Finger-Saving Nail Gripper
Installing metal shelf standards used to be rough on my fingers and my patience. The small nails were too short to safely hold with my fingers, and needle-nose pliers were awkward at best. So I came up with an easy and inexpensive gripper stick to solve the problem.
First, I tapered one end of a 1⁄8 " X 3⁄4 " X 6" strip of scrapwood. Then, I sawed a notch slightly narrower than the diameter of the nails in the tapered end. To use the stick, I dump a few nails out on my work surface and push the notch over the shank of a nail. Then, I position it in the standard and safely hammer it home. With careful hammering, and a little luck, I can make one stick last about 100 nails, but I usually make several at once, just in case!
—Jerry Vance, Lubbock, Texas