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Old 05-01-2007, 04:59 PM   #1
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Driving nails at 45 Degrees not good?


To repair a deck fence, I am planning to secure some decorative posts by driving the nails in at a 45 degree angle, otherwise I would have to disassemble the entire fence.

Someone mentioned that the nails won't 'set' well if drive in at this angle. What does that mean, and is this a serious problem?

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Old 05-01-2007, 09:20 PM   #2
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Driving nails at 45 Degrees not good?


I assume that by "deck fence" you mean railing? They are telling you that if you are driving a headed nail at an angle the head is not going to be nice and flat with the wood. One solution is to use 16d casing nails, they have a larger head than finish nails, yet can be driven flush with a nail set. Pre drill through the rail , so that yoy are only driving the nail into the adjoining post material.

If by "decorative posts" you mean that you have to renail the ballusters or spindles, obviously you will have to use a smaller nail than 16d, most likely a 6d or 8d.


Last edited by troubleseeker; 05-01-2007 at 09:25 PM.
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Old 05-01-2007, 10:16 PM   #3
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Driving nails at 45 Degrees not good?


Yes, I believe the proper term is deck railing. The deck railing has two 2x4s on top and one 2 X 4 a couple of inches above the deck itself. A lower 2X 4 has rotted and I have to replace it. There are eight 2X2 posts between the lower 2 X 4 and the lower of the upper two 2 X 4s that have to be replaced.

Because of the narrow space between the upper 2 X 4's I can't nail straight through the lower-upper 2X4 into the post heads. I was planning to drive nails from below through the post heads at a 45 degree angle into the 2X4.

From what you said I gather there is no safety issue. That is the only thing I'm worried about, I don't care about neat nail heads. If a nail at 45 degrees can hold reasonably well, that's good enough.

I'm going to try predrilling holes in the posts, I'm going to make the drill holes much smaller than the nails. I'm using 2.5 inch galvanized nails by the way.
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Old 05-02-2007, 12:20 AM   #4
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Driving nails at 45 Degrees not good?


Screw would be much stronger. Get some trim head screws and use/borrow/rent a cordless driver. Trim heads have a head similar to a finish nail and will sink themselves below the surface of the wood. if there is a few inches between the upper 2x4s, you can get a little angle head drive attachment and drive screws throught the top if you think that would be better.
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Old 05-02-2007, 07:01 PM   #5
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Driving nails at 45 Degrees not good?


fyi, Dewalt and others also make nice bits of various sizes that spiral start (for angles), drill (chip puller) and countersink all at once. I built a 40'+ hand made adirondack wood deck and did it all with one of these.
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Old 05-02-2007, 08:08 PM   #6
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Driving nails at 45 Degrees not good?


Well got the project done. Found out when tearing out bad wood the rail between main posts is made in sections, so had to tear out a hole section. Was able to assemble section and nail straight in with 3" galvanized, found nails not completely satisfactory.

Used 2.5" wood screws for some assembly, drilled screws in at 45 degrees, found they did the job well!

Now I am dead tired
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Old 05-02-2007, 08:29 PM   #7
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Driving nails at 45 Degrees not good?


Quote:
Originally Posted by send_it_all View Post
Screw would be much stronger. Get some trim head screws and use/borrow/rent a cordless driver. Trim heads have a head similar to a finish nail and will sink themselves below the surface of the wood. if there is a few inches between the upper 2x4s, you can get a little angle head drive attachment and drive screws throught the top if you think that would be better.
Unless you buy stainless trim heads , the standard black ones will be rusted away in a couple of years. I just had to remove about 100lf of lower and upper porch railings that all the ballusters were falling out of. When I turned the sections over, they had been assembled with black 3" drywall screws, and every one of them had rotted through. This was not built with the new pt chemicals either. 16d hot dipped casing nails from both directions will hold anything short of a charging rhino.

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