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Webster Family Library of Veterinary Medicine • 
Cummings School ot Veterinary fVledicine at 
Tufts University 
200 Westboro Road 
North Grafton, MA 01 536 


Modern Blacksmithing 





Timttb /IDan^ iFllusttattons 





. COPYRIGHT, 1904 



Frontispiece 3 

The Smith 10 

The Shop 32 

The Anvil 33 

Tool Table 35 

The Sledge 38 

Blacksmith's Tongs 39 

Hammers , 42 

Wrenches 46 

Correct Position at the Anvil 50 

Water Tuyer 53 

Blowers 54 

Standing Coulter 60 

Holstrom Tire Holder \ 81 

Tire m Sections 83 

Axle and Gather Grange 86 

John Deere, Inventor of Plows 89 

Plow of 200 years ago 93 

Plowshares 95-1 12 

Japanese Plow 105 

Bench for Holding Plows 106 

Tube for Welding 128 




Tube Expander 129 

The Horse 133 

Horse Shoes 134 to 157 

Foot, The Natural 147 

Foot Prepared for Cartier Tips 150 

Foot Shod with Cartier Tips 150 

Ring Bone 154 

Anatomy of the Foot 154 

Clamping Iron 156 

Sand Crack Clamps 157 

Cracked Walls 157 

Quarter Crack 157 

Easy Position for Finishing . , 161 

Spavin , 168 

Lathe, The , , 184 


^HAT prompted the author to prepare this 
book was the of t - repeated question, by 
blacksmiths and mechanics of all kinds, as 
well as farmers: "Is there a book treating 
on this or that?" etc., etc. To all these 
queries I was compelled to answer in the negative, 
for it is a fact that from the time of Cain, the first 
mechanic, there has never been a book written by 
a practical blacksmith on subjects belonging to his 
trade. If, therefore, there has ever been such a thing 
as "filling a long-felt want," this must certainly be a 
cas3 of that kind. 

In medicine we find a wide difference of opinion, 
even amongst practitioners of the same school, in 
treating diseases. Now, if this is so where there is a 
system, and authority for the profession, how much 
more so must there be a difference of opinion in a 
trade where every practitioner is his own authority. 
I shall, therefore, ask the older members of the black- 
smith fraternity to be lenient in their judgment if my 
ideas don't coincide with theirs. To the apprentice 



and journeyman I would say: do as I do until you find 
a better way. 

The author has been eminently successful in his 
practice, and his ideas have been sought by others 
wherever he has been, blacksmiths coming even from 
other States to learn his ways. 

This little book is fresh from the anvil, the author 
taking notes during the day while at work, compiling 
the same into articles at night. 

He is indebted to a number of writers for article'^ in 
this book treating on subjects belonging to their 
trades, in which they have been regarded as expert ', 

iWow there was no smith foutid in all the land of Israel. — 

/ Sajn. ij.'ig. 



OR centuries the blacksmith has been 
a prominent person, and it is 
natural he should have been, when 
we consider the variety of work 
he had to do. From the heavy 
axle and tire, down to the smallest 
rivet in the wagon, they were all 
made by the smith. Bells and 
bits as well as the ornamental 
parts of the harness, they were all made by the smith. 
From the crowbar and spade down to the butcher and 
pocket knife, they were all made by the smith. The 
carpenter's tools, from the broadax and adz down to 
the divider and carving steel, they were all made by 
the smith. From the heavy irons in the fireplace down 
to the frying-pan and locks on the kitchen doors; 
knives and forks on the dining-table, they were all 
made by the smith. From the gun on the shoulder of 
the soldier and the saber in the hands of the officer, 
the spurs and pistol for the commander, they were all 
made by the smith. From the heavy anchor and its 



chain to the smallest pulley in the rigging of the ship, 
they were all made by the smith. 

From the weather vane on the church spire, and 


the clock in the tower down to the lock of the doora 
'and the artistic iron cross over the graves in the 
church yard, they were all made by the smith. No 
wonder, then, that the smith was respected. Vulgar 


people swear by the devil, religious by the saints, 
but the Swedes (the makers of the best iron) prefer 
to swear by the smith. The smith was a well-liked 
j^erson in society, respected and even admired for his 
skill, his gentlemanly behavior and good language. 
His stories and wit were the sole entertainment in 
many a social gathering. Things have changed in the 
last few decades. Most of the articles formerly made 
by the smith are now manufactured by machinery, 
and the respect for the smith is diminished in the same 
proportion. Not because there is not enough of the 
trade left to command respect — there is yet more left 
than any man can successfully learn in a short life- 
time. But it has made it possible for men with less 
training and ability to enter the trade and consequently 
lower the standing of the smith. The result is, that 
there is a complaint that the smith is not esteemed as 
formerly, and I have been inclined to join in the 
lamentation. But instead of doing this I shall ask my 
brother smiths to unite with me in an effort to elevate 
the craft. 


I have had the pleasure of becoming acquainted with 
a great number of intelligent and respected smiths. 
People that did not know them would ask: "What is 
he?" and when informed that he is a blacksmith would 
say: "He doesn't look it; I thought he was a business 
man"; another, "He looks like a lawyer or a minis- 


ter. ' ' From this you will understand how, in many- 
cases, the blacksmith looks. A great preacher was 
announced to preach in a neighboring town, and I 
went to hear him. Just as I sat down in the pew one 
of the local smiths walked up to me and sat down by 
my side. He was a blacksmith and he "looked it." 
Under his eyes was a half moon in black; on both 
sides of his nose was a black stripe that had been 
there since his first day in the shop. His ears, well, 
you have seen a clogged-up tuyer iron. His clothes 
were shabby and his breath a strong mixture of 
tobacco and whisky, which made wrinkles on the nose 
of the lady in front of us. I was somewhat embar- 
rassed, but the sermon began. As the congregation 
arose, I opened the hymnbook and my brother smith 
joined, and with a hand that looked like the paw of a 
black bear, he took hold of the book. 

After service I was invited by the smith to dinner. 
Between a number of empty beer kegs we managed to 
reach the door of the house and everything inside 
looked the color of his trade. I looked around for 
books and other articles of culture and found a hand 
organ and a pack of cards. The only book or reading 
matter to be found was a weekly of the kind that tells 
of prize fights, train robberies and murder. I had a 
fair dinner and told my host that I had to start for 
home. By this time I was sick of his language — pro- 
fanity, mixed with a few other words — and I started to 
leave. On my way to the livery stable I passed my 
friend's shop, and he said it would not be fair to leave 
before I had seen his shop. "I have," said he, **a 


very good shop." The shop was a building of rough 
boards 18x20 — the average farmer has a better wood 
shed. A big wood block like the chopping block in a 
butcher shop, was placed so close to the forge that he 
could only get edgewise between. On this block was 
to be found, anvil and all his tools, the latter were few 
and primitive, and would have been an honor to our 
father Cain, the first mechanic and blacksmith. What 
thinkest thou, my brother smith? Having spent years 
to learn the trade you must submit to a comparison 
with smiths of this caliber. Their work being inferior 
they must work cheap, and in some, perhaps many, 
cases set the price on your work. Smiths of this kind 
cannot expect to be respected. There might be some 
show for them in Dawson City or among the natives 
in that vicinity, but not in civilized America. 




NE of the chief reasons why 
the blacksmith is not so 
successful nor respected 
as before is his intemper- 
ance. The danger for 
the smith becoming a 
drunkard is greater 
than for any other me- 
chanic. It is often the case 
.^ that when a customer pays a 
bill the smith is requested to 
treat. This is a bad habit 
md quite a tax on the smith. 
Just think of it — fifteen cents a day 
spent for liquor, will, in twenty-five years, amount to 
$9,000. Then add to this fifteen cents a day for cigars, 
which will, in twenty-five years, amount to $9,000 at 
ten per cent compound interest. If these two items 
would be saved, it will give a man a farm worth 
$18,000 in twenty-five years. How many smiths are 
there who ever think of this? I would advise every 
one to put aside just as much as he spends for. liquor 
and tobacco ; that is, when you buy cigars or tobacco 
for twenty-five cents put aside as much. When you 
buy liquor for one dollar put aside one dollar. Try 


this for one year and it will stimulate to continual 
effort in that direction. The best thing to do is to 
"swear off" at once, and if you must have it, take it 
out of business hours. Politely inform your friends 
that you must stop, or it will ruin you. If you drink 
with one you must drink with another, and the oppor- 
tunity comes too often. When you have finished some 
difficult work you are to be treated; when you trust 
you are to be treated; when you accommodate one 
before another you are to be treated ; when you order 
the stock from the traveling man you are to be treated. 
Some smiths keep a bottle in a corner to draw custom- 
ers by ; others tap a keg of beer every Saturday for the 
same purpose. No smith will ever gain anything by 
this bad practice. He will only get undesirable cus- 
tomers, and strictly temperance people will shun him 
for it. What he gains on one side he will lose on 
another. Besides this he will in the long run ruin 
himself physically and financially. Let the old smith 
quit and the apprentice never begin this dangerous 
habit. A smith that is drunk or half drunk cannot do 
his duty to his customers, and they know it, and prefer 
to patronize a sober smith. 




RUE religion is also an up- 
lifting factor, and must, if 
accepted, elevate the man. 
I cannot too strong- 
ly emphasize this 
truth. Every smith 
should connect 
himself with some 
branch of the 
church and be punc- 
tual in attendance to the same. There is a great deal 
of difference between families that enjoy the Christian- 
izing, civilizing and uplifting influence of the church 
and those outside of these influences. The smith out- 
side of the church, or he who is not a member thereof 
will, in many cases, be found on Sundays in his shop 
or loafing about in his everyday clothes, his wife and 
children very much like him. The church member — 
his wife and children, are different. Sunday is a great 
day to them. The smith puts on his best clothes, wife 
and children the same. Everything in and about the 
house has a holiday appearance and the effect on them 
of good music and singing, eloquent preaching, and 
the meeting of friends is manifested in their language, 


in their lofty aims, and benevolent acts. Sunday is 
rest and strength to them. 

Brother smiths, six days a week are enough for work. 
Keep the Sabbath and you will live longer and better. 


Another reason the smith of to-day is not respected 
is his incompetency. 

When a young man has worked a few months in a 
shop, he will succeed in welding a toe calk on a horse- 
shoe that sometimes will stay, and at once he begins 
to think he knows it all. There will always be some 
fool ready to flatter him, and the young man believes 
that he is now competent to start on his own hook. 
The result is, he hangs out his shingle, begins to prac- 
tice horse-shoeing and general blacksmithing, and he 
knows nothing about either. Let me state here that 
horse-shoeing is a trade by itself, and so is black- 
smithing. In the large cities there are blacksmiths 
who know nothing about horse-shoeing, as well as 
horse-shoers who know nothing about blacksmithing, 
except welding on toe calks, and in many instances 
even that is very poorly done. In small places it is 
different. There the blacksmith is both blacksmith 
and horse-shoer. Sometimes you will find a black- 
smith that is a good horse-shoer, but you will never 
find a horse-shoer that is a good blacksmith. This is 
not generally understood. To many blacksmithing 


seems to mean only horse-shoeing, and our trade 
journals are nut much better posted. Whenever a 
blacksmith is alluded to, or pictured you will always 
find a horse-shoe in connection with it. Yet there are 
thousands of blacksmiths that never made a horse-shoe 
in all their lives. Horse-shoeing has developed to be 
quite a trade, and if a man can learn it in a few years 
he will do well. I would not advise any young" man 
to start out for himself with less than three or four 
years' experience. - Every horse-shoer should make an 
effort to learn blacksmithing. He will be expected to 
know it, people don't know the difference; besides this, 
it will, in smaller cities, be hard to succeed with horse- 
shoeing alone. On the other hand, every blacksmith 
should learn horse-shoeing, for the same reasons. 
Therefore, seven or even ten years is a short time to 
learn it in. But, who has patience and good sense 
enough to persevere for such a course, in our times, 
when everybody wants to get to the front at once? 
Let every young man remember that the reputation 
you get in the start will stick to you. Therefore be 
careful not to start before you know your business, 
and the years spent in learning it will not be lost, but 
a foundation for your success. Remember, that if a 
thing is not worth being well done it is not w^orth being 
done at all. It is better to be a first-class bootblack 
or chimney sweep, than be a third-class o£ anything 

Don't be satisfied by simply being able to do the 
work so as to pass, let it be first class. Thousands of 
mechanics are turning out work just as others are 


doing it, but you should not be satisfied to do the 
work as others are doing it, but do it right. 


The blacksmiths and horse-shoers have at last put 
the thinking cap on, for the purpose of bettering their 
condition. So far nothing has been accomplished, but 
I am sure it will, in the long run, if they only keep at 
it. We are now living in the license craze age. From 
the saloon keeper down to the street peddler, they all 
howl for license, and unreasonable as it is, thousands 
of sensible men will cling to it in hopes that it will 

We are, more or less, one-idea men, with fads and 
whims. Nations and organizations are just like indi- 
viduals, ready to fall into a craze and we see it often. 
It is natural when we consider that nations and organ- 
izations are simple one man repeated so many times. 

Simply look at the hero-worshiping craze went 
through at the close of the Spanish war. First, Lieu- 
tenant Hobson was the idol, and great was he, far off 
in Cuba. But, coming home, he made himself obnox- 
ious on a tour through the country, and the worshipers 
were ashamed of their idol, as well as of themselves. 
Admiral Dewey was the next hero to be idolized, and 
he, too, was found wanting. 

Physicians have their favorite prescriptions, min- 
isters their favorite sermons. Politicians have their 


tariff and free trade whims, their gold or silver craze. 
Mechanics have their one ideal way of doing their 
work. I know horse-shoers that have such faith in 
bar shoes that they believe it will cure everything from 
contraction to heaves. Others have such a faith in 
toe weight that they will guarantee that in a horse 
shod this way the front quarters will run so fast that 
they must put wheels under the hind feet to enable 
them to keep up with the front feet; and in a three- 
mile race the front quarters will reach the stables in 
time to feed on a peck of oats before the hind quarters 
catch up. 

In some States there is a union craze. All that 
these schemes will do is to prepare the legislatures for 
the legislation that will some day be asked of them. 
Unions have been organized and the objections are 
the same. I object to all these schemes because they 
fall short of their purpose. 

Two years ago the horse-shoers of Minnesota asked 
the legislature to give them a license law. I wrote to 
a prominent member of the house of representatives 
and asked him to put his influence against the meas- 
ure. He did so, with the result that the bill was 
killed so far as the counties and smaller towns were 
concerned. Such a law will only provide for an extra 
tax on the poor smiths and horse-shoers, and his 
chances of making a living will not be bettered, 
because no one will be shut out, no matter how 




It deprives him of the means whereby to raise himself. Such a 

law will only create offices to grease the machinery 

for the political party in power. 

'HE only thing that will ever 
elevate the standard of work- 
manship is education, educa- 
tion and nothing but edu- 
cation. Give us a law that 
will provide for a certain 
degree of education before 
a boy is allowed to serve 
as an apprentice ; and that 
he will not be allowed to 
start out for himself until 
he has served the full term, both as an apprentice and 
journeyman And if intemperate, no diploma shall be 
issued to him. I see now that I was right when I 
opposed this law. The horse-shoers of Minnesota are 
now kicking and cursing the examining board. The 
National Convention of horse-shoers whigh was held in 
Cincinnati passed resolutions which were ordered 
transmitted to the governor of Illinois, requesting that 
the board of examiners now authorized to grant 


licenses to horse-shoers in that State, be changed, as 
"The board has failed to accomplish the purpose for 
which it was instituted — the elevating of the standard 
of workmanship of horse-shoers of that State. ' ' Unions 
are all right in every place where there is only one 
smith, let that smith unite with himself to charge a 
living price for his work and he is all right. Where 
there are more than one smith unions will only help 
the dishonest fellow. Such unions live but for a short 
time and then the smiths knife each other worse than 

In hard times (and hard times are now like the 
poor, "always with us,") a lot of tinkers start in the 
shoeing and blacksmith business. If they could make 
a dollar a day in something else they would stay out, 
but this being impossible, they think it better to try at 
the anvil. For them to get anything to do without 
cutting prices is out of the question, and so the cutting 
business begins, and ends when the regular smith has 
come down to the tinker's price. To remedy this we 
must go to the root of the evil. First, political agita- 
tion against a system whereby labor is debased. 

This is a fact, in spite of all prosperity howling. 
Whenever there is trouble between labor and capital 
we will always find the whole machinery of the gov- 
ernment ready to protect capital. The laboring men 
will not even be allowed to meet, but will be dispersed 
like so many dogs. They are the mob ! But the 
capitalists, they are gentlemen! When the .govern- 
ment wants a tailor for instructor in our Indian schools, 
or a blacksmith for the reservation, they get about 


00.00 per year. But, when a ward-heeler wants 
office he must have $5,000 per year. What induce- 
ment is it, under such conditions, for a young- man to 
learn a trade? Laboring men, wake up! 

But, as this will bring us into politics I shall leave 
this side of the question, for it w^ould do no good. 
Thomas Jefferson, in the Declaration of Independence 
said: "Mankind are more disposed to suffer, while 
the evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by 
abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." 
The laboring people will, in my judgment, suffer quite 
a while yet. In the meantime let ns build up a fra- 
ternity on the ruins of the ancient guilds. Between 
the twelfth and the fifteenth centuries mechanics of 
all kinds prospered as never befoie, nor have they 
done it since. The reason for this was not a high 
protective tariff, or anything in that line, but simply 
the fruit of the guilds and the privilege they enjoyed 
from the state. 

