Design & DIY

Weekly Hack: Drive nails without splitting wood

By STILLFX/Shutterstock

Accidentally splitting your boards when hand nailing? Follow these tips:

*Use the skinniest nail for the job. The larger in diameter the nail, the more likely it is to split the board.

*Blunt the tip of the nail by tapping it with your hammer. A dull nail tip will crush the wood fibres and push through them instead of forcing them apart.

*Avoid nailing near the end of the board whenever possible.

*Lubricate the nail with something: oil, wax, soap, petroleum jelly…even spit can work.

*Pre-drill a hole for the nail. Make the diameter slightly smaller than the body of the nail.

*Use softwood lumber when you can. It won’t split as easily as hardwood.


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