Mike Dawson

Modified Tools Make Life Easier

Simple alterations save steps, improve efficiency

Like many other farriers, Mike Dawson of Las Vegas, Nev., has modified a few tools to make his shoeing go better. “I’m not really that inventive and I don’t like to build things from scratch,” he says. “Therefore I just take existing products and modify them to fit my needs.”

Here’s a look at a few of those modifications.

Forearm Nail Holder:

Dawson has turned a rifleman’s arm bandolier into a shoeing nail holder. The armband, which fits on the farrier’s forearm, was designed to hold extra rounds for a sport shooter. It’s made from an expandable material that fits snugly around the forearm and fastens around the arm with Velcro. The outside of the band has five affixed loops for extra rounds.

Dawson has filled the loops with a sprayed silicone gel. Once the silicone has set, he pushes several nails into each loop, where he can easily retrieve them. He thinks it’s much safer than holding the nails in his mouth and prefers the armband to a magnet.

Vise-Grips Shoe Holder

Another modified tool that helps save Dawson time and energy is a pair of Vise-Grips that’s he’s modified to hold a shoe in place while he does his grinding work. Dawson welded a 1-inch-by-1-inch-square block of stock to the bottom of a pair of Vise-Grips. The square block is sized to slide snugly into his anvil’s hardie hole. This gives him a portable clamping device that he can easily affix to his anvil to grind or safe…

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