Fig1ab.jpg

Tool Prep Makes Your Job Easier

Investing just a few minutes to maintain your forging tools will save you time and frustration at the anvil

Tools are manufactured to make a job easier. Yet, when tools aren’t properly maintained, efficiency and performance can suffer. Investing a little time to keep your tools tuned up will go a long way toward helping you at work or while competing.

“Tools that aren’t tuned up just make your job so much harder,” says Matt Lybeck, a Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., farrier who was competing at the World Championship Blacksmith’s mid-April season opener in Madison, Wis. “Ten minutes spent on tools can save so much frustration later.”

Tapered Shoulders

Many wooden-handles are ground horizontally (Figure 1a above), which creates a sharp shoulder to accommodate the tool head (Figure 1b above).

Farrier Takeaways

  • A wooden handle that’s ground horizontally so that it has a shoulder is weaker and has a greater chance of failure.
  • A wooden handle that’s ground vertically has a continuous radius and allows the tool head to be tightened when wear inevitably occurs.
  • Tracing the eye on the wooden handle will help attain a more accurate shape when it comes time to grind the handle to fit.
  • Making forging tools double-ended reduces baggage weight when flying, not to mention that it boosts efficiency at the anvil by eliminating the need to search for a second tool.

“That sharp shoulder is just like having a cold shunt in your steel,” Lybeck says. “Your handle can snap off there.”

This type of design eventually will lead to an ill-fitting tool.

“After using it for a while, the tool…

To view the content, please subscribe or login.
 Premium content is for our Digital-only and Premium subscribers. A Print-only subscription doesn't qualify. Please purchase/upgrade a subscription with the Digital product to get access to all American Farriers Journal content and archives online.

Cota

Jeff Cota

Jeff Cota has been a writer, photographer and editor with newspapers and magazines for 30 years. A native of Maine, he is the Lead Content Editor of American Farriers Journal.

Top Articles

Current Issue

View More

Current Issue

View More

Must Read Free Eguides

Download these helpful knowledge building tools

View More
Top Directory Listings