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Old 07-29-2020, 07:58 PM
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eliochnb4 eliochnb4 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 114
Default Need some help from the folks who know nails

Hey Folks,

I was back at my current hunting location, and I found some old nails. I did some research, and I came up with 1800-1880 for the large nail. The smaller one seemed to fall in the pre 1800 period, but I feel like that is more likely me not knowing what I am looking at. Any help would be...helpful.

Thanks in advance.

Good luck, everyone.

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Old 07-29-2020, 09:44 PM
Bank Fisher Bank Fisher is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Erie Illinois
Posts: 350

The reason why I think you are right about the large nail is that it is machine made but hand headed. The early nail machines couldn't make the heads so someone did that by hand. The second one looks like it was sharpened and hand finished but that doesn't necessary mean its older. I read lots of old newspapers from the 1800's and I have seen advertisements for cut nails and hand forged nails together. I think that the hand forged nails were made for situations where they needed a nail that would bend before it would snap. The iron cut nails wouldn't do that.

here is a great video
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Old 07-29-2020, 09:54 PM
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Rock Jock Rock Jock is offline
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Location: Homeless in USA - Currently in Charleston, SC
Posts: 51

The tall nail in the second image down almost looks like a concrete nail. Is it square in cross section or rectangular? I don't know how long people have been using concrete nails and if some early ones were hand forged that way.
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Old 08-01-2020, 10:38 AM
Beepette Beepette is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: North Central Ohio
Posts: 172

My house is from around 1849 and its nails look just like both of those. They go from large spike type ones around 4" long to little 2-inchers. The small ones always look sharper. They're all cut nails.

In my pre-detectoring days, it was always such a thrill to find a nail - "Ohhh, looky here! A square nail!" Now they are the bane of my existence I think the builders threw them around by the handful.

Garrett GTI 2500, ProPointer

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