What Are Finish Nails and Why Do We Use Them?


There are lots of different nails available on the market and each of them has a specific type of purpose. Finish nails are usually used to attach molding and trim to a house. The reason why people will use these nails is because it is easy to sync them into the moulding or trim. This means that a hole is left behind but that can be filled with putty, turning it into a completely smooth surface. Finish nails have very small heads and are also small in size. They can be up to 4 inches long but most are only about an inch. The weight of finished nails is determined in the same way as with other nails, which means it uses pennyweight. Additionally, finish nails come with lots of different gauge sizes since some are constructed using steel wire. However, does tend to be used for interior finishing.

Finish Nails and Pennyweight

Pennyweight is a description that has been around for centuries. It’s started in England and described how much money was paid for 100 nails. In other words, if you have to pay five pennies four 100 nails, then this would be called 5 pennyweight. This method of determining a nail’s weight is something that stuck and continues to be used today. Interestingly, the symbol used for a penny weight is the letter d. That is also the symbol for denarius, which is Roman for penny. Hence, when you purchase your nails, they will be described as 2d, 5d, 15d, and so on. 4 finish nails, you will find out the range from 2d all the way up to 20d.

To find out what size of Neil you actually need is pretty easy to do. You measure the length of the nail and take half an inch off. Multiply this number by 4 and that will give you the pennyweight you need.

Finish Nails and Length

It is very important that you choose the right length of nil. This is determined by the width of the molding or the trim on which you will be using it. If you have wood that is half an inch wide, then you need a 1 1/2 inch nail. Essentially, you multiply the width of your wood by 3 to find the length of your nail. Finish nails are usually not very long, however, so 4 inches is probably the longest you will be able to get.

Finish Nails and Sinking

These types of nails have been designed to sink into the wood, which means that a small hole will be left. The finish nail’s head is only just wider than its shaft. On top of the nail’s head, there is a tiny point spot onto which you can place the point of another nail and this allows you to tap it right away into the wood itself. This is known as sinking. Once all your nails are sunk, you go back to the first one and, one by one, fill all the holes up using putty. You can, if you prefer, make the nail flush with your wood but this is quite unsightly unless the nail is the exact same color as your trim.

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