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I want to clear something up that has been around for ages and was just recently posted on another discussion.
The question is the blunting of the tip of a nail so it will not split the wood. I have a different understanding of what is actually happening when this is practiced. I see the blunting happening when the butt end of a finishing nail is held on a piece of wood. When the sharp end is tapped you are in fact driving the butt end into the wood breaking the surface and creating a shallow hole. The nail is turned around and the sharp end is driven into the same hole where the first 1/8' of the wood's surface has not been broken and which prevents splits. I do this all the time, as anyone knows you can get the same result from drilling a hole in the material.
I think long ago a carpenter observed some one blunting the end of a nail and misinterpreted what was being done. I might be wrong but I could never see how blunting the end of a nail alone prevents splitting.