The size of a nail is measured in a unit known as a penny. Penny is abbreviated with the lowercase letter d. It indicates the length of the nail. A 6d (6-penny) nail is 2-inches long. A 10d (10-penny) nail is 3-inches long (figure 3-76). These measurements apply to common, box, casing, and finish nails only. Brads and small box nails are identified by their actual length and gauge number.
A nail, whatever the type, should be at least three times as long as the thickness of the wood it is intended to hold. Two-thirds of the length of the nail is driven into the other piece of wood for proper anchorage. The other one-third of the length provides the necessary anchorage of the piece being fastened. Protruding nails should be bent over to prevent damage to materials and injury to personnel.
There are a few general rules to be followed in the use of nails in building. Nails should be driven at an angle slightly toward each other to improve their holding power. You should be careful in placing nails to provide the greatest holding power. Nails driven with the grain do not hold as well as nails driven across the grain. A few nails of proper type and size, properly placed and properly driven, will hold better than a great many driven close together. Nails can generally be considered the cheapest and easiest fasteners to be applied.
Figure 3-76.-Nail sizes given in "penny" (d) units.Continue Reading