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I Forge Iron

Nutcracker question...


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Anyone know if there's a practical reason why the working area of a traditional nutcracker is behind the hinge rather than in front of it like a set of tongs? If there's a functional reason then maybe I'll revise my christmas gift plans. Will pick up some nuts on the way home and test them out.

Otherwise I think most of the kinfolk would like the miniature tongs type nutcracker I'm planning since it looks a lot like my BS'ing tongs. In reviewing the BP for a nutcracker I was reminded about the meat picks and will do those too since they're so quick and easy. Time's short, everyone better get a crackin' on those presents. I know I'm behind the 8-ball this year.

ML

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the reason the working is done behind the pivot is becasue there is more force there. so you don't have to squeeze as hard to make them work more efficiently.
but i have used "tong" type as well and they work fine.

Son Daughtry


Like Son says, easy workings. I assume you are talking about the chrome colored V shape we are all accustomed to seeing, machine made. When did these come into being the commonly seen item, after WWII?
What was around before that?Dan. There ain't no smily face for just me looking stupid, so just picture me looking stupid.
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aaron,
the physics behind it is simple. It is two basic levers. if you think about it in it most simple form, it's like the pivot being the fulcrum and legs being the lever itself and your hand being the force. it's more efficient to the nut BEHIND the fulcrum instead of in front of it becasue...the pivot acts as a stop so your not actualy using the pivot as a pivot...your using it as a place where the two legs are connected and won't come un-connected. if you think about it in terms of pieces...why use three pieces meaning the legs the fulcrum and the force...in stead of just two the fulcrum and the force. it's more efficiant and takes less materials to make. and when you think about it simply it makes sence.

Son

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Well, I bought some mixed nuts on the way home from work last night. I need to make the jaws open a little farther for the larger walnuts. Pecans, Brazil nuts, almonds, and those little round super hard ones (have no idea what they're called) all worked really nice. Will also make a couple of other modifications to the design, one being no "set" transition at the back of the boss. That created a weak spot that I can bend with some amount of effort. On the next set I'll just leave it full thickness and start the taper for the reins at that point. I think I'll get to play in the shop tonight so I'll see if I can't take a pic or two to post up. When you're used to working with 1/2" + material it's kind of surprising how fast you can move 3/8" square. Kind of fun actually.

Mr. Turner... You da man if you crack brazil nuts by hand. I doubt my granny can do it though, so I'll keep trying to work out just the right tong/nut cracker for the rest of the family.



McL

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The black walnuts are a little tough to crack by hand, but the English walnuts can be cracked faster by hand than by using a nut cracker.

Save the shells. The shells are an excellent material for starting a fire in the forge.

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That's what they are. Thanks Thomas. Son, I'm not sure I buy the physics description. The leverage is related to the proportional length from the pivot of both sides of the fulcrum. Whether they're both on the same side of the fulcrum or opposite sides makes no difference. Although I can see how it takes less material, and in today's mass production world that is important to manufacturers. The one explanation I can come up with right now for the straight nutcrackers is that you have a great size range for a given length of tool. Unless you made the jaw part of the tongs style as long as the handles you don't get as great of maximum opening while maintaining a nearly zero closure. I think I get to play in the shop tonight so I'll goof around with a couple possible modifications. I know have nuts to experiment with.

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