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Stephon
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I'm building a new bed of nails, and trying to deal with the ever-decreasing availability of 20d bright common nails. I recall Harley cautioning to stay away from the galvanized nails, but how about the coated ones (that have the brassy color)?

Any thoughts? Thanks.
~Les S. Moore, The Dapper Dipper
Swami Yomahmi and Cheeky Monkey Sideshow

"Comedy is a man in trouble." ~Bill Irwin
Stephon
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Maryland, USA
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Also, what's the thinnest wood anyone's succesfully used to build their bed? I was gonna try 1/4" plywood, to cut down on the weight, but now I'm wondering if that'll have enough structure to keep the nails from wiggling.

Thanks.
~Les S. Moore, The Dapper Dipper
Swami Yomahmi and Cheeky Monkey Sideshow

"Comedy is a man in trouble." ~Bill Irwin
erikkloeker
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Cincinnati, Ohio
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You could go with 1/4 backing but you need at least 1/2" where the wood will be drilled and the nails hammered through or they will wiggle after a little amount of use. You could go with thinner than a 1/2" but you would have to use a different material. I have used galvanized for beds in the past, I don't like them, I don't know what Harley's reasoning is but I felt like they were just sharper and it hurt more. I don't foresee any problems with the coated nails.
Harley Newman
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The stuff they use for galvanizing, is not healthy. In my experience, when I've been cut by them, it takes longer to heal, and often gets infected.

For a full-sized bed (I've made about a dozen of them), use 1/2" ply for the main board and for the backing. I wouldn't go thinner that that, thogh I suppose the backing could be 1/4 ply. It needs the support, or it'll fall apart. Pre-drill the holes, countersink them thru the first layer of ply, turn the wood over, put it up on bricks, and pound nails. Countersinking prevents the wood from splitting, at each place you pound a nail. Paint the board first. Also, if you paint the back, after you've pounded in nails, the paint acts as glue, and helps to anchor the nails a bit.

Currently I use 3/4 oak ply. It's denser and has held up to the test of time. Occasionally I need to knock a couple of nails back into place. And no backing piece.

I also use 16 penny stainless flooring nails. They're pricey, but beautiful. The twist in them, makes them look really evil under stage lights.
“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus” -Mark Twain

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Stephon
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Maryland, USA
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The first bed I built, I used 1/2 particle board (oy, is that heavy) and 20d nails.

For my presentation, the bed of nails is v2.0 of a "flattened cardboard box of thumbtacks". (It makes sense, in context). When I was building the first one, I'd planned to use very small nails to get the thumbtack effect, but the logistics of the spacing, number of nails, and time involved were just too much.

The one I'm building is only 16" x 31", so it'll fit in my show trunk. It'll be covered in cardboard, so I can't paint it, but I'm definitely gonna seal it--my current one has mold and other funk on the cardboard from apple leavings. Yuck. I looked at those flooring nails, and they do look great, but the 20d nails are a nice compromise of effort and effect.

I didn't counter sink the last one, but I'll definitely do that this time.

Thanks.
~Les S. Moore, The Dapper Dipper
Swami Yomahmi and Cheeky Monkey Sideshow

"Comedy is a man in trouble." ~Bill Irwin
erikkloeker
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The bigger the nails the better, the less they hurt, the more menacing the bed looks, and you can space them a bit further with no problems. The only compromise is weight. Often times lugging that thing around hurts my back more than laying on it! I like the look of the 1000's of tiny nails for the tack board effect but I think to a typical audience member they would rather see the huge spikes. Good luck with your new bed.
thegreatnippulini
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Guys, that yellow coating used to be shellac. The heat of forcing the nail through the wood melted the shellac and caused it to stick like glue. It may now be a hot melt glue.
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
http://www.greatnippulini.com
Stephon
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Thanks Nips, that's good to know. Does that mean there's any particular risk in using them, tho?
~Les S. Moore, The Dapper Dipper
Swami Yomahmi and Cheeky Monkey Sideshow

"Comedy is a man in trouble." ~Bill Irwin
Freak Prodigy
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Not for the BoN, those are the type I've always used (I've made 4 beds) and I've never had a problem.

