Different Types of Nails and Screws
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Different Types of Nails and Screws

This is an article for DIY lovers, or for any one who is about to make a home repair. This article talks about the different types of nails and screws that are available. Each description of each type of nail and screw also lists the most common uses for that type of nail or screw.

Tiny 1 inch or shorter, thin nails are called finishing nails. You can use the smallest finishing nails on craft projects such as you would when woodworking. Finishing nails are most commonly used to hand thin wall board materials like paneling or luan. Finishing nails should never be used to hand sheetrock, or any other material that is more than ¼ inch thick. Finishing nails range from ½ inch long to 3 inches long. The longest of finishing nails are used to hang materials such as wall molding.

Penny nails, or small spikes, are used to nail materials such as plywood, compressed board, and 2 by 4’s. They come regular, or galvanized. Some have a coating of a glue like substance on them. Some have spirals much a screw. Spikes have a larger head, which is generally thick and ¼ inch wide. When a spike is driven into a piece of wood it will have to be pried back out with a claw hammer or pry bar. Spikes and penny nails range in size.

Roofing nails are about 2 inches long but have very large flat heads. They are mainly used to tack down roofing papers and shingles. Roofing nails can be used with a hammer, but are more commonly used with an air powered nailing tool.

Old fashioned nails can be found in houses that are 100 plus years old. They are a darker type of steel and are hand made. Keep the old nails you find. They are rare and unique. Someone made those nails to build your house with and that is memorable. Look at your old fashioned nails closely to see how they were pounded flat and shaped at the head and tip.

Screws are not to be confused with bolts. Bolts are automotive. Screws are household. Bolts have large round heads which fit a ratchet or wrench. Screws have heads which have indents which are generally a -, x, star, diamond, or square.

The wood screw ranges from two inches long to 4 inches long. The threads on the wood screws are placed very close together. Wood screws are meant to be used in wood, as their name suggests, and are inserted with a drill or screws driver. Always pre drill holes in your wood before inserting a wood screw to prevent the wood from splitting.

Sheetrock screws are almost always black. They are either 2 or 4 inches long. Sheetrock screws are meant to hang sheetrock. The threads on them are sharp, and not spaced so close together. They tear through the sheetrock and into the stud without hesitating.

Tap con screws do sometimes have the head of a bolt. However, the tip is more like a drill bit. Tap cons are not for wood, or for sheetrock like materials. They are primarily used on metal. Some people attempt to use to use tap con screws on concrete or brick as well. This can be done with a hammer drill and a longer, larger tap con screw.

Bright blue screws are meant to be used on concrete. They are almost a dollar a piece and are the toughest of all screws. Concrete screws can hold wood to concrete. They are so durable that the actually do penetrate the concrete to secure a permanent hold. Concrete screws are generally 4 inches long or longer.

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Comments (1)

Very nicely done.