Box nails are made for use in thin dry wood. To reduce a nail's tendency to split such wood, the point is slightly blunted, so that it crushes the wood fibers and punches its way through instead of enlarging a crack. Box nails are thinner than the corresponding penny size in common nails, and about ⅛ inch shorter than their nominal size. Often they are coated with a resin (such as nylon) that is melted by the heat generated in driving the nail and glues the nail in place.
The Uniform Building Code allows the use of galvanized box nails instead of common nails for shear wall nailing. The zinc coating increases the diameter of the thinner box nail. Only galvanized nails are permitted, and even so perhaps 5 box nails should be used where 4 common nails would have been.
Style A may have a barbed shank.
cement-coated, diamond-point, flat head, round smooth shank.
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Last revised: 8 November 2003.