|Will Work for Pennies|
My DIY reality this week is all about pennies. Not the kind I used to purchase penny candy when I was a child, or the bright copper ones I put in my penny loafers forty years ago. My pennies these days are 12d’s, 8d’s, 6d’s, and everything in between.
As I pounded in several hundred nails over the past few days, I had lots of time to think about such things as the medieval system for classifying nails. This is my brain hot-dipped, galvanized, common, shanked, ringed, sinkered, and bright box nailed.
So why are they called 12-penny nails… those three and a half inch nails that are giving me blisters and hammer elbow? It goes back to how many pennies were needed to buy 100 nails back in the 1500s. It turns out that the letter “d” after the number is an abbreviation for the most commonly used Roman coin (the denarius). The number refers to the length of nail.
If I’m doing the math correctly, which is never a given, twelve pennies bought 100 nails back in the day. I paid 445 pennies for 96 ring-shanked nails this past weekend. Kind of made me long for the days of yore. Can you picture it? Me in a toga, eating figs, tapping in twelve denarii worth of nails?
In the process of building a studio addition onto my mountain cabin, I am learning invaluable lessons that go beyond the importance of purchasing and using the right nails. It seems each stage of the building process needs a different kind of fastener. Early in the process I was tempted to use screws to make parts of the job easier and faster to complete. It turns out that would have been a big mistake. Screws don’t have the sheer strength provided by 12d nails.
Isn’t that true of building a life also? Finding the strength that matches each phase of the process of becoming? Just as I used the right kind of anchor hardware in the foundation stage of this do-it-myself project, I seek to live a life anchored in ways that ensure the stability to weather any storm.
Isn’t it amazing that something we often take for granted, nails and pennies, are essential to building something lasting? I invite you to join me in creating something worth every single blister. As Squidoo's Home Renovator Contributor, I'm looking for a few kindred hammer swingers. Please stop by today. I'll give you a penny (worth at least $4.45 with inflation) for your thoughts.