Nail headers of many sizes and style are used in the shop. We are making one in a late Colonial/early American style. It is made with a body of wrought iron and a smaller cap of hard steel welded to the face. The face is then punched with the hole needed for finishing the nail. We have about a dozen nail headers and many more used to make bolts and other hardware.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
The blacksmith shop at The Farmers' Museum follows tradition and makes its own tools. When Mr. Field built our shop in 1827, tool making was a normal part of a blacksmiths’ craft. We continue that today. One tool not often seen, but needed in our shop, is the nail header. A nail header is an iron bar with a tapered square or rectangular hole in it. It is used to hold the tapered square nail while the blacksmith flattens a head on the top. This finishes the nail. Since nails are made in many different thicknesses we make a variety of nail headers to hold them.