Bending a box nail on a deck or exterior trim is frustrating even to a veteran builder, but even more vexing is not being able to pull it out.
As an apprentice I learned to deal with this situation neatly and quickly. Using a nail set (2/32 is ideal), dimple the shank of the nail just at the surface of the wood with several sharp blows from your hammer. Then use the claw to bend the nail back and forth without touching the wood. It will break where it was dimpled.
To finish the job, drill a pilot hole right next to the old nail shank and drive a new nail. Its head covers the old scar, and no one is the wiser.
Claude Foster, Des Moines, IA