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clapboard nailing?

George Eccles's picture

I'm putting FJ cedar clapboards on a small wall, and getting some splitting when I nail them.  This happens on the last hammer blow (so, I don't think the nails are the problem) and seems to occur more at the ends.  I'm using Maze 'Stormguard' ("splitless") nails, face-nailed above the lap.  I think my questions are ...

1. I'm trying to set the nails flush.  Should they be left a little proud?

2. Should the claps be tight against the corner boards, or should I be leaving a gap?

3. Would the clapboard overlap affect this?  Mine is ~3/4".

4. Something else.



You may be using too heavy a (post #206999, reply #1 of 2)

You may be using too heavy a blow trying to sink the nail.  The nail head should be flush but not countersunk.  Splits are most likely to occur at the end of board (as  you note) and you might try pre-drilling for those nails.

Possible, but ... (post #206999, reply #2 of 2)

I was using a punch (same diameter as the nail)h, and trying to go easy.  Of course, you could say, if they break, then it had to be too heavy..  But, they're not going countersunk.  And, the mid-board ones, I'm getting just flush.  I don't mind pre-drilling, but I wonder how it would help, seeing as the problem doesn't happen until the head makes contact.

The boards have been sitting nearly a year, in a barn.  Not in the sun, but it was a dry summer.  I could see where getting too dry might make them more prone to breaking?  If so, is some ... 'all you gotta do ..." thing to compensate?