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This portion of the shaft is almost never totally round or totally smooth.But the most obvious clue to the handwork is the thread.Starting with the top of the screw, the head, evidence of handwork is abundant.

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The handmade nails of the period derived much of their holding power from the ability to drive the nail through two surfaces and bend it over on the backside, i.e. But that solution would not work for securing the top on a chest of drawers or table top without either driving a nail through the top from above or clinching it on the top to hold it fast.The same problem arose while trying to affix a lock to the backside of a drawer.C., used a shaft with a surrounding spiral in a tube to lift water, making use of one of the basic tools of physics, the ramp.In effect a screw is a ramp wrapped around a column.It has sharp, even threads, a cylindrical shape, blunt end and the slot is still off center.

The screw on the right is a modern gimlet screw, post 1848, with tapered shaft, even threads, pointed tip and centered slot.In this process "round" was a relative term since very few hand hammered objects of iron are perfectly round.When a suitable degree of "roundness" was achieved, the hot shaft was jammed into a form on the anvil, similar to the swage block used in making the hammered head of the rose head nail.Lacking a cold hardened steel die with which to cut the thread, the craftsman had to cut it himself by hand.This was usually done in laborious fashion with a file.The hand cut slot is seldom perfectly centered on the off center head.