What's wrong with these framing nails?

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Old 03-18-09, 07:07 AM
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What's wrong with these framing nails?

Or is it me?
Yesterday I was assembling a wall frame for a shed, using 2x4s. Almost every time I started sinking a nail it would bend. I have 3 1/2" cement coated nails made by Grip Rite, and I'm using a 24 ounce framing hammer. What's happening with these nails? I could only drive them home if I very carefully tap-tap-tapped them while supporting the shaft of the nail with my fingers until it was most of the way in.

I have had no problem driving other nails used in this project. The floor was framed and sub-floored using 1 1/2" joist hanger nails and 2" and 2 1/2" bright nails (all also made by Grip Rite). Those all went smoothly, and if I bent one I could tell I had hit it wrong, but these 3 1/2" nails drove me to loud displays of profanity. The only thing that occurred to me was that the cement coating was causing the nails to "stick" in the wood before they were driven all the way in. Any attempt to drive them in fewer swings resulted in more serious bending though.

My plan at this point is to return the cement coated nails for uncoated ones and see if that solves my problem. I can't do that until Thursday at the earliest, so maybe somebody here will be able to save me the trip.
 
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Old 03-18-09, 09:50 AM
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Hammer

Did you use the same hammer on the other nails? The longer handle sometimes changes the geometry between the hammer head and the nail head. Is the hammer head serrated? Is the lumber well seasoned or is it fresh from the lumber yard?
 
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Old 03-18-09, 10:24 AM
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One of the unfortunate realities is that almost all nails are imported so quality is spotty.

The coating on the nails is a gripping agent so perhaps it is impacting the driving in not just the hold.

Try some new or different types or even a different "batch".
 
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Old 03-18-09, 04:11 PM
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With a 24 oz hammer it doesn't take but 2 hits to drive it home. Does your hammer have a smooth face or a waffled face? You can control a nail much better with a waffled faced hammer. I agree with spdavid that the problem is the importation of the nails and the lack of quality.
 
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Old 03-18-09, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Wirepuller38 View Post
Did you use the same hammer on the other nails? The longer handle sometimes changes the geometry between the hammer head and the nail head. Is the hammer head serrated? Is the lumber well seasoned or is it fresh from the lumber yard?
It's a waffle-faced hammer, and the lumber is pretty green. Same hammer on all the nails, and the smaller nails I tried in the studs drove in fine.

It would seem that the most likely answer is the one of quality in imported nails suggested here, maybe compounded by the density of the green lumber.

Thanks for the comments. I'll try some other nails and see what happens.
 
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Old 03-19-09, 01:55 AM
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We recently had a similar experience with their 1 7/8 ring shank floor nails. With a waffle head framing hammer the nails were either peeling at the head or exploding on the second strike. Another older box I had worked fine. Ended up calling them (KY if I recall) and they shipped me a new supply. They wanted the numbers off the box and which Lowes I had bought them from. They said they were made in China and "did not meet their specs.".
 
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Old 03-19-09, 04:17 AM
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Same problem here - several weeks ago installed hardwood floor, 3/4", 8 penny bright finish nail. Predrilled all holes and still had close to 50% bend in the middle. I could tell when not struck with hammer cleanly and would bend at wood surface but these would bend in the middle after about 1/4" into wood. Used 6-7 different 1# boxes, very aggrevating! QC sucks!
 
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Old 03-19-09, 04:54 AM
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coyotehills, just out of curiosity, what type hardwood flooring were you installing with 3/4" nails? Normal staple/nail length for hardwoods is 2 1/2", so I question the holding power of the short nails.
 
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Old 03-19-09, 05:03 AM
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" installed hardwood floor, 3/4", 8 penny bright finish nail" Wood was Ash 3/4" thick, used 8 penny nails, 2"+. This was for the rows near wall only
 
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Old 03-20-09, 07:57 AM
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Returned the bad nails for uncoated 3.5" 16d and had no further problems. Looks like it was just a bad batch of nails. Thanks again for the advice.
 
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Old 03-20-09, 02:57 PM
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Glad the nails were defective rather than the mode of application. Now you can get on with your project!
Coyotehills, a 3/4" nail into 3/4" flooring ain't goin' anywhere. Any reason you didn't use a flooring nailer/stapler and finish nailer?
 
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Old 03-20-09, 04:25 PM
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chandler..I think he was saying 3/4" flooring and he used an 8 penny nail which is what 2 1/2"?.......

There ya go, thinking about baseball again...ahhh well, it's Friday...like that matters to me...lol.
 
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Old 03-20-09, 05:15 PM
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Yep, read it wrong. Thinking of shank size as #8 with 3/4" length, sort of like a joist hanger nail. Hey coyotehills......nevermind. Although I would like to know why you predrilled and used nails rather than a nailer. Guess I'm spoiled. Gotta go oil my glove.
 
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