1. When I was serving my apprenticeship as a draughtsman many years ago one of the joiners where I worked was hitting some nails on the point with a hammer with the head resting on a piece of steel as an anvil. When I asked him what he was doing he answered “it helps to stop the wood splitting. with the point burred over the nail breaks through the fibres instead of forcing them to either side and spreading the wood.

  2. I have been using the hammered-head technique for 40 years with good results. In the shop I agree with the nail-to-drill technique for cleaner work. It also slows me down long enough to make better decisions about my next move.

  3. I’ve used both techniques, but used the hammered tip primarily on pressure treated wood. I’ve also used the nail spinner technique…but I’ve never tried to sharpen the point. I can see where it would help . Thanks Paul.

  4. I thought I was the only one who knew about that! Now if there was a video on the poor man’s brad nails. I make mine using rebar tie wire. Nailed 2×4’s together with it before.

    1. I smash the end flat with a hammer on a piece of railroad track; this strain hardens and flattens the end. Then I file the fat area flush and sharp. My grandma (from Turkey) showed me this, but she may have learned it after she came to America.

  5. Will try this one soon.
    My father taught me to put a nail flat on the board with the head at the place you want to hammer it in and with the pointy end towards the long end of the board. Tap the head with the hammer creating a little T-shaped dent. Then hammer the nail in the dent and the board will not split. This works as close as less then half a centimetre from the end of the board, depending on the thickness off course.
    Don’t know if it also applies to harder woods but in soft wood like pine it works fine.

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