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I Forge Iron

Nail-making tool


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Here's an idea I had for a tool to aid in nail-making. It incorporates ideas I've 'borrowed' from a number of sources.

Basically it's a piece of 50x50x6mm (2x2x1/4 inch) mild angle with angled slots filed into it. The bottom of each slot acts as a cutting edge and the top of the edge is recessed 1mm from the top of the tool. This prevents the nail being cut completely though, saving the nail, the tool's edge and the hammer's face. It also allows the tool to be left in the hardy-hole constantly, much safer than doing so with the hardy-cutter. At the opposite end a piece of 3mm (1.8 inch) mild is welded on, with a tapped hole in line with each cutting recess. In use a machine screw is inserted into each hole with a hex-nut jam-locking it into place, making for a simple but adjustable stop for faster, more accurate cutting. I have shown the tool with a piece of angle-iron welded on as a hard-shank but any suitable way of securing it would work.

I invite and welcome your comments and suggestions!


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Yes that is a good idea for free hand nail making.

For long runs of the same size I like to take the stock and cold cut at a predetermined length for a long length of nail rod. Then when the spike is hammered slip into header and it is already to snapoff and head. Avoids having a cut off tool as a part of the operation.

Your tool would be useful for a short run, 'before you can warm up its over' kind of thing

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The length of my nails vary somewhat and as the amount of untapered stock to leave for the head is the important dimension the length sizer wouldn't do much for me.

However the limited cutter would be very handy for my classes where the students have to make 2 nails as they have trouble cutting enough but not too much.

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Thanks for the comments chaps! I'll probably fab one up for myself as soon as I dig the arc-welder out from under a pile of steel...

Thomas, I 'borrowed' the idea from a cutter I was using last week at Finch Foundry. I guess they have it on hand because you never know what sort of reprobates might pick up a hammer there!

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