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Introduction to Nails and Fasteners for Shed Construction

Do you know how many different types of nails and fasteners there are?  Our free article center was formed to help you build, plan, and execute your wood working project as smoothly as possible.


Introduction to Nails and Fasteners for Shed Construction
There are thousands of different types of nails and screws that you can choose from.  This article is intended to help you understand the basics of the different types of nails and screws. Before you leave, be sure to check out our Complete Shed Plans or Gazebo Plans Package and you will hopefully see how we have the best shed plans on the market.

Nails and Fasteners

Nails are the most common fastener used in shed framing and construction.  Nail lengths are indicated by the term penny, noted by a small d.  In most cases, nails increase in diameter as they increase in length.  Heavier construction framing is accomplished with common nails.  The extra thick shank of the common nail has greater strength than other types.  A wide thick head spreads the load and resists pull-through.  For substructure and framing of your shed where nails are hidden, consider using vinyl coated sinkers or cement coated nails which bond to the wood and will not pull up as readily as uncoated nails.

Box nails are similar in shape to common nails, but they have a slimmer shank that is less likely to split the wood.  Finishing nails are used in work where you want to counter sink and then cover the nail head.

Roofing nails are essential for attaching roofing materials and preventing moisture penetration through the nail hole.

Screws create neat, strong joints for finished work.  Heavy duty lag screws and lag bolts are useful for heavier framing connection, such as girder to post.

Discuss your project with your local hardware or building supply dealer to determine the best nail and fastener selections for your project.

This table of common nails shows the approximate number of nails you get in a pound.  You'll need more pounds of larger sizes to do a job.  For outside jobs, get galvanized or cadmium-plated nails.  Aluminum nails are a bit expensive unless you're doing a small project.
Finishing Nail Selection Chart
Size Length Gauge # per lb.
10d 3" 11.5 120
8d 2.5" 12.5 190
6d 2" 13 310
4d 1.5" 15 600
3d 1.25" 15.5 670
2d 1" 16 1000
Table of Common Nails
Size Length Gauge # per lb.
2d 1" 15 840
3d 1.25" 14 540
4d 1.5" 12.5 290
5d 1.75" 12.5 250
6d 1" 11.5 160
7d 2.25" 11.5 150
8d 2.5" 10.25 100
9d 2.75" 10.25 90
10d 3" 9 65
12d 3.25" 9 60
16d 3.5" 8 45
20d 5" 6 30
30d 4.5" 5 20
40d 5" 4 16
50d 5.5" 3 12
60d 6" 2 10


screws and bolts for shed plans

screws and bolts for shed plans Bolts

A little primer on bolts.  Bolts fall into three general categories:

Carriage Bolts
Machine Bolts
Stove Bolts

There are also Specialty bolts, and they add many more categories to the list and ones designed for specific functions. Furthermore, there are also a dozen kinds of nuts and at least four kinds of washers. Each category of bolt, nut, and washer has a specific type of use.  The list is endless.

Machine bolts are general not used for framing applications, they have hex or square shaped heads.  Neither are stove bolts, which have rounded heads with a slot for a screwdriver. But carriage bolts, which have unslotted oval heads, are used for attaching structural lumber face-to-face or major timbers to posts. Carriage bolts have a square shoulder just beneath the head that digs into the wood as you tighten the bolt, which prevents it from slipping and spinning in the hold, and they are sized according to the diameter of their shanks and their length.  Most heavy duty framing, for floors and decks utilize carriage bolts.

Finally, one more bolt you may use is the Anchor Bolt. The Anchor Bolt attaches the sill plate to the top of a foundation of large storage sheds. Wedge-type bolts and J-bolts are the most common types of bolts used in anchor applications.


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