You should see the other guy . . .

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Review by Alster posted 07-06-2011 11:14 PM 3353 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
You should see the other guy . . . No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I recently bought a box of these nails to assemble a five-board bench. I drilled small pilot holes just to keep the nails headed in the right direction. Tremont recommends a pilot hole about the diameter of the nail halfway to the tip, but mine was much smaller and did the job just fine.

The nails are a joy to drive, but they are soft—softer than round shank nails you might find at the hardware store. This makes it easy to clinch them, if you want, but also makes it easy to bend them over if you don’t hit the head just right.

Here’s the great thing about these nails: they hold like nobody’s business. How do I know? I hit one wrong and bent it over a bit, so I had to pull it to drive a new one. And I’ve never had a nail (especially one this small) fight so hard to stay in one place.

Word of warning: these nails hold like crazy. But they’re tapered, and when they let go, they let go all at once. How do I know? I was putting serious pressure on my claw hammer to get my nail out, when WHAM the nail lets go and I conk myself in the cheekbone with the heel of my hammer. Split my skin, lots of blood, and a black eye.

Love the nails and the period look of a rectangular head. They’re cheap enough—I got 200 for about ten bucks, and it’ll take me a lot of furniture building to use them up. And the black eye and gash on my cheekbone gives me a decent reason to fib a little to people who ask what happened, “You should see the other guy.”

View Alster's profile


101 posts in 4023 days

7 comments so far

View Wolffarmer's profile


407 posts in 4047 days

#1 posted 07-07-2011 02:34 AM

Thanks for the review. Something I have not thought about using before, would look and work great in many things.


-- That was not wormy wood when I started working on it.

View jumbojack's profile


1691 posts in 3433 days

#2 posted 07-07-2011 03:09 AM

I thought I was the only one that clocks himself in the dork pulling nails. good to know there are others. Thanks for the nail review.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View ChuckV's profile


3319 posts in 4336 days

#3 posted 07-07-2011 03:24 AM

You are right. A cut nail holds much stronger than a cylindrical nail. It makes sense when you imagine the way that it is slicing and bending the wood fibers.

We have found jars full of very old nails lying in and around our old house. I have cleaned up some and used them in a few pieces I have built. Since they are all different sizes, it is a challenge to find the right size bit for the pilot hole. My fear is always that after hammering a nail 3/4 of the way in, it will break, bend, or need to be removed because the pilot hole is too small. So far, so good. I have even gone as far as drilling with three different size bits to get the hole to approximate a cone shape.

-- “Big man, pig man, ha ha, charade you are.” ― R. Waters

View hObOmOnk's profile


1381 posts in 4937 days

#4 posted 07-07-2011 02:16 PM

Here’s a good source for square-cut nails made by Tremont: Lee Valley.

-- 温故知新

View docholladay's profile


1287 posts in 3868 days

#5 posted 07-07-2011 02:26 PM

For those of you that may not already know, you can actually get cut nails (perhaps not this small) at most local home centers. They are listed as concrete nails. This type is hardened, but they can easily be tempered to remove the hardness. Simply spread them on a cookie sheet (make sure your wife is away from the house) and basically bake them for about an hour at 350-400 degrees. Then let them slowly cool down. If need be, repeat the process to soften them even more. The advantage of these nails is that they are really cheap.


-- Hey, woodworking ain't brain surgery. Just do something and keep trying till you get it. Doc

View BoxBuilder's profile


130 posts in 3939 days

#6 posted 07-12-2011 07:18 PM

You can get these directly from Tremont. And BTW they sell a nicely done sample card which shows all the different nails they make for about $9.00. I have been using these for many years and agree with the comments about holding power. The finish nails they have are great also, especially for period pieces.

-- Richard, Pennsylvania

View jim C's profile

jim C

1472 posts in 3908 days

#7 posted 07-12-2011 11:32 PM

Thanks for the info.
I often admired antique pieces with cut nails. I never realized how well they held. I always use a pneumatic nail gun when building something but now I’m going to make my next piece using these.
The difference is I always try to hide nails, but cut nails are a thing of beauty that adds to the piece.
On the subject, does anyone know why a nail is labeled “6D” but is called a “6 penny” ?
Just wondering.

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