Thread Rating:
  • 0 Vote(s) - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Windmill Riddle
So here was a head scratcher for me. The following came off of a windmill I was restoring. The old platform, from which the windmill head was serviced, was long ago shot being constructed of 1" thick pine boards nailed to angle iron. Here's a picture of the replacement platform:


The riddle concerns the original construction - nails were driven through holes in the angle iron and then through the 1" board - then clenched. The nails were old square nails. So how do you clinch a nail like this?

Is that a close up picture of normal sized nails or are they more like railroad spikes? If they are just normal nails bashing with a hammer would work.
Mike, I think the video posted by Mr. SteveG explains it. The nail can be clinched also by driving them against a very heavy hammer hold by a helper on the other side.

When the exposed length of the nail is cca 1" than its diameter is cca 0.1".


Yes the video does explain the principle Jan and I suspect you are correct in proposing how it was done from a practical standpoint .using two sledges. 
Turning the nail 180 degrees back on itself would be one matter but continuing the turn past 180 seemed a little trickier to me. 

The nails in the picture that I provided a picture of are hardly finish nails and they rolled up quite nicely. I wonder if the process might have been aided by the fact that they are of a softer metal and square? 

Small matters and questions often take up more of my time than they should. I appreciate the Exchange putting up with my neurosis.
Heat it up, grab the end with a pair of needle nose style pliers and turn?
That was my first thought.
I do a lot of curled rings of 1/4" rod for holding pen wire panels together. Once red, they get really maleable.
Mike, you might be correct!

I have read that in the past copper nails were used by manufacturing small boats. They used bucking iron at an angle on the other side to drive the curled nail point to re-enter the wood.


Very interesting , and quite the oddity to me, Mike. I may need to hike back to a windmill or two to get some collaboration.

You would be able to tell if the nails were copper or iron. If copper they'd be green. If iron, there would be positive indication had they been fired to malleability. Again, very groovy and interesting.

I'm guessing there was a windmill constructor that did things the way he saw efficient and correct, with the materials he commonly used.

I'm not sure if I'm missing something, but I don't understand clinching on the end of the nail. Why not clench them tight against wood? No idea. Just the way he did things. Fascinating. Best pun ever Wink

Forum Jump:

Users browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)