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Old 04-22-2011, 11:40 AM
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allessence allessence is offline
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Default Making Forged Nails

Here's the next series of forgings.


nails are considered to be pretty difficult to make since they take all of the mental resorces a smith has and put them into action.

forge down, pointing, Upsetting, cutting. All are covered just to make a nail.

Once you make a few you will see why in the olden days before cut nails were MFG'd that nails were used so scarecly and were expensive. People moving would burn down their houses just to collect the nails before they left....

Starting out it will take a little while to get them made. Maybe 10-20 minutes each.

Once you get good, you will be able to make a 12penny sized one in about 1 minute. Yup, 1 minute per nail. This is moving at a good, steady pace.

Here are the nail headers.

You can see that the holes are square and have a very slight taper. This taper allows for the nails to be taken back out of the header, yet offers a way of holding the shank of the nail straight while making the head.

to big a taper and you will have to ruin the nail to get it out. Also, with to large a taper the nail header will fail prematurely since each time you make a nail you will be pounding hot metal on/in it and hitting it with a lot of force and a BFH.

You can see my favorite one in the photo #2.

this one alone has had couple 1000's made thru it.

The bottom is convex in shape this allows for it to sit flat on the anvil easily. Unlike the others pictured which work well, but my favorite was the last one I made and has all of the new designes worked into it.

Other thing is double ended is nice. standard size shank, Then slightly over, slightly under. you decide.

This makes it possilbe to still make a nail in 1 heat even if the shank is a little to large to fit into the standard sized one.
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Jennifer

If I defend myself I am attacked.

My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.

My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.

I'd like to think of something smart, but I don't want to hurt myself.

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  #2  
Old 04-22-2011, 11:53 AM
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allessence allessence is offline
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Default Steps 1-9

Nail headers:

Only 2 of these headers were made in the shop.

The others were made in the Blacksmithing trailer doing a demo. Why because I used to forget the nail headers at home and making nails is a great fast way to give a demo. Since most people have an attention span of a nat..

As to making the nail and Rivet headers this will be covered in another series since they would add another whole dynamic.


Key things to remember.

Rotate bar only 1/4 turn left and 1/4 turn right. We are only working 2 sides of the bar.

Remove hardie when forging nails and only put it in when cutting nail before heading and remove once you have cut the nail for bending.

Unless of course you are right handed and have the horn facing towards the right. Hence Hardie on left and out of the danger zone.

Many a 4 finger blacksmiths.
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Jennifer

If I defend myself I am attacked.

My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.

My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.

I'd like to think of something smart, but I don't want to hurt myself.

My google+ page

DoALL 36"
Another Johnson model J Project
Lathe? Maybe..... 1958 SBL 13"
Yeti Esseti Aka running welder on 3phase.
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  #3  
Old 04-22-2011, 12:04 PM
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allessence allessence is offline
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Default steps 10-15

The head shown is what is considered a typical american Pyramid type head. Some of more in the shape of a T but still dymond cornered. The sky is the limit with head design.

I've made nails with sunflower heads, Sun heads. and animal heads.


Points to remember.

Take Hardie Out of HOLE before you put nail in for finial heading.

Point the tip of the nail up in the fire so you don't burn the tip off. Also most of the old nails were clinched over on the back side. So, they should be left as soft as possible.

Head the Nail as quickly as possilbe since it will lose heat quickly and the longer it's in the header the sooner the header will wear out.

You get the nail out of the header by banging the tip of the nail on the anvil.

If done right and the header a good design the nail will pop out with only some very light taps.

If it gets stuck, put in vise with shank in jaws with about 1/4" between it and the vise and give the nail header handle a quick whack. This should unseat the nail. Be sure and cool the shank before you put it into the vise.

larger Nails are easier when you first start. Larger like 5/32" or 3/16" shaft size.

Other note Square shank nails have 150% more holding power than a round nail. So, if you put it in. You will more than likely pull the head off trying to get it out.
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Jennifer

If I defend myself I am attacked.

My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.

My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.

I'd like to think of something smart, but I don't want to hurt myself.

