Site Map > A Nailer at Work

The ironworks set up at Bebside in 1736 concentrated on the production of nails and centred around a water-powered slitting mill on the bank of the river (which cut sheet iron into thin rods) and workshops at bank top (where the rods were worked up into nails).

The workman is in the early stages of producing a nail from a rod. The full process involved the heating of the rod in a hearth. This rod was pointed on the anvil (1) and nicked to the correct length. The rod was then pushed into a holder and broken away at the nick. The end of the rod, which stood proud of the holder, was roughly formed into a head with a hand hammer and finished with blows from the powered 'oliver' (2) held up by a wooden spring pole (3). The nail was then ejected and the process repeated.

  A Nailer at Work





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