Nothing wrong with nails

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What’s so wrong about using nails? Let me answer that for you: Nothing; nothing at all.

Using nails for construction seems to get a bad rap for anything other than basic building and framing. There’s a mindset that using visible fasteners – heck, sometimes using fasteners at all – detracts from a project’s aesthetics. This is often true, but it seems that too many woodworkers consider this to always be true. It’s not. That’s the same kind of thinking that says dovetails are the be-all and end-all of “proper” joinery, and that’s not true, either. Depending on the piece, sometimes basic butt joints are fine.

I may have shown you this before, but here’s a piece I made that uses both butt joints and nails throughout.

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Some of the finest museum-quality furniture ever made used nails as part of the construction, and often they’re visible. Next time you’re in a museum that features some outstanding antique furniture, take a look for nails. You’ll see them.

Well, sure, my hardware center in the photo above ain’t museum-quality anything. It’s simple shop furniture, but you know what? For it’s intended use butt joints and nails are perfect, and the piece is rock-solid.

And I think it looks darned nice in my shop.

A.J.

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