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Hand-forged nails

I need a step by step description of how a blacksmith makes hand forged nails!  Thanks a bunch!

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A simplified answer is that you start with a square rod, taper the end, nick off the nail with a cut-off hardy tool so the nail is almost separated from the stock, insert into a nail header, bend and twist to make it break off, then place the nail header on the anvil over the pritchel or hardy holes and hammer down the head from 4 sides, putting 4 faces on the head (forming a flat pyramid top to the nail.

Nails should be made in one heat - but it takes time an practice to do that consistently.

This page by Pete Stanaitis has some good instructions if you want to get even further into the step by step details of the process:


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