Apart from panel and veneer pins the furniture-maker has little use for nails except for softwood work, etc., but in passing it should be noted that oval wire nails have less tendency to split the wood than the round variety. Nevertheless, they bend more easily, and the lost-head or finishing nail, which is a larger version of the panel-pin, is usually preferred, with the screw nail which has a twisted, as distinct from a cut, thread having greater holding power in particle board. Special panel pins or nails with hardened tips are also available for hardboards as it is difficult to break the hard glazed skin of the boards with the ordinary type which often bend. Some workers give either a pushing or pulling action to the hammer-head when driving a nail (254:1), and this certainly reduces any tendency for the nail to bend under the impact of the head. In all probability this slight swing to the hammer keeps the hammer-head flat to the nail-head, while a direct vertical swing may tend to offer it at an angle (254:2). The hammer-head must be clean and kept polished on a piece of used abrasive paper, as a pitted or dirty head will usually bend the nail.
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