Nail Notes--February, 2003

Subject: Nail Notes 2-18-03
Date: Tue, 18 Feb 2003 09:06:05 -0600
From: Jeff Oaks <oaks@uindy.edu>
Organization: University of Indianapolis

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If you would like to see more nailing stories to balance out the
technical notes, write something up and send it to me!  ---Rolland
<rollandmeyers@compuserve.com>

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This from George Oliva <gro1@infi.net>:

I finally got around to scanning in the ERIE bridge with the date nails
holding down the sheet metal! Photos are attached and tomorrow I'll
finish my article on the subject and insert the pictures and get it off
to Charles [Sebesta editor of Nailer News]. I will also include the
"variety" of the '34's...... in fact I also found a "variety" on the
Erie type 7 '29's as well and will include photos of those too!

Photos may be viewed at:
http://facstaff.uindy.edu/~oaks/NailNotes/Erie/erie1.jpg
http://facstaff.uindy.edu/~oaks/NailNotes/Erie/erie2.jpg
http://facstaff.uindy.edu/~oaks/NailNotes/Erie/erie3.jpg

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Jim Leitschuh sent  this picture of his SP set, together with other
items he has found while poking around the tracks.  Photo may be viewed at:
http://facstaff.uindy.edu/~oaks/NailNotes/Leit.jpg

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Two notes from Rolland Meyers <rollandmeyers@compuserve.com>:

I have a friend who is an engineer and he was recently involved in
re-ballasting a long closed ex Spokane, Portland and Seattle line from
the Portland area out to Astoria, Oregon.  I asked him to keep his eyes
open for datenails as they replaced bad ties in this upgrade.  In the
mail today (1/6/03) I received a couple of nails that fit the SP&S set
profile and also a 1963 (05) 2 1/2 x 1/4 square indent.  He said he pulled
a couple of these from long bridge timbers on the "Blind Slough" bridge
near the Astoria end of the route.  So this is probably a legitmate nail
to add to the list for bridge timber nails used by the SP&S.

Secondly, I received a really special nail from an estate sale.  I have
checked this nail several times and can find no indication that it has
been doctored or altered in any way.  The nail in question is:
2 1/2 x 1/4  (18B) 36 pentagon raised, steel.!!!!!

I believe it is a legitimate nail.  But why it was made and who for is
still in question. I am told a photo of it will appear in the Nailer News.

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This is with regard to the 2 x 1/8 gm (18B) 1924 nail used by the Southern
Pacific. All of the other 1/8 (eight penny) nails used by the Southern
Pacific were the standard 2 1/2 inches.

John Iacovino <JohnIacovino@newyorklife.com> pulled these nails several
years ago and has allowed me to add this information regarding these
nails.  "[I] found a long string of them in Westminster, CA.  All were
found in the same position inside the rail whereas other 1924 nails
which were 2 1/2 inches were found outside the rail.  The string began
immediately after a highway crossing."

Thanks for that John, as several people were wondering about that 2" nail.

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For those of you that have purchased Jeff Oaks' three volume set _Date
Nails and Railroad Tie Preservation_.  Corrections and additions to
those editions (now in its fifth printing) can be found at:
http://facstaff.uindy.edu/~oaks/Resources.htm#Errata

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Regarding a rather obscure nail.  The 1953 (06) round indent steel nail
attributed to the Sonora-Baja California set.  It should be changed from
a 2 x 1/4 to a 1 1/2 x 1/4 length.  I have asked collectors and everyone
that has that nail agrees that the shank length is 1 1/2".

While we are on this subject.  Does anyone know of any collectors south
of the border in Mexico?  We have a few collectors north in Canada who
participate in swapping information and nails, but I have not heard of
any in Mexico.  If any collectors reside in Mexico and would like to
participate in the exchange of nails and information I would like to
hear from you.  Please contact the editor at:
<rollandmeyers@compuserve.com> or Jeff Oaks at <oaks@uindy.edu>

Also, if anyone out there has factual information regarding date nails
from Mexico, I would sure appreciate that information.  Specific places
that specific nails were pulled, position of the nail relative to the
rails and most important, what railroad owned the right of way the nails
came from.  For obvious reasons this information is hard to come by
because of the language barrier, the fact that those that pulled nails
in Mexico did not always have information as to who owned the right of
way, etc.  So any first hand knowledge of nails pulled in Mexico would
be appreciated.  I am trying to fill in some questions regarding all of
the sets.  Please send that information
to....<rollandmeyers@compuserve.com> thanks.

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In a conversation with Max Jones (TDNCA#1113) of Benson, AZ in which we
discussed nails he had pulled in Arizona and Mexico.  Max noted that he
had pulled several 2 1/2 x 1/4 rnd R (10) 90 (1990) nails from the
Apache line.  Max supplied much of the information regarding the Apache
line for Jeff Oaks original edition.  He pulled the 1990's after this
original information was provided.  Max also noted that he has not found
a 1989. So the 1990 nail should be added to the list for the Apache set.

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I have been doing a little research on the 1 1/4 x 1/15 rnd R gm cop
(60) 34 used by the Milwaukee Road.  In this research I have talked to
other collectors that have the nail and a few definite characteristics
stand out regarding this nail...in addition to the 1/5 shank.

The nail has a blunt point, unlike the sharp point of the normal 3/16
shank 34's used by the Milwaukee.  The identifying "bump" or "dot" that
denotes the type (60) is almost non existant.

