Back when Adam Cherubini invented nails at WIA last month; I paid little heed. I was glad he was tackling that subject; but I must have been running up & down the escalator or something. So I didn’t get to see it. Kari did http://villagecarpenter.blogspot.com/2011/10/repeat-after-me.html

There has been a lot of bandwidth lately of folks digesting what AC said, and I see people wanting to nail things together. Not a bad thing at all.

Here is a board chest, decorated to look like a joined one. I doubt it fooled anybody in its day, but it must have fit some aesthetic. It’s not unusual. (picture is from St. George’s The Wrought Covenant)

BUT how about some knucklehead (me, for instance) making a DOVETAILED chest, then nailing moldings all over the front & sides to frame carved sections that become divided as if they were panels in frames? If you are weak of stomach, look away.

I didn’t make it up. It’s a copy I am making for a client. Totally whacky. I didn’t get to see the original, but have a lousy photo of it. And honest-to-goodness, I didn’t make the construction or decorative scheme up. How could I? Who would think of such a thing?

There’s more moldings to come. Smaller frames surround the carved “panels” and then carry around the sides to form large frames there too. A heavy base molding finishes the bottom edges (after I nail in the bottom boards). Then three sides of moldings attach to the underside of the lid. Perfectly stupid. BUT, it does give me a chance to hide 90% of my dovetails. In the end, the only ones that show are those flanking the carved inscription.

For those of you heading off to faux-wrought-nail land, do yourself a favor and see if there’s a blacksmith somewhere that you could help support. The difference between a real wrought nail and the Tremont ones is like the difference between any handmade object and its assembly-line counterpart, i.e. all the difference in the world. Try them, you’ll like them. For wrought nails, Tremonts stink. They are clunky, thick and lifeless. I have no stake in cut nails. I have used tiny ones on this chest to fix the oak moldings in place, so for that, Tremont makes sense. Here’s a couple of hand-made nails. Rectangular in section. thin, tapered. Thin heads. One’s a “T-head” – in that case, the full-sized head is bashed on two opposing sides to make a nail that buries its head into the grain of the wood.

And, in use:

And finally, the T-head in use as well:

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