A corrugated fastener is a thin strip of sheet metal that has a pattern of alternating grooves. These fasteners are typically made from 18 to 22 gauge sheets of stainless or cold-rolled steel. While they are relatively thin, the grooved shape of the corrugated fastener gives it a surprisingly high level of strength and durability.
Corrugated fasteners are available in a range of sizes, but generally fall between one and three inches (25.4 and 76.2 mm) in length. They have one sharp pointed end and one flat end that has been sawed off. Sharp ridges run down the sides of a corrugated fastener, which help it hold more securely to wood after installation.
These fasteners are a common alternative to traditional nails, screws and dowels when it comes to joining woods. They can be used at many different types of wood joints, and are one of the most common fasteners for joining mitered joints. Corrugated fasteners are used for both finish carpentry, like tables and furnishings, and rough carpentry, including components that are hidden from view. A corrugated fastener may also be used to join small or delicate pieces of timber, which may be damaged by nails or screws.
There are two basic types of corrugated fasteners available, including parallel and angled units. Parallel units have grooves running in parallel lines along the shaft. They are the most secure of the two types, and are the best choice for miter cuts or harder wood species. Angled units have grooves running at an angle to the shaft, and are less capable than parallel units for joining wood securely.
A corrugated fastener is installed by hand using a hammer. The fastener should be installed into one of the wood components first, with the fastener traveling about halfway through the thickness of the wood. The other piece of wood can then be added and hammered into place. For more delicate work, place the second piece of wood onto the fastener and alternate your hammer on the two pieces of wood to join them together a bit at a time. A corrugated fastener should never run the same direction as the wood grain, as this may split the wood.
For harder wood species, it may be too difficult to use a hammer. In this type of application, a corrugated fastener gun can be used to automatically install these fasteners. These guns can may also be used in commercial work and other large-scale projects to quickly and easily install corrugated fasteners.