Monday, November 21, 2011

Old Fashioned Cut Nails by TREMONT NAIL CO.

     Many years ago I learned of this nail company in Massachusetts - the oldest nail manufacturer in the USA.  They make "old fashioned cut nails for authentic restoration and antique effect".  I received a sample set from them which has been a very useful reference over the years in a variety of restoration projects that I've been involved in.
Here's the website to Tremont Nail Co. 

Tremont Nail Mills
     The original factory was established by Issac and Jared Pratt in 1819 on the site of an old cotton mill which had been shelled and burned by the British in the War of 1812. Known originally as Parker Mills Nail Company, it later became known as the Tremont Nail Company. The first cut nail machines appeared during the late 1700's and the first machine to cut and head a nail in one operation was invented by Ezekiel Reed of Bridgewater, Mass.
     The present nail factory has about 60 nail machines and was completed in 1848. Among those who managed the business in the early days are men whose names are famous throughout New England: John Avery Parker, William Rodman, Charles W. Morgan, Bartlett Murdock, Benjamin Fearing, William Caswell, Horace Pratt Tobey and William A. Leonard.
     For almost 200 years, the company has achieved a reputation for skilled nail cutting that has made its product readily saleable throughout the markets of the world. Through all the changes and the hurried pace of modern industry the same product is still being produced for customers who prefer the superior holding power and durability of this time-tested nail.
You can get these nails locally! 
     Here on Prince Edward Island the nails are available from most building suppliers who get them from a local Wholesaler - they carry about 5 standard, most commonly used nail sizes.  You can also get them from Lee Valley Tools -  here's the link and the page from their online catalogue:,41306,41324

Square-Cut Nails

Square-Cut Nails - Hardware
Square-Cut Nails - Hardware
     Besides having the advantage of being historically accurate (they are made the same way now as they were in 1819), these nails are superior to conventional nails.Cut nails have two features lacking in wire nails:
1. They are near constant thickness but tapered in width. Aligning the parallel sides of the nail with the grain, the square tip shears fibers and the nail then bends fibers downwards as well as compressing them as it is driven. The fibers then act like a featherboard on a table saw, preventing the nail from withdrawing.
2. Because the square tip shears the fibers, there is no wedging action across the grain; you can nail near the end of a board with no splitting. A wire nail tends to split the wood.
The decorative wrought head and common rose head are ideal for rough-sawn siding, face-nailed floors, batten doors, and framing. While both brads are popular for cabinetmaking, the slender headless brad excels at furniture repair and picture frames.
Approximate nail count per box listed in brackets below.
The wrought-head nails have a black oxide finish; the others are unfinished steel.   Made in USA.
A. 1 lb (207) Wrought Head Nail, 1"
$13.60$12.20Add to cart
1 lb (132) Wrought Head Nail,
$12.60$11.30Add to cart
1 lb (68) Wrought Head Nail, 2"
$12.60$11.30Add to cart
B. 1 lb (97) Rose Head Nail, 2"
$9.90$8.90Add to cart
C. 1/4 lb (292) Headless Brad, 1"
$10.50$9.45Add to cart
D. 1/2 lb (215) Round Head Brad, 1"
$10.20$9.20Add to cart