - Minneapolis

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