Hammering nails into wood is absolutely fraught with peril! You smash your thumb instead of the nail or bend the nail and have to start all over again with a new nail. Avoid both problems with this simple tip -- hold the nail with needle nosed pliers! Hammer away. Your thumb is now definitely safe and the likelihood of a bent nail is greatly reduced.
Two other ways to hold nails, tacks, brads etc
1. Push the nail through a piece of scrap paper or light cardboard, hold the edge of the paper with the brad/tack upright until you've pounded it in. Rip the paper to remove. This is great for starting something short that's hard to hold.
2. Cut a slot in a strip of plastic mesh, put your nail through the mesh at the end of the slot so it stands upright, pound your nail almost all the way in, remove mesh by sliding away from the nail via the slot.
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