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Wooden nails - Tree Nails or Treenails Post & Beam Construction

Dating antique nails, recognizing age and construction in antique furniture

  1. The quest for the ideal nail has taken centuries of development.
  2. It will be interesting to see photos of the Timber itself.
  3. Photo courtesy Tremont Nail Company.
  4. The backs of this type of hardware were often left with the impression of the sand while the surfaces were polished.
  5. The Mansfield, Massachusetts Tremont Nail company's historical notes cited below indicate that nails have been made by hand dating back to B.
  6. Tremont Nail Company continues to manufacture reproduction nails which in appearance are quite like those made by hand more than years ago.

The history of nail making

Dating a House Site With Nails Dating a Building With Nails

How to Date Antique Furniture

Not to far from an Indian head penny and an barber dime so yes I believe it is a period piece without a doubt. In the heartlands of the industrial revolution, many nail factories had row upon row of these nail machines and the incessant clatter from them created a deafening sound. Generally timber that has been floating on the water for a long time has been eaten by ship worms and is full of holes. As discussed above, this is especially evident on the back or underside of pieces made prior to the mids. Thomas Jefferson, a true Renaissance man, made nails on his plantation.

Wooden nails - Tree Nails or Treenails Post & Beam Construction

  • In turn, nail details can establish the time of original construction of a building and the time of modifications to the structure.
  • Often tool marks can give us some indication of the timber age.
  • How to Identify the Age of Furniture by the Nails.

Nails were fairly valuable, and ruined buildings were often burned and nails were scavenged from the ashes to reuse. The tips were blunt in these oldest screws, and each one was unique. Do you know what it's called, and what it was used for? Wire nails will be found in a building put up in the period from then to date.

How to Identify the Age of Furniture by the Nails

We've found nails of every size around here, but this was a first. Above are nails used to secure accordion lath - a plaster base found in a rural U. Honing your wood identification skills can really pay off in this area. Return Home Showroom Search for Nails.

Recognizing Age and Construction in Antique Furniture

How to Identify the Age of Furniture by the Nails

Recognizing Age and Construction in Antique Furniture

Machinery was invented to cut pieces of steel wire, sharpen a point at one end, and put a flat round head onto the other end. Tremont further explains that in North America nails were made by hand, often as a winter activity. The development of machine made nails that could be produced in high volume was critical to this change in construction methods.

Nevertheless, the reduced cost factor made wire nails the standard very quickly. Some classics are still being made today. Nails have been around for a long time. The interesting hand-wrought spike shown here, contributed by InspectApedia. For thousands of years, the traditional hand-forged nail was square and tapered, with a hammered head attached by the blacksmith.

TreasureNet - The Original Treasure Hunting Website

Other brass hardware can be an indicator of age as well. These nails were much cheaper to produce. Below you can see the Treenail joining two rafters at the ridge of this home near Poughkeepsie New York. Indeed, the price is not dissimilar to that charged for hand wrought nails in medieval times. As soon as man discovered that heating iron ore could form metal, happened the ideas for shaping it quickly followed.

Search the InspectApedia website. Cut nails leave a more rectangular hole and around or rectangular head. Machine made cut nails are also made for use in reproduction or hobbyist replica furniture, but they are so perfect and identical that it is usually easy to see that they are new. Black staining appears where an original iron nail was in place for many years, alleenstaande ouders dating with additional rust staining if it was replaced by a newer nail.

Looking at antique furniture, we often seek clues for authenticity and age. Glasgow Steel Nail Co has been involved in many interesting projects that have included providing nails for the Globe Theatre in London, restoration work on Stirling Castle and other castles. An examination of nails and fasteners and other building hardware is a complimentary effort useful in determining the age of a building and its components. These nails were known as cut nails or square nails because of their roughly rectangular cross section. This machine had essentially three parts.

