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SPLIT-WEDGE BAR SHOE: This shoe should be forged from 1/4-by-1-inch flat stock. The shoe width is 5 inches and should be punched for a City 5 nail.
This year the folks at Calgary have thrown a really fun shoe into the Calgary Mail-In Forging Exercise. Making the split-wedge bar shoe will test your abilities as it increases your skill level.
I first saw this shoe in Jim Keith’s shop in Tucumcari, N.M., about 10 years ago. It fascinated me and I made several of them to help me figure it out. Back then, I was making the shoe with two welds at the heel of the shoe. Later, I tried welding at the toe and just splitting the back without having to make the two welds. Both ways work, but I found the second method to be a little easier, as well as more consistent.
I have used this shoe on a horse, but found that the split section was a little narrow for use as a wedge in most terrain. As a result, the heels sink into the ground, minimizing the amount of wedge you can achieve. On solid ground, it supports the weight of the horse and therefore works as a wedge. As with all contest shoes, you learn more about how to make it if you actually apply it to a foot.
This shoe has only one dimension to worry about. We have to make the width 5 inches. There is no requirement for…