They all seem to have the "light strike" -vs- the very heavy strike and
highly raised dates of some of the 34's...just some observations on this
nail.  I have sent a scan of the nail to Jeff Oaks for inclusion in the
next edition of his books. [ed.]

The photo of the three nails:
http://facstaff.uindy.edu/~oaks/Photos/34MILW.jpg

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Nail Notes is edited by Rolland Meyers <rollandmeyers@compuserve.com>,
and mailed out by Jeff Oaks <oaks@uindy.edu> (he has the list of addresses!).



Subject: Nail Notes 2-28-03
Date: Fri, 28 Feb 2003 08:38:37 -0600
From: Jeff Oaks <oaks@uindy.edu>
Organization: University of Indianapolis
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

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SPRING NATIONAL DATE NAIL SHOW -- March 14-15, 2003

Sponsored by the TDNCA
American Legion Post 343
1024 Lincolnton, RD
Salisbury, NC 28114
Admission Free
8' Exhibitor Tables Available @ $25.00 each
For more information contact:
Allen Stanley  ARS2nd@aol.com or (336)373-9099

Spencer is about halfway between Greensboro and Charlotte on I-85.  This
will be the first show east of Kentucky in the 32 year history of the
TDNCA!

Lodging:
    Super 8 Salisbury North, 925 Bendix DR, Salisbury, NC, (704) 638-8980
    Days Inn Salisbury, 1810 Lutheran Synod, Salisbury, NC, (704) 633-4211
    Best Western Salisbury, 825 Klumac DR, Salisbury, NC, (704) 633-5777
    Holiday Inn, 530 Jake Alexander, Salisbury, NC, (704) 637-3100

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Two corrections from the last edition of Nail Notes.
The size of the nail that should be added to the SP&S bridge timber set
should read:
        1963 (05) 2 1/2 x 1/4 square indent, steel (not 2 x 1/4).
The size of the 1990 nail that should be added to the Apache set should read:
        1990 (10) 2 1/2 x 3/16 round raised, steel (not 2 1/2 x 1/4).
(STUFF HAPPENS!!)

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My Favorite Nails...    [from Joseph Lewis <lewisjoseph@atec.army.mil>]

Probably like you, I sometimes think about my favorite nails of all
time, not necessarily the rare ones or the most valuable ones, just my
personal favorites.  I guess my most favorite nail was my first one, a
Rock Island diamond, square indented '08.  I was twelve years old in
1964 when my dad and I were working on a stock corral on our new farm in
Wise County, Texas.

 Somewhere in the past years someone gotten ahold of some ties to use in
fencing and while we improving our new property, I came face to face
with that beautiful '08.  Well, being an young antique buff already, and
having already been set upon the irreversible course of lifelong
collecting, I just knew that I had found something important.  Only then
I thought (or hoped) it was more than likely an 1880 date nail.
(However, no such luck.)  I pulled that nail and it sat on my dresser
top for 2 or 3 years before I started taking an interest in other nails.

When I found a track full of Rock Island square indented 12s near
Bridgeport Texas, I thought I may as well have a gallon or two of them!
I had a lot of fun on the old track running from Bridgeport out to
Throckmorton (dismantled in the 70s).  I really worked up a sweat
pulling those 12s.  Along the way, I found a few 09s, but the two nails
most memorable on that hunt were a short, round shanked 7 and a DOUBLE
LENGTH square 12!  I was using an object under the head of my hammer for
leverage when the long 12 nail kept coming up and coming up more.  I
could not believe my eyes!  It was such an unusual nail that my old
friend, nailer George Moser from Galveston had to have it and I think I
traded it to him  for 2 or 3 early US Forest Service nails he had found
up in Colorado.  A  couple of years later, I saw George at a nail show,
and he still had the  long shank 12.  I wanted it back by then and he
willingly traded it back to me.

I have some other nails that I consider favorites, but I will save them
for another story.

Joe

[ed. note: The above story is from one of the founding members, #4, of
the TDNCA and the author of Date Nails Brought up to Date. Vols. 1 & 2].
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For those with interest in unusual structures along the rights of way we
have this from William Gates <wgates@fgn.net> in a letter to Union
Pacific Historian/Archivist William Kratville:

        "..I was hoping that your people could give me your thoughts on
this picture.  I have found several of these up and down the Union
Pacific right of way in the areas just outside of Las Vegas, Nevada.
The actual size is large enought for two or three people to get inside
if they squat down.  The sites I have visisted usually have anywhere
from two to four of them in a cluster.  Usually found away from the
tracks anywhere from 50 to 100 yards away.  They appear to date to the
time of construction thru this area 1905!!  Very curious as to what they
might have been used for, or why they were constructed?  Storage, or
cache of supplies, don't know.  Let me know what you think."  (Thanks
Wm. Gates).

In an email to Nail Notes William continues...
          "Please look at the attached photograph. . .below are comments
from the Historian/Archivist at the UP Headquarters in Omaha, Nebraska.
Would like your thoughts and opinions on what you think this might be.
Please feel free to forward this out ot others in the Nailer Community.
Thanks William Gates, Henderson, Nevada.

        "Really do not know the cave but we used to (in early 1900's to
about 1950's) have such bunkers for storing dynamite which we used
clearing rocks which were always falling onto the tracks and still do in
certain areas and we still blast them."

A photograph of the cairn in question may be viewed at:
<http://facstaff.uindy.edu/~oaks/Photos/UPstructure.jpg>

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