Dating old buildings

The company is also prepared to consider special projects, for example, it produced a bronze boat nail for the building of the replica ship the 'Matthew' that in the year 2000 re-traced the 500 year old voyage of John Cabot who discovered New Foundland.

One aspect of that has been the expectation that because wire nails are cheap, the cut nail should also be cheap. Attempting to follow that line of thought, no matter how ridiculous as the processes are so different, has meant that many cut nail manufacturers have ceased business over the years because margins were so low.

Thinner timbers were being used in construction and other forms of fastening were becoming available if a strong fixing was needed.

In the 21st century, the nail making process through the ages is now being used by the restoration industry to help to establish when a building was built.

One such company is Glasgow Steel Nail Co which can trace its business roots back to 1870.

But you will be able to prove some things - and claim the distinction of being a true History Detective.The cut nail was produced in large numbers and various other shapes were devised to suit different purposes.By the start of the 1900's, the first coils of steel round wire were produced and quickly machines were designed to use this new raw material.The strip of metal was then turned through 180 to cut the next equal and opposite nail shape off the strip. Because the nail up until then was handmade, the first machines were naturally designed to re-produce the same shape of product - a square tapered nail with a rosehead, but only tapered down two sides of the shank.Soon nail making really took off, primarily in the USA and also the UK with its captive markets of the British Empire.

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