All the wrecking bars produced by Svedbro Smide are forged by hand, and so a wrecking bar is only as good as its smith. The unadulterated forged surface is a guarantee of the smith’s skill and the quality of the wrecking bar. Any piecework arrangements have been scrapped so that the smiths can put more time into forging a good wrecking bar, removing the need for the excessive post-production work that other manufacturers might use to conceal faults in their forging. At Svedbro Smide, the forging is allowed to take its time.
Forging and grinding
A specially alloyed steel is heated to around 1,200°C, at which point the steel turns a reddish yellow. The smith handles the hot, glowing steel quickly and skilfully, rolling it out into hexagonal bars. When the bars are ready, the steel is heated up again, so the smith can fashion the claw and chisel ends, and then the steel is hung up to cool. Once the steel has cooled, the claw and chisel ends are ground down and then the piece is heated once more, so the smith can bend the swan neck.
The press used operates at a rate of around 80 strikes per minute, with a force of about 180 tonnes each time. The smith finishes his work by stamping the Svedbro Smide insignia below the nail claw, as a declaration that the wrecking bar has been well made and approved. The approved wrecking bar is then hung up to cool.
Tempering, tumbling and finishing
Once the wrecking bar has been fully forged, the whole piece is tempered by heating it to around 860°C and then quickly cooling it in cold water. The tempering process makes the steel harder. It is important that the whole wrecking bar is tempered, since this strengthens the sprung properties, amongst other things. Some spring in the wrecking bar makes it more durable. Oil or lead can be used as an alternative to water for cooling. However, Svedbro Smide only uses water, as the most eco-friendly option.
Once the wrecking bar has cooled, a further quality control is carried out to check that no cracks have formed in the steel, and that the forging and tempering have been done correctly, so the wrecking bar is fully up to standard.
After tempering, the wrecking bar is tumbled to remove forging burrs on the surface and to make the surface more resistant to rust. After tumbling, the steel is tested to check that it is neither too hard or too soft.
The last stage begins with the fine grinding and polishing of the claw and chisel ends. It is highly important that the chisel and claw are correctly ground. Both ends of the bar are thinly ground and have wide, polished tips for ease of insertion under boards, while minimising damage to the surface providing the fulcrum. The nail claw has a precision angled V-slot design to allow nails to be pulled regardless of their size and head shape. Finally the wrecking bar is painted blue.
Every wrecking bar is quality controlled before it leaves the forge to make absolutely sure that there are no defects. All Svedbro Smide’s wrecking bars carry a 20 year guarantee.