Brilliant Angle Nail Trick From Old Carpenter




Introduction: Brilliant Angle Nail Trick From Old Carpenter

About: spiderpig, spiderpig, does whatever a spiderpig does!

after publishing this instructable i realized that the nail trick shown in it was quite unknown but appreciated by many.

Now it gets its own instructable and I dedicate it to the old swedish carpenter called Henry, that tought it to me a couple of years ago!

it makes nailing in angles much easier

the nail curves and will be almost impossible to remove - a incredibly strong connection.

Step 1: Bending the Nail

slightly bend the lower end of the nail between your hammers claw.

it should be an obtuse angle - the picture shows it very well.

Step 2: Nailed It!

hammer in the nail with the bend part down

- you start horizontally and the nail will move up by itself with every hit.

the gif shows how the nail moves under every hit of the hammer.

It was quite tricky to take pictures while hitting a nail ( yes, I missed once :D) - but it turned out ok ;)

Step 3: The Result

i split the joined pieces in order to show how the nail curves inside.

the result will be even better with longer nails - but i ran out of them ;)

if you're nailing a beam from both sides and with more than 1 nail on each side it'll become a very strong connetion.

I hope you find this instructable useful for your future projects!

feel free to vote for it!

Kudos to Henry - YOU NAILED IT!

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    51 Discussions

    I DON'T toe nail. There is almost always a better way to fasten.

    Kind of like Mac and PC debate

    That said, if toe nailing and this works for you, go for it.

    6 replies

    Pocket screws instead of toe nailing. More expensive, takes longer, but is WAY stronger if done correctly.

    Joinery method using the Kreg or similar system. More info here.

    Not really an option for most carpenters.

    See the Kreg Tool website (link below). Other companies also make pocket screws, but Kreg is the all-around leader in making the screws and tools to install them.

    Hey! That's cool! How flat can you get the nail's head to the wood? (For painting or staining purposes).

    Thanks, an excellent tip to keep in mind.

    Loved this carpenter's trick! I will definitely be using this in all future projects. Thanks, you've got my vote!

    I will remember that trick. Awesome idea.


    10 months ago


    That is a neat trick / variation to the "toenail" fastening I've done many times in the past, as for all the ones that say using screws is better, I shy away from screws in framing due to the lack of shear strength (they tend to snap in a shear force) unless you're using screws designed to have shear strength equal or better than the nails you're framing with.

    I forgot to say, THANK YOU, for including the photo of the cutaway.

    I've utilized this many times when I didn't have, or didn't want to use screws. My problem is applying too much force and folding the nail. Usually after 4 bent nails the fifth does the trick. Live & Learn. If you're going to do something, do it correctly, or do't do it at all.

    To those claiming not to toe nail, that is fine and well for many projects, but in real life framing situations, it would be absurd to avoid it.

    I've been doing woodwork for a few years and I've used most joinery methods out there. I built several of my base kitchen cabinets using my Kreg jig. My upper cabinets are all brad nailed dados and rabbits. A couple of my wife's planters are finger joints and glue. Some of my framing involves both nailing and clips or plates (e.g., hangers, etc.). Every joinery method has its use.

    This method would have great value in many applications too (if I could keep from folding the nail).

    I don't see how this is any stronger than a normal toenail. And a lot moe labor intensive. Either way, screws will be stronger than either toenailing or this cockamamie system. Who has time to pre-bend every nail?

    Like I said earlier, I don’t toenail, forgot to mention ALL of my fasteners are Hidden. Rather than toenail when framing I nail a block on the backside, then nail to it. If all else fails I dowel then toe.
    I had a high end high dollar Trex deck to fabricate and install years ago. I made my own pocket screw jig (I have the metalworking tools to do I) specific to this project.
    Having worked as a marine carpenter on high end yachts I’ve become pretty ingenious when it comes to hiding fasteners.

    1 reply

    I seldom use toenailing. Pocket screwing is the way to go. It's hidden, quick and less likely to break your wood. You just have to covert novices to adjust to the method then it becomes habit

    hmmmm... do the GIFs work? I can't see them move a bit