The collated nail is an invaluable fastener for connecting two materials, such as wood, or securing one piece of material to a wall or surface. The nail itself consists of two distinct parts: the visible head and a shaft that remains hidden within the material. Upon insertion, the head is quickly visible, while the shaft remains invisible to the naked eye.
Carbon steel, a unique alloy of iron and carbon, is the material of choice when crafting nails. In particular, low carbon steel is employed — containing less than 0.3% carbon — to make up both the head and shaft of the nail. This low carbon iteration of carbon steel ensures strength and durability for the finished product.
The head of a collated nail is fashioned with either rounded or flat edges, designed to be bigger than its shaft in order to remain visible after hammer-pounding into the wood. This helps protect the nail from being forced firmly below the surface.
The body of a collated nail is usually free of specs with the intention to let the nail firmly intertwine with the wood. Additionally, some may contain a groove or flute which assists with maintaining an unparalleled grip.
Between 1 and 2 inches, the average collated nail is created to a specific length. Diameters, oftentimes ranging from 0.25 to 0.5 inches, ensure proper adherence to the user’s desired project.
Through a method known as ‘cold heading’, carbon steel is reshaped into collated nails. The process begins with heating the steel to render it malleable before pressing it into a metal tool–or die–which molds the desired shape of the nail’s head and shaft. After placement into the die, a ‘punch’ is used to further shape and form the material, securing its new form as a collated nail.
The head and shaft of the nail are then treated to an invigoration process that includes cooling and heating. This ensures that the steel is sufficiently fortified, ready to perform its job as intended.
To further protect against corrosion, the head and stem of the nail is embedded with an electrifying layer of zinc. This coat of zinc functions as a shield for the nail, safeguarding it from rust.
An array of collated nails, ready to be used, are available in a variety of sizes and lengths. Among 10d, 12d, 16d, and 20d, the preferred sizes have been deemed to be 10d and 16d. Similarly, nails of lengths 2 inches, 3 inches, and 4 inches have been the most sought-after.
A variety of uses have been devised for collated nails, such as construction, woodworking, and furniture-making. This versatile tool has become an indispensable component of many projects.
Those seeking collated nails for their home projects can browse the selection at most convenience stores or shops devoted to the homemaker.