Tenpenny - Terminology

Terminology

  • Box — a wire nail with a head; box nails have a smaller shank than common nails of the same size
  • Bright — no surface coating; not recommended for weather exposure or acidic or treated lumber
  • Casing — a wire nail with a slightly larger head than finish nails; often used for flooring
  • CC or Coated — "cement coated"; nail coated with adhesive (cement) for greater holding power; also resin- or vinyl-coated; coating melts from friction when driven to help lubricate then adheres when cool; color varies by manufacturer (tan, pink, are common)
  • Common — a common construction wire nail with a disk-shaped head that is typically 3 to 4 times the diameter of the shank: common nails have larger shanks than box nails of the same size
  • Duplex — a common nail with a second head, allowing for easy extraction; often used for temporary work, such as concrete forms or wood scaffolding; sometimes called a "scaffold nail"
  • Drywall — a specialty blued-steel nail with a thin broad head used to fasten gypsum wallboard to wooden framing members
  • Finish — a wire nail that has a head only slightly larger than the shank; can be easily concealed by countersinking the nail slightly below the finished surface with a nail-set and filling the resulting void with a filler (putty, spackle, caulk, etc.)
  • Galvanized — treated for resistance to corrosion and/or weather exposure
    • Electrogalvanized — provides a smooth finish with some corrosion resistance
    • Hot-dip galvanized — provides a rough finish that deposits more zinc than other methods, resulting in very high corrosion resistance that is suitable for some acidic and treated lumber;
    • Mechanically galvanized — deposits more zinc than electrogalvanizing for increased corrosion resistance
  • Head — round flat metal piece formed at the top of the nail; for increased holding power
  • Helix — the nail has a square shank that has been twisted, making it very difficult to pull out; often used in decking so they are usually galvanized; sometimes called decking nails
  • Length — distance from the bottom of the head to the point of a nail
  • Phosphate-coated — a dark grey to black finish providing a surface that binds well with paint and joint compound and minimal corrosion resistance
  • Point — sharpened end opposite the "head" for greater ease in driving
  • Pole Barn — long shank (2 1/2in to 8in, 6 cm to 20 cm), ring shank (see below), hardened nails; usually oil quenched or galvanized (see above); commonly used in the construction of wood framed, metal buildings (pole barns)
  • Ring Shank — small directional rings on the shank to prevent the nail from working back out once driven in; common in drywall, flooring, and pole barn nails
  • Shank — the body the length of the nail between the head and the point; may be smooth, or may have rings or spirals for greater holding power
  • Sinker — these are the most common nails used in framing today; same thin diameter as a box nail; cement coated (see above); the bottom of the head is tapered like a wedge or funnel and the top of the head is grid embossed to keep the hammer strike from sliding off
  • Spike — a large nail; usually over 4 in (100 mm) long

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