Keeping Nails from Splitting Wood

by Lee Wyatt
(last updated October 2, 2019)

1

If you have ever had a piece of wood split on you because of a nail, then you know just how frustrating the whole thing can be. Not only is it frustrating, but it can also end up being fairly expensive if you have to keep going back and buying new wood and nails so you can get the job done. There are several tricks that you can use for keeping nails from splitting wood, most of which don't really require a whole lot of extra work or money from you. All you need to do is use one or more of these methods, and the chances of you having an incident of splitting wood will be dramatically reduced.

  • Harder isn't always better. While hardwood is always a popular choice, it isn't always the best choice. The reason for this is rather simple, hard wood tends to be brittle and split a whole lot easier. Frankly, if you have the ability to incorporate soft wood into your plans, you should since the chances of it splitting will be dramatically lower than it would with the hard stuff.
  • Check the point. Surprisingly, a sharp point doesn't necessarily mean that you will be less likely to have wood split. In fact, if you use sharp pointed nails then the nail will act as a wedge and help to split the wood. Instead, take a look at the nails and if the points are sharp dull them a little bit. The duller tip will, instead of acting like a wedge act more like a pile driver and crush the wood. Simply slam the nail point against something harder (like stone) and you will be able to dull the point enough.
  • Coat your nails. Another fantastic method for avoiding split wood is to make your nails just a tad slippery. This is easily accomplished by dipping the nail into petroleum jelly, paraffin wax, or to rub a bar of soap all over the nail (exempting the head). This slippery coating will in effect lubricate the nail so that it go through the wood a whole lot easier.
  • Use guide holes. Use an electric drill, and create a few guide holes where you want your nail to go. This will do a couple of different things, all of which can be beneficial. Not only will this reduce the amount of wood that your nails have to go through (thereby reducing the chance of creating a split), but it will also help you to make sure that you drive the nail straight. Just make sure that you use a drill bit that is a little narrower than the nail you plan on using.

Author Bio

Lee Wyatt

Contributor of numerous Tips.Net articles, Lee Wyatt is quickly becoming a regular "Jack of all trades." He is currently an independent contractor specializing in writing and editing. Contact him today for all of your writing and editing needs! Click here to contact. ...

MORE FROM LEE

Cleaning Garage Tools

Often the tools that we keep in our garage are in more need of a deep cleaning than the garage itself. In situations like ...

Discover More

Identifying CFL Bulbs

CFLs (or compact fluorescent light bulbs) have become increasingly popular over recent years. In fact, they have become ...

Discover More

Cleaning Blackened Air Vents

When cleaning blackened air vents, it's nice to think that all you need to do is do a little dusting and your finished. ...

Discover More

Find the Right Tool Right Away Finally, a homeowner's set that includes all the tools needed to complete basic DIY projects at an affordable price! The tools are stored in a molded case for security and portability. Check out Stanley 65-Piece Homeowner's Tool Kit today!

More Home Improvement Tips

Removing Stripped Door Screws

Whether you need to replace a broken down storm door, or you simply want a change style, you will need to remove a few ...

Discover More

Essential Tools for the Home Plumber

If you are thinking of doing any type of plumbing work yourself, you need to make sure that you have the right tools for ...

Discover More

Cabinet and Countertop Toolkit

One of the most common areas to work on in the home is going to be the cabinets and countertops that you have. After all, ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 - 2?

2014-04-27 12:42:43

Catherine Griffin

Can you wet your wood down with water to keep it from splitting when nailing


Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Receive an e-mail several times each week with a featured home improvement tip. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)