Working with wood means getting to know the strengths and weaknesses of this ubiquitous building material. The strength of the wood and the purpose of the wood/fastener combination can guide you toward what type of fastener is needed. You may only think of nails and screws when thinking of wood-fastening hardware, but those are just two of many different types of fasteners used to connect a piece of wood to something else.
Nails are one of the most commonly used wood fasteners in the world. Most nails are made of metal and are often coated with zinc to help prevent rust. Nails are available in a variety of sizes for a variety of types of wood. In addition to general nails, you can also find upholstery nails, paneling nails and finishing nails, where the heads are hidden from view inside the wood.
Screws are another common type of wood fastener and they can be made of steel alloy, bronze, aluminum or stainless and coated with zinc or chromium to stave off corrosion. Flathead screws are used for creating a countersink in a piece of wood while smaller screws are used for joining plywood.
Knock-down fittings are used to fasten together wood objects that may need to be dismantled and put back together. Corner brackets are used with hanger bolts to fasten a corner block for a right angle from two pieces of wood. Teenuts are used to create a stronger bolt fastening when the bolt is inserted into the back of a hole.