Converting A Rasp To A Clinch Block

This tool-building exercise will also help you hone your welding skills

There is something special about making and using your own tools. That feeling may be lost a little for well-known tool makers such as Texas farrier Jim Poor and New Mexico shoer Jim Keith, but making a tool that I’ll use still gives me that tingly feeling.

The following project involves making a clinch block from a rasp. Making this clinch block will help develop your welding skills, as well as result in a very usable item. It is the sort of tool that you will never wear out, so if you do a good job, you will have a tool to last throughout your shoeing career.

Getting Started

To begin, heat the end of the rasp and bend about 2 inches over (Figure 1). I like to make the bend so that the rough side of the rasp is on the outside so the finished product will have a rougher texture. Once the 2 inches are bent all the way, apply flux (Figure 2). I use Borax when I use flux, although if you’re working in a coke fire, the flux is not absolutely necessary.

Heat to a welding heat. In coke, this will be a bright yellow, just before or at a lightly sparking metal. If you are doing this in a propane forge, heat until the metal disappears in the forge, but before the flux is no longer molten. It is a small window of opportunity, but welding is simply a matter of recognizing and using this…

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Chris Gregory

Chris Gregory is the owner of Heartland Horseshoeing School in Lamar, Mo., and a member of the International Horseshoeing Hall Of Fame.

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