This has been sitting on the bookshelf in my parents' house since I was a kid, and to this day, I still have no idea what it is or how to play:

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It was given to us by my grandma, and the best my dad can remember is that "it's a puzzle of some sort". He claims to have solved it once, but can't recall anything beyond that.

I tried Googling "Ol' George's Nail Wail" to no avail. Here are a couple more pics from other angles:

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  • Are the nails all the same length and just the holes are different depths? I could see a puzzle like this using different length nails combined with different depth holes and the end goal is to get all the nails in neatly like in your picture. May 25, 2014 at 15:20
  • @AndyTinkham Good guess, but I just checked, and all the nails are the same length.
    – Emmett
    May 25, 2014 at 20:13

2 Answers 2


It looks like a "nail balance" puzzle. It is very similar to some of the results of this Google Image Search.


I just purchased one of these from an antique store yesterday. It's a puzzle called nail balance. You can Google nail balance and find out how to do the puzzle. Included is a picture of the solution.

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