Ever find yourself perched at the end of a scaffold or ladder when you needed to start a nail in a piece of framing or siding? If you’re like me, chances are you’ll be hanging onto the ladder with one hand, leaving you one short to hold the nail. Here’s a trick that a veteran carpenter showed me for just such circumstances. Hold the head of the nail against the side of your hammer between the index finger and middle finger as shown in the drawing. Take aim at the spot you want to start your nail and hit it hard enough to make the nail stick. With a little practice you’ll have an accurate method of one-handing it.
Jim Miller, St. Louis, MO