Does anyone know of a current source for the classic, j-shaped wiring
nails that AT&T used in the 1950's? They are made from ~ 3/32" wire.
The opening that gripped the phone wire is ~3/16" square. The overall
length is 7/8". The outside measure across the "J" is ~ 3/8".
For some applications, these old nails are far less obtrusive than the
now commonly available plastic/box nail ones.
I've searched all the terms I can concoct and I've either had too many
false hits or no hits at all.
They were used virtually exclusively for affixing GROUND WIRE, not inside
The old, three-conductor "bridle" wire or "JK" was attached using a little
wooden cleat with a short nail at each end. I've been pulling this stuff out
and throwing it away for 25 years.
Fer pete's sake, get an Arrow T25 staple gun, some 7/16-inch staples and
develop a good stapling technique.
Those staples that you inadvertently seat a bit too deep, simply back out
(loosen one leg) with your dikes. Those that are too loose, remove and try
I've stapled A LOT of the old wire, and speaker wire, and other stuff not
generally recommended to be affixed with a common, uninsulated staple and have
never had a problem. I could see an increased potential for future trouble if
affixed in an area subject to vigorous vibration but, above a drop-ceiling,
for example, no problem. Good luck.
Another trick is to staple a common ty-rap to the mounting surface, then use
the ty-rap to secure the wire. This protects the wire from ANY assault by an
over-zealous staple gun operator. A common household/shop stapler works just
fine for this.
Thanks for your reply.
I should have been more specific about the esthetic issue. The exterior
of my house is a vertical 'board and batten' pattern of 3/8" x 5/16"
grooves on 2" centers in 5/8" plywood.
When AT&T made the original installation they used the J-shaped nails
for everything. They work especially well for installing POTS wire in
the grooves. I've replaced some, e.g, the line to the DSL modem, with
Cat3 cable, but that, too, is ~ the same diameter so it also fits the
If anyone knows, I'm still interested in how to specifiy the J-Shaped
nails so I can search for them. Do they have a name that might let me
find a source?
Jim Redelfs wrote:
I'm sure they do, but I don't know it, or have forgotten it.
I was going to offer to ask some of the old guys at the fone company then
remembered that, after 33 years, I'm it. <sigh>
Still, there are techs still working that have 5-1/2 years MORE than me
OUTSIDE while working there. I'll ask around. Don't hold your breath.
It wouldn't surprise me that they have gone the way of the buggy-whip.
What you ought to do is carry a nail with you in your coin purse and ask
around when you seen an old telco guy or electrician-type at a Burger King,
for example. Good luck!
You can be sure there's countless THOUSANDS of them that, over the years, have
spilled on the floor and been kicked under the bottom shelf of countless telco
stockrooms - and they are still there! (sorry)
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.