How to Use a Nail Set

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Nail sets allow you to set nails below wood surfaces, eliminating unsightly surface nails. Tuck your nails under the proverbial rug with help from a professional remodeler in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Home Remodeling Tools
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Video Transcript

Hi, my name is Chris Palmer. In this segment, I'm going to show you how to use a nail set. Taking the time to set your nails below the surface of the wood is a really nice detail to make your projects look better whether you're painting, and you're going to fill those holes with a little bit of spackle, or you have stained grain wood and you're not going to fill them, setting those nails is a nice detail to pay attention to. Basically, to do it, you drive your nail as far down as you feel comfortable before you leave a mark in it with your hammer. Also, using a smooth face hammer will give you less chance of leaving a mark in your wood. So, here's how far I'm going to go. For that final hit, keep the face of the hammer nice and parallel with your workpiece, and you won't get any edge marks. Now, to set the nail a little bit lower, choose a nail set that fits on the head of that nail. Finish nails sometimes have a little dimple right in the very center for a nail set to ride in, and that will give you a nice place of contact. The set should be lined up exactly with the nail, hold it in place, and rap it with the hammer. You don't need to go too far, just a little bit below the surface is what you want. Now, that could be filled or left alone, and it looks good. I'm Chris Palmer. Thanks for watching. That's how you use a nail set.


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