What we now need is a modern guild. I anticipate 
there would be some difficulty in securing the legis- 
lation necessary, but we will not ask more than the 
doctors now have. I cannot now go into detail ; that 
Vv^ould take more room and time than I can spare in 
this book. 



NE thing is certain, we have a hard row 
to hoe, because, this is a government 
of injunctions, and any law on the 
statute book is in danger of being 
declared unconstitutional, according 
to the biddings of the money power, 
or the whim of the judges. One 
tyrant is bad, but many are worse. 

I am no prophet, but will judge the future from the 
past. History will repeat itself, and Christ's teachings 
will be found true: "A house divided against itself 
cannot stand. ' " 

I will say so much, however, that no man should be 
allowed to start out for himself before he has served 
three years as an apprentice and two or three years as 
a journeyman. This should be proved by a certificate 
from the master for whom he has worked. This 
certificate to be sworn to by his master, one uninter' 
ested master and himself. No apprentice to be 
accepted without a certificate from the school superin- 
tendent that he has a certain knowledge in language 
and arithmetic and other branches as may be required. 
It shall not be enough to have worked a few days each 
year, but the whole time. With these papers he shall 
appear before three commissioners, elected by the 
fraternity and appointed by the governor of the State. 


He shall pay not less than ten and not more than 
twenty-five, dollars for his diploma. All complaint 
shall be submitted to these commissioners, and they 
shall have full power to act. If a practitioner acts 
unbecoming, runs down his competitor, charges prices 
below the price fixed by the fraternity, or defrauds 
his customers, such shall be reported to the commis- 
sioners, and, if they see fit, they can repeal or call in 
his diploma and he shall not be allowed to practice in 
the State. These are a few hints on the nature of the 
modern guild we ought to establish. The fraternity 
should have a journal edited by one editor on litera- 
ture and one on mechanics, the editor on mechanics 
to be a practical blacksmith with not less than fifteen 
years' experience. The editors are to be elected by 
the fraternity. This is all possible if we can get the 
legislation that the doctors have in many States. And 
why not? 

Mechanics of to-day have a vague and abstract idea 
of what is meant by journeyman and apprenticeship. 
In Europe there is yet a shadow left of the guilds 
where these were in existence. 

When I learned my trade I worked some time with 
my father in Sweden, then I went over to Norway and 
worked as an apprentice in Mathison & Johnson's 
machine, file and lock factory of Christiania. I was 
requested to sign a contract for four years. In this 
contract was set forth the wages I was to receive, and 
what I was to learn each year. Everything was 
specified so that there would be no room for misunder- 
standing. The first two weeks I worked, they simply 


drilled me. I was given a good file and a piece of 
iron, this iron I filed square, round, triangle, hexagon 
and octagon I wore out files and pieces of iron one 
after another, the master giving instructions how to 
stand, hold the file, about the pressure and strokes of 
same, etc. The same careful instructions were given 
in blacksmithing. The apprentice was given some 
work, and he had to forge it out himself, no matter 
what time it took, nor did it make any difference if the 
job, when done, was of any use, the apprentice was 
simply practicing and accustoming himself to the use 
of tools. Thus the elementary rules were learned in a 
few weeks, and the apprentice made capable of doing 
useful service that would repay for the time lost in the 




AVING thoroughly learned the trade, 
it is important to keep posted 
in this matter by reading books 
and trade journals. As far as 
books are concerned, we have a 
few treating on horse-shoeing, 
with both good and bad ideas. 
As to blacksmithing, this book, 
' Modern Blacksmithing," is the first in that line, 
written by a practical blacksmith and horse-shoer. 

Our trade joui nals must be read with discrimination. 
They are mostly edited by men having no practical 
experience in the trade, and are therefore not respon- 
sible for the articles these papers contain. Many 
articles are entirely misleading. Blacksmiths having 
more experience with the pen than the hammer, and 
anxious to have their names appear in print, write for 
these journals. 

Prize artjcles are also doing more harm than good, 
the judges giving the prizes to men with ideas like 
their own, not being broad-minded enough to consider 
anything they don't practice themselves, and the result 
is a premium on old and foolish ideas. 

But we should not stop at this. We should read 
much. Anything, except bloody novels, will help to 


elevate the man. No smith should think it idle to read 
and study. "Every kind of knowledge," observes a 
writer, "comes into play some time or other, not only 
systematic study, but fragmentary, even the odds and 
ends, the merest rag-tags of information." Some 
fact, or experience, and sometimes an anecdote, recur 
to the mind, by the power of association, just in the 
right time and place. A carpenter was observed to 
be very particular and painstaking in repairing an old 
chair of a magistrate, and when asked why, said: "I 
want this chair to be easy for me to sit in some time." 
He lived long enough to sit in it. 

Hugh Miller found time while pursuing the trade of 
a stone mason, not only to read, but to write, cultivat- 
ing his style till he became one of the most facile and 
brilliant authors of the day. Elihu Burritt acquired a 
mastery of eighteen languages and twenty-two dia- 
lects, not by rare genius, which he disclaimed, but by 
improving the bits and fragments of time which he 
had to spare from his occupation as a blacksmith. 

Let it be a practice or a habit, if you will, to buy at 
least one book every year, and to read the same, once, 
twice, thrice, or until its contents are indelibly im- 
pressed upon your mind. It will come back to your 
mind and be useful when you expect it the least. 

"A mechanic is known by the toots he uses.'* 


O other mechanic will try to turn out j-uch a 
variety of work with so few tools as the 
blacksmith, even when the smith iias all 
the tools to be had, he has fev/ in propor- 
tion to the work. There are a class of smiths 
who will be content with almost nothing-. These men 
can tell all about the different kinds of tobacco; they 
can tell one kind of beer from another in the first sip, 
and the smell of the whisky bottle is enough for them 
to decide the character of the contents, but when it 
comes to tools which belorig- to their trade, they are 
not in it. It ought to be a practice with every smith 
to add some new tool every year. But if they are 
approached on the subject they will generally say, 
"Oh, I can get along without that." With them it is 
not a question of what they need, but what they can 
get along without. 

Some smiths have the Chinaman's nature (stubborn 
conservatism) to the extent that they will have nothing 
new, no matter how superior to their old and inferior 
tools; what they have been used to is the best. 

When the hoof shears were a new thing I ordered a 
pair and handed them to my horse-shoer, he tried them 
for a few minutes and then threw them on the floor 
and said, "Yankee humbug." I picked them up and 



tried them myself, and it took a few days before I got 
used to them, but then I found that they were a great 
improvement over the toe knife. I told my horse- 
shoer tc use them and after a while he could not get 
along without them, but would yet have used his toe 
knife if it had not been for the fact that he was com- 
pelled to use them. If it was not for the conservatism 
by which we are all infected more or less, we would 
be far more advanced in everything. 

The mechanic that has poor tools will in every case 
be left behind in competition with the man with good 
tools in proper shape. There are smiths who will take 
in all kinds of shows and entertainments within fifty 
miles, but when it comes to tools, oh, how stingy and 
saving they are. There is no investment which will 
biing such a good return as first-class tools do to a 
mechanic. The old maxim, "A mechanic is known 
by the tools he uses," is true. Many of the tools used 
in the shop can be made by the smith. If less time is 
spent in the stores and saloon there will be more time 
for making tools. 

I shall, in this chapter, give a few pointers how to 
make some of the tools used. I will not spend any 
time in explanation about the more intricate tools like 
drill presses and tools of that kind, because no smith 
has experience or facilities to make tools of this char- 
acter that will be worth anything. I shall simply give 
a few hints on the most common tools used, with illus- 
trations that will be a help to new beginners. Before 
we go any further let me remind you of the golden 
rule of the mechanic, "A place for everything and 


everything in its place." Some shops look like a 
scraj) iron shed, the tools strewn all over, and one- 
tentn of the time is spent in hunting for them. I shall 
first -ay a few words about the shop and give a plan. 
This plan is not meant to be followed minutely, but 
is sii. ,ply a hint in that direction. 


In building a shop care should be taken in making it 
convenient and healthy. Most of the shops are built 
with a l«igh floor. This is very inconvenient when 
machinery of any kind is taken in for repairs, as well 
as in taking in a team for shoeing. Around the forge 
there should be a gravel floor. A plank floor is a 
great nuiLance around the anvil. Every piece cut off 
hot is to be hunted up and picked up or it will set fire 
to it. I know there will be some objection to this kind 
of floor but if you once learn how to keep it you will 
change your mind. To make this floor take sand and 
clay with fine gravel, mix with coal dust and place a 
layer where wanted about four inches thick. This 
floor, when a little old, will be as hard as iron, pro- 
vided you sprinkle it every night with water. The 
dust and soot from the shop will, in time, settle in with 
it and it will be smooth and hard. It will not catch 
fire; no cracks for small tools or bolts to fall through; 
it will not crack like cement or brick floors. If your 
shop is large then make a platform at each end, and a 
gravel floor in the center, or at one side, as in figure 



I. This floor is cool in summer and warm in winter, 
as there can be no draft. The shop should have plenty 
of light, skylights if possible. .The soot and dust will, 
in a short time, make the lightest shop dark. The 
shop should be whitewashed once a year. Have 







P/anA Floor 

Fig. I. 







plenty of ventilation. Make it one "fetory only if con- 
venient to do so, as an upper story in a blacksmith 
shop is of very little use. The shop is the place where 
the smith spends most of his time and he should take 
just as much care in building it, as a sensible house- 
keeper does in the construction of her kitchen. 




The forge can be made either single or double, 
square or round. The square is the best as it can be 
placed up against the wall, and you will then have 
more room in front of it. The round forge will take 
more room, if it is placed in the center of the floor 
there will be no room of any amount on any side and 
when the doors are open the wind will blow the fire, 
cinders and smoke into the face of the smith. This is 
very uncomfortable. The smokestack, if hung over 
the fire will sometimes be in the way. Of course the 
hood can be made in halves and one half swung to the 
side, but it will sometimes be in the way anyhow, and 
it seldom has any suction to carry away the smoke and 


The anvil should not be too close to the forge, as is 
often the case in small country shops. Make it six 
feet from center of fire to center of anvil. The anvil 


should not be placed on a butcher block with the tools 
on, but on a timber the same size as the foot of the 
anvil. Set the timber down in the ground at least 
three feet. For heavy work the anvil should stand low 
in order to be able to come down on it with both ham- 
mer and sledge with force. When the smith has his 
hands closed the knuckles of his fingers should touch 
the face of the anvil and it will be the right height for 
all-around blacksmithing. 


Close to the forge under the water tank or barrel 
should be a coal box 18x24x16 inches, this box to be 
dug down in the ground and so placed that one end 
will protrude from under the barrel or tank far enough 
to let a shovel in. This opening can be closed with a 
lid if the tools are liable to fall into it. In this box 
keep the coal wet. In figure i a plan is given from 
which you can get an idea of a shop and how to place 
the tools and different articles needed. 


On the right hand of the anvil should be a tool bench 
or tool table 20 x 20, a little lower than the anvil. 
Outside, on three sides and level with the table, make 
a railing of i}{ inch iron, about i^ inch space between 
the table and railing, this makes a handy place for 



tools and near by. Many blacksmiths have no other 
place than the floor for their tools, but there is no 
more sense in that than it would be for a carpenter to 
throw his tools down on the floor all around him. 
There ought to be "a place for every tool and every 
\ool in its place." 



When a lawyer or a minister makes his maiden 
speech he will always be in a great hurry on account 
of his excitement. The sentences are cut shorter, 
broken, and the words are sometimes only half pro- 
nounced. After a few years' practice he will be more 


self-possessed and the speech will be changed from 
unintelligible phrases to logical oratory. When the 
carpenter's apprentice first begins to use the saw, he 
will act the same way — be in a great hurry — he will 
run the saw at the speed of a scroll saw, but only a 
few inches of stroke; after some instructions and a 
few year's practice the saw will be run up and down 
steady and with strokes the whole length of the blade. 
When the blacksmith's apprentice begins to use the 
hammer he acts very much the same way. He will 
press his elbows against his ribs; lift the hammer only 
a few inches from the anvil and peck away at the 
speed of a trip hammer. This will, in most cases, be 
different in a few years. He will drop the bundle — 
that' is, his elbows will part company with his ribs, the 
hammer will look over his head, there will be full 
strokes and regular time, every blow as good as a 
dozen of his first ones. Some smiths have the foolish 
habit of beating on the anvil empty with the hammer, 
they will strike a few blows on the iron, then a couple 
of blind beats on the anvil, and so on. This habit has 
been imported from Europe, free of duty, and that 
must be the reason why so many blacksmiths enjoy 
this luxury. 


In Europe great importance is laid upon the position 
taken by the apprentice and the manner he holds the 
sledge. The sledge is held so that the end of it will 
be under his right armpit, when the right hand is next 


to the sledge, and under his left arm when the left 
hand is nearer the sledge. In this unnatural position 
it is next to impossible to strike hard and do it for any 
time. This is another article imported free of duty, 
but few Americans have been foolish enough to use 
it. In this country the apprentice will be taught to 
use the tools in a proper way. 

The end of the sledge-handle will be to one side ; at 
the left, if the left hand is at the end of the handle, 
and at the right if the right hand is at the end of the 
handle ; and be down between his feet when the 
handle's end must be low. The apprentice should 
stand directly in front of the anvil. 

In swinging, the sledge should describe a circle 
from the anvil close down to the helper's feet land up 
over his head and down to the anvil; this is a perpen- 
dicular circle blow. Be sure not to give it a horizon- 
tal start ; that is, with one hand close to the sledge the 
apprentice starts out either in the direction of the 
horn or the butt end of the anvil, and then up while 
both hands should clasp the extreme end of the handle 
close together the sledge should be dropped down to 
the feet then up. The hold taken should not be 
changed, but the hands held in the same place. (See 
figure 4.) 

For ordinary use a nine-pound sledge is heavy 
enough, a large sledge will give a bump, while a small 
one will give a quick good blow, it is only occasion- 
ally and for special purposes a large sledge is needed, 
even an eight-pound sledge will do. Try it, and you 
will be surprised how nice it works. 



With these preliminary remarks we shall now begin 
to make a few tools. We will begin with the black- 
smith's tongs. I shall only give an idea how to forge 
the jaws, and every man that needs to make them has 

Fig. 4. 

seen enough of this simple tool to know what kind is 
needed, and what he has not seen will suggest itself 
to every sensible smith. 




Take a piece of one-inch square Swede iron, hold 
the iron diagonally over the anvil, with your left hand 
a little towaid the horn, the end of the iron to reach 
out over the outside edge of the anvil. Now strike so 
tliat the sledge and hammer will hit half face over the 
anvil and the other half of the sledge and hammer out- 

1 1 


side of the anvil. Hammer it down to about three- 
eighths of an inch thick. Now pull the iron towards 
you straight across the anvil, give it one half turn 
toward yourself so that this side which was up, now 
will be towards yourself; the end that first was outside 
the anvil now to rest over the inner edge of the anvil, 
push the jaw up against the anvil until it rests against 
the shoulder made in the first move. Now hammer 
this down until it is the thickness of the jaw that is 
desired. Next, turn it over, with the bottom side up 
or the side that was down, up; push it out over the 


outside edge of the anvil again so far that the shoulder 
or set down you now have up, will be about an inch out- 
side and over the edge of the anvil, now give a few 
blows to finish the jaw, then finish the shanks and weld 
in half inch round iron to the length desired. The 
jaws should be grooved with a fuller, if you have none 
of the size required take a piece of round iron and ham- 
mer it down in the jaws to make the groove. Tongs 
grooved this way will grip better. Next, punch a hole 
in one jaw, place it over the other in the position 
wanted when finished, then mark the hole in the other 
jaw, and when punched rivet them together, the jaws 
to be cold and the rivet hot. The following story will 
suggest to you how to finish it. An apprentice once 
made a pair of tongs when his master was out, and 
when he had them riveted together could not move the 
jaws. As he did not know how to make them work 
he laid them away under the bellows. At the supper 
table the apprentice told his master the following 
story: An apprentice once made a pair of tongs and 
when he had them riveted together he could not move 
the jaws, and as he did not know what to do he simply 
threw them away, thinking he must have made a 
mistake somehow. "What a fool," said the master, 
"Why didn't he heat them." At the next oppor- 
tunity the apprentice put his tongs in the fire and 
w^hen hot they could be worked very easily. 



Take a piece of tool steel i }^ inches square, neat it 
red hot. Now remember here it is that the trouble 
begins in handling tool steel. If, in the process, you 
ever get it more than red hot, it is spoiled, and no 
receipt, or handling or hammering will ever make it 
good again. The best thing in such a case is to cut 
off the burnt part in spite of all proposed cures. This 
must be remembered whenever you heat tool or spring 
steel. Tf the burnt part cannot be cut off, heat it to a 
low heat, cool it in lukewarm water half a dozen 
times, this will improve it some, if you can hammer it 
some do so. Now punch a hole about two inches from 
the end with a punch that will make a hole i}ix ys. 
If the punch sticks in the hole, cool it off and put a 
little coal in the hole that will prevent the punch from 
sticking. This is a good thing to do whenever a deep 
hole is to be punched. Be sure that the hole is made 
true. Next, have a punch the exact size of the hole 
wanted when finished, drive it in and hammer the eye 
out until it has the thickness of about ^ of an inch on 
each side and has a circle form like No. 2, Figure 5. 

