Heat Steel, Add Flux, Blend

Following a simple recipe will help you master forge welding

We have tackled forge welding before, but we wanted to do another article on this important skill for some of the novice shoers, as well as offering a fresh look at it for the more experienced hands.

With that in mind, I set out to do an article about a simple forge weld. This article is about the weld you would need for the bar of a straight-bar shoe.

Blacksmithing is a lot like cooking. If you were to take a recipe, handle the ingredients correctly with the right tools and equipment, you could make a good approximation of a chef’s fine meal. For forge welding, you need the following ingredients:

  • Steel: Can be bar stock or an old shoe. Avoid stainless steel or alloys.
  • Flux: Commercial fluxes stay molten for a longer period than Borax, but either can be used.
  • You will also need the following equipment:
  • Forge: Gas, coal or coke, just ensure that it is hot enough to weld. (You’ll want a yellow heat color.)
  • Hammer: Preferably one with good edges on the flat side (although this is not absolutely necessary).
  • Tongs: These need to fit the shoe or stock being used.
  • Anvil: This can be about any type of anvil.
  • Safety Glasses: You need to have clear glasses. Tinted lenses will make you see your heat color incorrectly. You may have trouble later interpreting the heat color if you learn with tinted lenses, then have to weld without them.

Preparation

Preheat your forge so that it…

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Chris_gregory

Chris Gregory

Chris Gregory is a Hall of Fame farrier and owner of Heartland Horseshoeing School in Lamar, Mo.

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