q195 common nail


Thin and gleaming, nails are a key piece of hardware, boasting both a pointed end and a wide base. Their purpose? To hold together two pieces of wood, which is easily done thanks to the material they are made out of – strong iron or steel. Nails may be small, but their benefits include big results – the point leading the way and the head providing support.

Steel is the metal of choice for making nails; its scientific name is mild steel or low carbon steel. This iron alloy consists of carbon and several additional elements like manganese, sulfur, phosphorus, and silicon. Its carbon quantity varies between 0.05% and 0.25%.

Boasting unbeatable toughness and strength that can be molded into the desired shape, mild steel is the go-to choice for manufacturing nails. Its low cost and ease of welding also make it the most popular type of steel used in the production process.

For millennia, humans have made use of a process to fabricate nails known as nail making.

By heating steel in a forge, an artisan can create a nail. The material is then skillfully pounded into its desired form. Striking the steel upon an anvil molds it into a pointed chamber while hammering it on a die yields the distinguishing head.

Measuring a nail involves three distinct parameters – the length, width, and thickness. Length is gauged from tip to tail, width stretches across its head, while thickness is determined from top to bottom.

Generally speaking, nails tend to measure 3 inches in length (7.6 cm). Most nail heads measure out to be about half an inch in width (1.3 cm) while the shank of the nail has a uniform thickness of 0.120 inches (3.0 mm).

A nail’s dimensions are displayed on its head in the form of a “trade size” stamp. Take, for example, a 3-1/2D marked nail – that tells us it clocks in at 3-1/2 inches (8.9 cm) long, with a 0.5 inch (1.3 cm) wide head, and a 0.120-inch (3.0 mm) shank.

When it comes to the head of a nail, you’ve got various options: flat, round, or oval. Flat heads are the most popular choice for everyday work. If making a statement is your aim, then round heads should be your go-to. Last but not least, oval heads give a polished touch to to any type of finishing work.

The top of a nail typically protrudes out more than the metal body, which is referred to as the head width. On average, the head width of a nail is approximately 1/8 of an inch, or three point two millimetres.

Carefully placed inside the wood, the shank of a nail rests firmly, its pointed end designed for one purpose – to effectively puncture through the material. Referred to as the point, this pinpoint is kept sharp to ensure it can adequately do its job.

When it comes to work requiring different types of points, a sharp point is the default choice. For more light-duty tasks, a blunt point will do the job. On the other hand, a dull point can be used in situations that don’t need to be either sharp or blunt.

The head of the nail is marked with a specific type of point. These stamps may be identified as sharp (SP), blunt (BP), or dull (DP). Each stamp identifies a unique type of point, from sharp and precise to dull and flat.

For projects that demand a stronger hold, a ridged shank nail can be utilized. However, more often than not, a smooth shank nail is the chosen one – its classic design allowing it to ensure that the job is done with success.

The shank is easily identified by looking at the stamp on the head of the nail. The presence of SS denotes a smooth shank, whilst RS reveals that the nail is equipped with a ridged shank.

To secure the head of a nail to its shank, two components must be joined together. One popular method of anchoring these two parts is called clinching, which involves folding the end of the shank over the head. This technique is frequently used for a lasting union.

Each nail is distinguished by the type of head which is marked upon it. For instance, a stamp of CH indicates the nail features a clinched head.

The top of the nail can have a simple coat of paint, usually white, and the type of paint used will be made known with a short stamp. An example of this is WP, which stands for White Paint.

To guard steel nails from corrosion, galvanizing can be applied. A stamp on the nail’s head indicates that the galvanizing process has been used; for instance, a stamp of “G” suggests that a hot-dip method was implemented.

Making fastening tasks easier, threading is utilized on the shank of a nail, giving it the ability to be easily driven into wood. With each threading type indicated on the head of the nail, the stamp T for instance tells us that a spiral threading is utilized.

A nail’s top side can be recessed, a process known as countersinking.

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