In order to do this you may have to heat the eye 
many times, and upset over it with the punch in the 
eye. This done put in the bottom fuller and with the 
top fuller groove it down on each side of the eye, like 
the cut referred to. Now dress down the face then 
the peen-end. When finished harden it in this way: 
Heat the face-end first to a low red heat, dip in water 
about an inch and a half, brighten the face and watch 



for the color. When it begins to turn blue cool off 
but don't harden the eye. Wind a wet rag around the 
face end and heat the peen-end, temper the same way. 
With a piece of iron in the eye, both ends can be 
hardened at the same time, but this is more difficult, 
and I would not recommend it. 

Fig. 5. 

For ordinary blacksmithing a flat peen hammer is 
the thing, but I have seen good blacksmiths hang on 
to the machinist's hammer as the only thing. See No. 
I, Figure 5. This hammer is more ornamental than 
useful in a blacksmith shop. The hammer should be 
of different sizes for different woik, light for light 
work, aTxd for drawing out plowshares alone the ham- 
mer should be heavy. 

For an ordinary smith a hammer of two up to two 
and one-half pounds is right. Riveting hammers 


should be only one pound and less. No smith should 
ever use a hammer like No. 3, in Figure 5. This 
hammer I have not yet been able to find out what it is 
good for. Too short, too clumsy, too much friction in 
the air. I have christened it, and if you want my 
name for it call it Cain's hammer. It must surely 
look like the hammer used by him, if he had any. 


A chisel for hot cutting, see Figure 5, No. 4. This 
chisel is made of ij{ square tool steel. Punch a hole 
i^ X i^ X }^ about three inches from the end, the eye 
should be narrow in order to leave material enough on 
the sides to give it strength. When eye is finished, 
forge down below it, not on the head-end, with top 
and bottom fullers, like cut. This gives the chisel a 
better shape. Now dress down the edge, then heat 
to a low cherry red, and harden, brighten it and when 
the color is brown cool off. 


Use same sized steel as above referred to, make it 
like No. 5, Figure 5. To distinguish it from the hot 
cutting chisel, and to give it more strength, in harden- 
ing this chisel, draw the temper until it is blue. This 
is the right temper for all kinds of cold chisels. 



One might think that anybody knows how to make 
a set hammer, if every smith knows it, I don't know, 
but I do know that there are thousands of smiths who 
have never had a set hammer nor know its use. To 
make one : Take a piece of tool steel 1 34^ x 1 1^ inches, 
punch a hole about two inches from the end, the hole 
to 'be 1 34^ X ^. Now cut off enough for head. Make 
the face perfectly square and level, with sharp corners, 
harden and cool off when the temper turns from brown 
to blue. This is a very important little tool and for 
cutting steel it is a good deal better than the chisel. 
Plow steel of every kind is easier cut with this hammer 
than any other way. In cutting with the set hammer 
hold the steel so that your inner side of the set ham- 
mer will be over the outside edge of the anvil. Let 
the helper strike on the outside corner of the set ham- 
mer and it will cut easy. The steel to be cut should 
be just a little hot, not enough to be noticed. If the 
steel is red hot the set hammer cannot cut it. The 
heat must be what is called blue heat. I would not be 
without the set hammer for money, and still I often 
meet smiths who have never seen this use made of the 
set hammer. Plow points, corn shovels, and seeder 
shovels are quicker cut with this tool than any other 
way, with the exception of shears. 



Twist drills are not easy to make by hand, as they 
should be turned to be true, but a twist drill can be 
made this way. Take a piece of tool steel roimd and 
the size of the chuck hole in your drill press. Flatten 
it down to the size wanted, heat, put the shank in the 
vise, take with the tongs over the end and give one 
turn to the whole length, turn to the left. When 
finished be sure that it is not thicker up than it is at 
point, and straight. Now harden, heat to a low cherry 
red, cool off in luke-warm water — salt water, if 
you have it — brighten it and hold over a hot bar of 
iron to draw temper, cool off when brown, the whole 
length of the twist should be tempered. 

Another way to make a drill is to just flatten the 
steel and shape to a diamond point and bend the 
shares forward. This is a simple but good idea and 
such drills cut easy. In cooling for hardening turn 
the drill in the water so that the edge or shares are 
cooled in proportion to point, or the shares will be 
too soft and the point of such a drill too hard. Our 
trade journals, in giving receipts for hardening drills, 
often get watch-makers receipts. This is misleading: 
watch-makers heat their drills to a white heat. Now, 
remember, as I have already said, when your drill or 
tool of this kind is heated to this heat the best thing 
to do is to cut that part off. It is different with watch- 
makers, they do not look for strength, but hardness. 
They run their drills with a high speed, cut chips that 
cannot be discerned with the naked eye, and must 



have a drill that is hard like a diamond. For drilling 
iron or steel the drill does not need to be so very hard, 
but tough rather, because of the slow speed and thick 
chips. Few smiths have been able to master the sim- 
plest tempering, and they think if they could get a 
complicated receipt they would be all right. We are 
all more or less built that way. Anything we do not 

Fig. 6. 

understand we admire. Simple soft water and the 
right heat is, in most cases, the only thing needed for 
hardening. I had occasion to consult a doctor once 
who was noted for his simple remedies. A lady got 
some medicine and she wanted to know what it was so 
she could get it when the doctor was not at home, but 
he refused to reveal it to her. When the lady had left 
the doctor told me the reason why. "This lady," said 
the doctor, "does not believe in simple remedies which 
she knows, but believes in those remedies she knows 
nothing about." 1 think it is better for us to try to 


understand things and not believe much in them 
before we understand them. 


See Figure 6, No. 3. This wrench is for ^ nut on 
one end and ^ on the other, just the kind for plow 
work. To make one, take a piece of tool steel i)^ x ^, 
start as you see in No. 4, Figure 6. Set the jaws down 
with the fullers, punch a round hole as in end No. 4, 
cut out from hole and finish the jaws to make the right 
length, now bend it in S shape and finish. This makes 
the best wrench. Do not heat over a red heat. 


Few blacksmiths know how to make a rock drill. 
Take a piece of round or octagon steel, the desired 
length and thickness, shape it, but it must be remem- 
bered that if during the process you ever get it over a 
red heat there is no use to proceed, but just cut off 
that much and start again, no hardening will prevail 
if it is burnt. The trouble begins when you put the 
steel into the fire, and you must watch until you have 
it finished. When ready to harden heat it to a cherry 
red heat, cool in water not too cold, brighten and 
watch for temper. When it is yellow, cool it off, but 
not entirely, take it out of the water before it is quite 


cold and let it cool slowly, this will make the drill both 
hard and tough. By this simple process I have been 
able to dress drills and get such a good temper than 
only two per cent would break. Another way to 
harden is to heat to a very low heat and cool it off 
entirely at once. A third way is to temper as hrst 
stated and when yellow set the drill in water only one 
half an inch deep and let it cool. By this process a 
good per cent will break just at the water line. 


Be sure yon are right then go ahead.'''' — Davy Crocket. 



|HE smith should never turn the iron 
on the helper's blow, he should turn 
on his own blow, that is, never turn 
the iron so that the helper's blow will 
hit it first because he is not prepared 
for it and cannot strike with confi- 
dence, but the smith will not be 
bothered by turning the iron for himself as he knows 
when he turns and is prepared for it. The smith 
should strike the first blow in starting, or signal the 
helper where to strike, in case the smith cannot strike 
the first blow. The smith calls the helper by three 
blows on the anvil with his hammer, and when the 
smith wants the helper to cease striking he taps with 
the hammer twice on the anvil. The helper should 
strike the blow he has started when the smith signals 
him to stop. The helper should watch the time of the 
smith's hamaier; if fast, keep time with it, if slow, 
keep time with it. The helper should strike where 
the smith strikes or over the center of the anvil. The 
helper shouM always lift the sledge high, in order to 
give the smith a chance to get in with the hammer. 





It is proper before we go any farther to say a few 
words about the fire. 

An old foreman in the blacksmith department of a 
factory told me once in a conversation we had about 


the fire, that he had come to the conclusion that very 
few blacksmiths have learned how to make a good 
fire. It takes years of study and practice before the 
eye is able to discern a good fire from a bad one. A 
good fire must be a clear fire, the flame must be con- 
centrated and of a white color. Even the nose must 


serve to decide a bad fire from a good one. A strong 
sulphur smell indicates a poor fire for welding. In 
order to get a good fire there must be, first, good coal ; 
second, plenty of it. - It is no use to pile a lot of coal 
on an old fire, full of cinders and slag. The fire-pot 
must be clean. Many blacksmiths are too saving 
about the coal. They take a shovel of coal, drop it on 
the forge in the vicinity of the fire and sprinkle a 
handful of it in the fire once in a while. In such a 
case it is impossible to do good work and turn it out 
quick. Have a scoop shovel and put on one or two 
shovels at a time, the coal should be wet. Then pack 
it in the fire as hard together as you can. Sprinkle 
the fire with water when it begins to spread. In this 
way you get a hard fire. The flames are concentrated 
and give great heat. Saving coal is just like saving 
feed to a horse, or grub to your apprentice. Neither 
will give you a good day's work unless he has all he 
wants to eat. The fire, of course, should be in pro- 
portion to the work, but in every case should the fire 
be large enough to raise it up from the tuyer iron as 
much as possible. In a small fire the blast strikes 
directly on the iron and it begins to scale off; in a 
good fire these scales melt and make it sticky, while 
in a low and poor fire the scales blacken and fall off. 
This never happens if the fire is full of good coal and 
high up from the tuyer iron. 

Good strong blast is also necessary for heavy work. 
There is an old whim about the fire that everybody, 
farmers and others, as well as blacksmiths, are infected 
with, and that is, if a piece of brass is put in the fire it 


renders the fire useless to weld with. Now, while it is 
a fact that brass is not conducive to welding it takes a 
good deal of it before the fire is made useless. One 
smith will not dare to heat a galvanized pipe in his 
fire, for fear it will spoil it, while another smith will 
weld a piece of iron or steel to such a pipe without 
difficulty. Don't swear and curse if the fire is not 
what you expect it to be, but simply make it right. 
Some smiths have the habit of continually poking in 
the fire, if they weld a piece of iron they never give it 
rest enough to get hot, but turn it over from one side 
to another and try to fish up all the cinders and dust 
to be found in the fire. This is a bad habit. Yellow 
colored fire is a sign of sulphur in the fire and makes a 
poor fire for welding. Dead coal makes a poor fire. 


One of the chief reasons for a poor fire is a poor 
blast. No patent tuyer will give blast enough unless 
you run it by steam and have a fan blower. Ninety 
per cent of the blast is lost in transmission through 
patent tuyers. The only way to get a good blast is to 
have a direct tuyer, and one with a water space in. 

To make a direct tuyer take a pipe i^^^ x 12 inches 
long, weld around one end of this pipe an iron 3^ to 
make it thick on the end that is in the fire, flare out 
the other end for the wind pipe to go in and place it 
borzontal in the fire and fill up around it with fireproof 
clay. This gives the best fire. The only objection to 



this tuyer is that where soft coal is used, as is mostly 
the case in country shops, it gets hot and clogs up, 
but with a strong blast and good hard coal it never 
gets hot, provided the fire is deep enough. From five 
to eight inches is the right distance from the tuyer to 
the face of the fire. In factories this kind of tuyer is 
used, and I have seen them used for ten years, and 


never found Ihem to clog once. The tuyer was just as 
good after ten years use as it was when put in. 

To make a water tuyer take a pipe 1 1^^ x 12, weld a 
flange on each end for water space, now weld another 
pipe over this, and bore holes for % inch pipes in the 
end, where the blast goes in. One hole on the lower 
or bottom side should be for the cold water to go in 
through, and one hole on the upper side for the hot 
water to go out through. These pipes to connect with 
a little water tank for this purpose. The pipes should 



be watched so that they will not be allowed to freeze 
or clog, as an explosion might follow. These tuyers 
never clog. I now use one that I have made as above 
described. The dealers now have them to sell. Any 
smith can get them as they are hard to make by the 
average smith. 


I have tried many kinds of blowers and I shall give 
my brother smiths the advantage of my experience. 

Portable forges run with fan blowers are fair blow- 
ers if you are strong enough to pump away at high 
speed, but it takes a horse to do that, and as soon as 
you drop the lever the blast ceases. Root's blower 
works easier, but the objection is the same, as soon as 
you drop the crank the blast stops. Besides this 
trouble, this blower is often in the way. I have never 
found anything to beat the bellows yet, if you only 
know how to use them. 

Never take a set of bellows less than 48 extra long. 
Cut the snout off so that it will give a hole ij^, and 


with a water tuyer this blower cannot be beaten, 
except by a fan blower run by steam. The bellows 
should be hung over head to be out of the way. When 
these bellows are full of wind they will blow long 
enough after you have dropped the lever to do quite a 
good many things around the forge, and to handle the 
iron in the fire with both hands as is often necessary. 


Welding iron is easy and no other welding compound 
is needed than sand, unless it is a case when the iron 
is liable to burn or scale off, borax will prevent this. 
There are thiee kinds of welds, butt, lap and split. 
The butt weld is most used in welding iron. The ends 
should be rounded off a little so that the center will 
weld first. Weld the ends this way either in the fire 
or on the anvil, butting the ends while you strike over 
and dress down the weld. In welding lap welds upset 
the ends and make them a good deal heavier than the 
size of the iron is ; then lap the ends with a short lap. 
New beginners will always make a long lap. This is 
wrong, for if the lap is long it will reach beyond the 
upset part and the ends cannot then be welded down, 
without you make it weak. If soft steel is welded cut 
a short cut with the chisel in the center of the lap, as 
shown in Figure 6, No. i. This cut will hook and 
prevent the ends from slipping ^ if properly prepared 
this weld will not show at all when done. 



Split weld is preferable when steel is to be welded, 
especially tool steel of a heavy nature, like drill bits 
for well drillers. 

If the steel is welded to iron, split the iron and draw 
out the ends as thin as possible and make it the shape 
shown in Figure 6, No. 2. Taper the steel to fill the 
split made in the iron, when it fits perfectly cut beard 
in it to catch in the lips of the iron when fitted in. 
See Figure 6, No. 2. When finished heat the split end 
and cool off the tapered end. Place the tapered end 
snug up in the split and hammer it together with a 
heavy sledge. If there is any crack or opening at the 
end of the tapered end, plug it up with iron plugs, if 
this is not done, these holes will be almost as they are, 
because it is hard to weld a heavy shaft or drill, or 
rather, it is hard to hammer them together so the 
holes will close in. Now heat, but if you have tool 
steel go slow, or your steel will bin*n before the iron is 
hot enough. Weld the lips while the rod or drill is in 
the fire. For this purpose use a hammer with an iron 
handle in. When the lips are welded all around take 
it out and let two good helpers come down on it with 
all their might. When welded smooth it up with the 
hammer or flat hammer. 


Welding steel is quite a trick, especially tool or 
spring steel. The most important part to remember 
is, to have a good clean fire, and not to oyer heat the 


steel. To a good smith no other compound is needed 
than borax, but if this is not sufficient, take some 
borings from your drill, especially fine steel borings, 
and cover the weld with this and borax, and if a smith 
cannot weld with this compound there is no use for 
him to tr3^ Most of the welding compounds are 
inferior to this, but some smiths would rather believe 
in something they don't know anything about; another 
will not believe in anything he can get for nothing. 


When a round object is to be ironed or a hoop put 
on to anything round, measure, that is, take the diam- 
eter then multiply by three, add three times the 
thickness of the iron (not the width), add to this one 
time the thickness of the hoop for the weld and you 
have the exact length of the iron needed ; in other 
words, three times the diameter, four times the thick- 
ness of the band. This is a simple rule, but I know a 
good many old smiths who never knew it. 


To weld seeder shovels is no easy job. Prepare the 
shovel; shape almost to it proper shape, draw out the 
shanks, weld the points first, heat shovel and shank 
slow, then fit them together so that no cinders can get 


in between. Now remember, if your fire is :iot at 
least five inches up from the tuyer iron, and clear, it 
is no use to try. Hold your shovel in the fire, shank 
down. Heat slow, use borax freely and apply it on 
the face side of the shovel to prevent it from burning. 
When ready, weld it over the mandrill and the shovel 
will have the right shape. If soft center, harden like 
a plow lay. 


Every smith knows how to drill, sometimes it gives 
even an old smith trouble. The drill must be true, 
the center to be right, if one side of the drill is wider 
than the other or the drill not in proper shape the hole 
will not be true. For centuries oil has been used for 
drilling and millions of dollars have been spent in 
vain. It is a wonder how people will learn to use the 
wrong thing. I don't think that I have ever met a 
man yet who did not know that oil was used in drill- 
ing. In drilling hard steel, turpentine or kerosene is 
used as oil will then prevent cutting entirely. Nothing 
is better than water, but turpentine or kerosene is not 
as bad as oil ; if you think water is too cheap use tur- 
pentine or kerosene. I had occasion once to do a little 
work for a man eighty years old, and when I drilled a 
hole, used water. The old man asked if water was as 
good as oil, and when informed that it was better, said: 
"I used to be quite a blacksmith myself, I am now 
eighty years old, too old to do anything, but I am not 

Modern blacksmithing 59 

too old to learn." It ought to suggest itself to every 
smith that while oil is used in boxes to prevent cut- 
ting, it will also prevent cutting in drilling. 


