Why in the World Would Anyone Want a Wooden Nail?

©. Lignoloc/ Beck Fasteners

Beck Fasteners totally nails it with the Lignoloc.

Nails are wonderful things; the invention of the cheap wire nail made them into a cheap mass produced commodity that contributed to the development of the American housing industry. But they are also a problem; they make it hard to recycle wood, and on finished wood surfaces they are often ugly and can cause staining.

Now Beck Fastener has invented something that I would not have thought possible: a wooden nail. You probably couldn’t hit it with a hammer, but it’s part of the LignoLoc system where they fire it with a special pneumatic nail gun.

reel of nails

© Beck Fastener

The nails are made of beech, compressed with a resin so that they are as hard as aluminum nails; they come in lengths up to 2-1/2 inches (65mm).

There are all kinds of uses one can think of for something like this, and Beck has thought of a few, including:

  • saunas (no hot nails)
  • furniture (no visible fasteners)
  • flooring
  • wood siding (no streaking)
  • pallets (easy recycling of the wood)
  • Boat building

This may even revolutionize the Jewish funeral trade, where coffins cannot have metal fasteners. I can also see it being used for Nail Laminated Timber, making it far more recyclable.

nail bonding

© Beck Fastener

It also apparently has great bonding with the wood:

The special design of the LignoLoc® nail tip and the large amount of heat generated by friction when the nail is driven in cause the lignin of the wooden nail to weld with the surrounding wood to form a substance-to-substance bond.

This is why I love Twitter; this product is so new that I hear about it from a builder the Green Building Festival in Toronto who heard from someone at the just-ended North American Passive House Network conference in Oakland, where it was on display. It is so new that it has not yet been officially approved as a building product.

But the possibilities for this are endless; no more throwing out wood because it is full of nails; no more streaking or bleeding on wood; no thermal bridges from nails; no more wrecking saw blades from hitting steel nails. These are going to be big; Beck has nailed it with the Lignoloc.