Nails and Clout nails
The thevelopment of clout nails likely already started 3000 years before Christ in Mesopotamia. This process was continued by the Egyptians and was later copied by the Romans. It was actually the Romans who improved the nail to a level that left barely any difference between the nail forging in Rome at the time and that of the hand-forged English nails at the start of the nineteenth century.
In colonial United States the production of nails was a home-based industry. This was often a family project around the open fireplace. The nails were forged the same way as during the early nineteenth century in England. Nails at the time were also used in exchange for other goods.
The first process for cutting nails from unheated iron rods was introduced in 1877. During the ensuing 50 years, many devices were invented and built to be able to cut nails. Only one machine proved to be of any real practical value. This machine was built in 1886 by Mr. I. Reed from Massachusets (USA). The first wire nail machine was built around 1894 by Mr. Thomas Morten from New York (USA.
The current wire nail machine are built based on the principles of these two machines. At that time, only smooth nails were manufactured. Today there are many different types of nails available, such as ringed, rolled screw, twisted, etc.
We now have more than 1000 different types. To manufacture nails, a large coil of iron wire with the required wire thickness is fitted in the nail machine. In the more moder nail-making machinery, a strip of iron is cut of first that has about double the final nail length. A head is then knocked on both ends of this strip. Slight damage of the thread will always be visible just below the nail heads. This damage was caused by clamping the nail tight when the heads were hit. Exactly in the centre, the nail which is then still double headed, is cut through at four angles, thus forming the much-used diamond point. If special finishes are required, the nails will still be subjected to a special after treatment by rolling in a ring or screw profile. A ringed or rolled screw nail started off as a smooth round nail made of rolled steel wire. Special chemical after-treatment can then still be given, like galvanising, sherardizing, colour galvanizing or a special coating. Modern nail manufacturing machines now produce more than 1000 nails per minute. For example: 330 nails of 65x2,8 mm weighs app. 1000 grams = at 180 kg per hour. So in a double shift app. 2880 kg clout nails per machine produced per day.
The three basic features of the nail are the head, shaft and point. Every type is derived or deducted from these three characteristics. To start with the head, letÆs mention the flat head, ball head, hollow head, dome head, etc. The stem or shaft of the nail can be made in several ways. We have smooth nails and nails with a rolled profile, like a ring or screw. These nails can for example be galvanised of sherardized. The length and thickness of the nail determines to a large extent the final extraction value in wood. Usually 1/3 of the nail length is equal to the thickness of the material to be fixed, so 2/3 of the nail length goes into the basis. For example: A 22 mm thick plank is preferably nailed with a 65 mm long nail. In dry pine, a 65 x 3,1 mm nail has an average extraction value of 520 N x 0,9 = 468 kg. The tensile strength of the metal type used for DIN-nails is at least 640 N/mm or higher. To calculate the shearing force, formulas developed by TNO are used.
The point of the nail can be created in many different ways. The diamond point is usually used as standard. The angled CB-point or blunt CA-point is however also often used. The diamond point may in dry short-fibred or cold wood lead to splitting of the wood. However, the blunt nail with CA-point more or less punches its own hole. The nails with an angled cut CB-point is usually fired through the material and the excess length is hammered away on a steel anvil. This and many other characteristics determine the quality, the application and the processing of the nails, where every application also has its own specific characteristics.
A "Collator" is necessary to make loose nails suitable for use in pneumatic nail tackers. This machinery unite (connect) the loose nails with each other using two thin iron threads. This connection is called "collating". Coils of nails (coil nails) are now usually used in the modern coil nailing machines (coil nailers). The thin iron thread snaps during processing of the nails. Other ways of collating include the use of pre-punched plastic strapping, paper and glue or plastic chains. Apart from the often used coil nails, there are also glued nails or strips or bars. All these collection techniques make the nails more expensive; however, the ease of use is greatly increased. Because the nails are positioned at different mutual distances and per brand at a deviating angle, the systems are not universally exchangeable. The nails are almost exclusively to be used with an accompanying nailing device of the same brandÆs supplier. We call this a closed nailing system. Unfortunately, there are also imitation (pirate) nails on the market. This "bootlegging" looks like the existing brand systems, yet the nails are mostly manufactured from (cheaper) recycled steel. This obviously affects the quality. The probability of malfunctions is also larger because of slightly deviating sizes. Quite often, as is the case in the construction world, certified bonding agents are required of a guaranteed and constant quality. We strongly discourage the use of imitation bonding agents, because the equipment manufacturer can then no longer guarantee a certified service.