Split-free nailing, revisited
To minimize the chance of splitting when nailing near the end of a board, make an indentation across the grain of the wood with the head of a box nail. Do this by driving the edge of the nail head into the wood. Then remove the nail and drive it just inside the mark, away from the edge of the wood. The head of the nail after it’s driven usually hides the indentation.
Steve Larson, Santa Cruz, CA