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Project Information

Since everyone's been posting pictures of their favorite homemade woodworking tool, I thought I'd join the gang with some pictures of mine.

For the past ten years, my woodworking projects have involved the layering, routing, and finishing of small parts. My unlikely tool-of-choice for all of these tasks has been the low-tech 10d bright finish nail. Because its diameter is just slightly less than 1/8", I use them for glue-up alignment through 1/8" registration holes.

For finishing, I use short sections of nails, with wooden beads, to elevate the workpiece.

And when I do some router work, they firmly position the workpiece below an acrylic guard.

I've been told that they're also useful for finish carpentry. Never thought of that. :)

Gallery

Comments

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Interesting ideas, but don't you think this would have been much better in a blog or forum?

This really isn't a "finished project made of wood", is it?

Cheers!

-bob
 

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Some of the most interesting and useful tools come from things we don't have to spend a bunch of money on. Just shows that a little imagination goes a long way.
 

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Bob-I debated as to whether this should be project or a blog, but inserting nails through wooden beads made it a "finished project made of wood" in my book. Not as fancy as a wooden hand plane, but hey. :)
 

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My Bad - I failed to count in the beads! ;-)

I tip my hat to you and your great ideas.

You DO know you can hold pieces of wood together with these things, right?

Cheers

-bob
 

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Thanks, Bob. I thought I might be forever-banned from LumberJocks for this stunt.

Now tell me again about that "holding-wood-together" use for nails. That's a new one to me. :)
 

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It's creativity that results in great things, whether it's inventive tools, jigs or otherwise. Too bad it's the one thing we can't purchase, no matter how much money we have.
 

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John,

Don't you know? You are already on double-secret probation! ANY screw-ups and you will be OUT Mister!
 

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That's alright John, if it ever comes up for a vote, I'll white-ball you and they can just like it or lump it…

Good tip and yes, technically I believe it meets the official criteria for posting as a Project.

Herb
 

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Phew. I feel like I just got a stay of execution. Thanks for making the call, Herb. Maybe the governor was out partying. :)
 

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That's extremely ingenious. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Great idea
 

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Snipping the ends off the nails? hmmmm, I always just tossed out the nails that had the heads on the wrong end until one old carpenter told my they were built to use on the other side of the house!
 

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If there's some kind of prize for Best Comment Ever, I'm nominating Dallas. BRAVO!!!
 

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John, so many uses for the nails, I too use them to support drying projects. Pic three really solved a mystery for me, thanks for posting. As for using nails to hold wood together, won't they bend if you hit them with a hammer? Just guessing! Also if your on double secret probation, is a wooden toga party next? Thanks for posting.
 

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Thanks for the comment, Jeff. As for bending nails, I never drive them into the layers of wood. I just SLIDE them into pre-bored alignment holes until the glue has set up. I leave them in place for only a few minutes so they don't become a permanent part of the assembly.

Just trying to imagine a wooden toga. I'll work on that. :)
 

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Interesting ideas-thanks for sharing.
 

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I really like your creativity, and the partial nail with the bead! Its a finished project, no matter how big or how small. The other stuff is just window dressing! I like window dressing! LOL Great job buddy
 

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Thanks for all your tips John - I especially like your acrylic setup for handling small parts on the router. Nails have many useful purposes besides holding pieces of wood together as you point out. Here's a little tip for using nails in conjunction with glue:

If you coat your nails with a thin coat of paraffin wax, they will release easily from all glues even after it sets up hard - even epoxies. I use a heat gun or butane torch to heat up the nails, then rub them over a brick of wax to coat them. They don't need to be very hot to melt the wax enough to coat them. Needle-nose pliers or something similar can be used to handle them. In fact, my small needle-nosed pliers are probably the most frequently used tool In my toolbox!
 

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If the voting is still open, I'm in favor of posting here because I never would have thought to use a finish nail in that fashion. I've learned a lot from the posts on here. Thanks for posting this.
 

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Great tip, Erik. I'll add that one to my bag of tricks.
 
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