It would seem that what could be easier than hammering in a nail. When asked how to do it correctly, any man, and a decent part of women, should know the answer. But in light of the problems of cracked planks, cracked plaster, bent nails, and injured fingers, the process of hammering in nails is no longer so easy. You just need to know some rules and nuances, and then this procedure will not cause any problems.
So, the secret of a properly driven nail is very simple: it is a combination of a well-chosen tool, technique and experience. And if you still lack the latter, then it’s time to get acquainted with useful tips on this topic, which real masters have accumulated for many years.
What tool do you need?
A very common mistake when hammering in a nail is the wrong hammer. It is worth remembering a simple rule that the larger and longer the nail, the larger and heavier the carpentry hammer should be. Depending on the size of the nail, a specific hammer size is selected from the four existing ones:
MCT-1 with a handle of 25-28 cm, a working part of 9 cm and weighing up to 250 g, it is good to hammer in the smallest nails up to 4 cm long;
- MCT-2 with a handle of 30-32 cm, a working part of 11 cm and a weight of 500 g can be used for driving larger nails. This is the most common tool;
- MCT-3 already weighs 800 g, and in terms of other parameters and scope of use, it hardly differs from the previous version;
- MCT-4 with a handle of 35-37 cm, a working part of 13 cm, and weighing about 1 kg, hammer nails from 8 cm or more and even dowel-nails.
Of course, with the help of MSP-4 it is possible to hammer in a small wallpaper nail, but it will be more comfortable to work with a tool with adequate dimensions. But, if there is only one hammer in the house, and you need to hammer in one single nail to hang the picture, then it is unnecessary to bother too much – it is another matter if the volume of construction work is larger.
Secrets of Proper Nailing
The nail will fit perfectly into the surface, not deform it and not bend itself, and the hammer will not cause injury if you follow a few simple tips.
If there is not so much experience in hammering nails, then it will not be superfluous to first apply the markings and mark the place of future fastening with a pencil. Next, the nail is leaned against the intended point, held with the index and thumb at the base, and with the little finger they rest against the surface for greater stability. You need to start with gentle movements in order to drive the nail 3-4 mm into the surface, and when it already holds, you can proceed to stronger blows. Professionals say that the fewer blows, the more firmly the nail will sit, so try to aim better at the head of the nail, and, holding the hammer by the end of the handle (this will be stronger and require less effort), make a pair of wrist, and then 2- 3 strong elbow strikes.
- When hammering in a nail, you need to make sure that it evenly and correctly enters the surface. And if something goes wrong, then it is better to take the pliers and carefully, with rotational movements, pull it out. Do not swing from side to side, otherwise the hole may become very wide.
Probably, many newbies in the matter of hammering in nails are worried about the safety of their fingers, because keeping them at the head with a not too accurate blow means getting injured. Therefore, for the first time, you can use improvised means to hold the nail: it can be an ordinary clothespin, a comb, or even a pair of pliers. By the way, the latter will also help if you need to drive in a long nail so that it does not bend at the same time: you just need to hold the product near the cap with them.
- If you are working with thin wood planks, chances are good that a crack will form when you hammer in a nail. Therefore, it is better to choose nails with a rod diameter that is 4 or more times smaller than the thickness of the board. Alternatively, do not use nails that are too sharp, and bite off the edge with pliers before hammering: this will allow the nail to crush and break the wood fibers without forming a crack. Naturally, hammering nails very close to each other on a wooden surface is not recommended, otherwise cracks may appear.
- When fasteners need to be made close to the edge of the board, it is better to pre-seal it with a hammer and punch. By the way, the punch is simply irreplaceable when you need to sink a nail into the surface for further plastering, because if you only act with a hammer, you get dents. If two boards need to be connected at right angles using several nails, then it is better to connect the boards with a small margin, and cut off the excess after hammering in the nails.
It is important to choose a nail of a suitable length: it should enter at least a third, and preferably 2/3, into the surface to which the attachment is carried out. If you drive a nail at an angle, then the reliability of the connection increases.
- Experienced builders advise, before driving in a nail, to put it in oil or soapy water for a short time: it will be easier to work this way, because the nail will be much easier to enter the surface.
- When you need to hammer a nail into a wall with wallpaper, there is a high probability of deforming the finishing layer with careless movements. Therefore, it is better, before starting hammering, to make a small cruciform incision at the intended place, and only then start the main actions. After the nail has been installed in the right place, the edges of the wallpaper are carefully glued.
The very process of hammering in nails very quickly comes to automatism, and problems can arise only when working with hard-to-reach places, for example, when you need to install a fastener in a recess, in a corner, etc. In this case, a steel core and a metal tube will come to the rescue, with which the process is simplified as much as possible: the tube is put on a nail, and the core rests against the cap, and then proceed as usual, striking the core with a hammer. Instead of a tube and core, you can use a nut with a diameter slightly larger than the nail head and a bolt. If it is necessary to hammer a nail into the spring bar, then you can use a clamp and use it to press the nail in, or use a massive hammer as a support.
- If it turns out that the nail is too long, and its end has already appeared from the back side, then, in order to avoid injury, it is better to bend it with a hook and then drive it into the same surface.
Often, nails tend to bend and even break. There are several reasons for this: too strong or inaccurate impacts, or too hard surface. Therefore, if necessary, to create a fastening in a concrete or brick wall, it is better to use a dowel. So, on a concrete wall, they first outline the required place, and then use a perforator to drill the required hole: the diameter is indicated on the drill, which should coincide with the same indicator for the dowel. The depth of the hole obtained should slightly exceed the length of the dowel. Then they clean the dust, hammer in the dowel and install the nail. A brick wall can be drilled with a hammer drill, and it is advisable to make a hole in the center of the brick, since the masonry mortar is not a reliable place for fastening.
Perhaps these are the basic rules that should help a novice master to hammer nails correctly and without problems, injuries and damage. If you need to pull out an already hammered nail, then you can pry it with a nail driver or a screwdriver, and then pick up the cap with pliers and pull. In this case, it is better to place a piece of wood under the tool so as not to leave visible dents on the surface.