Try the following to help prevent wood from splitting when driving a nail into wood using a hammer.
Many times when driving a nail into the end of a piece of wood or plank with a hammer, you run the risk of splitting the wood. You can help to prevent this by first hammering the opposite side of the nail (the nail point) until it's flat. Then turn the nail back over and hammer it into the wood. The flat tip will now be less likely to split the wood.