Tips for Dating Old Pieces Made in America

Above, an example of modern round or wire nails, galvanized fasteners. This made production of tacks, which Thomas and his brother had been previously engaged in making, easier and more efficient at a rate of five-hundred per minute. The wood fibres would often swell if damp and bind round the nail making an extremely strong fixing. Most local blacksmiths made nails. Looking at the bottom or back of a piece, or inside its doors and drawers, speed dating canberra can provide important clues about whether or not a piece of old furniture was machine cut or crafted by hand.

One way of changing the mindset is to think in terms of the price per nail in comparison with other old artifacts being used and indeed what can be purchased today. Quite so, though I don't see obvious hand-hewn marks there are a few very faint ones. About the Author Cynthia T. Hand-hammered nails, dating from the s or earlier, leave a square hole with an irregular impression at the top from a hammered head.

If your left-hand nail in the photo - the one against the plain side of the ruler - is round as it looks to me, that's a more-modern spike. After all, it's just a nail. Silk, wool, and cotton have been spun and woven into a variety of damasks, satins, and brocades with many different patterns.

Using Nails to Date a Site - Wrought Nails Cut Nails and Others

Because their sides were straight rather than tapered, they have only a fraction of the holding power of cut nails with tapered sides. In use, the rosehead is often the only part of the nail that is left visible and this shape of head is now considered vital when a period nail is demanded. Later, machine did the cutting, but nails were still made one at a time. The first automatically produced wire nails with no human intervention other than to set up the machine immediately showed that this was the way to produce a cheaper nail. After re-heating the rod in a forge, the blacksmith would cut off a nail length and hammer all four sides of the softened end to form a point.

Here are some close-up details of the hand wrought spike we introduced earlier. Found this in an old town in Florida while metal detecting. The simple nail serves as a key to furniture dating. Probably securing or nailed into a Timber. Then the nail maker would insert the hot nail into a hole in a nail header or anvil and with four glancing blows of the hammer would form the rosehead a shallow pyramid shape.

Iron ore and carbon heated together and then cooled created wrought iron, from which a nail length piece was cut and hammered on four sides to create a point. Can you circa date solely on the type of wood used? Screws made from about through the mids were partially machine made giving the threading a more even appearance, according to Taylor. Author Ken Melchert has taught Art History for many years.

The Humble Nail - A Key to Unlock the Past - The Harp Gallery

But like I said I have items dating back to while metal detecting. The Mansfield, Massachusetts Tremont Nail company's historical notes indicate that nails have been made by hand dating back to B. When dating a piece of antique furniture, one of the most important clues to its history is often overlooked. When the Puzzle Pieces Don't Fit To determine if missing nails were antique or if they have been replaced with modern nails, look closely at the shape of the hole and the color of the wood around it.

The cut-nail process was patented in America by Jacob Perkins in and in England by Joseph Dyer, who set up machinery in Birmingham. As explained earlier, the first cut nail machines replicated the handmade nail - the square tapered nail with a rosehead. Aware of the brisk trade in iron, later explorers such as Captain James Cook brought supplies of nails and hoop iron with them to barter for freshwater, fish, pork, and vegetables. The nails are generally used for doors, floors, gates, indeed anywhere a period nail has to be displayed.

The red arrow points to a split in the cut nail, characteristic of the effort to align the fibres of iron running down the length of the nail - discussed just below. Cut nails were one of the important factors in the increase in balloon framing beginning in the s and thus the decline of timber framing with wooden joints. Association for Preservation Technology International. As you examine the piece, modern dating problems sleuth for clues that support your initial theory that you have a piece of authentic period furniture. Wire nails were produced in North America from about to the present.

Examining these elements individually, as well as furniture pieces in their entirety, will help you learn to correctly date them. Because of the Gulf Stream it is possible it crossed the Atlantic. It could have lost it's edges over years under or on the water. If you find these hand finished screws in furniture, investigate other aspects of the pieces to see if they match the screws in age. It was not until around that the first machine for making nails appeared, but that tended really to automate much of the blacksmith's job.

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