My google+ page

DoALL 36"
Another Johnson model J Project
Lathe? Maybe..... 1958 SBL 13"
Yeti Esseti Aka running welder on 3phase.
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  #4  
Old 04-22-2011, 01:31 PM
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1911man 1911man is offline
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Default

Thanks Jennifer! I don't know squat about this stuff and I've watched smith demos. I've learned more just now reading your posts than I ever have watching sparks fly and not knowing the details. Great job.
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  #5  
Old 04-22-2011, 01:45 PM
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Matt Shade Matt Shade is offline
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Thanks for the write up and drawings, I've never done a nail before

I better not let my dad find out about the sqaure shanks having extra holding power, he'll have me forging him a bucket full. I think the smallest nails we used building the barn were 20 penny ring shanks. Its fun when a horse chews a hole in the wall and you have to pull a dozen of those bastards to replace a board.
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Old 04-22-2011, 01:53 PM
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allessence allessence is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1911man View Post
Thanks Jennifer! I don't know squat about this stuff and I've watched smith demos. I've learned more just now reading your posts than I ever have watching sparks fly and not knowing the details. Great job.
You are most welcome. I've been meaning to ask if there are any HF 12step meeting groups in my area?

maybe you didn't know squat before, but you know the basics of making a nail.

By the way, I think I've met squat a time or 2 in my own life. LOL. Must be a distant relative.
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Jennifer

If I defend myself I am attacked.

My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.

My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.

I'd like to think of something smart, but I don't want to hurt myself.

My google+ page

DoALL 36"
Another Johnson model J Project
Lathe? Maybe..... 1958 SBL 13"
Yeti Esseti Aka running welder on 3phase.
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  #7  
Old 04-22-2011, 01:57 PM
JBFab JBFab is offline
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I can honestly say I never put much thought into the history of something so simple as a nail. Great post!
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  #8  
Old 04-22-2011, 01:58 PM
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allessence allessence is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Shade View Post
Thanks for the write up and drawings, I've never done a nail before

I better not let my dad find out about the sqaure shanks having extra holding power, he'll have me forging him a bucket full. I think the smallest nails we used building the barn were 20 penny ring shanks. Its fun when a horse chews a hole in the wall and you have to pull a dozen of those bastards to replace a board.
Those 20d's are a good work out with the hand hammer putting them in. I wouldn't want to pull any.

As to your Dad. If you think the 20D's are bad I've wrestled a time or 2 with some smaller hand forged 12D-16D's and let me tell you. I just usually snap the heads off then get out the special puller for tounge and groove boards.

You know the one that has a slide hammer on it with the big folding jaw.

At one point I had about 1/4 nail keg full. I was planning on building my own house and using only my stuff. Thanks goodness that one faded in the wind.

I'll post up some pictures of some finial product next week.
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Jennifer

If I defend myself I am attacked.

My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.

My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.

I'd like to think of something smart, but I don't want to hurt myself.

My google+ page

DoALL 36"
Another Johnson model J Project
Lathe? Maybe..... 1958 SBL 13"
Yeti Esseti Aka running welder on 3phase.
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  #9  
Old 04-22-2011, 02:08 PM
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allessence allessence is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JBFab View Post
I can honestly say I never put much thought into the history of something so simple as a nail. Great post!
Since you brought history up. Most of the nails in this country before the advent of rolling and slitting mills were made by women and children sitting around the fireplace at night.

They were given a nail makers anvil and stock and were paid piece work. One of the true cottage industries.


Wasn't until around 1810 that cut nail making machine was invented. Up to that point just about every nail made was done by hand.


http://www.tremontnail.com/about.htm
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Jennifer

If I defend myself I am attacked.

My meaningless thoughts are showing me a meaningless world.

My attack thoughts are attacking my invulnerability.

I'd like to think of something smart, but I don't want to hurt myself.

My google+ page

DoALL 36"
Another Johnson model J Project
Lathe? Maybe..... 1958 SBL 13"
Yeti Esseti Aka running welder on 3phase.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 04-22-2011, 05:49 PM
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cramd cramd is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allessence View Post
Those 20d's are a good work out with the hand hammer putting them in.
Just a slightly off topic gripe here, but I wouldn't know a 20d nail if I stepped on one with my bare foot.
I have never seen any nails sold by any hardware store in Canada that are labelled 20d; they are all labelled 4".
I am amazed that a system for selling nails, that was first used in England in the 15th century, is still in use today, anywhere. I much prefer the "this nail is 4" long,give me a couple pounds of them" system that is used in Canada.
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