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Nail Header
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Title: Nail Header
Identifier: X964.100.48
Donor: Marjorie Twitchell
Item Date: 1850-1950
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Bradley Museum

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Description: Cast iron nail header made out of a long rectangular bar that has holes at regular distances but of different sizes, 5 round, 1 square. Narrows at one end, top corners cut off.

In Blacksmithing, a nail header is a tool with a square tapered hole in the top of a domed piece of metal. A piece of bar stock is forged to a square taper the length you want the nail to be. The taper is then inserted into the header and a mark is placed on the stock at approximately 1 1/2 times it's thickness beyond the header. This material will be used to form the head. The stock is then cut part way through at the mark and bent at about a 90 degree angle. It is then set in the fire point up to prevent burning it off. Once the stock is at a forging temperature, the nail is placed in the header, the excess stock broken off, and with a heavy blow, the head is set down. The dome shape then allows for angled blows to form the facets commonly seen on hand forged nails. The same or similar process is followed for rivet heading.

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   Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN)
   Virtual Museum of Canada