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Feb 14

How to drive a nail into a plank with your bare hand

Posted on Thursday, February 14, 2008 in Little known facts

The following is taken from the book ‘211 Things a Bright Boy Can Do’ by Tom Cutler.  All information taken directly from the book is marked by quotations, otherwise the material is summarised by Yours Truly.



                                                                               “Like the ability to burp at will, this is one of those things with almost no practical application.  But if you take the trouble to learn how to do it, you are always ready to wow people with a demonstration of your skill… Unlike burping, it’s more important here that you follow the instructions precisely and with care, otherwise you will hurt yourself.”

What you will need:

  • An 8 or 10 inch nail
  • A large piece of soft cloth
  • A short wooden plank (Choose a softish type of wood such as pine)
  • 2 chairs

How to do it:

  1. Show the nail to your audience, holding it by its tip.  “Wrap your rag… so that it lies in the centre of the cloth, which is balled up and held in your right palm, the nail protruding between the curled middle and third fingers, at a point between the first and second knuckles.”
  2. Ask an audience member to set up the plank between two chairs.
  3. “Steady the plank with your left hand and raise your right hand slowly and dramatically, as high as you can reach.”
  4. “Suddenly bring your hand down hard, absolutely perpendicular to the board.  You must strike it with the nail perfectly straight or it will not penetrate.”
  5. “Remove your hand and unwind the wrapper to reveal the nail in the wood.”
  6. You can then pass the plank around and ask people to remove the embedded nail… this should be a tough task.

Bring on the comments

  1. Camron says:

    I would hurt myself. And I can’t think of any reason I would ever want to do this. But then, I’m not a Bright Boy…

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