Fascinating Things You Didn’t Know About Nails

Emma | 01 - 04 - 2022
Facts About Nails

A nail may look tiny, but it plays a major role in the construction process. Nails have been used for more than thousands of years. The origin of nails is unknown, but archeologists believe that they originated in Ancient Egypt in about 3400 BCE. Apart from construction purposes, nails are also used for various purposes. Here we clubbed several things you didn’t know about nails. 

The history You Didn’t Know About Nails

As said earlier, the exact origin of the nail is unknown, but it is said to have the same characteristics and shape just like those manufactured today. In the Middle age, nails were said to be in the form of a square or ornamental. Unlike today, nails were handmade by skilled and professional craftsmen. Forge, anvil, hammer, and iron are the tools used for creating a nail. The blacksmith or nailers heat the iron to a melting point until it forms spongy. It then poured into molds to cool. Before cutting off into a nail length, a reheating process is performed. After the reheating process, all four sides of the nail are hammered to form a point/ end of the nail. The hot nail is inserted into the hole within the anvil. Later, the blacksmith forms the rose head with four strikes of the hammer. 

During the American Revolution, England was the world’s largest manufacturer of nails. It was so expensive that people even burned the abandoned houses to collect them. Even now many prefer traditional nails to give an authentic rustic look because it ensures an extremely strong fixing. Today, nails are manufactured using a commercial nail-making machine that produces 500 to 700 nails per minute.

Which Country Invented Nails?
  • A. Ancient Egypt
  • B. Ancient Europe
  • C. Africa
  • D. None of the Above

Facts about Nails

  • Until 1800, nails were handmade by artisans called nailers. 
  • During the Medieval period, nails traded as an informal medium of currency. 
  • 3rd U.S president Thomas Jefferson was a nail maker. 
  • Nails were expensive so, it was bartered and traded as a form of currency. 
  • Nails or fasteners are made in various materials- Aluminum, steel, copper, brass, silver, and even wood. 
  • Most nails are galvanized to prevent corrosion. 
  • Some nails have two heads too, and it is called duplex nails. Two-headed nails are used for easier extraction. Even some nails have no head. 
  • Ancient wood frame houses used 20,000 to 30,000 nails per house. 

Different Types of Construction Nails 

There are a variety of nails used in the construction process. Here are some popular construction nail types. 

  • Common Nails- This nail is commonly used for framing, and is mostly installed with a nail gun. 
  • Duplex Nails– Duplex nails are also called double-headed nails. It is used to build temporary structures such as braces and concrete formwork. 
  • Sinker Nails- It is shorter and thinner than common nails. Sinker nails are used for framing general construction applications. 
  • Underlayment Nails– It is used to lay plywood floors or subfloors. 
  • Roofing Nails– This nail type is used in roof installations and helps hold shingles or other roofing materials in place. 


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