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The farrier’s toolbox is critical to his or her livelihood. Quality tools should be built to last, but there are some things that farriers can do to extend — or shorten — the life of their tools. Dan Bradley, International Horseshoeing Hall of Fame member and a representative for GE Forge and Tool of Grover Beach, Calif., offered common-sense tips that he has found helpful with farriers gathered for a clinic and grand opening of Ocala’s Farrier Supply in Florida.
Any riveted tools, Bradley says, need to be kept lubricated. Based on shoeing five horses a day, 5 days a week, for 50 weeks a year, the number of times riveted tools will open and close over a 3-year period is significant. Hoof nippers will open and close approximately 195,000 times, clinchers 120,000; pull-offs 75,000 and crease nail pullers 20,000-90,000.
Extending the life of riveted tools is as simple is establishing a routine of regular cleaning with soap and water, and lubrication. A light coat of lubricant — 3-In-One Oil is Bradley’s go-to — is all that’s needed with most hand tools. Bradley cautions using too much can collect dirt.
Well-cared for tools make it easier for a farrier to make money. On the other hand, abusing tools can have costly consequences. Through normal use, tools wear down and become dull. When they need sharpening, Bradley advises getting educated or getting help. Many tools can be ruined by improper sharpening. A…