First prepare a drill which is thicker at the point 
than usual, and oval in form, then harden it as fol- 
lows : heat to a low cherry red heat and cool in the 
following hardening compound: two quarts soft water, 
one-half ounce sal-ammoniac, salt, three ounces. Don't 
draw the temper, for if you have the right heat you 
will get the right temper. Now drill and use water, 
not oil. Feed carefully but so the drill will cut right 
along. If you have no chance to get the compound, 
harden in water but draw no temper, let it be as hard 
as it will. 

If the iron is too hard to be drilled and you can heat 
the same do so, heat to a low red heat and place a 
piece of brimstone just where the hole is to be; this 
will soften the iron through, so the hole can be drilled. 
Let it cool slowly. 


Standing coulters are made of different materials 
and of different shapes. Take a piece of iron 2}{ x }^, 
twenty-eight inches long. Cut off the end after you 



have thinned it out about 5 inches from the end, cut 
diagonally Now weld the cut-off piece to the main 
shank. The cut-off piece to be laid on the outside and 
welded, bend the iron as soon as it is welded so that it 
has the shape of the coulter, draw out a good point 
and sharpen the iron just the same as if it was a fin- 
ished coulter. This done, cut off a piece of steel, an 
old plow lay that is not too much worn will do, cut 


the shape of the coulter you have now in the iron, and 
let the steel be half an inch wider than the iron, but 
on the point let it be as long as it will, because the 
point ought to be quite long, say about nine inches. 
Next draw the steel out thin on the upper end, heat 
the iron red hot, place it on the anvil outside up, put 
a pinch of borax on it at the heel, then a pinch of steel 
borings, place the steel on top of this and keep in posi- 
tion with a pair of tongs; now hold it on the fire heel 
down, and heat slow. When it is hot let the helper 
strike a pressing blow or two on it and it will stick 
until you have taken the next weld. Put borings and 


borax between steel and iron for each weld. When 
finished, the angle should be that of the square; that 
is, when you place the coulter in the square the shank 
should follow one end of the square and the foot of 
the coulter the other. The edge of the outside side 
should follow the square from the point up. When it 
does it looks like a hummock in the coulter but it is 
not. Old breakers will be particular about this as it 
will cut a clean furrow if it is made in this way and it 
will work easier. If the edge stands under the square 
the coulter will wedge the plow out of land and make a 
poor furrow. Next finish the chisel point, soft or hard 
steel as you please; weld it to the coulter on the 
inside, that is, the side next to the furrow. 

Last punch or drill the hole in the heel. The coulter 
should not be hardened except a little on and along 
the point. There is no need of a double chisel point, 
such a point will be too clumsy and run heavy. I have 
received a premium on a coulter made in this shape. 


Mill picks are very easily dressed and hardened, the 
whole trick in this case, as in many others, lies in the 
right heat of the steel. Be careful not to heat to a 
higher than a red heat. Dress the pick and temper 
with a low heat, when the color is dark yellow the 
temper is right, if the steel is of the right kind. No 
other hardening compound is necessary than water. 
After a little experience any smith can do this work 
first class. 


A smith once wanted to buy my receipt for tem_per- 
ing. He believed I had a wonderful prescription, or 
I could not succeed as I did, I told him I used only 
water, but he insisted that I was selfish and would not 
reveal it to him. 

If tools and receipts would do the work there would 
be no need of experienced mechanics. Tools and 
receipts are both necessary, but it must be a skilled 
hand to apply them. 


The best way to harden files is to have a cast iron 
bucket filled with lead. Heat it until the lead is red 
hot, then plunge the file into this, handle up. 'This 
will give a uniform heat and the file will not warp so 
easy if the heat is right. In cooling the file off, use a 
box four or five feet long with salt water in, run the 
file back and forth endwise, not sideways, that will 
warp the file, take it out of the water while yet siz- 
zling. Now, if warped, set it between a device so that 
you can bend it right. While in this position sprinkle 
water over where you straighten until cold and the 
file will be right. 


Heat the tap or die to a red cherry, cool off entirely 
in water, brighten with an emery paper. Now, hold 
over a hot iron until the tap or die has a dark straw 
color, then cool off. If a light tap, the temper can be 
drawn over a gaslight, using a blowpipe. 



To make a butcher knife, one smith will simply take 
an old file, shape it into a knife, and harden. The 
best way to make a knife is to first draw out a piece of 
iron % inch wide and -^^ of an inch thick, twice the 
length of the knife. Prepare the steel the same width 
as the iron, ^ of an inch thick, weld this steel in 
between the iron. This will make a knife that will 
not break. When ready to harden heat to a low red 
heat, cool off entirely in water. Brighten and hold 
over a hot iron until brown, then cool off. 

The steel should be good tool steel, a fiat file will 
do, but the cuts must be ground or filed off entirely 
before you touch it with the hammer, for if the cuts 
are hammered in they will make cracks in the edge of 
the knife, and the same will break out. 



If a circular saw is cracked it can be repaired so that 
the crack will go no further, and if the crack is deep, 
it can be so remedied that there will be no danger in 
using it. Ascertain the end of the crack, then drill 
a j\-inch hole so that the crack will end in that hole. 
Countersink on each side and put in a rivet. Don't 
let the rivet stick its head over the face of the saw. 

If the crack is deep put another rivet about half an 
inch from the edge. If the saw is too hard to drill, 
heat two irons about i % square or round, square up 


the ends and set the saw between the ends so that 
they will meet over the place where the hole is to be 
drilled. When the saw is dark blue, the temper is 
out. It might be a possibility that this will spring the 
saw in some cases, therefore, I advise you to try drill- 
ing the hole without any change in temper. Prepare 
a drill that is harder than usual, use no oil, but water. 


The reason why a circular saw cracks is, in most 
cases, incorrect filing. In filing a saw, never let a 
flat file with its square corners touch the bottom of the 
teeth you are filing; if you do, you will make a short 
cut that will start the crack, The best way is to gum 
the saw in a saw gummer or on an emery wheel, or 
use a round-edged file. 


Belts can be riveted, sewed, or hooked together. A 
new leather belt should not be riveted, because such 
a belt will stretch and have to be cut out and sewed 
over quite often at first. There are hooks made of 
steel for belt sewing, these are all right when the pul- 
leys are not less than six inches in diameter and the 
speed is slow. In using these hooks be careful not to 


bend them too sharp or drive the bends together too 
hard; in so doing they will cut through the leather 
and pull out. Lacing is the best for all kinds of belts. 
In sewing a belt with lacing, first punch with a 
punch made for this purpose, holes in proportion to 
the width. Don't punch them too close to the ends. 
Begin sewing in the center holes and start so that both 
ends of the lacing will come out on the outside of the 
belt. Now sew with one end to each side, and be 
careful not to cross the lacing on the side next to the 
pulleys. The lacing should be straight on that side. 
When the belt is sewed punch a small hole a little up 
in the belt to receive the last end of the lacing; the 
last end should come out on the outside of the belt. 
In this end cut a little notch about three-fourths 
through the lacing close to the belt, and then cut the 
lacing off a quarter of an inch outside of this notch. 
This notch will act as a prong and prevent the lacing 
from pulling out. Tap it lightly with a hammer above 
the seam to smooth it down. 


In placing shafts to be connected by belts, care 
should be taken to get the right working distance one 
from the other. For smaller belts 12 to 15 feet is 
about the right distance. For large belts, a greater 
distance is wanted. The reason for this is that when 
pulleys are too close together there is no sag in the 


belts and they must therefore be very tight in order 
to work. 

Belts should not have too much sag, or they will, if 
the distance between the pulleys is too far apart, pro- 
duce a great sag and a jerking motion which will be 
hard on the bearings. Never place one shaft directly 
over another, for then the belts must be very tight to 
do the work, and a tight belt will wear out quicker 
and break oftener in the lacing than a loose one; 
besides this the bearings will give out sooner. 

If a belt slips use belt oil or resin, or both. 


In repairing old bob sleds is is difficult to find shoes 
to suit. But in every case the shoe can be fitted to 
suit without touching the runner. The trick here as 
in many other cases in the blacksmith business, lies in 
the heating. Any shoe can be straightened or bent to 
fit the runner if only heated right. A low cherry-red 
heat and a piece if iron to reach from the crooked end 
of the shoe and far enough back to leave a space 
between where it wants to be straightened. Now pat 
it in the vise and turn the screws slowly and the shoe 
will stand a great deal. If too straight, put the shoe 
in between a couple of beams so that you can bend it 
back to the right shape. Remember the heat. 

I have put on hundreds and never knew of a shoe 
that broke when the heat was right. I must confess, 


however, that my two first shoes broke, but I think I 
learned it cheap when I consider my success after 
that. The shoe should fit the runner snug. Ironing 
bobs is a very simple and easy thing, every black- 
smith, and even farmers sometimes, are able to iron 
their own sleds fairly well, and I don't think it will be 
of much interest for the readers of this book to treat 
that subject any further. 


Dressing axes is quite a trick and few blacksmiths 
have mastered it. It is comparatively easy when one 
knows how. I have several times already warned 
against over heating and if this has been necessary 
before, it is more so now in this case. In heating an 
ax do not let the edge rest in the center of the fire, it 
will then be too hot at the edge before it is hot enough 
to hammer it out. Place the edge far enough in to let 
it over the hottest place in the fire. Go slow. When 
hot, diaw it to the shape of a new axe, don't hammer 
on one side only. In so doing the ax will be flat on 
one side and curved up on the other. If uneven trim 
it off; trim the sides also if too wide; don't heat it 
over the eye; be sure you have it straight. When 
ready to harden, heat to a low red heat and harden in 
luke warm water. The heat should be only brown if 
it is a bright sunny day. Brighten and look for the 
temper. You will notice that the temper runs uneven; 


it goes out to the corners first, therefore dip them (the 
corners) deeper when cooling, and with a wet rag 
touch the place on the edge where the temper wants 
to run out. Some smiths, when hardening, will smear 
the ax with tallow instead of brightening it, and hold 
it over the fire until the tallow catches fire, then cool 
it off. This is guess work, and the axe is soft in one 
place and too hard in another. The best way is to 
brighten the ax and you can see the temper, then 
there is no guess work about it. When blue cool it 
partly off and then while the ax is still wet you will 
observe under the water or through the water a copper 
color. This color will turn blue as soon as the ax is 
dry, and is the right color and temper. Cool it slowly, 
don't cool it off at once, but let it cool gradually, and 
it will be both hard and tough. 

By this simple method I have been very successful, 
breaking only three per cent, while no new ax of any 
make will ever do better than ten per cent. Some 
will even break at the rate of twelve and thirteen per 

The ax factories, with all their skill and hardening 
compounds, have to do better yet to compete with me 
and my simple method. 


Well drills are made of different sizes and kinds. 
Club bits and Z bits. How to dress: heat to a low red 
heat. If nicked or broken, cut out, otherwise draw it 


out to the size wanted. The caliper should touch the 
lips of the bit when measured diagonally so that the 
bit has the size on all corners. Heat to a low red heat 
and harden, the temper to be from dark straw color 
to blue according to the kind of drilling to be done. 
The trick, in two words, low heat. 


By granite tools is meant tools or chisels used by 
granite or marble workers for cutting inscriptions on 

When a man understands how these tools are used 
it is easier to prepare them. These are the kind of 
tools where an unusual hardness is required. The 
hammer used in cutting with this chisel is very small, 
and the blow would not hurt your nose, so light it is, 
therefore they will stand a high heat and temper. 
The chisels should be very thin for this work. When 
dressed and ready to harden, heat to a red heat and 
harden in the following solution: one gallon soft 
water, four ounces salt. Draw the temper to a straw 

A blacksmith once paid a high price for a receipt for 
hardening granite tools. The receipt was, aqua, one 
gallon; chloride of sodium, four ounces. This receipt 
he kept as a secret and the prepared compound he 
bought at the drug store, thus paying 50 cents for one 
gallon of water and four ounces of salt. The real 
worth is less than a cent. It is said he succeeded 


remarkably well with his great compound, which he 
kept in a jug and only used when anything like granite 
tools were to be hardened. The reason why he suc- 
ceeded so well was because of his ignorance concerning 
his compound, not because it was not good enough. I 
hold that it is one of the best compounds, in fact, the 
best he could get. People in general like to be hum- 
bugged. If they only get something new or something 
they don't know anything about, then they think it 

Salt and water should be called salt and water, and 
be just as much valued. Let us " call a spade a spade, ' ' 
the spade will not be more useful by another name, 
nor will it be less useful by calling it by its proper 

The Sultan, the Arch Polygamist and Emperor William in the 

same carriage. 


jHEN vehicles were first used is hard 
to tell, but we know that they have 
been used for thousands of years 
before the Christian era. It is easy 
to imagine how they looked at that 
time, when we know how half- 
civilized people now make wagons. 
The first vehicle was only a two-wheeled cart called 
chariot. Such chariots were used in war and that it 
was a case of "great cry and little wool" is certain. 

The blacksmith used to be the wagon and carriage 
maker. Now it is only a rare case when a blacksmith 
makes a carriage, and when it happens most of the 
parts are bought. In 1565 the first coach was made in 

Now there are hundreds of factories making wagons 
and carriages and parts of them for repair use by 
blacksmiths and wagon makers. It is no use for any 
blacksmith or wagon maker to compete with these 
factories. We have neither the means nor the facili- 
ties to do it, and have to be content with the repairs 
they need. The mo'st important repairs are the set- 
ting of tire, welding and setting axle stubs. 




Wagon tire is often set so that more harm than good 
is done to the wheel. 

In setting- tire the first thing to do is to mark the 
tire. Many blacksmiths set tires without marking the 
tire. This is poor work. In order to do a good job 
the tire should be set so that it is in the same place it 
had. There are generally some uneven places in the 
fellows and when the tire is set the first time, it is hot 
all around and will settle down in these low places. 
Now, if the tire is not marked and set back in its exact 
bed, it will soon work loose again, and it is liable to 
dish the wheel too much as it don't sink into its place, 
but is held up in some places. Another thing, when 
a tire is worn so that it becomes thin it will settle down 
on the outside, especially when the wheel is much 
dished. Now if you reverse the tire it will only touch 
the fellow on the inner edge of the wheel, and leave 
an open space between the fellow and the tire on the 
outside. When a wheel has bolts every smith knows 
that it will make trouble for him if he don't get the 
tire back where it was. In every case take a file or a 
chisel and cut a mark in the tire near to the fellow 
plates, cut also a light mark in the fellow. These 
marks are to be on the inside of the wheel: i, because 
it will not be seen on that side; 2, because in putting 
the tire on, the wheel should be placed with that side 
up. If there are nails in the tire cut them off with a 
thin chisel so that it will not mark the fellow, or drive 
them into the fellow with a punch. Next, measure 


the wheel with the gauge (the wheel is supposed to be 
right, not fellow bound nor any spokes loose in the 
tenon). This done, heat the tire and shrink it. If 
the wheel is straight give it half an inch draw, some- 
times even five-eighths if the wheel is heavy and 
strong. But if the wheel is poor and dished, do not 
give it more than one-fourth-inch draw. One tire only 
with a little draw can be heated in the forge, but if 
there is more than one tire heat them outside in a fire 
made for this purpose, or in a tire heater. 

There are different ways of cooling the tire. Some 
smiths have a table in a tank, they place the wheel on 
the table and with a lever sink both wheel and tire in 
the water. There are many objections to this, i, You 
will have to soak the whole wheel; 2, it is inconven- 
ient to put the tire on; 3, in order to set the tire right, 
it is necessary to reach the tire from both sides with 
the hammer; 4, when spokes have a tendency to creep 
out, or when the wheel is much dished, the wheel 
should be tapped with the hammer over the spokes. 
Now, to be able to perform all these moves, one must 
have, first, a table; this table to be about twelve 
inches high and wide enough to take any wheel, with 
a hole in the center of table to receive the hub. On 
one side you may make a hook that will fall over the 
wheel and hold the tire down while you get it on. 
Close to this table have a box 5^ feet long, 12 inches 
wide and 12 inches deep. On. each side bolt a piece of 
two by six about three feet long. In these planks cut 
notches in which you place an iron rod, run through 
the hub. On this rod the wheel will hang. The 


notches can be made so that any sized wheel will just 
hang down enough to cover the tire in the water. In 
this concern you can give the wheel a whirl and it will 
turn so swift that there will be water all around the 
tire. It can be stopped at any time and the tire set 
right, or the spokes tapped. With these accommoda- 
tions and four helpers I have set six hundred hay rake 
wheels in nine and one-half hours. This was in a 
factory where all the tires were welded and the wheels 
ready so that it was nothing but to heat the tires and 
put them on. I had three fires with twelve tires in 
each fire. An artesian well running through the water 
box kept the water cool. 

If the fire is not hot enough to make it expand a tire 
puller is needed. A tire puller can be made in many 
ways and of either wood or iron. Buggy tire is more 
particular than wagon tire and there are thousand of 
buggy wheels spoiled every year by poor or careless 
blacksmiths. In a buggy tire one-eighth of an inch 
draw is the most that it will stand, while most wheels 
will stand only one-sixteenth. If the wheel is badly 
dished don't give it any draw at all, the tire should 
then measure the same as the wheel, the heat in the 
tire is enough. 

If the wheel is fellow-bound cut the fellows to let 
them down on the spokes. 

If the spokes are loose on the tenon wedge them up 



For a back dished wheel a screw should be used to 
set the wheel right. Place the wheel on the table 
front side up. Put wood blocks under the fellow to 
raise the wheel up from the table. Place a two by 
four over the hole under the table; have a bolt long- 
enough to reach through the two by four and up 
through the hub. a piece of wood over the hub for the 
bolt to go through; screw it down with a tail nut. 
When the wheel is right, put the tire on. The tire for 
such a wheel should have more draw than for a wheel 
that is right. 

