Hacked Gadgets Forum

July 8, 2013

How did this Nail Get in the Wood

at 1:19 am. Filed under Crazy Hacks, DIY Hacks

nail through wood


Before you watch the video below have a close look at the picture above and guess how this was done. There are 3 slots cut into a piece of wood, there is a real solid nail placed in the wood. Each section of wood including the outer sections are solid (just as it looks). You would not be able to remove the nail by sliding it. This was a real puzzler for me and I wouldn’t have guessed how it was done without watching the video…

Leave a guess in the comments if you think you have figured it out. You will probably need to try to not look at any other comments that may exist. I am curious how many people get it?



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24 Responses to “How did this Nail Get in the Wood”

  1. farrioth Says:

    My guess was that this is an optical illusion and that the nail was in fact inserted from behind the left section of wood. The actual method is much more ingenious.

    Hint: They didn’t bend the nail by heating it.

  2. Trav Says:

    Use steam to soften the wood and warp it open, like stretched fingers. Then after the nail is in, re steam it to straighten it back to original shape.

  3. Steven Says:

    Transporter accident?

  4. Pepper Says:

    The nail could have been placed, in one way or another, into a still-growing tree and milled out (if necessary) after the tree was harvested and cured. The method in the video is an inspiration for alternative woodworking/joinery methods. Nice post.

  5. Jack Says:

    I built something similar about a year and a half ago. Almost no-one correctly guesses how I made it.

  6. ChalkBored Says:

    I’ve seen the video a long time ago, so here’s some fake guesses.

    3D printed wood.
    Wood carved and painted to look like a nail.
    Metal milled and painted to look like a board.
    Cut the nail into 3 sections and fit them into the wood.
    CGI has gotten pretty good lately.
    Glitch in The Matrix.
    Some sort of cross-breeding.

  7. nah! Says:

    you cut the nail and glued it in place

  8. Dave Says:


  9. SuperUnknown Says:

    Neat-o! Great tune to boot!

  10. Shadyman Says:

    You could probably break the two inner “fingers” along the rings, then mill out a nail-shaped channel for it, and glue it back into place

  11. DAVE STANLEY Says:

    I have read stories about when Jesus was a little boy working with his dad. He would cut a board too short ,but having super natural powers he would just grab the board on each end and stretch it out….Is this even warm….some sort of super natural powers or maybe an optical illusion.

  12. scott Says:

    snap off the first finger of wood with the short grain, at the end with the head of the nail. Support the other fingers of wood to keep them from snapping off, drive nail or drill pilot hole, insert or drive nail, glue snapped finger back, will be invisible, do it all the time in woodworking.

  13. Alan Parekh Says:

    Lots of great guesses. I think Trav was the closest, after I saw the boiling water I was thinking the same thing but I was also thinking that it would just snap off easier when wet since it would be putting lots of pressure along the grain of the wood.

  14. Alan Parekh Says:

    LOL @ ChalkBored, 3D printed wood! This time will come…

    I think scott’s method would also work very well since I have made some chisel mistakes where a chunk of with the grain wood snaps of and some liberal wood glue and sanding makes for a joint that can’t be seen.

  15. Joshua Says:

    Firstly boil one of the prongs of wood then using a vice, crush the the prong and let it cool, then drilling a hole through the remaining prongs and insert the nail, then boiling the prong of wood that was crushed and it will return to its original shape

  16. Paul Martin Says:

    Promise I have not looked at any comments or video before posting this.

    The nail has been hammered at an angle on the horizontal plane. The photo makes it look as though the nail goes through the “centre” of the blocks”, whereas I’m sure the video will reveal its at an angle.

    Fingers crossed!!

  17. Alan Parekh Says:

    Wow Joshua, you got it!!!

  18. N Says:

    Nail inserted at an Angle and driven from the rear (as it faces from the image) would be my guess. Haven’t seen video or read other comments yet.

  19. o4tuna Says:

    I guessed break along the grain & reglue. Watched video. Well I’ll be. That’s pretty impressive. Might have to try that someday…

  20. ACG Says:

    Cut nail and push into wood is one why but what all the waste of energy.
    Why press the wood for 2 days.
    Just split the first wood section, insert nail, then glue the wood back.

  21. Adam Says:

    Notice which way the grain of the wood is going, otherwise you wouldn’t be able to do it. I’m a tech ed teacher, but haven’t seen anybody do this before. Similarly done for bending curves in wood, i.e. splines.

  22. James Says:

    Simple, you steam the whole piece of wood till it softens, clamp the 2 end pieces till they squash down enough. Hammer the nail in whilst the wood is still hot and compressed, then leave alone. AS the wood cools it will slowly return to its original shape as the fibres re absorb moisture and ‘bounce’ back.

  23. simon Says:

    not seen video but simply cutting the nail into 3 sections and glued to the wood creating the illusion that the nail is whole????!!!

  24. Roy N. Zook Says:

    Wow you got it. I tried to build something like this but no-one correctly.

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