Nails, Fig. 226, may be classified according to the material of which they are made; as, steel, iron, copper, and brass. Iron nails may be galvanized to protect them from rust. Copper and brass nails are used where they are subject to much danger of corrosion, as in boats.
|a. Cut nail, common.|
|b. Flat-head wire nail, No. 1, common.|
|c. Finishing nail, or brad.|
Nails may also be classified according to the process of manufacture; as, cut nails, wrought nails, and wire nails. Cut nails are cut from a plate of metal in such a way that the width of the nail is equal to the thickness of the plate, and the length of the nail to the width of the plate. In the third dimension, the nail is wedge-shaped, thin at the point and thick at the head. Unless properly driven, such nails are likely to split the wood, but if properly driven they are very firm. In driving, the wedge should spread with and not across the grain.
Wrought nails are worked into shape from hot steel, and have little or no temper, so that they can be bent over without breaking, as when clinched. Horseshoe- and trunk-nails are of this sort. They are of the same shape as cut nails.
Wire nails are made from drawn steel wire, and are pointed, headed, and roughened by machinery. They are comparatively cheap, hold nearly if not quite as well as cut nails, which they have largely displaced, can be bent without breaking, and can be clinched.
Nails are also classified according to the shape of their heads; as, common or flat-heads, and brads or finishing nails. Flat-heads are used in ordinary work, where the heads are not to be sunk in the wood or "set."
Some nails get their names from their special uses; as, shingle-nails, trunk-nails, boat-nails, lath-nails, picture-nails, barrel-nails, etc.
The size of nails is indicated by the length in inches, and by the size of the wire for wire nails. The old nomenclature for cut nails also survives, in which certain numbers are prefixed to "penny." For example, a threepenny nail is 1¼" long, a fourpenny nail is 1½" long, a fivepenny nail is 1¾" long, a sixpenny nail is 2" long. In other words, from threepenny to tenpenny ¼" is added for each penny, but a twelvepenny nail is 3¼" long, a sixteenpenny nail is 3½" long, a twentypenny nail is 4" long. This is explained as meaning that "tenpenny" nails, for example, cost tenpence a hundred. Another explanation is that originally 1000 of such nails weighed a pound. The size of cut nails is usually still so indicated. Nails are sold by the pound.
The advantages of nails are that they are quickly and easily applied, they are strong and cheap, and the work can be separated, tho with difficulty. The disadvantages are the appearance and, in some cases, the insecurity.
The holding power of nails may be increased by driving them into the wood at other than a right angle, especially where several nails unite two pieces of wood. By driving some at one inclination and some at another, they bind the pieces of wood together with much greater force than when driven in straight.
The term brads was once confined to small finishing nails, but is now used for all finishing nails, in distinction from common or flat-headed nails. The heads are made round instead of flat so that they may be set easily with a nailset and the hole filled with a plug, or, where the wood is to be painted, with putty. They are used for interior finishing and other nice work.
Tacks, Fig. 227, vary in size and shape according to their use; as, flat-headed, gimp, round-headed, and double-pointed or matting tacks, a sort of small staple. Their size is indicated by the word "ounce." For example, a two-ounce tack is ¼" long, a three-ounce tack is ⅜" long, a four-ounce tack is 7⁄16" long, a six-ounce tack is ½" long, etc. This term once meant the number of ounces of iron required to make 1000 tacks.
Tacks are useful only in fastening to wood thin material, such as veneers, textiles, leather, matting, tin, etc. Tinner's tacks, which are used for clinching, are commonly called clinch-nails. Wire tacks, altho made, are not so successful as cut tacks because they lack a sharp point, which is essential.
Corrugated fasteners, Fig. 228, or fluted nails, are used to fasten together two pieces of wood by driving the fastener so that one-half of it will be on each side of the joint. Their size is indicated by the length and the number of corrugations, as ½", four. They are often useful where nails are impracticable.
Glaziers' points are small, triangular pieces of zinc, used to fasten glass into sashes.