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I Forge Iron

Crack problem


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Hi. A contractor just dumped a large box of nails in front of my home. Couldn't let them go to waste :D. So, I had to figure out what to use them for. They are very lightly galvanized, and do not smoke when they are burned off in a gas forge. Alternatively, a dilute muriatic acid wash strips off the coating in a few minutes.

The problem is that they have two heads. The normal head is not a problem, but they have a second head about 1/2" down from the first head. Yup, you guessed it. :mad: I cannot drive this ridge back down without creating an annoying cold shut. These nails make great heart charms, and the first head tapers well, and any cold shuts are fixed by the faggot weld. But the second head will create a cold shut. OK, more correctly, the blacksmith with poor hammer control will create the cold shut. These will disappear, but reappear when the heart is finished. And the women hate them. They say it looks like heartbreak :o

Yesterday, I tried an experiment. I forged down a couple nails, and stressed them to failure. First, I noticed that if I did it hot and carefully, the cold shut would appear for just an instant just as the second head was disappearing. Then, the cold shut would disappear. Apparently, it was submerged below the surface of the metal, or it had just closed and become invisible. When the metal was broken, the break would always appear at the location of the cold shut, and it would present a crystalline fracture surface through nearly the entire cross section of the piece. This indicates that the cold shut is fairly shallow, but quite serious. Would a touch with the grinder be appropriate at this point?

I know; I should use these nails for their intended purpose, but I don't do much carpentry. I'm also afraid I might hit my thumb with the hammer.

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Hmmm, cutting the head off? That's a good idea. I never thought of that. They are kind of short for a heart charm if the head is cut off. I tried to weld them so that the second head is at the weld, so there is no cold shut, but then the stem is too long. But, in this case the heart is still decent sized, so the cut off idea may work out after all.

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You could grind off the lower head; but at that you would probably be better off buying new nails without the problem saving both grinding time, electricity and grinding medium.

I will *NEVER* give a child anything that could be considered a weapon even in miniature at a demo. Liability gives me the cold shakes!

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