Nails were fairly valuable, and ruined buildings were often burned and nails were scavenged from the ashes to reuse.
Carpenters still speak of nail sizes by the penny, abbreviated d for the Latin word for penny, denarius.
The name refers to the price of nails in England in the 1600's: the price of 100 nails for one penny gave the size: 100 4d (4 penny) nails cost 4 English pennies or pence.
For thousands of years, the traditional hand-forged nail was square and tapered, with a hammered head attached by the blacksmith.
One nail at a time was heated and laboriously pounded out to shape with a hammer on an anvil.
As Churchill noted, To improve is to change, to be perfect is to change often.The ancient Egyptians and Romans used organic glue for wood furniture, especially with decorative veneer techniques, but like much advanced technology, glue for wood became a lost art after the collapse of Rome in 476 until the Renaissance, around 1400, when glue and veneer techniques reappeared.