If a buggy wheel has been dished it can be helped a 
little without taking the tire off. Place the wheel on 
the anvil so that the tire will rest against the anvil. 
Don't let the tire rest lengthwise on the anvil. If you 
do, the tire will be bent out of shape when you begin 
to hammer on it. Use the least surface possible of the 
anvil and hammer on the edge of the tire ; the stroke 
of the hammer to be such that the blow will draw the 
tire out from the fellow. A tire too tight can be 
remedied this way. 

When bolting a wheel the tire will be out of place 
unless the tire has been shrunk alike on both sides of 
the fellow plates. A smith used to setting tires will 
be able to get the holes almost to a perfect fit. If a 
tire is too short, don't stretch it with a sharp fuller 
that will cut down into the tire, when the tire is a little 
worn it will break in this cut. Draw it out with a wide 
fuller and smooth it down with the hammer. If it is 


much too short, weld in a piece. This is easily done. 
Take a piece of iron i^-inch thick, the width of the tire 
and the length needed, say about three inches. Taper 
the ends and heat it to a red heat. Place it on the tire 
in the fire and weld. This will give material for 

If the wheel has a strong back dish it cannot be set 
right to stay with the tire alone, as a bump against the 
fellow is apt to throw the dish back. It is therefore 
safer in all back dished wheels to take the spokes out 
of the hole and set them right by wedges in the end of 
the spokes. These wedges should not be driven from 
outside in but be placed in the end of the spoke so that 
they will wedge into the spoke when the same is 
driven back into its place. Use glue. 


When you have the bar of either steel or iron for the 
tire, first see if it is straight, if not be sure to make it. 
Next place the tire on the floor and place the wheel on 
top of the tire, begin in such a way that the end of the 
fellow will be even with the end of the tire. Now roll 
the wheel over the tire. If a heavy tire cut it three 
inches longer than the wheel, if a thin tire, two inches. 
Now bend the tire in the bender. Measure the wheel 
with the gauge, then measure the tire ; if it is a heavy 
wagon tire and a straight wheel cut the tire one-fourth 
of an inch shorter than the wheel. If it is a buggy 
tire cut it the size of the wheel. In welding these 
tires they will shorten enough to be the size wanted. 



There are many different ideas practiced in welding 
tires. One smith will narrow both ends before weld- 
ing; another will cut the edges off after it is welded. 
This is done to prevent it from spreading or getting 
too wide over the weld. I hold that both these ideas 
are wrong. The first one is wrong because when the 
ends are narrowed down it is impossible to make them 
stay together until the weld is taken, especially if it is 
a narrow tire. The second idea is wrong because it 
cuts off the best part of the weld and weakens it. 
Some smiths will split the tires, others will rivet them 
together. "This is done to hold the tire in place until 
it has been welded. There is no need of this trouble, 
but for a new beginner a rivet is all right. 

I shall now give my experience in welding tire, and 
as this experience has been in a factory where thou- 
sands of wheels are made yearly, I suppose it will be 
worth something to the reader. 

When the tire is ready to weld draw down the ends 
and let them swell as much as they want to. Now let 
the helper take the end that is to lay on top and pull it 
towards the floor, the other end to rest on the anvil. 
This will give that end a tendency to press itself 
steadily against the lower end. Next place this end 
on top of the other end. The ends must now be hot 
enough to allow them to be shaped. You will now 
notice that the top end is wider than the tire, so is the 
lower end. The tire is to be so placed that the swelled 
parts reach over and inside of each other a little. Now 


give a couple of blows right over the end of the under 
tire. Next tap the swelled sides down over the tire. 
This will hold the tire together so that it cannot slip 
to either side, and the swelled end of the under tire 
will prevent it from pulling out. If the top end has 
been so bent that it has a tendency to press down and 
out a little, the tire will now be in a good shape to 

Before you put the tire into the fire, let me remind 
you of what I have said before about the fire. Many 
blacksmiths are never able to weld a tire tight on the 
outside because of a poor, low, and unclean fire. If 
the fire is too old or too fresh it will not give a good 
heat for welding tire. If you have a good big fire high 
up from the tuyer, then you are all right. Place your 
tire in the fire and proceed as follows: No matter 
whether it is an iron or soft steel tire, sand is the best 
welding compound and nothing else should be used; 
but if you lose the first heat then borax might be used 
as it will prevent the tire from scaling and burning. 
When you have the right heat, place the tire on the 
anvil this way ; let the tire rest against the inside edge 
of the anvil. If the lower end of the tire is allowed to 
come down on the anvil it will cool off and can never 
be welded that way. Now hold the tire this way until 
you have the hammer ready to give the first blow. 
Then let the tire down and strike the first blows 
directly on top and over the end of the under end. 
This is important and if the first blows are not directed 
to this very place the lower end will be too cool to 
weld when you get to it. Next weld down the upper 


end, this done turn the tire on edge and while it is in 
a welding heat come down on it heavy with hammer, 
if a buggy tire, and with a sledge and hammer if a 
heavy wagon tire. Hammer it down until it is con- 
siderably narrower over the weld as it will swell out 
when dressed down. This way the weld has all the 
material in the iron and the lapped lips will help hold 
the weld together. A very poor smith can weld tires 
to stay in this manner. The edges should be rounded 
off with the hammer and filed to make the tire look the 
same over the weld as in the iron. If there should be 
any trouble to weld a steel tire place a little steel 
borings over the weld and use borax. 

A blacksmith in Silver Lake, Minn., working for a 
wagon maker of that place, when welding a tire failed 
entirely after half a dozen attempts, and he got so 
angry that he threw the tire down on the floor with all 
his might. It happened to crush the wagon makers 
big toe. This was more than the otherwise good- 
natured man could stand, and instantly the smith was 
seen hurled through an open window — the wagon 
maker attached. Result: separation and law suit. 
All this because the smith had not read my book. 

When a light buggy tire is to be set mistakes are 
often made in measuring the tire. The tire is too 
light in itself to resist the pressure of the gauge. The 
smith tries to go it light and if there is not the same 
pressure in measuring the tire there was in measuring 
the wheel, it will not give the same results; and when 
the tire is put on it is either too tight or too loose. 
I worked for many years on a tool to hold the tire 


Steady in order to overcome this trouble. The only 
device that I have ever seen for this purpose before is 
the anvil close up to the forge, one side of the tire on 
the forge, the -other on the anvil. This arrangement 
would crowd the smith, roast his back and expose him 
to ridicule, but it will not help to ruin the tire. 

The tool I invented is a tire holder made of cast 
iron. It consists of a standard or frame with a shank 
in to fit in the square hole in the anvil; in the stand- 
ard is a slot hole from the bottom up. On the back of 
the standard are cogs on both sides of the slot hole. 
Through this goes a clutch hub with cogs in to corre- 
spond with the cogs in the standard. On the outside 
of the standard is an eccentric lever. Through this 
lever is a tapered hole to fit over the clutch hub. This 
lever is tapered so that it will fit different thicknesses, 
while the cogs and eccentric lever will adjust it to dif- 
ferent widths. This device is so cheap that any smith 
can afford to have it. 

Next time you buy a quart of whisky sit down and 
figure out which will do 3"ou more good, my tire holder 
or the whisky. Figure 7 is an illustration of my 
holder. This tool is better than an advertisement in 
your local paper, of which the following story will 
convince you. A blacksmith in a prohibition county 
in a northern Iowa town got into the habit of going 
over to a Minnesota town for a keg of beer every 
month. On one of his periodical visits to this place 
he saw a crowd of men standing around a road grader 
in the road. As he approached he found that, the 
grader had a serious break-down and the men were 



just discussing the possibilities of getting the grader 
repaired in the village shops. One said no smith 
could do it, another thought they could if they only 
had tools. "I know a man," said one in the party, 

Fig. 7 
holmstrom tire holder 

"that can if any man can, and he has tools I am sure. 
I was over to his shop the other day to have my buggy 
tire set, and mind you, he had the slickest tool you 
ever saw to hold the tire in ; I never saw a tool like 
that before." *'Well," said one, "that has nothing to 
do with this case." "Yes it has," said the road boss, 


"my father always used to say, 'A mechanic is known 
by the tools he uses,' and when a smith has good tools 
in one line, he has them in another, and I shall give 
this man a chance." 

Our traveling smith had heard enough. This was a 
temperance and tool lecture to him, he began to think 
of all the trips he had made to this town. Twelve 
trips a year, three dollars a trip for liquor and the time 
lost must be worth two dollars per day. He figured 
it out and would have turned back if he had not been 
so close to the place. He took a glass of beer but it 
didn't taste as usual and he asked for a cigar. With 
this he returned, and on the road home swore off for 
good. He bought a tire holder at once to start in 
with, and by this time he is one of the best smiths in 
the country, always at his stand ready to do the work 
brought to him, and his customers now know that he 
is to be found in his place, with tools of all kinds and 
a sober hand to use them with. Do thou likewise. 


Many of us remember the time when tires were 
made in sections and nailed on, at this time the wheels 
were more substantially made, because the tire could 
not be set as tight as it is now, and the wheel had to 
be made so that it would stand the usage almost 
independent of the tire. Our endless tire is a great 
improvement over the tires made in sections. The 
wagon tires as they are made now are, I think, as near 



right as they can be, in regard to size of iron, in pro- 
portion to the wheel. But it is different with buggy 
tires. I hold that they are all made too light to be of 
any protection to the fellows. I understand the reason 
why they are made this way, but if a man wants a 
light rig, let that be the exception and not the rule. 

Tire should not be less than one-fourth of an inch 
thick for seven-eighths wide, and five-sixteenths for 
an inch wide and over. 


A tire four feet in diameter will expand two inches 
and a quarter, or three-sixteenths of an inch to the 
foot. Steel tire expands less. This is the expansion 
of red heat. If heated less it expands less, but it is no 
trouble to make the tire expand for all the draw it 


A furnace for tire heating comes handy in cities 
where there is no chance for making a fire outside, but 
every smith that has room for a fire outside will do 
better to heat the tire that way. Don't build a tire- 
heating furnace in the shop if wood is to be used for 
fuel, because the heat and smoke will turn in your 
face as soon as the doors of the furnace are opened. 


When a worn buggy axle is to be stubbed, proceed 
as follows: First, measure the length of the old axle. 
For this purpose take a quarter inch rod of iron, bend 
a square bend about an inch long on one end. With 
this rod measure from the end of the bearing, that is, 
let the hook of your rod catch against the shoulder at 
the end where the thread begins, not against the 
collars, for they are worn, nor should you measure 
from the end of the axle, for the threaded part is not 
of the same length. Now place your stub on the end 
of the axle and mark it where you want to cut it off. 
Cut the axle one-fourth inch longer than it should be 
when finished. Next heat the ends to be welded and 
upset them so that they are considerably thicker over 
the weld; lap the ends like No. i. Figure 6, weld and 
use sand, but if the ends should not be welded very 
well then use borax. These stubs are made of soft 
steel, and will stand a higher heat than tool steel, but 
remember it is steel. If the ends have been upset 
enough they will have stock enough to draw down on, 


and be of the right length. If this is rightly done 
one cannot tell where the weld is. Set the axle by 
the gauge, if you have one, if not, by the wheels. 


A gauge to set axles by can be made in this way: 
When you have set an axle by the wheels so that it is 
right, take a piece of iron ij{xj^, six feet long, bend 
a foot on this about six inches long, with a leg on the 
other end. See No. 5, Figure 8; the leg to be mov- 
able and set either with a wedge or a set screw to fit 
for wide and narrow track. The gauge to be set 
against the bottom side of the axle. The pitch to be 
given a set of buggy wheels should be from one to one 
and one-half inches. I would recommend one and a 
half inches. This will be enough to insure a plumb 
spoke when the vehicle is loaded. It will also insure 
safety to the rider from mud slinging. By pitch, I 
mean that the wheels are one and a half inches wider 
at the upper rim than they^are down at the ground. 
Every smith ought to have a gauge of this kind, it is 
easy to make and it saves a lot of work, as there is no 
use of the wheels being put on and an endless measur- 
ing in order to get the axle set right. 


By gather I mean that the wheels should be from 
one-fourth to one-half an inch wider back than in 
front Don't misunderstand me now. I don't mean 



that the hind wheels should be wider than the front 
wheels, I mean that a wheel should have a little gather 
in front, as they are inclined to spread and throw the 

Fig. 8 

bearing on the nut, while, if they have a little gather, 
they will run right, and have a tendency to throw the 
bearing on the collars of the axle. If they do they will 


run more steady, especially when the axle is a little 

A gauge for this purpose can be made like Figure 8, 
No, 6. This gauge to be fitted to the front side of the 
axle when you make it. It can be made of i x ^ 
about three feet long, the forked end to reach the cen- 
ter of the axle. With these two gauges axles can be 
set right without the wheels. 

' ' The sluggard will not plow by reason of cold; therefore he 
shall beg in harvest and have nothing,'' — Proverbs. 



'HERE are two kinds of shares: lip shares 

and bar shares, and they must be treated 

differently. We will first treat of bar 

shares. The first thing to do when a 

plow is brought for a new lay is to look 

over the condition of the landside. By 

landside is meant the bar to which the share is welded. 

Now if this bar is worn down so that you think it too 

weak to stand for a new share, then make a new one. 


For a 14-inch plow take 2^ x ^, or 2^ x y\. For a 
16-inch plow, use 2^ X y\, or 3 x ^^ common iron. 
Cut the iron diagonally at the point. This will prepare 
a point on each side of the cut; that is, you had better 
cut out two landsides at a time. But if you do not 
want to do that, then cat the iron off square. Next 
take a piece of common iron Z'^V\> ^3 inches long for a 
shin; cut this diagonally, and it will make shins for 
two. Some plow factories use steel for shins, but that 




is not necessary, for it will not make the plowshare 
any better, but, on the other hand, will be quite a 


bother when you want to drill a hole for a fincoulter if 
it is hardened. Place this shin on the land side of the 
landside, and weld. In preparing the shoulder of the 


shin for the plate use a ship upsetter. See No. 3, 
Figure 8. 

Not one out of 500 blacksmiths have this tool. E very- 
smith should have one. You cannot do a good and 
quick job without it. 

When you shape the point of the landside hold it 
vertical, that is, the edge straight up and down, or 
plumb. If you don't do this, there will be trouble in 
welding, especially if you have held it under. Then 
it will lean under the square when welded, and in such 
a case it is hard to get a good weld, and if you do you 
will break it up when you attempt to set it to the 
square. Another thing, don't make much slant on the 
landside up at the joint, for, if you do, you can never 
weld the share good up there. Give more slant 
towards the point. Be sure to have the right curve. 
It is very important to have the landside right: i, 
Because it is the foundation for the plow; 2, if the 
landside is right the start is right, and then there is no 
trouble to get the share right. When finished place 
the old landside on top of the new, with the upper 
edges even; don't go by the bottom edges, as they are 
worn. Now mark the hole. You may leave the front 
hole for the foot of the beam this time. When holes 
are drilled, then put a bolt through the hole of the foot 
of beam and landside ; now place the plow on the land- 
side and measure 14 inches from the floor up to the 
beam. In this position mark the front hole of the foot 
of the beam. If the beam has been sprung up you 
will now have remedied that. So much about a new 
landside. On the other side, if the old landside is not 

Modern blacksmithing 91 

too much worn to be used, then repair as follows: 
Take a piece of ^-inch thick flat iron the width of the 
landside about ten inches long. Cut one end off diag- 
onally, this end to be flattened down. Why should this 
end be cut diagonally? This piece of iron is to be 
placed on the inner side of the landside and as far back 
as to cover the hole that holds the plate. Now, if this 
iron is cut square off, and left a little too thick on that 
end, it will cut into the landside and weaken it ; but if 
cut diagonally and drawn out thin it will not weaken, 
nor can it break when cut in this manner. To be sure 
of a good strong weld, upset over the weld. I hold 
that this is the most important thing in making a new 
lay. "No hoof, no horse" — no landside, no plow. 
There are only a few blacksmiths recognizing this fact. 
Most of the smiths will simply take a piece of iron 
about half an inch square and weld it on top of the 
point. This is the quickest way, but it is also the 
poorest way, but they cannot very well do it in any 
other way, for if you have no shin upsetter to dress 
and shape the shoulder for the plate, then it is quite a 
job to repair any other way. There are three reasons 
why a landside cannot be repaired with a patch on top 
of the point: i, The shin or shoulder in an old landside 
is worn down sometimes to almost nothing, and the 
only way to get stock enough to make a good shoulder 
is to put a good-sized piece of iron on the inside, back 
and behind this shoulder. If a new plate is to be put 
on and this is not done, you will have to draw down 
the plate to the thickness of the old shoulder, and in 
such a case the plate will add no strength to the share. 


2, The landside is, in many cases, worn down on the 
bottom to a thin, sharp edge, and by placing the piece 
on top the landside will be as it was on the bottom 
side, where it ought to be as thick as you can make it. 

3, The weakest place in the landside is just at the 
shoulder of the shin, and by placing the piece on top it 
will not reach over this weak place, and with a new 
long point on, the strain will be heavier than before, 
and the landside will either bend or break. I have in 
my experience had thousands of plows that have been 
broken or bent on account of a poorly-repaired land- 
side. Blacksmiths, with only a few exceptions, are all 
making this mistake. 

