While usually, you hire professionals for a framing job, at times you have to pull up your sleeves and do it yourself. When you are doing it yourself, you might get confused about the size of the nails used for framing. In this guide, we will tell you what size nails are used for framing.
These days’ people always pick up a skill or two. Websites provide step by step instructions on how to do something yourself. Some power-tools make things easier to do. Doing those things manually without these power-tools might not be easy. But always make sure you have enough practice with the tool before making practical use for it.
When doing framing, a nail gun can be a pretty handy tool. If you can operate a nail gun safely, then you can pretty much do the framing yourself. But with all these nail sizes, what nail size should you use for the framing job? Anyone would get confused since there are like tons of options available in the market.
Well in this guide we will explain what nails are used for what kind of job. Of course, the type of nail you will be using will depend on the material you are using it on. But otherwise, there are usually 3-4 sizes of nails involved in the job.
Different Nail Sizes and the Difference between Them
1. 16D Nail Size
First up is 16D nail size, the most probable candidate for the job. These nails are 3 and a half inches long and are most preferred for framing. But there are two kinds of 16D nails, they are called sinkers and common nails.
The main difference between sinkers and common is that sinkers have a textured tip. Meanwhile, commons have a flat head and slightly bigger diameter. The sinkers are coated in a vinyl cement coating which helps protect them against moisture.
This makes these nails ideal for moist environments because they do not rust. Also, the coating helps knock these nails into the wood easier. While sinkers are more preferred than common, both of these are the most ideal for a framing job.
2. 10D Nail Size
These nails are the best choice for when you are placing two flat boards against each other. This nail is 3 inches long and is galvanized. Galvanized nails are ideal for outdoor projects because they do not rust.
The nail is preferred when you do not want the nail to dig too deep. These nails are ideal for applications like when you want to join two face boards lying flat atop each other.
3. 8D Nail Size
These are much smaller nails in size compared to 16D. This makes them ideal for smaller projects. You get the same types of nails as the 16D in 8D size as well. There are sinkers and then there are commons. 8D nails are 2 and a half inches long in size, so they are not as big.
Commons, as usual, have a slightly bigger diameter meanwhile the sinkers are slightly lesser. Sinkers are again covered in a coating of vinyl cement to protect them against moisture. These nails are coloured differently, a slight olive hue to them distinguishes them from commons.
The head is also textured, you can see a pattern like a waffle on the head to differentiate them from commons. They are smaller in size so be sure to keep that in mind while using them for framing purposes.
4. 6D Nail Size
These are pretty small in size, only 2 inches long but ideal for framing projects indoors. Since they are so small in size, they are preferred for usage on floorboards and joining flat wood. Since they have a very thin diameter, they are less prone to damage the surface they are knocked into.
This allows for a finer finishing without any cracks. The cracks usually appear when you are driving in nails with bigger diameter and length. A crack is not something you would want in your finished product, it will not only ruin the look but also weaken it.
Things to Be Careful About
1. How to Choose Your Nails
This is one of the questions many people will have in mind while framing. The ideal rule when choosing a nail generally is to choose a nail 3 times the length of the surface you are driving it into. This allows for a sturdier fastening of the surface. Also, make sure the area you will knock the nail into is three times bigger than the nail’s diameter.
But when you are framing, you might have to choose different nails for different jobs. For instance, you will either need a galvanized nail or one with vinyl cement for an exterior framing job. But for interior work you can choose commons, these are not coated and can easily catch rust. But indoor environments are not as moist as outdoors which is why sinkers and galvanized nails are preferred for them.
One more thing, when choosing nails, make sure they will work with your particular nail gun. Usually, nails that are sold for nail guns come stuck together in rows. This allows for easier insertion of the nails into the magazine.
Also, some brand nails might not work with some brand of nail guns. So when buying nails for nail gun, try to find the one with a similar brand as your tool.
2. Making Sure to Use the Right Nail Gun for the Job
This is pretty common amongst anyone who is planning on doing a framing job. Make sure always that you have the right nail gun that can accept the nails you are planning on driving into the wood. This is not difficult because most nail guns come with instruction manuals on what kind of nails it accepts.
Also, there are two kinds of nail guns in the market, one is an electric powered one and the second uses air pressure. The one most effective for the job should be preferred. And some nail guns can only use one particular size of nails, so always refer to the manual online or given with the tool.
3.How to Distinguish Between the Nails
We have covered this before individually, but when you are purchasing nails, they are usually labelled. If you are unfamiliar with terms like 16D or 10D, just look for the size in inches. These terms are for people who use nails as part of their daily jobs and need to quickly refer to a nail size. Also, D is the archaic term for a penny that’s why you might also hear 16 penny nails instead of D.
Also, sinkers as we said before have a yellowish hue to them. This can be used to easily identify between these and commons. Also, sinkers have a textured head with a pattern like waffles. This makes them easy to identify if you have problems with identifying these from commons.