Sunday, January 5, 2014

A New Tool: Nail Header

On this chilly Sunday afternoon, I write about something I've derived much pleasure from!
You may remember that in a previous post, I wrote about a demonstrator and the nail header tool he made, as well as a nail that he passed around. Well, although it is to some a mundane task, I have always been intrigued by one of the prime blacksmithing exercises.


So, I made myself a Nail Header!
Two, actually.
The first I began with a piece of 1060 steel. I beat it into shape:


Moving that metal was tough! It was the same stuff that I made my hot-cut hardy out of. Its really very tough, even with a 4-lb hammer. 


This was the first one, and the square punched hole is off center and crooked, which detracts from the overall quality of the header. 


It is beefy, but I may have to take it out and reforge a little bit. 


It is punched 3/4 of the way through, and then drilled out the back to allow the nail's shank to freely fall out of the header. Because the hole is punched off-center, it sticks a little bit. But it way my first, and I'm allowed mistakes, right?

The second is much better! 
I made it from a Railroad Spike: 

I cut off the head, and flattened the area a bit. I then rounded the spike portion of the metal, and drew the whole thing out a little bit. 
Here it is, post-forging and post-wire brush.
Again, punched from the top, almost all the way through, and then drilling the rest of the way. 




And now, NAILS! 

And, for these, I didn't quite "nail it", since I was new at the whole thing. It really helped me with my square tapers, though. Good practice! 

This is my best one!!!!





An ugly bunch, I know. I need to work on that.....



Ew. Ugly. But, its tough, there is only so much heat when it is in the lower 20 degrees F.


This nail header, I might add, is on sale from Craigslist, because I am a poor college student.

Happy Hammering, and Happy New Year!




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