The landside is to the plow what the foundation is to 
the house. No architect will ever think of building a 
substantial house without a solid foundation. No 
practical plowsmith will ever try to make a good plow 
without a solid landside. 

For prairie or brush breakers, where no plate is 
used, it will be all right to repair the landside by plac- 
ing a piece of iron on top of it, provided it is not much 
worn, and the patch reaches back far enough to 
strengthen the landside. But even in such cases it is 
better to lay it on the inner side. 


We have now learned how to prepare the landside 
for a solid or long bar share. We shall now learn how 
to make a landside point for slipshares. There are 


smiths that will take the old worn-out stub of a slip- 
share point, weld a piece to it, and then weld the share 
on. This is very ridiculous and silly. There is noth- 
ing left in such a point to be of any use. Make a new 
one; be sure to make it high enough — at least half an 
inch higher than the share is to be when finished. 
This will give you material to weld down on. If the 
landside is not high enough the share will be lower — 
that is, the joint of the lay will be lower than the joint 
of the mouldboard, and it should be the other way. 


On this point many an old smith and every beginner 
makes mistakes, and not only in this case, but in every- 
thing else. Whatever you have to make, be sure to 
have stock enough to work down on, and you will be 
all right. It is better to have too much than not 

In shaping the point remember to hold it perpendic- 
ular, and give very little slant up at the joint, but 
more towards the point. If too much slant up at the 
joint there will be difficulty in welding it. Remember 
this. Don't make the point straight like a wedge; if 
you do the share will be above the frog. Give it the 
same circle it had, and the share will rest solid on the 
frog. This is another important point to remember: 


The lay will not have the full strength if it don't rest 
on the frog, and it will not be steady, and the plow will 
not run good, for in a few days the share flops up and 

When a 14-inch share is finished the point, from the 
joint of the share to the extreme end of the point, 
should be II inches, not longer, and for a 16-inch lay, 
12 inches, not longer. The point acts as a lev^er on the 
plow, and if it is too long the plow will not work good, 
and it is liable to break. Shape the point so that when 
you hold it up against the plow it will be in line with 
the bottom of the landside, but about half an inch 
wider than the landside to weld on. If it is a plow 
where, the point of the mouldboard rests on the land- 
side point, and it is a double shin, then cut out in the 
landside point for the point of the mouldboard to rest 
in. See No. i, Figure 9. This will be a guide for you 
when welding the share, and it will slip onto the plow 
easier when you come to fit it to the same. I think 
enough has been said about the landside to give the 
beginner a good idea of how to make one. And if the 
landside is right, it comes easier to do the rest. In 
making a plowshare there are many things to remem- 
ber, and one must be on the alert right along, for it 
will give lots of trouble if any point is overlooked. 

We will now weld a share to a long bar landside. 
The landside having been finished and bolted to the 
beam or its foot, or to a standard, the share is to be 
shaped to fit. Hold the share up to the plow. First 
look if the angle for the point is right in the share; if 
not, heat the share, and if under the angle wanted 



upset up at the joint; if over the angle wanted, drive 
it back at the point. In doing this hold the edge of 
the share over a wooden block instead of the anvil, so 
as not to batter the thin edge of the share. If the 
share has been upset so that it has a narrow rib along 
the point where it is to be welded, draw this down and 
make it level. In most blank shares the point should 

Fig. 9 

be raised to fit the landside point, so that when the 
same is placed on the floor the edge of the share will 
follow the floor or leveling block (if you have it), from 
the heel right up to the point, then it will be easy to 
make the edge come down to the square in finishing it 
up. If this is not done the edge of the share from the 
throat back will generally be too high. 

In Figure 9 two shares are represented, one with the 
landside point on ready for welding. In this share the 
point of the same has been raised so that the share 


comes down to the square in the throat. The other is 
a blank share, straight in the point between Nos. 4 and 
5, resting on the extreme heel and point with gap 
between the edge of share and floor at No. 3. In most 
blank shares the point is too straight, and the point 
too much bent down at No. 4. Bend the share so that 
the whole length from heel to point will follow the 
floor. When the share is held in a position as shown 
in this cut, don't fit the share to the brace, for in most 
old plows the brace has been bent out of shape. Fit 
the share to the square, and then fit the brace to the 
share, and you are right. Many a blacksmith will 
never think of this, but it is important. 

Next joint the share; that is, if the joint does not fit 
the joint of the mouldboard, make it fit either by filing 
or grinding. This done, make the holes, and when you 
center-punch for same draw the holes a trifle; that 
means make the center mark a little towards the inner 
side of the mark, especially for the hole next to the 
point. This is also an important point overlooked by 
most blacksmiths. The holes that hold the joints 
together should act as a wedge. If they don't the 
joints will pull apait and leave a gap between, where 
dirt and straw will gather, and if a slipshare the share 
will soon work loose and the plow will flop. 

The holes having been punched and countersunk, 
the share should be bolted to the biace. Next put on 
the clamp. It is not necessary that the clamp should 
be put on while the share is on the plow. I never do 
that. I used to for many years, but there is no need 
of doing it, for if the share has the right angle it must 


come to its place when even with the point on the out- 
side, and a cut. should be made in the landside just at 
the place where the point of the mouldboard rests on 
same, this cut will also be a guide. 

Now a few words concerning the clamp. Figure 8, 
No. 7 illustrates a clamp for this purpose. The set 
screw at the bottom serves to hold the landside from 
leaning over or under, while the setscrew at the upper 
end holds the share against the point. If this clamp is 
rightly made it works splendid. The clamp should be 
placed over the plowshare up at the joint, because the 
first heat or weld should be on the point. Some smiths 
— well, for a fact, most smiths — take the first weld up 
at the joint. This is wrong. The point should be 
wielded first. Then you have a chance to set the share 
right and fit it snug to the point the whole way up. 
You cannot make a good weld if the share does not fit 
snug against the landside point, to prevent air and cin- 
ders from playing between. Further, the share should 
be upset over the weld, when this is not done in the 
blank share; the lower corner of the share will pro- 
trude over the landside. This should be dressed down 
smooth. The next weld should be taken up at the 
joint. For welding compound use steel borings and 
scales from either steel or iron. 

After you have moistened the place where the weld 
is to be taken with borax, then fill in between the share 
and point with steel borings, and on top of this a little 
steel or iron scales. Do not buy any welding com- 
pound of any kind, because if you learn to know what 
you have in the shop you will find that there never was 


a welding compound made to excel borax, steel scales, 
steel or iron boiings, and powdered glass. All these 
you have without buying. 

In heating go slow. If you put on too strong blast 
the share will burn before the iron is hot enough to 
weld. When ready to weld let your helper take with 
a pair of tongs over the share and landside to hold 
them tight together while you strike the first blow. 
Use a large hammer and strike with a pressure on the 
hammer the first blows, until you are sure it sticks; 
then come down on it with force. 

I have made it a practice, no matter how good this 
weld seems to be, to always take a second weld. This 
weld to be a light one. The share and landside are 
after the first weld settled, so it takes very little to 
weld them then. On the other hand, the first weld 
might look to all appearances solid, but it is not 
always. With this precaution I never had a share that 
ripped open in the weld, while it is a rare thing to find 
a share made by a blacksmith that does not rip. Now, 
then, weld down toward the point. The point should 
not be allowed to have any twist, for if it does, it will 
turn the plow over on the side. Now set the edge 
right, beginning at the heel. If the share is made for 
hard fall plowing give more suction than for a share 
for soft spring plowing. Grind and polish before you 
harden, and after it is hardened touch it up lightly 
with the polish wheel. Much polishing or grinding 
after hardening will wear off the case hardening. 



We shall now weld a slipshare. When the point is 
finished hold it to the plow with a pair of tongs while 
you fit the share. When the share is fitted take the 
point off from the plow and fasten it to the share with 
the clamp. As I have said before, there is no need of 
fastening the share to the landside point with the plow 
as a guide. If the landside and share are right there 
cannot be any mistake, and it comes easier to screw 
them together over the anvil. Now proceed as with a 
long bar share, and when the weld up at the joint has 
been taken, fit the share to the plow while hot. Some 
smiths in preparing the landside point for a slipshare 
will place the share so that the point is a little too 
short back where it rests against the end of the plate. 
This is a bad idea. It is claimed that, in welding, the 
landside point will swell enough to make it reach up 
against the plate. This is true, if the landside point is 
only high enough; but if it is low and you lose a heat 
in welding, as most smiths do, then your landside point 
will be both too low and too short. Thousands of 
shares are made every year that have this fault. 
Therefore, whatever you are doing have stock enough. 
It is easy to cut off from the landside while yet hot, 
but it is difficult to repair if too short. No share will 
work steadily if the point does not rest right against 
the plate. 

In blacksmithing, every beginner, and many an old 
smith, makes the mistake of providing less stock than 
is needed for the work to be done. It is essential to 



have material to dress down on ; and if a heat is lust, 
or a weld, it will make the stock in the article weaker, 
and to meet these exigencies there must be material 
from the start, enough for all purposes. There is also 

a wide difference of opinion as to whether the share 
should be welded at the point or at the joint first. 
While I was yet a young man and employed in a plow 
factory, I had an opportunity to see the different ideas 
set to a test. In the factory the practice was to weld 


the point first. A plowman from another State was 
engaged, and he claimed that it would be better to weld 
the share first up at the joint. He was given a chance 
to prove his assertion, and the result was that 3 per 
cent of his shares broke over the inner side of the 
landside at the joint in the hardening, and 10 per cent 
ripped up in the weld at the same place. These are 
results that will always follow this method. 

The first, because the share was not upset over the 
weld; the second, because a good weld cannot be 
taken unless the share is dressed down snug against 
the point when hot. As far as the number of shares 
welded per day was concerned, this man was not in it. 
Still, this man was a good plowman, and was doing 
better than I ever saw a man with this idea do before. 
For it is a fact, that out of one thousand plowshares 
welded by country blacksmiths, nine hundred and 
ninety will rip up. I have been in different States, 
and seen more than many have of this kind of work, 
but, to tell the truth, there is no profession or trade 
where there is so much poor work done as in black- 
smithing, and especially in plow work. Blacksmiths 
often come to me, even from other States, to learn my 
ideas of making plowshares. On inquiring, I gener- 
ally find that they weld a piece on the top of the old 
landside and proceed to weld without touching the 
share or trying to fit it at all. We need not be sur- 
prised at this ignorance, when we know that it is only 
fifty years since John Deere reformed the plow industry 
entirely and made the modern plow now in use. It is 
impossible for blacksmiths in the country to have 


learned this part of their business, in so short a time, 
successfully. Still, I have seen blacksmiths prosper 
and have quite a repiitation as plowmen, while, for a 
fact, they never made a plowshare that was, from the 
standpoint of a practical plowman, right. 

' 'He that tilteth his land shall be satisfied.''' — Proverbs, 



share is of soft center steel, 
harden as follows: First, 
;at the whole point to a 
very low red heat; then 
turn the share face 
down, with the heel 
over the fire, and the 
point in such a posi- 
tion that it is about two inches higher than the heel. 
This will draw the fire from the heel along towards 
the point, and the whole length of the share will be 
heated almost in one heat. Be sure to get an even 
heat, for it will warp or crack if the heat is uneven. 
When the share has a moderate red heat take it out, 
and you will notice that it is sprung up along the edge. 
This is the rule, but there are exceptions, and the share 
is then sprung down. In either case set it right; if 
sprung up set it down a little under the square; if 
sprung down set it a little over the square. You can- 
not with any success set it by a table or leveling block, 
because this will, first, cool off the edge, second, it 



mtist be either over or under the square a little. 
Therefore, you must use your eye and set the share 
with the hammer over the anvil. This done, hold 
the share over the fire until it has a low red heat, as 
stated before; then plunge it into a tub of hardening 
compound, such as is sold by the traveling man, or 
sprinkle the share with prussiate of potash and plunge 
it into a barrel of salt water. 

You will notice that the share will warp or spring 
out of shape more in the heating than it does in the 
cooling, if the heat is right. Some smiths never look 
at the share when hot for hardening, but simply plunge 
it into the tub, and then they say it warped in harden- 
ing, while it was in the heating. If the share is too 
hot it will warp in cooling also. 


Points are now sold by dealers in hardware, and 
every smith knows how they are shaped. There is, 
however, no need of buying these; every smith has old 
plowshares from which points can be cut, provided you 
don't use an old share too much worn. The points 
sold are cut with the intention that most of the point 
is to be placed on top of the plow point. This is all 
right in some instances, while it is wrong in others. 
When you cut a piece for a point make it the same 
shape at both ends. Now, when a plow needs the 
most of the point on top bend the end to be on top 
longer than the end to go underneath, and vice versa, 



when the point wants to be heaviest on the bottom 
side. I hold that in ordinary cases the most of the 
point should be on the bottom side. If it is it will 
wear better and keep in the gTOund longer, for as soon 
as the point is worn off underneath it comes out of the 

Don't monkey with old mower sections or anything 
like them for points, for, although the material is good, 
it is not the quality alone but also the quantity that 


goes to make up a good point. It takes only a few 
hours' plowing to wear off a section from the extreme 
point of the share, and then there is only the iron of 
the plow point left to wear against, and your time 
spent for such a point is lost. Another thing, it takes 
just as much time to put on such a point as it does to 
put on a good one for which you charge the regular 

In putting on a point of thin material you must go 
unusually slow, or you will burn the steel before the 
plow point is hot. 



Smiths, as a rule, draw out a lound back point. 
They seem to be afraid of coming down on the point 
with the hammer for fear it will spring the point 
towards the land. This can be remedied by using a 
wooden block for anvil. Then you can set the point 
back without battering the edge of the share. The 


suck of a point should be one-eighth of an inch. Don't 
split the steel of the point of a share open and wedge 
a point in. Make one long enough to reach around 
the point, say from 8 to lo inches long, and you will 
have a good substantial job. There is too much 
experimenting in putting on points yet, but the method 
just described is the only good one. 



If the share to be sharpened is a hardened share, and 
it is the first time it is sharpened, then be careful not 
to heat it too far towards the joint, so as to leave the 
temper as much the same as possible. For my part, I 
never follow this rule. I heat it as much as is needed 
to draw it out good, and then harden it over again. 
But beginners can sharpen a new share once without 
hardening it over, if the temper is not entirely out of 
the share. To sharpen a share without springing it 
some is an impossibility. No device will prevent this, 
and the only way to set it right is to heat it all over. 
In sharpening a share it is drawn out on one side, and 
it is natural that that side is made longer, and as a 
result the share must warp. In a circular saw it takes 
only a couple of blows on one side to get it out of 
shape; then what else can we expect in a plowshare, 
when all the hammering is done on one side? 

Some smiths turn the bottom side of the share up 
and hammer on that side, but this is wrong; first, 
because in so doing you unshape the share; second, 
the scales on the anvil will mark tha face of the share 
just as bad as the hammer, so nothing is gained by 
this. Place the share on the anvil, face up, and use a 
hammer with a big round face, and when you get used 
to this, the best result is obtained. D n't draw the 
edge out too thin. There is no need of a thin edge on 
a plow that has to cut gravel and snags, but for sod 
breaking a thin edge is wanted, and the smith has to 
use his best judgment even in such a case. 



Cut a piece of steel about eight inches long, three 
inches wide on one end, and pointed down to a sharp 
point on the other. Draw out one side thin to noth- 
ing. Next, draw out the heel of the share. Now 
place the heel piece on the bottom side of the share, 
and hold it in place with a pair of tongs and tong rings. 
Take the first heat at the pointed end of the piece, 
next heat at the heel, share down, then turn the share 
over, heel down; go slow, use borax freely, and place 
a little steel borings between the heel piece and the 
share. After a little practice almost any smith ought 
to be able to put on a heel, while now it is only a few 
smiths that can do it. I never put on a heel yet but 
the owner of the plow would tell me that other smiths 
tell him it cannot be done. When welded good be sure 
to get the right shape in the share. Grind and polish 
carefully, as the dirt is inclined to stick to the share in 
this place more easily than in any other. 


When a plow is flopping or going everywhere so that 
the owner don't know what is the matter the fault 
should be looked for first in the beam. If the beam is 
loose the plow will not run steady, but the reason for 
this trouble, in most cases, is in the share. If the 
point has too little "suction," and the edge of the share 
is too much rolling the plow generally acts this way. 


To remedy this, sharpen the share, set the point down, 
and the edge of the lay from the point all the way back 
to the heel, and the plow will work right. 



If a plow is inclined to fall over on the right handle, 
the fault is in the share. The share in such a case has 
too much suction along the edge. Heat the whole 
share and roll the edge of it up and the plow will work 
all right. 

If a plow tips over on the left side handle, the share 
in such a case is too much rolled up. Heat it all over 
and set the edge down to give it more suction. 


There are two reasons for a plow running too deep : 
I, If the beam is more than fourteen inches high from 
the floor up to the lower side of it, then the beam 
should be heated over a place as far back as possible, 
and the same set down to its proper place. 2, If the 
point of the share has too much suction the plow will 
also run too deep. The right suction to give a 
plowshare is from )4 to j\ of an inch. If a plow 
don't run deep enough with this much as a draw, there 
must be something else out of shape; or, if it goes too 
deep, the f^ult must be looked for in the beam or in 


the tugs with small-sized horses. The point of a share 
should never be bent upwards in order to prevent the 
plow from going too deep. Set the share right, and if 
the plow then goes out of its proper way the fault must 
be found somewhere else. 