I also used to use those for blockhead before Nips started making his nails, a bit of soap takes the coating right off.
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Stephon
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Groovy. Thanks, everyone, for the help.

Off the drill, and drill, and dril. . .
~Les S. Moore, The Dapper Dipper
Swami Yomahmi and Cheeky Monkey Sideshow

"Comedy is a man in trouble." ~Bill Irwin
Addy
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The first BoN I built was made of 7 inch gutter spikes. It was a mammoth of a bed. I hated to take it anywhere. For my next one I scaled down to 20d and made the dimentions a bit smaller as well. But yeah, the 1/2 inch was what got drilled and the 1/4 was the backer.
It's comfortable, easier to take along, and Eak the Geek has it's twin brother. We spent a long night making those...
gsidhe
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I'm still lugging around my 120 lb 6" twisted galvanized gutter spike nail bed (2 foot by 4 foot- Made per Slim Price's specifications).
The thing looks insanely dangerous.
Not because of the size of the nails (Which is impressive)
Not because they are not all straight (The thing looks totally demented)
But because of the sheer amount of rust and discoloration from liberal application of fruit. It simply screams "Get a tetnus shot!"
I like the rusty nasty appearance so much I have cleaned the loose rust off and clear coated it to prevent further degradation.
The nails are not countersunk, but the spikes are in 1/2" plywood with a 1/4" masonite backer. Never had any wiggling or nails backing out.
I have tried 20 penny nail beds, and I don't find them as comfortable.
I'll deal with the weight for the appearance.

To quote Eak the Geek when he used my BON. "That thing is Ugly"
Gwyd
Addy
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Quote:
On 2008-07-23 10:12, gsidhe wrote:
To quote Eak the Geek when he used my BON. "That thing is Ugly"
Gwyd


Have you ever seen the bed that he was using out at Coney???!!!
That thing was UGLY.
gsidhe
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Nope. When I visited last, he had a bed in his closet, but it was all packed up.
I loved his routining for it "The nails in this bed were the nastiest we could possibly find, dragged from the dust and garbage underneath the stage..."
I need to give him a call soon. Now that he is driving, mayhbe I can convince him to go to the sideshow gathering.
Gwyd
Jon Royer
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I use a bed design that Harley was kind enough to make for me. I use 3/4" oak plywood with no backing. I drilled all the holes and countersunk them. I used 462 16d 3.5" common nails. I also painted it before I put the nails in. My bed is not a full bed. It goes from my shoulders to a little below my butt. I have yet to have a nail come loose. I have gotten great reactions from it and can still lug it around.

Nippulini covered the yellow colored ones but the whiteish galvanized nails I would avoid. They have a zinc coating on them as a protective barrier. Zinc is good for you in small quantities but is classified as a heavy metal and in larger doses can be bad for you. The amount in the nails I imagine wouldn't hurt you but why risk it when there are alternatives. Also you have to consider any additives in the manufacturing process that are mixed in with the zinc.

If you want want to read a little about how zinc can be bad:
http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstract/51/2/225

Jon
thegreatnippulini
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While your at it, ask him how he got on Cash Cab. And give him sh!t for not knowing how much two bits is worth.
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
http://www.greatnippulini.com
Stephon
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Harley was on Cash Cab? Man, I'd love to be on that show. My son and I used to watch it regularly. I love Cash Cab. It ain't no $.25 show, neither.
~Les S. Moore, The Dapper Dipper
Swami Yomahmi and Cheeky Monkey Sideshow

"Comedy is a man in trouble." ~Bill Irwin
Freak Prodigy
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No, Eak was for about a minute.
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thegreatnippulini
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He made it the whole way but wussed out at the video bonus.
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
http://www.greatnippulini.com
Freak Prodigy
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My friend Paul Carpenter was on it, but it wasn't a random thing.

He found an ad on craigslist looking for magicians for some TV thing, it all ended up being a big set up and the cab they told him to get into was being driven by none other than Ben Baily.


Brett.
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