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.