A Carpentry hammer is used to drive nails, screw and perform many other tasks. Here is detailed information on the different type of hammers.
The carpenter must decide which fastening tool to select and be able to use it competently and safely for the job at hand. The carpenters claw hammer is available in several styles and weights. The claws may be straight or curved. Head weights seven to 32 ounce. Most popular for general work is the 16 ounce, curved claw hammer. For rough work a 20 or 22 ounce framing hammer is often used. This has a longer handle and may have a strait or curved claw. In some areas a 28 or 32 ounce framing hammer is preferred for extra driving power.
My favorite carpentry hammer is the 22 ounce hammer. The handle is normally longer for great leverage when I need to strip nails.
Hold the hammer firmly, close to the end of the handle and hit the nail squarely. If the hammer frequently glances off the nail head, try cleaning the hammer face. As a general rule, use nails that are three times longer than the thickness of the material being fastened. To swing a hammer, the entire arm and shoulder are used. It's important to use the wrist. During the latter part of the swing, as the hammer nears the nail, the wrist is rotated quickly, giving more speed to the hammerhead. This increased speed generates more nail-driving force, all with less arm effort.
Toe nailing is the technique of driving nails at an angle to fasten the end of one piece to another. It is used when nails cannot be driven into the end, called face nailing. Toe nailing generally uses smaller nails than face nailing and offers greater. Withdrawal resistance of the pieces joined. Start the nail about 3/4 to one inch from the end and at an angle of about degrees from the surface.
Drive finish nails almost home. Then set the nail below the surface with a nail set to avoid making hammer mark on the surface. Set finish nails at least 1/8 inch deep so the filler will not fall out. In hardwood, or close to edges or ends, drill a hole slightly smaller than the nail shank to prevent the wood from splitting or the nail from bending. If a twist drill of the desired size is not available, cut the nail off the finish nail of the same gauge and use it for making the hole.
Blunting or cutting off the point of the nail also helps prevent splitting the wood. The point spreads the wood fibers as the nail is driven, while the blunt end pushes the fibers ahead of it and reduces the possibility of splitting. A little paraffin applied to the nail shank makes driving the nail easier. The end of an used candle is a handy thing to carry in a tool box this and other lubricating purposes.
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