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[This message has been edited by KD Fisher (edited July 29, 2003).]
Because there are tons of nails and screws holding down the particle board the odds of hitting one are pretty good. It is also possible that because the particleboard is so slick that the nails can't grab into it. Kinda like comparing a dry driveway to an ice-coated one.
I think the solution is to just remove the particleboard and nail to the 1/2 inch plywood below it. The best way to do this I have found is to get a large 1/4 inch nailset and drive all the nails clear thru. Often the sheet will come up in one piece. I have made plenty of shelving for my shop out of particleboard that I have taken up.