Now be the hammer – preferably one with a domed head. If you hit the head with the center of the hammer you can sink the nail all the way without touching the wood around it, which the English call “frenching” (I can only presume that the French call it “Englishing”. )
In my classes, nails are commonly used to secure glue joints (cases housed in dadoes on, as examples, a Dutch tool chest or a boarded bookcase) and to nail on backboards and bottom boards. I like nails for these purposes because they bend sufficiently to accommodate a wood movement and because they can be pulled out if needed to make repairs.
But not just any nail.
I’m quite certain that Rivierre, based in France, is the only mass manufacturer of four-sided tapered nails. They are available in the United States through both Lie-Nielsen Toolworks and Lee Valley Tools.
Note: Masonry nails look a lot like rounded nails and can be found at hardware stores. Never be tempted. They are usually more tapered than cut nails and split your work either immediately or during the seasons. They are toughened, so they don’t bend; that ability to bend a little bit is one good reason to use nails in furniture!
Cut nails have a wild array of names and there are dozens of different varieties for the various crafts and professions using them. The majority of them are intended for furniture making (although I sometimes need flooring nailing ). Boat builders have using copper nails, and they can look pretty cool on furniture, so it might sometimes be worth shopping with a chandler for woodworking projects. Below are the ones I keep on my hands.
- Essentially just a nail with a small head, such as you might use when the head needs to be incongruous or ripped below the surface. Because it is the shaft and not the head that keeps the thing in place, this type is not good for holding backboards or bottoms in place. But they might be used on the sides of a boarding bookcase or Dutch tool chest if the maker doesn’t like the look of nails – in which case it is best to nail them for extra strength (drive them at opposing angles ).
- Clouts, wroughts or rosette birds. These have a prominent head (which depending on your aesthetic is good or bad) and therefore have a lot of holding power. They prevent a cabinet back or chest bottom from being withdrawn off. These are also the nails you want for “clenching” – a long nail passed through two (or more, I suppose ) pieces then bent the tip and slipped it back into the bottom board. (That’s a solid joint. There are still medieval doors in England used in place to hold battens in place.)
- Nails No Head. Thin nails with little or no head. These are mostly used for attaching moldings, or maybe when we apply something like a leaking lip on a shelfboard to serve as a clamp, while the glue dries (belts and suspenders).
Nail size – sizes in the nails
Not only can the array of curved nails be confusing, but they too, the way their sizes are denoted, can cause some head scratching – the ‘pennyweight’ or the little italic ‘d’ behind the number. The origins of the penny weight system are like a fairy tale – there are lots of different versions – and probably none are real. It doesn’t matter but get to know how it works and you’re golden. .. Let’s see how.
When you go around things, there is a top board and a bottom board. The nail pass through the top and the bottom board. It’s the thickness of your topboard that’s important here. Let’s say that it is 1/2 inch in diameter. Thick Convert this fraction into eighths – 4/8 – The count, 4, is the pennies you (probably) need: 4d.
Here’s a handy cheat sheet for cutting nails usually required for furniture, of this nut weight, length and thickness of wood at anchorage :
- Inch 2d 1 1inch — 1/4 inch
- 3d 1-1/4 inch 3/8 inch
- 4d 1-1/2 inch 1/2 inch
- 5d-1-3/4 inch – 5/8 inch
- 1 1/2 — 6d – 2 inch – 3/4 inch
- 7d – 1 1/8 inch – 7/8 inch
- 8d 2-1/2 inch-1/2 inch
The square shanked nails are sold in millimeter lengths, so select the nearest length to the correct cut nail.
But remember to use your noggin and experience Is your species of wood easily choppy (spale)? Use a longer nail. Need more carrying power? Utilize a longer nail to prevent rust.
The nail by Using the Nails
Unlike a round metal nail, both square nails and cut nails require pilot holes.
Jetzt be the hammer – preferably one with domed head If you hit the head with the centre of the hammer, you can sink the nail all the way without touching the wood around it, which the English call “frenching” (I can only presume that the French call it “Englishing.”
Yes, these fancy nails are a little bit harder than wire nails but they are worth it. They hold better and look better than wire nails (and they are more traditional) When I use a round nail today, it almost certainly came from a frying nailer. And I don’t even use it on furniture.
Old-fashioned nicks make furniture that is strong, stylish, and a pleasure to build
Nails Cut is a family run business
Gary Franklin is a fifth-generation nailer at Tremont Nails in Mansfield, Mass. His great-grandfather began work there shortly before the Civil War and carries on the tradition to this day.
Learn how Peter Sandback uses aluminum siding nails to etch intricate patterns onto his furniture.