Building Design and Construction

Nails and Spikes

The ‘‘National Design Specification for Wood Construction’’ (NDS) provides design values and design provisions for nails, spikes, box nails, and threaded, hardened steel nails and spikes conforming to ASTM F1667. Sizes of nails are specified by the pennyweight, indicated by d. The pennyweight for different types of nails establishes lengths, shank diameter, and head size of the nail. Common wire nails and spikes are about the same, except that spikes have a larger diameter than nails with the same pennyweight designation. Box nails have a smaller diameter than common nails. For a specific pennyweight, the five types of nails have the same length.

Edge and end distances and spacing for nails and spikes should be sufficient to prevent splitting of the wood. If specific code requirements for these distances are not available, Table 10.38 may be used to establish nailing patterns. Spacing, or pitch, between fasteners in a row is affected by species, moisture content, and grain orientation.
When a prebored hole is to be used to prevent splitting of the wood, the hole diameter should not exceed 90% of the nail or spike diameter for wood with a specific gravity exceeding 0.6, and should not exceed 75% of the diameter for less dense wood.

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