Throughout history people have wanted nice nails and they used whatever they could get their hands on to make them look good Marie Antoinette is said to have used pumice stone files to shape her fingernails but by the end of the 19th century metal nail files had become the norm metal nail files can be used to grind and shape fingernails with just a few strokes there abrasiveness is the secret to their popularity making metal nail file starts with a thick spool of stainless steel the steel is unwound at a steady pace a punch press wields 80 tons of hydraulic pressure to cut out nail file blanks the blanks are collected in a bin at the end of the cutting.
Machine they’re tipped into a mixture of water and polishing solution and bounced around with ceramic stones this smoothes the rough parts on the steel strips and cleans them the blanks then slide down a chute and into a dryer but instead of hot air this dryer uses a pulsating mass of hot corn grains the grains soak up any lingering liquid on the strips as the blanks exit some of the corn falls through a perforated conveyor belt to be reused on another batch the blanks continue on and London a bin ready for the next phase of production this is where the files get their distinctive abrasive grid cut into both sides it’s a three-stage process first the blank is placed under a sharp tool angled at 52 degrees the tool pounds the blank repeatedly to cut angle grooves into it here it is before and after the first card the cutting.
Tool is then changed and it carves over the first cuts on the opposite angle the third cut goes straight across the other to the ridges and valleys created by the cross cuts make the surface of the black sharp cutting the grid bends the still pliable steel out of shape so the nail file is bent in the opposite direction using a round form as a guide this restores their straight profile the carving process also causes the steel to bulge at the edges so the ground against a fine abrasive sanding belt to make the edges smooth again next the files are placed together in a tray and the tray is put in a furnace the files bake for an hour at a thousand.
Degree Celsius the intense heat begins to alter the physical properties of the steel and it’s the first phase of a hardening process when the hour is up the red-hot tray of nail files is taken out of the oven using tongs and then immersed in a vat of cold saltwater this is called quenching the shock of the quench completes the hardening process shielded by an enclosure each nail file is Sun busted to remove stains left by the hardening process and to make the steel around the triple cut grid shinier the handle end of the nail file is placed beneath the plastic stencil a stamp applies acid to the open areas of the stencil to etch brand information onto it some nail files have plastic handles to make them this machine melts plastic and injects it into molds the handles are stuck together by hardened flow lines or runners a few tumbles in this revolving drum knocks off the runners separating the handles from them each handle is placed under an automated printing.
Head that soaks up ink from a pant and then stamps brand information onto the plastic at another station the end of each metal nail file is heated up using copper elements the hot metal is inserted into the plastic sleeve and the plastic melts lightly to bond to the metal and you could say we’ve nailed it