Nailing Round Corners

An Eccentric Anomaly: Ed Davies's Blog

Nailing where there isn't room to swing a hammer is awkward. Here's an idea.

Here are the two rafters on the north-west corner of the house itself, between that and the porch/greenhouse:

There are brackets each side of the rafters so two between this pair. This is the second such pair I did (after doing the two rafters at the east end of the north side first). By this time round I'd learned a little lesson and made sure the bracket on the first rafter was fully nailed before adding the second and nailed the bracket on to the second rafter before putting it in place.

That's not so easy for the smaller clips attaching the rafters to the purlins, shown here at the east end of the north roof:

…and from “inside” the house:

I actually got that nailed by tapping the nails with the side of the hammer to just about get them started then holding that chisel against them, sideways, and welting that with a big hammer. Still, messy and time consuming.

What's really needed is something which can hammer with very short strokes. Like an SDS drill set to hammer-only (no rotation) action:

Yep, that hammer action will actually knock in a nail. (Ab)using a 1/2" socket drive with a somewhat unsuitably rounded end:

(I hope that works, if not here's a link directly to the video itself.)

So what's needed is a fitting which goes in the drill but allows the hammer action to be applied some 100 mm or so to the side. Preferably with an end shaped not to slip off a nail head so easily. Does such a thing exist already?

Update: 2017-11-11: A chap known to some as SteamyTea suggested using an angle grinder to make slots in a socket, presumable to attach a bit of metal stock of some sort. I suspect that use of the slightly floppy connection between a socket adaptor (as shown above) and a socket would lose a considerable amount of the hammer action given the leverage that the offset arm of whatever sort would have.

The key to getting useful amounts of hammering, I think, is to keep the thing very ridged but not too heavy - always a problem.

What I have in mind is adapting an adaptor directly: grind it down to fit in some U-section steel then gob it in place with some weld. Ditto a lump of metal to do the actual hammering on the other end. It'd maybe be nice if there was a way to harden the face of the hammer part.