OTTER® Nails - Handy Hints.

Click on the links below to reveal some very handy hints when using OTTER® Nails:

Choosing the right nail length:

When choosing the nail length take into consideration the type of timber being used (softwood or hardwood). In most applications the plain shank nail should be 2-3 times longer than the timber being held, always nailing the lighter timber to the heavier.

Handy Hint:

For a shorter nail or to improve holding power use a threaded nail, such as an 'Annular' or 'Helical' thread.Pre-drill into dense hardwood timbers.

Decking Nails (OTTER® Timberdeck Nails)

Decking Nails are designed with a slightly domed head, to ensure the outer perimeter of the nail head just penetrates the timber and therefore eliminates any protrusion, which may affect foot traffic. The helical threaded shank provides for vastly improved holding power to ensure the decking timber is held down firmly.

When planning to nail down decking timber always allow for two nails per board per joist to prevent potential cupping of timber.

A good practice is to carefully scribe a straight line on the Decking Timber centred over joists, then mark out at an even margin from the edge of each decking board to ensure nails are placed evenly and maintain a straight line.

The next stage is to allow for pre drilling with a small drill approximately 1/3 less than the nail diameter, particularly in dense hard timbers, this allows for all nails to be driven in plumb, maintains holding power and minimizes the risk of bending nails which may cause unsightly marks on the decking timber.

OTTER® recommends two options for Timberdeck Nails.

  1. Galvanized Timberdeck Nails as an excellent general purpose decking Nail
  2. Stainless Steel - 316 Marine Grade for higher corrosive or wet areas to ensure longer life.

For the ultimate Decking fixing, OTTER®, highly recommends using high quality Stainless Steel - 316 Marine Grade Decking Screws for the everlasting solution.

Flush finish:

When using bullet head nails or brads use a nail punch* to drive the nail flush with the surface, this avoids bruising the timber surface with the hammer head. NB: if you want to countersink your nail head below the surface you'll need to continue to drive the nail with the nail punch so the nail sits below the surface - then use a timber filler (see countersinking hint). The type of nails you'd normally use this finish with is; bullet head, brads, particleboard nail, decking nails.

*Small blunt tool use to drive the head of the nail below the surface of the timber without bruising the timber - the nail punch point should always be just slightly smaller than the nail head

Clouts

When using galvanized clouts, drive them at a 90 degree angle to the material being fixed so that the head remains flush at the finish of work. Typical applications for clouts are clips, saddles and metal sheeting.

NB: Copper Clouts are available for securing copper sheet metal.

Skewing nails:

Whenever possible skew nail to maximise joint strength and always nail against the grain of the timber and 'avoid end grain nailing'. When nailing into softwoods use longer nails.

Roofing nails:

When applying roofing nails there is no need to pre-drill the hole, the nail should always be fixed through the crest of corrugated roofing. Neoprene seals are necessary for roof slopes between 5 and 12 degrees. Roofing nails are available in both Galvanized Plain Shank & Twist Shank.

For best results always use roofing screws for extra holding strength & waterproofing, such as OTTER® ScrewFix Roofing screws 12 x 50 Hex Head with Neoprene Seal.

When to pre-drill:

When nailing into dense hardwood (e.g. Red Gum) pre-drilling will be required in order to avoid nails bending. OTTER® recommends to use galvanized nails for external use.

When pre drilling with a small drill approximately 1/3 less than the nail diameter, particularly in dense hard timbers, this allows for all nails to be driven in plumb, maintains holding power and minimizes the risk of bending nails which may cause unsightly marks on the timber.

Small nails (Tacks & Brads):

A small piece of cardboard may be used as a holder to keep fingers clear of the hammer when using small nails. Never put tacks in mouth as points are sharp and are easily swallowed (Please keep out of children's reach).

NB: Tacks will rust if exposed to external elements.

Annular or Helical thread nails:

Used for greater resistance to movement and improved holding power. These nails engage wood fibres preventing the nail from working loose.

NB: As a general rule use Annular for softwood timber and helical for hardwood timbers.

Countersinking:

When using bullet head nails or brads use a nail punch to drive the nail flush with the surface, this avoids bruising the timber surface with the hammer head.

NB: if you want to countersink your nail head below the surface you'll need to continue driving the nail with the nail punch. The type of nails you'd normally use to achieve this finish are; bullet head, brads, particleboard nail, decking nails.

Flat head nails are not designed for countersinking

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