There are various types and sizes of finish nails. The most popular use of finish nails is to attach the molding and trim to the house. The major reason why these types of nails are used widely is its capability to sink into the molding or trim. Finish nails just leave a small hole, which can be filled with putty to make the trim or the molding get a smoother finish. Finish nails are usually smaller and only have tiny heads.
The size of finish nails ranges from 1 inch to 4 inch usually. The weight of finish nails, as in case of other common nails, is measured by the concept of pennyweight. Finish nails are commonly made of steel wires so there are different gauge sizes available. Now finish nails are widely used in interior finishing works as well as exterior works.
Concept of pennyweight
This term has been into common use for many years now. The terminology came from England, which was initially representing the amount one had to pay for 100 nails. If the cost was 5 pennies for 100 nails, then these nails were called as 5-penny nails. This is how the name of pennyweight got stuck to the weight of the nails as it is still used so lately. People also used the symbol of “d” which was derived from “denarius”, a Roman word meaning a penny.
The usual way to show the pennyweight of nails now is: 2d, 3d, 4d, 5d etc. Now, the available finish nails are from 2d to 20d pennyweight. there is a simpler way to determine the penny size of the nail you need. Just take the nail length and then subtract half an inch. Once you get that number, multiple it by 4, which will give you the exact penny size.
Length of the nail
Next, the important consideration is the length of the finish nail. Usually, the width of the trim determines the finish nail length needed. If the width of the wood is half an inch, then the nail to be used should be 1.5 inch.
All you need to consider is to get the nail three times the width of the wood for you to apply. As finishing nails are used for finish work, there is no need to have a very long nail, which will bulge. Usually, what you can consider is finish nails of length ranging from 1 to 4 inches.
Finish nails are usually meant to sink into the wood and just leave a hole behind. The head of the nail will be a little bigger than the rest of the body. On top of the head, there will be a small spot to place the point of another nail so that you can tap it in for a smoother finish, which is called sinking.
As finish nails are made of steel, there are various gauge sizes also available. Gauge determines the tensile strength of the nails. Finish nails usually has gauges ranging from 16 to 10. The smaller its gauge is, harder the nail would be.