The following descriptions are of nails in common use : -

Rose Nails are either wrought, cut, or pressed. They take their distinctive name from the shape of their heads, and are divided into classes according to the nature of their points.

Rose Sharp Points are used for coopering, fencing, and for coarse purposes with hard woods. There are both wrought and stamped varieties. They are classed according to stoutness, as "Fine" (or "Canada") and "Strong."

Rose Flat Points (Fig. 170) have chisel points, and are used when the ordinary points would act as wedges and split the wood. They are driven with the flat point along the grain, so as to prevent splitting and hold faster. These also are classed as "Fine" or "Strong."

Rose Clench are square ended, and easily punch through thin metal coverings without first boring a hole. They are used by boat-builders, and also for packing cases.

Varieties Of Nails In Common Use 300269

Fig. 170.

Varieties Of Nails In Common Use 300270

Fig. 171.

Varieties Of Nails In Common Use 300271

Fig. 172.

Varieties Of Nails In Common Use 300272

Fig. 173.

Clasp Nails are much used by carpenters in soft woods, such as fir. They have heads which project downwards and stick into the wood, holding it together. They are also easily driven below the surface, so as to allow the plane to pass over them.

Fig. 171 shows the shape of the wrought description. The cut clasp have heads nearly flat on both sides, as in Fig. 172.

Wrought Clasp are divided into two classes - Fine and Strong, and are used for ledges to doors and other work where the nail requires to be clenched.

To effect this a nail is selected of a length greater than the thickness of the wood through which it passes, and the projecting point is hammered, so as to be turned back into the wood.

Cut Clasp are used for fixing rafters, ceiling joists, also architraves, skirtings, linings, and other joinery.

Brads (Fig. 173) are flat-sided nails, either wrought or cut, with heads of the same thickness as the shank, of a shape known as hilled, and being driven with the flat sides parallel to the grain, are not liable to split the wood.

The larger sizes are used for flooring; the smaller for light work, such as fixing small mouldings, beads, etc.

The ends of cut brads are not pointed as in wrought brads.

The lighter varieties are called Joiners' Brads and Cabinet Brads.

Glaziers' Brads or Sprigs, used for securing large panes of glass, are of the shape shown in Fig. 174, and have no heads.

Clout Nails (Fig. 175) have flat, circular heads; shanks round under the head, and with points either tapered or flat. The smaller sizes are mostly sharp, and the larger have flat chisel points. They are used for fastening sheet metal, felt, nailing hoop iron to wood, etc., and are made in two varieties, fine and strong.

Countersunk Clouts (Fig. 176) have heads shaped so as to fit a counter-sinking, and are generally made with flat points.

They are much used by wheelwrights and smiths, and for securing iron plates, etc., to woodwork.

Wire Nails, known also as French Nails (or Pointes de Paris), are round or square in section, very tough and strong. They are said not to split the wood, and to require no hole bored for them. They are sold in lengths from 5/8 to 4 inches, and of different thicknesses, varying from Nos. 5 to 18 B.W.G., and are used for packing-cases and other purposes.

Dog Nails are made with solid and slightly countersunk heads. These are sometimes hemispherical ("die-heads"); the shanks are generally round, at least under the head, and their points flat.

They are used for nailing down heavy ironwork, and for various other purposes when the heads are not required to be flush with the surface of the work.

Spikes are very large wrought nails used for heavy work, when great strength is required, as in wood bridges, scuppering, etc. They range from 4 to 14 inches in length; the smallest sizes have rose heads, but the larger ones have square heads with flat tops, as shown in the figure, which, it must be observed, is on half the scale of the sketches of the smaller nails.

Tacks are small, short, and light nails, and are divided into three classes - Rose, Clout, and Flemish; the two former are named according to the shape of their heads. Clout tacks resemble the nail shown in Fig. 175. Flemish are similar, but that the shank tapers throughout the upper portion, and is not finished in a cylindrical form as shown in Fig. 175. Tacks are used for close nailing very light sheet metal, but chiefly for upholsterers' work.

Tacks are generally wrought, but some of the smaller kinds are cut. They are either blacked, blued, or tinned.

Copper Nails are made of the same shapes as iron nails, and are used in positions where the latter would be subject to corrosion.

Composition Wails are those made of different alloys to avoid corrosion, or to prevent the galvanic action set up by iron when in contact with zinc or other metals. They are varied in shape according to the purpose for which they are to be used.

Varieties Of Nails In Common Use 300273

Figs. 174.

Varieties Of Nails In Common Use 300274

Figs. 175.

Varieties Of Nails In Common Use 300275

Figs. 176.

Varieties Of Nails In Common Use 300276

Figs. 177

Varieties Of Nails In Common Use 300277

Figs. 178.

Slating Nails have circular flat heads and sharp-pointed shanks; some are slightly countersunk, as in Fig. 179.

They are made of various metals. For temporary work cast nails may be used, for better work malleable nails; these, however, soon corrode away unless galvanised or dipped hot in boiled oil. Zinc nails are cheap, and sometimes used, but are too soft. Copper nails are often used in superior work, but are also soft. Composition nails are cast from an alloy (about 7 copper to 4 zinc) which is hard and does not corrode. When made of a really good strong alloy they are the best for superior work.

Tile Pegs is the name given to short cast-iron nails too thick for slating, and used for securing tiles to roofs.

Steel Nails, made from molten metal pressed in moulds, have lately been introduced, and used largely for the best class of work. They are finer and cleaner than ordinary nails, but much dearer.

Lath Nails may be obtained either wrought, cut, or cast. The cast and the cut are the cheapest. The cut nails are generally used. Wrought nails should be used for oak laths.

The length of the nails varies acording to the thickness of the lath, being 3/4 inch for single laths. 7/8 „ lath and half laths. 1 „ double laths.


Besides the above-mentioned there is an innumerable variety of patent nails of different descriptions and in different metals, also brass-headed and fancy-headed nails, and nails used for special purposes, unconnected with buildings. These need not be further referred to.