Tips for Drilling and Tapping Horseshoes

Save time and money by employing better practices in a deceptively difficult approach

Farrier Takeaways

  • It’s important to limit run-out of the drill bit when drilling and tapping horseshoes. Excess run-out decreases a drill bit’s lifespan and results in oversize or out of round holes
  • A drill jig provides a level surface for the shoe that clears the clips and provides stability to prevent rotating and the drill bit from catching.
  • Alignment in the hole is the most important factor in preventing broken taps. Using plug, spiral point taps in a tap chuck allows the tap to self-align, as long as you are close due to the taper shape of the tap.

Drilling and tapping are skills that are often taken for granted by farriers. It seems so simple that most farriers don’t think much about it at all.

In reality, the motions are simple, but it’s a technically complex process. A little bit of time spent on fine-tuning your process can save you time and money.

Setting Up a Drill Press

Taking care in setting up your press will make the job easier. When setting up a drill press, we are concerned about two things — run-out and rigidity.

Run-out. This occurs when the drill bit does not spin perfectly on the axis. Usually, this is the result of the drill bit being slightly crooked relative to the spindle. The longer the drill bit or the farther out in the chuck it’s held, the worse the run-out becomes.

Every drill press has some degree of run-out. High-quality drill presses generally have less…

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Ryen carlson

Ryen Carlson

Ryen Carlson is a farrier based in Manassas, Va. He owns and operates Distal Steel.

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