Help to determine age
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Thread: Help to determine age

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  1. #1

    Dec 2013
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    Help to determine age

    I realize bolts arn't very exciting... But the amount of time I spend digging them up and cleaning them, I'd like to know .
    My question is how do I determine if they are hand hammered or just Really rusted and deteriorated.
    The first pic is the ones I assume to be hand hammered and aged 1835 or earlier. If you have info on that , I'd appreciate it.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Hand hammered 1835 and younger? ( based on info I got from antique dealer , that after 1835 they were molded)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now these ones, I would have assumed were tbe same... Until tbe head of the one got so thin and when filed, the larger one had what appears to be layers of metal.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The third shows the condition I find them in the center.
    I have so many from my property , but if these are say 1900's... I really would rather not take tbe time to clean them up. Is there any way to tell the time period?

  2. #2
    Charter Member

    Feb 2007
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    Just a couple of thoughts. . .

    Generally, when you can see the stratified layers in iron, it most likely was hot
    hammered and could quite possibly date around the early 1800's.

    However, folks that lived in rural areas were very resourceful. . . especially when it came to
    running out to the shed and forging a replacement spike or bolt for a piece of farm equipment.
    My great uncle had done this many times (mid 1920's) using his father's anvil and coal forge.

    When I find similar types of iron like you found, I can't help myself and I end up cleaning them
    because they do look neat when their cleaned up LOL.

    You might want to throw the ones you do find in a plastic bucket full of apple cider vinegar and forget about them
    for a couple of days and then, decide if you want to keep them.

    HH
    Pointman likes this.

  3. #3

    Dec 2013
    163
    109 times
    Quote Originally Posted by watercolor View Post
    Just a couple of thoughts. . . Generally, when you can see the stratified layers in iron, it most likely was hot hammered and could quite possibly date around the early 1800's. However, folks that lived in rural areas were very resourceful. . . especially when it came to running out to the shed and forging a replacement spike or bolt for a piece of farm equipment. My great uncle had done this many times (mid 1920's) using his father's anvil and coal forge. When I find similar types of iron like you found, I can't help myself and I end up cleaning them because they do look neat when their cleaned up LOL. You might want to throw the ones you do find in a plastic bucket full of apple cider vinegar and forget about them for a couple of days and then, decide if you want to keep them. HH
    What does stratified mean and do you see it in these bolts?

  4. #4
    us
    Jul 2012
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    Quote Originally Posted by MissIron.Maiden View Post
    What does stratified mean and do you see it in these bolts?
    Layers. Iron (and steel) gain their strength from being "folded" over and over in a forge. Swords and knives are made this way, and it's one way they can maintain a sharp edge.

    In his second picture, the bolt on the left has exposed folds.


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  5. #5
    stefen
    Square forged nails are still made and sold, primarily for restoration projects.

    I have a box somewhere in my garage shop...

 

 

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