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Episode 40 – Metal Fasterners for wood.

So far we have talked a lot about measurements, calculations, planning and cutting wood,  Today we will talk about things used to connect wood pieces together to build things.  For fine wood working such as cabinets and furniture no fasteners are used, but for framing of buildings and more common wood projects the wood is often held together with nails, screws and bolts and that is today’s subject.

First we talk about how metal acts when under tension and compression and especially when subjected to a bending force.   Next we talk about how nails are held in wood.  Nails are not very strong when subjected to a bending force and are held in wood by the friction of the wood on the nail.   The point of all of this is that nails provide very little to the strength of a structure.  Most of the strength of a structure depends upon how the wood pieces are stacked in relation to each other.  Nails are simply pins keeping the parts from moving in relationship to each other.

Screws have threads and therefore cut into the wood and provide much more strength than nails.  However, screws usually require a pilot hole and require more time to install than a nail.

The last thing we talk about is a bolt and associated nut holding two pieces of wood together.  This makes much quicker disassemble of pieces.

This episode as well as the previous episode is leading up to how buildings are designed so the wood pieces can provide structural strength while depending very little on the fasteners.

A chart of American Nail Sizes.

A chart of wood screw sizes

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