JLC Field Guide: Nails

A nail’s holding power is a function of its diameter, how far it penetrates the wood, and the type of wood it penetrates.

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Nails Featured Articles

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Choosing Collated Nails

Cheap generic nails seem like a bargain up front, but you may pay the price later in jams and misfires. This article explains how to make an intelligent choice in generic nails, and looks at the many new collated specialty nails on the market. More

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Practical Engineering: Holding It Together
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Practical Engineering: Box vs. Common Nails

Comparing box and common nails More

Nails Instruction

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Q&A: Nailing Tips for Advanced Framing

Q: I can see the value in advanced framing in terms of reduced thermal bridging, better insulation, and savings in framing lumber. But I've hesitated to get serious about it because I worry that the absence of some familiar framing member is going to make More

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Reinforcing Old Framing

Q: We're remodeling a 1930s vintage San Diego home and have to seismically reinforce its cripple walls with plywood, shear transfer plates, and hold-downs. Because all the framing is very dry and most of the cripples measure only 1 foot to 2 feet in lengt More

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Q&A: Fastening Studs With Screws

Q: On a remodel job, I used screws to fasten studs and blocking in a non-bearing partition. An inspector told me that only nails, not screws, could be used in this application. Is this correct? More

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Frequently Asked Framing Questions

Do you have to double 2x12 trimmer rafters when installing a skylight? Can you remove collar ties in an attic? Just how strong is a toe-nail? We asked four engineers to answer these and other structural questions. More

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