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The ancient Egyptians and Romans used organic glue for wood furniture, especially with decorative veneer techniques, but like much advanced technology, glue for wood became a lost art after the collapse of Rome in 476 until the Renaissance, around 1400, when glue and veneer techniques reappeared.

During the Middle Ages, furniture was held together with pegs, dovetails, mortise and tenon joints and a few nails.

Very tiny nails, used especially for trim and moldings, were made with a single cut, resulting in an L-shaped nail.

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Machine made cut nails are also made for use in reproduction or hobbyist replica furniture, but they are so perfect and identical that it is usually easy to see that they are new.

This is an example of a replica cut nail: In Europe in the 1850's, steel wire was made into tiny nails known as brads, with only a very small widened head.

One hundred larger 10d (10 penny) nails cost 10 pence. Thomas Jefferson, a true Renaissance man, made nails on his plantation.

Until the very end of the 1700's, most nails in better furniture had a head that was rose-cut or faceted like an old miner's cut diamond.One nail at a time was heated and laboriously pounded out to shape with a hammer on an anvil.Nails were fairly valuable, and ruined buildings were often burned and nails were scavenged from the ashes to reuse.Archaeologists have found hand made bronze nails from as far back as 3000 BC.The Romans made many of their nails from iron, which was harder, but many ancient iron nails have rusted away since.These continue to be used to attach small moldings and trim.

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