Welding Aluminum In A Coke Fire

There are subtle differences when using this type of fuel

While there aren't a lot of farriers who still haul around a coke-fueled forge in their rigs, they are still found in a lot of farrier shops.

When welding aluminum using a coke fire, it’s important to be aware of a few basic differences from the process we looked at last issue (“Simplifying Aluminum Welding,” American Farriers Journal, May/June, 2002,).

Getting Started

For this exercise, we’re going to be building an aluminum egg bar shoe. Once again, we’ll begin by cutting a piece of stock to the desired length. I’m using 15 inches of 3/8-by-1-inch aluminum. With the egg bar, there will be no need to lay out the shoe with center punch marks since the weld will end up being at the toe of the shoe.

Heat the entire piece of stock and brush (Figure 1). I tend to brush aluminum more while working in coke fire because there is a greater chance of driving particles into the piece with this type of fuel.

Forge a bend roughly in the center (Figures 2 and 3). This is not a toe bend, since the toe of the shoe will be where it is welded.

Bend the branches around the horn and put a steep bevel on the inside edges of the stock for the scarf (Figures 4 and 5). Place the pieces over each other (Figures 6 and 7). This is opposite of what I did for the straight bar in the May/June issue. This is to show you that…

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Chris Gregory

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

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