Architecture Dictionary: N


A small metal spike for fastening one piece of timber to another. The sorts of nails are very numerous. The principal are here enumerated. Bach nails, whose shanks are flat so as to hold fast but not open the wood. Clamp nails, are for fastening clamps. Clasp nails, or brads, are those with flatted heads, so that they may clasp the wood. They also render the wood smooth, so as to admit of a plane going over it. The sorts of most common use in building are known by the names of ten-penny, twenty-penny and two-shilling nails. Clench nails are such as are used by boat and barge builders, sometimes with boves or nuts, but often without. They are made with clasp heads for fine work, or with the head beat flat on two sides. Clout nails, used for nailing clouts on axle-trees, are flat headed, and iron work is usually nailed on with them. Deck nails, for fastening decks in ships and floors nailed with planks. Dog or jobent nails, for fastening the hinges of doors, etc.

Flat points are of two sorts, long and short; the former much used in shipping, and useful where it is necessary to hold fast and draw without requiring to be clenched; the latter are furnished with points to drive into hard wood. Lead nails, used for nailing lead, leather, and canvas to hard wood, are the same as clout nails dipped in lead or solder. Port nails, for nailing hinges to the ports of ships. Ribbing nails, used for fastening the ribbing to keep tbe ribs of ships in their place while the ship is building. Rose nails are drawn square in the shank. Rother nails, chiefly used for fastening rother irons to ships. Scupper nails, much in use for fastening leather and canvas to wood. Sharp nails, much used in the West Indies, and made with sharp points and flat shanks. Sheathing nails, for fastening sheathing boards to ships; their length is usually three times the thickness of the board. Square nails are of the same shape as sharp nails, chiefly used for hard wood. Brads are long and slender nails without heads, used for thin deal work to avoid splitting. To these may be added tacks, the smallest sort whereof serve to fasten paper to wood; the middling for medium work ; and the larger size, which are much used by upholsterers. These are known by the name of white tacks, two-penny, three-penny, and four-penny tacks. See Adhesion.

Nail-headed Moulding

One common in Norman buildings, and so called from being formed by a series of projections resembling the heads of nails or square knobs.


A term applied either to a column or wall to denote tbe face or plain surface from which the projections rise.

Naked Flooring

See p. 540. Naked or a Wall. The remote face whence the projections take their rise. It is generally a plain surface, and when the plan is circular the naked is the surface of a cylinder with its axis perpendicular to the horizon. Naos or Nave. (Gr. Noos.) See Cell.


The surface from which the laminae were separated. In all masonry it is important to its duration that the laminae should be placed perpendicular to the fece of the work, and parallel to the horizon, inasmuch as the connecting substance of these laminae is more friable than the laminae themselves, and therefore apt to scale off in large flakes, and thus induce a rapid decay of the work.


In ancient architecture, a place for the show of mock sea engagements, little different from the circus and amphitheatre, since this species of exhibition was often displayed in those buildings.


(Gt. Noof.) Tbe body of a church or place where the people are seated, reaching from the rail or partition of the choir to the principal entrance.


(Lat. Nebula.) An ornament in Norman architecture, whose edge forms an undulating or wavy line, and introduced in corbel tables and archivolts. See p. 174.


The space, in the Doric order, between the astragal on tbe shaft and the annulet of the capital. Some of the Grecian Ionic capitals are with necks below them, as in the examples of Minerva Polias and Erectheus, at Athens, But tbe Ionic order has rarely a neck to the capital.


An horizontal piece of timber serving as a temporary support to some super-incumbent weight, as a pier of brickwork, and resting upon posts or start*, while the lower part of a wall, pier, or building is being underpinned or repaired.


A name given by French architects to the ribs bounding the sides of a groined compartment of a vaulted roof, as distinguished from the ribs which diagonally cross the compartment.


That in which no allowance is made for finishing, and in the work of artificers, when no allowance is made for the waste of materials.


The upright cylinder or pillar, round which, in a winding staircase, the steps turn, and are supported from the bottom to the top. In stairs, geometrical for instance, where the steps are pinned into the wall, and there is no central pillar, the staircase is said to have an open neweL


(Fr. probably from N«<xr<rio, a nest.) A cavity or hollow place in tbe thickness of a wall for the reception of a statue, vase, &c. See Book III. Chap. I. Sect. 91. Nicola i>a Pisa. See Architects, list of, 121. Nicon. See Architects, list of, 51.


A species of ashlar used in Aberdeen. It is brought to the square by means of a cavil or hammer with a sharp point, which reduces the roughness of the stone to a degree of smoothness according to the time employed. When stone is so hard as to resist the chisel and mallet, the method described is the only way in which it can be dressed.

NOGS. The same as WOOD BRICKS, which see. The term is chiefly used in the north of England. NOGGING. A species of brickwork carried up in panels between quarters. Nogging-pieces. Horizontal boards laid in brick-nogging, and nailed to the quarters for strengthening the brickwork. They are disposed at equal altitudes in the brick- work. NONAGON. ( Gr.) A geometrical figure having nine sides and nine angles.


In geometry, one which stands at right angles to another line. NoaMAN Architecture. See Book I. Chap* III. Sect. 2.. Normand. See Architects, list of, 172.


The projecting part of the tread-board or cover which stands before the riser. The nosing is generally rounded, so as to have a semicircular section; and in the better sort of staircases a fillet and hollow is placed under the nosing.


A board which is grooved or notched for the reception and support of the ends of steps in a staircase.


A hollow cut from one of the faces of a pieoe of timber, generally made rectangular in section.


(Lat.) In ancient architecture, the internal part of a floor, which consisted of a strong cement, over which the pavement was laid with mortar.


(Gr.) A name used by the ancients to denote a picturesque grotto in a rocky or woody place, supposed to be dedicated to, and frequented by, the nymphs. Tbe Romans often made artificial nymphaea in their gardens. In Attica, the remains of a nymphaeum are still to be seen decorated with inscriptions and bassi relievi, from the rude workmanship of which it may be presumed that the grotto is of very ancient date.

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