... until I cool down. The tacks are too flimsy, or the wood is too hard, or both. Anybody who has done this have a suggestion?
drill a hole 1/2 the diameter of the tack. Drive her home.
Hi Steve, I am a upholsterer. Put masking tape around a ice pick 1/2 the depth of the tack and do a pilot hole,then drive the tack in. I think that this will work for.
Steve, consider yourself lucky. The head is still on the tack.
Steve, when I bend an upholstery nail I then drive in an ordinary nail as a pilot hole maker, and then pull the ordinary nail. This is safer than drilling the hole. There's no fine drill to break and trim to catch in the flutes.
Hope this helps.
Allan from down under.
It may also help to hold the tack with needle-nose pliers until it's started well enough to drive home.
I used an awl to make a pilot hole like Pete did with his ice pick. Holding the tack with needle nose pliers also helps save the fingers and thumbs from hammer blows.
You can also use the needle nose pliers to straighten out the bent tacks for re-use.
All of the above, and yes, the wood is too hard.
Steve get you a small pair of needle nose pliers to hold the tack to hold it straight. Then use your hammer and give the tack a solid straight tap.
That's what worked best for me. I found that giving the tack a good straight shot is the answer, An angle hit on the tack head is almost a gurrentee that it will bend.
I had a floor of bent tacks before it dawned on me what I was doing.
Hope this's can be of some help.
A hemostat works better than the needle nose pliers. You can latch it to hold the tack and it is not as thick so you can drive the tack in further before removing the hemostat. My wife is a nurse and brings home forgotten hemostats in her uniform from time to time.
PM me your address and I'll fix you up
I use the same method Rich Bingham suggested. I use a needle nose plier.
The jaws are tapered and they allow you to slide the jaws out from under the nail as you drive the nail in.
You can also straighten the bent nail shanks (as I know Mr. Thrifty would want to do) with the needle nose pliers and then use the pliers to hold the repaired nail shanks as you drive them in.
I've actually used this method and it works well.
Steve,see various articles about original, unmolested T's.
The upholstery tacks and tack strips on some cars at all angles and spacings.
Once upon a time,I had an original,possibly even usable complete oval sockets touring top.
I forget exactly what year it was,maybe a '12.
You guys should have seen the way that was covered.
If any trim shop put a new top on someone's T like that today,cyberspace would catch fire from the bitchin'.
We all know that many great discoveries are accidental.
I put a couple of layers of Gorilla tape on my hammer so it wouldn't damage the black finish on the tacks. I was delighted to find that it also keeps the tacks from sliding sideways and bending when the hammer hits them. With this I don't even need the needle nose pliers. I just make a small pilot hole with the ice pick, shove the tack in the hole, and drive it on in.
i found that a small claw hammer worked the best on those nails better than the tack hammer.
All these posts about bending tacks and how to keep from it makes me wonder how the guys installing the interiors in the open T's nailed the tacks and how those guys did it.
I guess a lot of practice and day in and day out nailing and etc those guys just got the knack to do it.
Maybe the body wood was softer back then?
Before the advent of flooring nailers we had to nail by hand, we always predrilled the holes with a smaller bit through the hardwood prior to nailing.
The upholstery nail pictured is not what Ford used.
I will say it. A ball peen hammer should not be used for hammering nails or tacks. (Although I do it all the time!) A ball peen hammer is faced slightly rounded so as to not leave half moon marks when metal working (for which the ball peen hammer is intended). The slightly rounded face makes it more likely to slip on nail heads or bend the nails by striking to one side of the head instead of across the broad face of the nail head.
I used to have a ball peen hammer that left the factory unfinished. I (at that time) was not aware of this distinction. But I had used that hammer for nail work for a couple years. It was the best "nailing" hammer I had ever used. And I carried it in the truck for work. When I read an article about hammers and their uses, with explanations about the differences, I walked out to the truck and looked at the hammer. Sure enough, the face of the hammer was flat, and had not been finish ground when manufactured (it was a cheap hammer). I looked at all the rest of my ball peen hammers (I have about a dozen of varying sizes and weights), and sure enough, all of them were rounded on the face.
Unfortunately, one of my coworkers lost that hammer on a job site about a year later. So maybe someone else now has a mysterious nail-driving ball peen.
The tape idea is a good one I would think. I may try that myself.
Take a break Steve. Not like you to not figure something like this out. You should have seen my late Father-in-law drive tacks. Professional upholisterer. Mouth full of tacks, magnetic hammer, pick up a tack (facing the right way to boot) one shot to set it and finishing shots to drive it home. No loud noises please !
David Siver - My first thought in reading Steves' troubles here was also "pilot holes". You mentioned the fact that "flooring nailers" always drilled pilot holes, and I don't doubt that one bit!
But I'd be welling to bet on something else. Not only am I quite sure that those assemblers in Henrys' factory certainly didn't take time to drill pilot holes, but I'll bet if ol' Henry saw anybody do that, he'd fire the guy on the spot!
I agree with Charlie B. Steve,.....I knew better than that when I read your original first post here when you said,...."I'M QUITTING!" Naw,.....no way! As another ol' guy like you,....we've just learned to walk away for awhile instead of getting mad and throwing things in anger, right?
Larry, I saw in an earlier thread that you mentioned you had obtained some original Ford 3/8 inch upholstery nails, could you take a couple pictures of them and post them here to help educate us?
In the same thread, you also mentioned that Witmer made a nail that was close, but not quite right. Do you mean Witmer Coach Shop in New Holland, PA?
They have a Facebook page, but they don't appear to have a website.
Interesting! I just called Witmer Coach Shop at (717) 656-3411 to request a catalog (which they are sending me for free).
I asked the nice lady on the phone if they had a web page and she said no. Then I told her that I found their phone number on their Facebook page, and she said she didn't even know that they had a Facebook page!
Drill a pilot hole first, not real deep, just to help get the nail started. I used a HF 1 lb dead blow (the orange encased plastic one), hammers the nails in just fine with scuffing the tack head.
Blast!!!! That's supposed to be "hammers the nails in just find "without" scuffing the tack heads. (new keyboard, leaves bits of words off, hmmm, maybe I'm typing too fast for it....maybe there's some way to adjust the sensitivity, I'll have to check).
Wayne, you bring up an interesting point. I have always found cross pein hammers better balanced for use in carpentry. I have a selection of sizes for differing applications. I use an 8 ounce one for upholstery work. I have a lighter one for setting brads, and two heavier examples.
Allan from down under.
I've never used a pilot hole yet, and don't have problems! I think using decorative round head chair nails causes the hammer to go to one side messing everything up. I can't post any pictures now, cause I'm up in Northern California on a two week tour with my '25 pickup. So far, I racked up over 600 miles.