When 500 nails is not enough

They don’t sell nails by weight any more, and they’re not nails

Damian Clarke
Sep 23 · 2 min read

Surely I don’t need 1000?

It is quite easy to undertake a task without really seeing the magnitude of it until some tiny detail exposes true scale of the project

This weekend I will be building a balcony on top of our kitchen’s flat roof at the back of the house. It’s a great space, and most of our neighbors have already converted theirs with some decking and a few planter boxes.

A VERY architectural, aspirational looking timber deck with planter boxes and a raised covered bit that could not be real.
A VERY architectural, aspirational looking timber deck with planter boxes and a raised covered bit that could not be real.
An aspirational timber deck (Photo: Julius Yls on Unsplash)

We found some half price planter boxes at Homebase last weekend — bought 10 of those. I have ordered the 90 linear meters of deck boards, and the 16 floor joists. But the thing that made me realize that I’m not doing a small job was the decking screws.

When I was a kid, helping Dad extend our house, we bought nails by the pound. For years we had tins of 1.5″ and 2″ galvanized jolt head nails leftover from the back deck. Many of them were stuck together because the galvanizing was still warm when the nails had been poured into the sack that was sent to Lumbies, from where we bought them.

These days — with the advent of the t̶o̶o̶l̶ ̶o̶f̶ ̶g̶o̶d̶ electric screwdriver we use decking screws. Screwfix has a bucket of 1000 for a good price. Surely not?

I scribbled some numbers on my cutting sheet. I prodded a few keys on my calculator.

I will start charging my electric screwdriver, and its spare battery, when I get home.

Copyright © Damian Clarke, 2020. First published on the Our Albion blog, October 2nd, 2007.

Our Albion

he story of a guy with a hammer, some nails and an old…

Damian Clarke

Written by

I’m a writer and publisher working in Sydney, Australia and London, UK. I specialise in finance, technology, insurance, property, medicine and sustainability.

Our Albion

he story of a guy with a hammer, some nails and an old house to use them on.

Damian Clarke

Written by

I’m a writer and publisher working in Sydney, Australia and London, UK. I specialise in finance, technology, insurance, property, medicine and sustainability.

Our Albion

he story of a guy with a hammer, some nails and an old house to use them on.

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