They wouldn't have to be fresh. In fact, if they are old and dry, it
is better to soak them long enough to soften the meats so they don't
shatter in the cracking process.
To crack, I squeeze it the both wide and narrow way, and sometimes end
for end if it is not falling apart from the first two squeezes. After
the first operation I hold the nut
together with thumb and forefinger so it doesn't fall down into the
vice. I then remove the meats that are loose. My no pick method now
comes into play and may take a little practice.
It consists of positioning the smaller pieces one at a time in the
vice in such way that the remaining nuts can be freed without
smashing. It will often be necessary to balance two sharp
points on either jaw of the vice so neither slips and applies cracking
pressure evenly. Here especially you need the cross hatching on the
jaws of a mechanic's vice.
Hope this helps.
On Oct 17, 2011, at 9:14 AM, Cordesview wrote: