I have a support beam for my bed that broke off recently and needs to be replaced (I've highlighted the beam in yellow in the picture below). Two of the four original finishing nails have snapped off.

I've tried using 1" finishing nails to nail the beam back onto the wood. However, I find myself having a hard time getting the finishing nail to penetrate the piece of wood and I'm not sure what the reason may be.

The wood would penetrate half way, but would not go any further. As I use more force, I end up bending the head of the nail and eventually having it break off the nail itself due to many attempts to bend the head back to form a straight line.

Does anyone have any ideas on what I'm doing wrong and how I can get these nails to penetrate properly? (i.e. Am I using the wrong type of nails for this job? Is there any technique in hammering I need to be aware of?)

Thanks in advance.

beam of wood that needs to be replaced

2 Answers 2


I would attempt to drill a pilot hole first to allow the nail to have a starting point. Use a 1/8 drill bit to start the hole.


It is not uncommon, with hardwoods, to have to drill a pilot hole prior to nailing. If the wood you are working with is soft then you should investigate the circumstances, like is there a metal gusset plate or structural component that is interfering with the nailing.

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