Avoid splitting wood when attaching rungs to ramp?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by tdmom, Aug 7, 2014.

  1. tdmom

    tdmom In the Brooder

    Jul 1, 2012
    western NY
    What is the secret to avoid splitting wood when attaching rungs to the ramp? Would love advice please! Thanks.
  2. HugHess

    HugHess Chickrack Addict

    Jul 14, 2014

    I have tried using blunted nails with success (like wood flooring nails) and of course there is always the tried and true method where you pre-drill the hole with a smaller drill bit, then drive the larger nail into that. I don't know if clamping the step to the board tightly on both ends before you begin hammering on it might help? I haven't had the opportunity to own a nail gun so would wonder what others on here who do might think.
    If you don't find an answer you need here then there is always YouTube.
    Let us know what worked for you. I will hope to have to build a coop before winter hits and will probably be on here hunting for your final answer!

    Hope this helps...
    1 person likes this.
  3. vehve

    vehve The Token Finn

    With nails, you can try blunting the end (just hit the pointy end once with a hammer) before driving it in. A better way would be pre-drilled holes and screws.
    1 person likes this.
  4. Eggsoteric

    Eggsoteric Songster

    Nov 25, 2010
    This ^^. Pre-drill the holes.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Pre-drilled holes top my list. Blunt nails also work. The blunt nails tear their way through the wood instead of pushing the wood fibers out of the way.

    Using wood that is not really old helps too. Really old over-seasoned wood will split worse than wood that has a bit of moisture still in it. This one may be hard to control.

    It also helps if the wood you are nailing into is rigid and supported well. If it allowed to flex or vibrate the other wood is more likely to split.

    The rungs need to have a certain thickness. The thinner the wood the more likely to split. Also, don’t try to nail or screw too close to the end of the rung. Allow some overhang. Screws can split the wood too, not just nails.

    Don’t over tighten, especially with screws. Once it is in, stop.
    1 person likes this.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I use deck or drywall screws for almost everything as they are self starting in most woods and are much less likely to split than wood screws as they are smaller in diameter.
    Rarely bother with nails as they are harder to use accurately and it's much harder take things back apart as can often be necessary.
    If I have to attach a small piece of wood to something, I'll drill a clearance hole(sized so the screw doesn't even hardly touch the sides of the hole) on the small piece, then drive the screw thur the small piece into the ramp in this case.
    1 person likes this.
  7. Primo

    Primo Songster

    May 1, 2013
    Invest in one of these, and use screws. only a couple bucks. never have the splits again.

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