Well said Northern Hewer.

I look forward to checking in with this forum each day too. You're right, there is value and great potential here in the forum. Hopefully it will be seen as a more mainstream way guild members can interact. When forums began, I think many relegated them to "fringe" mediums. Kind of like e-mail in its infancy: it was a neat thing, but people didn't really take it seriously, or instinctively shunned it. Now, e-mail is the preferred way of communication for just about everybody.

I have been enjoying this nail topic, and it seems naturally to lead to other areas of study. One of these is lumber. How's article talks about the early nails (which were blunt) having a hard time piercing hardwood, thus they were more suited to softwood applications. We take it for granted nails come pointed today, but pointing them was obviously a time-consuming or involved process until more modern times. Ironically, softwood is the lion’s share of lumber today and 99% of nails are pointed.

I guess we can say stud framing is considered modern in terms of our outlook on wood frame construction. Balloon framing appears to have been developed in Chicago / Midwest in the early to mid-19th century. I suppose early iron cut nails were used to nail the softwood frames together. Most of what I've uncovered through reading suggests pointed wire nails (what we refer to as "common nails") became mainstream in United States around 1900. Therefore, can we assume older house frames were fashioned with cut nails? Anyone out there who can verify?

I wonder what the situation was like in England and Europe. Did stud framing gain ground there in the 19th century? And what kind of nails were used there around 1900?

I know regional variations abound. Here in New England they say the area held on to timber framing longer than many areas of the United States simply because we love tradition and there was a plentiful supply of good-sized timber.

What was the situation like in your neck of the woods there in Canada, Northern Hewer? Was stud framing a late bloomer? Maybe too, it depends on whether you're talking about houses or barns.

Don Perkins
Member, TFG

to know the trees...