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Nails and Spikes - Withdrawal Force

Allowable withdrawal load for nail and spikes

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Allowable withdrawal load or force for a common nail or spike driven into side grain perpendicular to the fibers of seasoned wood (or wet unseasoned wood) can be estimated as

F = 1380 SG5/2 D                       (1)


F = allowable withdrawal load or force per inch of penetration (lb/in)

SG = specific gravity of oven dry wood

D = diameter of nail or spike (inches)

Example - Nail Withdrawal Load

The specific gravity of Canadian Spruce is 0.45. The diameter of 20D nail is 0.203 inches. The withdrawal force per inch of penetration can be estimated as

F = 1380 (0.45)5/2 (0.203 in)

   =  38 lb/in (lb per inch penetration)  

spike nail

Nail Withdrawal Force Calculator

Imperial Units

SG - Specific Gravity of oven dry wood

D - diameter of nail or spike (inches)

penetration (inches)

Metric Units

SG - Specific Gravity of oven dry wood

D - diameter of nail or spike (mm)

penetration (mm)

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