If a 14-inch plow takes too much land the fault is 
either in the point of the share or in the beam. The 
point of a share should stand one-eighth of an inch to 
land, and the beam should stand about three inches to 
the right. Tliis will be right for a 14-inch plow and 
two horses. If for a 16- inch plow and three horses, 
the beam should be in line with the landside. 



When a gang or sulky plow runs on its nose and 
shoves itself through the dirt, the fault is with the 
share or in the beam. In most cases this fault is a set 
back beam, but it might also be the result of a badly- 
bent-down and out-of-shape landside point. If it is in 
the beam, take it out and heat it in the arch, then 
bend it forward until the plow has the right shape, and 
it will run right. 



To harden a mouldboard is no easy job in a black- 
smith's forge, and it is no use trying this in a portable 
forge, because there is not room enough for the fire 
required for this purpose. First, dig the firepot out 
clean, then make a charcoal fire of two bushels of this 
coal, have some dry basswood or wood like it, and 
when the charcoal begins to get red all over then pile 
the wood on the outside corners of the fire. Heat the 
point of the mouldboard first, because this being 
shinned, it is thicker and must be heated first or it will 
not be hot enough ; then hold the mouldboard on the 
fire and pile the wood and hot coal on top of it. Keep 
it only until red hot in the same place, then move it 
around, especially so that the edges get the force of the 
fire, or they will be yet cold while the center might be 
too hot. 


When the mouldboard is red hot all over sprinkle 
with prussiate of potash, and plunge into a barrel of 
ice or salt water. A mouldboard will stand a good 
heat if the heat is even; otherwise it will warp or 
crack. Another way to heat a mouldboard: if you 
have a boiler, then fill the fire place with wood and 
heat your mouldboard there. This will give you a 
very good heat. If it is a shinned mouldboard the 
point must be heated first in the forge, then place it 
under the boiler for heating. This must be done to 



insure a good heat on the point, which is thicker than 
the mouldboard and therefore would not be hot enough 
in the time the other parts get hot. 

When a mouldboard is worn out on the point a patch 
can be put on, if the mouldboard is not too much worn 
otherwise. Cut a piece of soft center steel to fit over 
the part to be repaired. Draw this piece out thin 
where it is to be welded to face of mouldboard. Hold 

NO. I. 


NO. Z. 

Fig. II 

this piece in position while taking the first weld, with 
a pair of tongs. Weld the point first, then the edges, 
last the center. The patch should be welded to face 
of mouldboard. When the last weld is taken place the 
mouldboard face up, with some live coal over it, in the 
fire ; use borax freely, and, when ready to weld, weld 
the patch while the mouldboard is in the fire, using a 
^ rod of round iron as a hammer with one end of it 
bent for this purpose. When the patch is thus welded 
in its thinnest place then take it out and weld on the 
anvil. In heating for the weld never place the patch 
down towards the tuyer, for there the blast will make 


it scale, and it will never weld this way. Remember 
this in all kinds of welding. 

Figure iiA represents two shares. No. i represents 
a share set for spring plowing, when the ground is soft. 
Notice the heel of the share following the square for 
about one inch at c, while the heel in No. 2 rests with 
the extreme edge on the square, and is set for fall 
plowing, when the ground is hard. The line between 
a and b shows the suction at d, which is not more than 
an eighth of an inch. Breaking plows and large plows 
which are run shallow should have a wide bearing at c. 
In breaking plows the heel will sometimes have to be 
rolled up a little at this place. 

'The reason inosi men do not accomplish more is because they 

do not atte?nj>t more.** 



N filling a sickle bar there are two ways to 
remove the old sections. One way is to 
punch the rivets out, but in every case 
where the back of the section sticks out 
over the sickle bar they can be removed 
easier in this way : Just open the vise enough to receive 
the section, then strike with the hammer on the back 
of the section, and this blow will cut the rivets off. 
You can cut out ten to one by this method to any other. 
Sometimes the sickle bar is bent out of shape in the 
fitting. To straighten it place the sickle on the anvil, 
sections down ; now strike with the hammer so that it 
will touch the bar only on one half of its face, the blow 
to be on the inner side of the curve. 


When a box is to be babbited the first thing to do is 
to clean the box If it can be placed over the fire the 
old babbit with melt out easily. If the box cannot be 
hsld over the fire, then chisel the old babbit out. At 



each end of the box there is a ridge to hold the babbit 
in the box; that is, in cast iron boxes. On top of this 
ridge place a strip of leather as thick as you want the 
babbit to be. This done, place the shaft in the box. 
Pour the babbit in level with the box. Be careful 
about having the box dry; if any dampness is in the 
box the babbit will explode. Now place a thick paper 
on each side of the box and put on the top box, with 
the bolts in to hold it in place tight, then close up at 
the ends with putty. In some cases it is best to heat 
the box a little, for if the box is cold and there is little 
room for the babbit it will cool off before it can float 
around. In such a case the boxes should be warm and 
the babbit heated to a red heat. Now pour the babbit 
in through the oil hole. 

In cases where there are wooden boxes, and the 
babbit is to reach out against the collars, the shaft 
must be elevated or hung on pieces of boards on each 
side with notches in for the shaft to rest in. Use putty 
to fill up and make tight, so that the babbit must stay 
where wanted. For slow motion babbit with a less- 
cooling percentage (tin) ; for high speed, more-cooling 
(tin). Grooves may be cut in the bottom box for oil. 
When a shaft is to be babbited all around in a solid 
box the shaft is inclined to stick in the babbit. To 
prevent this smoke the shaft a little and have it warm. 
When cool it will come out all right. Or wind thin 
paper around the shaft, the paper to be tied with 
strings to the shaft. 



By gradually heating and cooling steel will be soft- 
ened, brittleness reduced, and flexibility increased. In 
this state steel is tough and easiest drilled or filed. 
Tool steel is sometimes too hard to drill or file without 
first annealing it; and the best way to do this is to 
slowly heat to a red heat, then bury the steel in the 
cinders and let it cool slowly. To heat and let the 
steel cool exposed to the air will do no good, as it cools 
off too quick, and when cool the steel is as hard as 
ever. This is air temper. 


Cogs can be inserted in a cogwheel in different ways. 
If the rim of the wheel is thick enough a cog can be 
dovetailed in. That is, cut a slot in the rim from the 
root of the cog down, this slot to be wider at the bot- 
tom. Prepare a cog the exact size of the cogs, but just 
as much deeper as the slot. Before you drive this cog 
in, cut out a chip on each end of the slot, and when the 
cog is driven in you can clinch the ends where you cut 
out. This will make a strong cog, and if properly 
made will never get loose. 

Another way: If the rim is thin, then make a cog 
with a shank on, or a bolt cog. If the rim is wide 
make two bolts. The cog can be either riveted or 
fastened with nuts. If only one shank is made, the 
same must be square up at the cog, or the cog will 


turn and cause a breakdown. But a shallow slot can 
be cut in the rim to receive and hold the cog, and then 
a bolt shank will hold it in place, whether the shank is 
round or square. 


H steel has been burnt the best thing to do is to 
throw it in the scraps; but if overheated it can be 
improved. Heat to a low red heat, and hammer 
lightly and cool off in salt water, while yet hot enough 
to be of a brown color. Repeat this a half a dozen 
times, and the steel will be greatly bettered. Of 
course, this is only in cases when a tool or something 
like it has been overheated which cannot be thrown 
away without loss. By this simple method I have 
restored tools overheated by ignorant smiths, and in 
some cases the owner would declare that it was "bet- 
ter than ever." 



Care must be taken in heating stone hammers not to 
overheat them. Dress the hammer so that the edges 
are a little higher than the center, thus making a slight 
curve. A hammer dressed this way will cut better 
and stay sharp longer than if the face is level. Dress 
both ends before hardening, then harden face end 
first. Heat to a red heat, and cool off in cold water 


about one inch up, let the temper return to half an 
inch from the face, that is, draw the temper as much 
as you can without changing the temper at the face. 
There it should be as hard as you can make it. When 
heating the peen end keep a wet rag over the face to 
prevent it from becoming hot. This end should not be 
tempered quite as hard as the face. 


Chilled cast iron can be easily drilled if properly 
annealed, but it cannot be annealed simply by heating 
and slowly cooling. Heat the iron to a red heat and 
place it over the anvil in a level position ; place a piece 
of brimstone just where the hole is to be drilled, and 
let it soak in. If it is a thick article place a piece on 
each side over the hole, as it will better penetrate and 
soften the iron. Next, heat it again until red, then 
bury it in the cinders, and let it cool slowly. To heat 
and anneal chilled iron is of no avail unless it is allowed 
to remain hot for hours. Chilled iron will, if heated 
and allowed to cool quick, retain its hardness. The 
only way to anneal is to let it remain in the fire for 
hours. Brimstone will help considerably, but even 
with that it is best to let cool as slowly as your time 
will admit. 


First, make your drill of good steel, oval in form, 
and a little heavier than usual on point, and temper as 


hard as it will without drawing the temper, the heat to 
be a low red cherry. Diluted muriatic acid is a good 
thing to roughen the surface with where you want the 
hole. Use kerosene instead of oil, or turpentine. The 
pressure on the drill should be steady so that it will 
cut right along as it is hard to start again if it stops 
cutting, but if it does, again use diluted muriatic acid. 
The hole should be cleaned after the use of the acid. 


I have repeatedly warned against overheating steel. 
Don't heat too fast, for if it is a piece of a large dimen- 
sion the outside corners will be burnt, while the bar is 
yet too cool inside to be worked. Don't let steel 
remain for any length of time in the fire at a high heat, 
for both steel and iron will then become brittle. This 
is supposed by some to be due to the formation of oxide 
disseminated through the mass of the metal, but many 
others believe that a more or less crystalline structure 
is set up under the influence of a softening heat, and is 
the sole cause of the diminution in strength and tenac- 
ity. The fiber of the steel is spoiled through over- 
heating; ■ this can, to some extent, be remedied by 
heavy forging if it is a heavy bar. 

Steel is harder to weld than iron, because it contains 
less cinders and slag, which will produce a fusible fluid 
in iron that will make it weld without trouble. Steel 
contains from 2 to 25 per cent carbon, and varies in 
quality according to the per cent of carbon, and it is 


claimed that there are twent}" different kinds of steel. 
To blacksmiths only a few kinds are known, and the 
sturdy smith discards both "physical tests and chem- 
ical analysis," and he thinks he knows just as much as 
do those who write volumes about these tests. 

To weld tool steel, or steel of a high per cent of car- 
bon, borax must be used freely to prevent burning and 
promote fusing. Steel with less carbon, or what smiths 
call "soft steel," "sleigh steel," should be welded with 
sand only. This soft steel stands a higher heat than 
the harder kinds. 

Good tool steel will break easy when cold if it is cut 
into a little with a cold chisel all around, and the bar 
then placed with the cut over the hole in the anvil, the 
helper striking directly over the hole. If it is good 
steel it will break easy, and the broken ends are fine 
grain, of a light color. If it* shows glistening or glit- 
tering qualities it is a bad sign. 

Good steel will crumble under the hammer when 
white hot. 

To test steel draw out to a sharp point, heat to a red 
heat, cool in salt water; if it cuts glass it is a steel of 
high hardening quality. 

For armor piercing, frogs, tiles, safes, and crushing 
machinery, alloy steel is used. This steel contains 
chromium, manganese or nickel, which renders it 
intensely hard. Tungsten is another alloy that is used 
in iron-cutting tools, because it does not lose its hard- 
ness by friction. Smiths should know more about 
steel than they do, and we would have steel to suit 
every need. As it is now, any poor stuff is sent to the 


smith. The same can be said of iron. The American 
wrought iron is the poorest iron that ever got the name 
of iron, but there are thousands of smiths using this 
stuff with great difficulty without ever a word said as a 
protest against the manufacture of the rotten material. 
We often get iron that is too poor to bend hot with- 
out breaking. Let us register a kick, and if that has 
no effect let us try to abolish the tariff, and there will 
be good iron manufactured in this country, or the 
Swedish and Norwegian iron will be used. But the 
result will be the same with iron as with the matches: 
the American manufactories will make good iron when 
they have to. We get iron and steel that is both 
"cold-shot and hot-shot." The former breaks easy 
when cold, the latter when hot. We have meat and 
wheat inspectors; where is the iron inspector? Farm- 
ers know enough to ask for protection, but blacksmiths 
will never say a word. They use the cold-shot or hot- 
shot iron, and when they have spent half a day in com- 
pleting a little intricate work it breaks in their hands 
because of iron that is either cold or hot shot, "'^nsist 
on good iron, and the steel will also be good. Deduct 
a little every year from the amount due your jobber for 
poor iron, and you can be sure if this is done by a few 
thousand smiths it will have effect. 


Strictly speaking, there is no such thing as welding 
cast iron. The best that can be done is to melt it 
together; but this is simply accidental work, and when 


done don't amount to anything. Still, I have never 
met a blacksmith yet who could not weld cast iron, but, 
at the same time, I have j^et to meet the man that can 
do it; and I will give twenty-five dollars to the smith 
that will give me a receipt for welding cast-iron shoes 
that will be useful when welded. All receipts I have 
seen for this purpose are simply bosh. 

Malleable iron is a different thing. Many smiths 
weld malleable iron and think it is cast iron. "The 
wish," in such a case, "is the father of the thought," 
but to weld malleable iron is not more difficult than to 
weld soft steel. Malleable iron when good, and steel 
when soft, are about the same thing. I would there- 
fore advise smiths to spend no time in welding cast 
iron. Nothing will be gained even if you should suc- 
ceed in sticking it enough to haug together. It will in 
most cases be useless, because it will not be of the 
same shape as before. 



handle is broken use rock 
salt and powdered glass 
as a welding- compound. 
Stick the ends together in 
the fire. When they are 
about ready to melt tap 
lightly on one end while 
your helper holds the 
other end steady. In 
one case out of a hun- 
dred it will stick enough 
to hang together. If 
you have nothing else to do this will be a nice thing to 
kill time with 


Iron and steel may be case hardened with either of 
the following compounds: Prussiate of potash, sal- 
ammoniac of equal parts. Heat the iron red hot and 
sprinkle it with this compound, then heat again and 
sprinkle, and plunge it while yet hot in a bath of salt 

Another: Cyanide of potassium; grind it into a fine 
powder and sprinkle over the iron while red hot, and 
plunge into a bath of salt water. This powder will 


coagulate if it is held against the fire so it gets warm. 
Be careful with this powder, as it is a strong poison. 
It is the best thing that I have ever tried for case hard- 
ening iron. It will case harden the softest iron so that 
it cannot be touched with any tool. It is also good for 
plows, especially where it is hard to make a plow 
scour. The only objection is the price, as it costs more 
than prussiate of potash or other hardening com- 


Heat to a heat that will be discerned in the dark as 
a low red heat. Plunge into a bath of lukewarm 
water. Such a heat cannot be noticed in a light sunny 
day, but it is just the heat required. Of course, it is 
the smith with practice who succeeds, as with every- 
thing else. 

Another way: Heat to a low red heat and bury the 
spring in cold sand. Another : Heat to a low red heat 
in the dark, and cool in oil. 



Take i pound of ashes from white ash bark, dissolve 
in soft water. Heat your iron red, and cool in this 
solution, and the iron will turn white as silver. 



Silver, 15 parts; copper, 2 parts. These should be 
filed into powder and mixed. Now place your saw 
level with the broken ends tight up against each other; 
put a little of the mixture along the seam, and cover 
with powdered charcoal; with a spirit lamp and a 
blowpipe melt the mixture, then with the hammer set 
the joint smooth. 


If a band saw is broken file the ends bevel, and lap 
one end over the other far enough to take up one 
tooth ; place the saw in such a position that the saw 
will be straight when mended ; use silver, copper and 
brass; file into a fine powder; place this over the joint 
and cover with borax. Now heat two irons one inch 
square, or a pair of heavy tongs, and place one on each 
side of the joint, and when the powdered metal is 
melted have a pair of tongs ready to take hold over the 
joint with while it cools. File off and smooth the 
sides, not leaving the blade any thicker than in other 




AKE of nitric 
acid 4 ozs. ; 
muriatic acid, 
. Mix together, 
cover the place 
wish to write on 
beeswax, the 
teswax to be warm 
when applied. 
When it is cold, 
write your name 
with a sharp instru- 
ment. Be sure to write 
so that the steel is dis- 
cernible in the name. 
Now apply the mixture 
with a feather, well fill- 
ing each letter. Let the 
mixture remain about five 
minutes or more, according 
to the depth desired; then wash off the acid; water 
will stop the process of the same. When the wax is 
removed, the inscription is plain. 

"Z>^ man who confesses his ignorance is 07t the road to 




By H. Moen, Machinist, Cresco, Iowa. 

^pHEN the leak or weak place in the 
boiler is found, take a ripping chisel 
and cut out all of the weak, thin and 
cracked parts. This done, make the 
patch. The patch must be large, 
not less than an inch lap on all sides, 
but if double rows of rivets are wanted the lap 
should be two inches on all sides. Bevel or scrape the 
patch on all edges to allow calking. The bolt holes 
should be about two inches apart and countersunk for 
patch bolts, if patch bolts are used. Next, drill two 
holes in the boiler shell, one on each side of the patch, 
and put in the bolts. These bolts should be put in to 
stay and hold the patch in position while the rest of 
the holes are drilled and bolted. When the bolts are 
all in, take your wrench and tighten the bolts one after 
the other, harder and harder, striking at the same 
time on the patch around its edges. At last strike 
light on the bolt heads when you tighten and draw the 
bolt until its head breaks off. These bolts are made 


128 Modern bi^acksmithino 

for this purpose and in such a shape that the head will 
break at a high strain. This done use the calking 
iron all around the patch. 

