Nail Set - for finishing nails
A nail set is a simple tool for working with finishing nails. It allows you to sink the nail beneath the surface of the wood, so the nail hole can be filled with colored putty to match the natural color or stain of the wood, or spackling so it can be painted.
This tool is typically a length of about 5 inches, and it's available in several diameters. Each diameter is meant to match with the diameter of the head of a finishing nail. It's a simple yet effective tool for working with finishing nails.
Using the tool will help you with the final driving of finishing nails into the wood just below the surface without making the nail hole any larger than it needs to be, and without making a dimple on the surface of the wood.
It's very much like a narrow punch, except it typically has a roughened shaft so you can get a firm grip on it and hold it still.
To use the tool, you drive a finishing nail with a hammer to within perhaps an eight of an inch from the surface of the wood. Then place the nail set set squarely on the head of the finishing nail. When you're certain it's in proper position, pound on the end of the tool with a hammer so the point drives the finishing nail about an eight of an inch beneath the surface of the wood.
Be certain to keep the tool aligned with the nail between each strike of the hammer. This will prevent you from inadvertently slipping off the nail head and driving the tool into the wood.
To steady the tool, get good surface contact with your hand and fingers, and use the edge of your hand or finger tips to steady yourself against the wood. There is no particular technique that works better than another, just steady the tool as best as you can before striking it, and reposition as necessary between strikes.
Done with Nail Set, back to Do It Yourself