How to hold those tiny nails

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Of all the years I have built things, including whole buildings, I have never found a good way to use those tiny 1/2 inch long nails. I decided to get ambitious and put some weather stripping around my door today and they have these half inch nails. I have big fingers. They are a pain in the ass to try to hold and then pound in. I suppose I could beat my fingers bloody, and I know that a needle nose plyers holds them even thought they are often at an angle and that is not the ideal solution. Does someone sell a special tool for this? Or is there a trick no one ever taught me?
I'll take a 6 inch pole barn spike any day over these stupid little things.
Mark
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Needle nose pliers as you mention is one trick. Another is to use a piece of cardboard. Push the nail through, start hammering. Once the nail is started, rip away the cardboard and finish nailing. Air nailer is yet another option in some cases.
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Strips of paper or cardboard. Poke the nail through and use the strips as a holder while you start the nail. Once set in 1/2 or 3/4 of the way tear the paper away and set the nail in.
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I have used Pieces of paper a lot on the past for holding those small nails - I find Drywall tape works well.
This past Xmas I received in my stocking a tool designed for those small pesty nails. It works great.
http://homehardware.netservices.ca/pages/HHDW_0002_0001_0056.asp
snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

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On Fri, 17 Feb 2006 11:59:29 -0600, snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

Use a new pencil with an erasor. With your exacto knife, cut a vertical slit through the erasor, down to the metal band that holds it to the pencil. Make sure it's in the middle.
Put the nail down into the slit, hold the pencil against the wall, weather stripping, or whatever, and pound the nail until it's firmly in enough to pull the pencil away, and then finish pounding the nail the rest of the way in.
Not only does this hold the nail, it keeps your hands and fingers far away from that hammer head.
HTH.
Maxi
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what a great idea..
wrote:

Use a new pencil with an erasor. With your exacto knife, cut a vertical slit through the erasor, down to the metal band that holds it to the pencil. Make sure it's in the middle.
Put the nail down into the slit, hold the pencil against the wall, weather stripping, or whatever, and pound the nail until it's firmly in enough to pull the pencil away, and then finish pounding the nail the rest of the way in.
Not only does this hold the nail, it keeps your hands and fingers far away from that hammer head.
HTH.
Maxi
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Hold them with a needle nose pliers to get them started. Also, use a smaller hammer. Hitting those small gage nails with your waffle head, framing hammer will not work well.
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--On Friday, February 17, 2006 11:59 AM -0600 snipped-for-privacy@UNLISTED.com wrote:

I just searched google for nail holder, and came up with a couple of different commercial options:
<http://www.mcfeelys.com/product.asp?productID=NGA-0010
<http://www.ares-server.com/Ares/Ares.asp?MerchantID=RET01229&Action talog&Type=Product&IDp218>
The paper or cardboard method sounds like a handy trick for doing a few nails, but a bit of a pain for bigger jobs. I like the idea of the pencil eraser. Why not get another use out of an item you're likely to have on-hand anyway?
mark _____________________________ Mark Cato snipped-for-privacy@andrew.cmu.edu
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I use the pliers.
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- snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Good point. I don't regularly use nails that small, so I tend to suffer through. If people feel pliers are a bit much to fiddle with, it's good to have alternatives.
mark
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Several great suggestions already. I like the pencil one. May have to try that.
Until now I have used a pair of surgical forceps. I keep a pair in my tackle box for removing hooks and they do occasional duty for other things.
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Colbyt wrote:

hemostats. They are great for small work. I'm always looking for even smaller ones called mosquitos. The eraser idea is great. I've been in clients houses trying to pound small nails with my tiny pliers all at home. richard
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Yeah! That is what I meant to say hemostat. What size is a mosquitos?
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On Fri, 17 Feb 2006 20:42:09 GMT, "Colbyt"

Yes, lots of good ideas. I like the pencil one too, I will give it a try. You said forceps. Are those the things that looks sort of like a plyers and lock together? (I'm no expert on surgery supplies). I am looking at those webpages too.
Thanks to all.
Please post any other ideas from other people. I think we are all learning something here. I know I'm not the only person to have troubles with those nails.
Mark
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Plastic hair comb, the cheap kind you get in motel rooms with the little soaps.
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I called them by the wrong name. They are hemostats. They look like pliers with a crooked jaw and in my case really long handles. They come in a variety of sizes.
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some place along the way I picked up a couple of pairs of hemostats (a small and medium size) and they work exceptionally well with the small teeth in the gripping end, and the ratching clamp on the handle end...wouldn't do a job with the small nails with out 'em.
Darwin
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I bet I still have a pair of hemostats from the 70s. We didn't use them for holding nails back then.
Glad you folks like the pencil idea. I can't take credit for it. I think I saw it on tv many many years ago. Always remembered it. I've got a pencil with a slit erasor in my tool box ever since.
Maxi
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maxinemovies wrote:

forgot...
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You know what they say. If you remember the 60s (or in my case the 70s)... lol. Groovy, man.
Maxi
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