Go Hard With Hardware In Carpentry
by Melissa Robinson
Go hard with hardware in carpentry There is an old woodworker's saying that the reason early American furniture has such complicated joinery is that hardware was hard to come by. It was cheaper to make a dovetail than use a screw. Whether or not that's true is open to debate. But what is true is that since the beginning of this country, the availability and the variety of hardware has grown steadily.
Today, there is a bewildering array of hardware on the market, and most of it at reasonable prices. There are common types of nails, screws, and other fasteners. You'll find that within each type of fastener, there is an amazing variety. There are nails for common construction, finishing, concrete work, flooring, paneling, siding, and upholstery, just to name a few. There are also special decorative 'cue nails available for antique restoration and reproduction.
Under the heading of screws, there are not only the usual flathead and roundhead screws, but also hanger bolts, dowel screws, security screws, tapping screws, and the new 'square drive' screws. All of these have different applications. Finally, there are many types of ingenious fasteners that you can use instead of the usual assortment of nails and screws corrugated nails, `Skotch' jointers, `Tee nuts Joint' fasteners, 'Molly (pop a molly just kidding)' bolts, 'Tee' nuts, and on and on. Some of these are permanent fasteners; you have to destroy the wood to disassemble the project.
Others are 'knock down' fasteners; they are made especially so that you can assemble and disassemble the project for easy storage or shipping. With a good working knowledge of what's out there on the market, you can use the best fastener for the particular job you have to do.
There is a lot of hardware that wasn't included in this section. This isn't an oversight. Hinges, drawer and door pulls, drawer slides, latches, shelving supports, and the like are often specific to a particular project. By contrast, the hardware that was included in this section is more general in its application. You can use each of the fasteners listed here on many different kinds of projects. However, should you need a specific type of hardware, your local hardware store will usually have catalogs that you can look through to find and order what you need.