The patch should be put on the inside of the boiler, 
especially if on the bottom of a horizontal boiler. If 
the patch is put on the outside in this place the sedi- 
ment or solid matter which the water contains will 
quickly fill up over the patch and there is danger of 
overheating the boiler and an explosion may follow. 


The tools necessary to retube an old boiler are, first, 
a good expander of the proper size ; a roller expander 
preferred; a crow foot or calking iron, made from good 
tool steel. A cutting-off tool can be made to do very 



good service, in the following manner: Take a piece 
of steel, say 3^ x i}^, about ten inches long. Draw one 
end out to a sharp point and bend to a right angle of a 
length just enough to let it pass inside of the flue to be 
cut. A gas pipe can be used for a handle. In cutting 
the flues set this tool just inside the flue sheet and 
press down on the handle. If this tool is properly 
made it cuts the old flues out with ease. After both 
ends have been cut the fl.ues will come out. 


Next, cut the tubes about ^ of an inch longer than 
the flue sheet. After the tubes are cut the proper 
length, and placed in the boiler, expand the same in 
both ends with a flue expander. After the flues are 
expanded until they fit the holes solid, tuin them over 
with the peen of a hammer to make them bell shaped. 
Now take a crows-foot, or calking tool, and turn the 


ends in a uniform head and tight all around. If the 
flues should leak, and there is water on the boiler take 
a boiler expander and tighten them up. But never 
attempt to tighten a flue with the hammer if there is 
water on the boiler. 


In welding flues or putting new tips on old flues, you 
must find out how far the old tubes are damaged, and 
cut that part off. Next clean the scales off in a tumb- 
ling box; if you have none, with an old rasp. 

Now take a piece of tubing the size of the old, and 
scarf the ends down thin, the new tube to go over the 
old and drive them together. In welding a rest can be 
made in the forge to push the tube against while weld- 
ing, to prevent the pieces from pulling apart. A 
three-eighths rod, with thread on one end and a head 


on the other, run through the flue will be found handy 
for holding the pipes or flues together. In welding 
these together don't take them out of the fire and 
strike with a hammer, but take a rod ^-inch round, 
and bend one end to serve as a hammer. Strike with 
this hammer lightly over the lap, at the same time 
turning the flue around in the fire. Use borax to pre- 
vent the flue from scaling and burning. 


There are many reasons for foaming in boilers, but 
the chief reason is dirty water. In some cases it is 
imperfect construction of boiler, such as insufficient 
room for the steam and a too small steam pipe or dome. 
When a boiler is large enough for the steam and clean 
water is used there is no danger of foaming. When 
more water is evaporated than there is steam room or 
heating surface for, then the boiler will foam. When 
a boiler is overworked more steam than its capacity 
will admit is required, and the engine is run at a high 
speed, the steam will carry with it more water than 

When a boiler foams shut the throttle partly to 
check the outflow of steam and lessen the suction of 
water, because the water is sucked up and follows the 
sides of the dome up. 

If the steam pipe in the dome sticks through the 
flange a few inches the water will not escape so easy. 
A boiler that is inclined to foam should not be filled 


too full with dirty water; if it is it is best to blow off a 
little. Foul water can be cleaned by different meth- 
ods before it enters the boiler, so as to prevent foam- 
ing and scaling. 


A boiler should not be blowed out under a high 
steam pressure, because the change is so sudden that 
it has a tendency to contract the iron, and if repeated 
often the boiler will leak. If it is done when there is 
brickwork around the boiler and the same is hot it will 
in a short time ruin the boiler. In such a case the 
boiler should not be blowed out for hours after you 
have ceased firing. 

'A trained 7na7i will 7nake his life tell: without training we 
are left on a sea of luck, where thousands go down 
while one ?neets with success,'' — Garfield. 


AA— ^ATTT-^ 


jHE horse must have been one of the 
first animals subjected to the use 
of man, but there is no record made 
of it before the time of Joseph, dur- 
ing the great famine in Egypt, when 
Joseph exchanged bread for horses. 
During the exodus horses were used 
more extensively, and in consequent wars we find the 
horse used especially by great men and heroes. This 
noble animal has always been held in high esteem by 
civilized people. In wars and journeys and exploits, 
as well as for transports, the horse is of immeasurable 
value. No people cared for and loved this animal as 
did the Arabs. The care and breeding of horses was 
their main occupation, therefore their horses were 
noted for intelligence, high speed and endurance. 
The English and American thoroughbred has an 
infusion of blood of the Arab horse, which has set the 
price on these animals. Pedigrees were first estab- 
lished by the Arabs. 

Each country has its own breed of horses. Horses 




of a cold climate are smaller in size, as also are the 
horses of the tropics. The best horses are found in 
the temperate zone. In Germany the horses are large, 
well formed and strong. Norway and Sweden have a 

Fig. 3. 

race of little horses, and not until a few years ago did 
the people of these countries know anything about 
pedigrees; their horses are spirited and stronger in 
porportion to the size than any other race of horses. 
In Sweden and Norway the farmer, with wife and 
children, will walk many miles Sunday to church, 



while the horses roam in. the pasture or stand in the 
stable. Some farmers will not hire out their team for 
money. The horses of these countries are better taken 

FIG. 51. 


care of than anywhere else, of course with the excep- 
tion of American race horses. 


The horse in a wild state needs no shoes, the wear 
and tear that the feet are subjected to while the horse 
is hunting- for his food in a wild country on soft mead- 
ows, is just right to keep the hoofs down in a normal 
condition. But when the horse is in bondage and must 
serve as a burden-carrying animal, traveling on hard 



roads or paved streets, the horse must be shod to pre- 
vent a foot wear which nature cannot recuperate. 
Horseshoes were first -made of iron in 480 A. D. 
Before that time, and even after, horseshoes have 
been made of leather and other materials. 



It is necessary in order to be a successful horse-shoer 
to know something- about the anatomical construction 
of the feet and legs of the horse. Of course, any little 
boy can learn the names of the bones and tendons in 
a horse's foot in an hour, but this does not make a 
horse-shoer out of him. No board of examiners should 



allow any horse-shoer to pass an examination merely 
because he can answer the questions put to him in 
regard to the anatomy of the horse, for as I have said 
before, these names are easily learned, but practical 


horse-shoeing is not learned in hours ; it takes years of 
study and practice. 

It is not my intention to treat on this subject. I could 
not; first, because there is not room for such a dis- 
course, second, there are nuinerous books on the sub- 
ject better than I could write, available to every 


horse-shoer. I shall only give a few names of such 
parts of the anatomy as is essential to know. What 
the horse-shoer wants to know is the parts of the foot 
connected with the hoof, as his work is confined solely 
to the foot. 



The wall or crust is the horny sheath incasing the 
end of the foot, in the front and on the sides from the 
coronet to the ground. It is through this crust the 
nail is driven, and it is upon this crust the shoe rests. 
In front it is deepest, towards the quarter and heel it 
becomes thinner. It is of equal thickness from the 
upper end to the ground (from top to bottom). The 
white corored wall is the poorest, while the iron col- 
ored wall is the toughest. The growth of the wall is 


different at different ages. It grows more in a young 
horse and colt than in an old horse ; in a healthy foot 
and soft, than in a diseased foot and hard. In a young 
horse the hoof will grow about three inches in a year 
and even more, while it grows less in an old horse. 
The wall is fibrous, the fibers going parallel to each 
other from the coronet to the ground. 


The horny sole is the bottom of the foot. This sole 
is fibrous like the wall The sole is thickest at the 
border, where it connects with the wall, and thinnest 
at the center. The sole when in a healthy condition 
scales off in flakes. This scale is a guide to the farrier 
whereby he can tell how much to pare off. There are 
different opinions in regard to the paring of the sole, 
but that is unnecessary, for nature will tell how much 
to cut off in a healthy foot. In a diseased foot it is 
different ; then the horse-shoer must use his own good 
judgment. It is, however, in very few cases that the 
shoer needs to do more than just clean the sole. 
Nature does the scaling off, or paring business, better 
than any farrier. 


The frog is situated at the heel and back part of the 
hoof, within the bars; the point extending towards the 
center of the sole, its base filling up the space left 
between the inflection of the wall. This body is also 
fibrous. The frog is very elastic and is evidently 
designed for contact with the ground, and for the pre- 
vention of jars injurious to the limbs. 



Coronet is the name of the upper margin of the foot, 
the place where the hair ceases and the horny hoof 


The quarter means a place at the bottom of the wall, 
say, about one-third the length from the heel towards 
the toe. 


By the bars we mean the horny walls on each side of 
the frog, commencing at the heel of the wall and 
extending towaids the point of the frog. 

Any blacksmith or horse-shoer desiring to study 
more thoroughly the anatomy of the horse should pro- 
cure a book treating on this subject. 


It is only in exceptional cases that the shoer turns or 
makes a shoe. The shoes are now already shaped, 
creased and partly punched, so all that is needed is to 
weld on the toe calk and shape the heel calks. 

Heat the shoe at the toe first, and when hot bend 
the heels together a little. This is done because the 
shoes will spread when the toe calk is welded on, and 
the shoe should not be too wide on the toe, as is mostly 
the case. If the shoe is narrow at the toe it is easier 
to fit the same to the foot and get the shoe to fill out 
on the toe. Many smiths cut too much off from the 


toe. Before the toe calk is driven onto the shoe bend 
it a little so as to give it the same curve the shoe has, 
and the comers of the calk will not stick out over the 
edge of the shoe. Now place the shoe in the fire, calk 
up. Heat to a good low welding heat, and use sand 
for welding compound. Don't take the shoe out of the 
fire to dip it in the sand, as most shoers do, for you 
will then cool it off by digging in the cold sand, of 
which you will get too much on the inner side of the 
calk. The same will, if allowed to stay, make the calk 
look rough. You will also have to make a new place 
for the shoe in the fire, which will take up a good deal 
of time, as the new place is not at once so hot as the 
place from which the shoe was taken; besides this, 
you might tear the calk off and lose it. When hot 
give a couple of good blows on the calk and then draw 
it out. Don't hold the heels of the shoe too close to 
the anvil when you draw out the calk, for if you do the 
calk will stand under, and it should be at a right angle 
with the shoe. Do not draw it out too long, as is 
mostly done. Punch the hole from the upper side 
first. Many first-class horse-shoers punch only from 
that side, while most shoers punch from both sides. 

There is no need of heating the shoe for punching 
the holes. Punch the holes next to the heel first, for 
if you punch the holes next to the toe when the shoe is 
hot, the punch will be hot, upset and bent. If it is a 
large shoe, punch only two holes on each side for the 
toe calk heat. These holes to be the holes next to the 
toe when the shoe is hot, and then punch the other two 
when you draw out the heel calks, and the shoe is hot 


at the heel. The heel calks should be as short as you 
can make them ; and so should the toe calks. I know 
but a few hoise-shoers that are able to weld on a toe 
calk good. The reason for their inability is lack of 
experience in general blacksmithing. Most shoers 
know not how to make a fire to weld in. They are too 
stingy about the coal; try to weld in dirt and cinders, 
with a low fire, the shoe almost touching the tuyer 
iron. I advise all horse-shoers to read my article 
about the fire. 

I have made a hammer specially for horse-shoeing 
with a peen different from other hammers. With this 
hammer the beginner will have no trouble in drawing 
out the calks. See Figure 8, No. 8. The hammers as 
now used by most smiths are short and clumsy; they 
interfere too much with the air, and give a bump 
instead of a sharp cutting blow that will stick to the 

The shoe should be so shaped at the heel as to give 
plenty of room for the frog; the heels to be spread out 
as wide as possible. This is important, for if the shoe 
is wide between the heels the horse will stand more 
firm, and it will be to him a comfortable shoe. The 
shoe should not be wider between the calks at the 
expense of same, as is done by some shoers, for 
this is only a half calk, and the heel is no wider. The 
shoe should not be fitted to the foot when hot, as it 
will injure the hoof if it is burned to the foot. 




The foot should be level, no matter wh^t the fault is 
with the horse. The hoof should not be cut down 
more than the loose scales will allow. In a healthy 
condition this scale is a guide. When the foot is dis- 
eased it is different, and the shoer must use his own 

The frog never grows too large. It should never be 
trimmed more than just to remove any loose scales. 

The frog in its functions is very important to the 
well-being of the foot. In the unshod foot it projects 
beyond the level of the sole, always in contact with the 
ground; it obviates concussion; supports the tendons; 
prevents falls and contraction. The bars are also of 
importance, bracing the hoof, and should never be cut 
down as has been the practice for centuries by igno- 
rant horse-shoers. 




Forg-ing or overreaching is a bad habit, and a horse 
with this fault is now very valuable. This habit can 
be overcome by shoeing; but it will not be done by 
making the shoes short on the heel in front and short 
in the toe behind. Never try this foolish method. 

"To overcome forging the shoer should know what 
forging is. It is this: The horse breaks over with his 

hind feet quicker than he breaks over with the front 
feet; in other words, he has more action behind than 
in front, and the result is that the hind feet strike the 
front feet before they can get out of the way, often 
cutting the quarters badly, giving rise to quarter cracks 
and horny patches over the heel. 

Some writers make a difference between forging and 
overreaching, but the cause of the trouble is the same 
— too much action behind in proportion to the front; 
and the remedy is the same — retard the action behind, 



increase it in front. There are different ideas about 
the remedy for this fault. 

One method is to shoe heavy forward and light 
behind, but this is in my judgment a poor idea, 
although it might help in some cases. Another way is 




to shoe with side weight on the outer side behind, but 
it is not safe, because it is difficult to get a horse to 
throw the foot out to one side enough so as to pass by 
the front foot except in a high trot. 

The best way to shoe a forger or overreaching 
horse is to make a shoe for front of medium heft, not 
longer than just what is needed. The toe calk should 


be at the inner web of the shoe, or no toe calk at al"!. 
or, toe weight, to make the horse reach farther. 

It will sometimes be found that the hind foot is 
shorter than the front foot. To find this out, measure 
from the coronet to the end of the toe. The shorter 
the- foot the quicker it breaks over. If it is found that 
the hind foot is shorter than the front foot, then the 
shoe should be made so that it will make up for this. 
Let the shoe stick out on the toe enough to make the 
foot of equal length with the front foot. It is well in 
any case of forging to make the hind shoe longer on 
the toe. If the hind shoe is back on the foot, as is 
often done, it will only make the horse forge all the 
more, for it will increase action behind, the horse 
breaks over quicker, and strikes the front foot before 
it is out of the way. Set the shoe forward as far as 
possible, and make long heels. The longer the shoe is 
behind the longer it takes to raise the foot and break 

Clack forging is meant by the habit of clacking the 
hind and fore shoes together. This kind of forging is 
not serious or harmful ; it will only tend to wear off the 
toe of the hind foot and annoy the driver, possibly a 
little fatiguing to the horse. 

The position of the feet at the time of the clack is 
different from that it is supposed to be. The toe of 
the hind feet is generally worn off, while no mark is 
made on the front feet. From this you will understand 
that the hind feet never touch the heel of the front 
feet, but the shoe. Just at the moment the fore foot 
is raised up enough on the heel to give room for the 



liiiid foot to wedge in under it the hind foot comes 
flying- under the fore foot, and the toe of the hind foot 

strikes the web of the toe on the front foot. This is 
the reason no mark is seen on the front foot, while the 
hind foot is badly worn off. 


Interfering is a bad fault in a horse. It is the effect 
of a variety of causes. In interfering the horse brushes 
the foot going forward against the other foot. Some 
horses strike the knee, others above it, the shin or cor- 
onet,' but in most cases the fetlock. 

Colts seldom interfere before they are shod, but 
then they sometimes interfere because the shoes are 
too heavy. This trouble disappears as soon as the 
colt is accustomed to carrying the shoes. Weakness is 



the most common cause. Malformation of the fetlock 
is another cause. The turning in or out of the toes, 
giving a swinging motion to the feet, is also conducive 
to interfering. 

The first thing to do is to apply a boot to the place 
that is brushed. Next, proceed to remove the cause 
by shoeing, or by feeding and rest in cases of weak- 
ness. Nothing is better than flesh to spread the legs 


with. Some old horse-shoers in shoeing for interfer- 
ing will turn the feet so as to turn the fetlock out. 
This is done by paring down the outside and leaving 
the inside strong. This is a bad way of shoeing for 
interfering, as it might ruin the horse. The foot 
should be leveled as level as it is possible. The inner 
side of the hoof should be scant; instead of being 
curved it should be almost straight, as the horse gen- 
erally strikes with the side of the hoof or quarter. 
This is done to make a side - weight shoe, the side 


weight not to reach over the center of the shoe, but to 
be only on one side. Put the shoe on with the weight 
on the outer side. If the horse still interferes, give 
more side weight to the shoe, and make the heel on the 
outer side about one and one-quarter inch longer than 
the inside heel; give it an outward turn. This heel 
will prevent the horse from turning the heel in the 
way of the way of the other foot when it goes by, so 
as not to strike the fetlock. 

Properly made and applied, side weight will stop 
interfering almost every time. If the side weight is 
heavy enough it will throw the foot out, and the 
trouble is overcome. 

There are only a few horse-shoers that have any 
practical experience in making side - weight shoes, 
which we understand from the articles in our trade 

Some horse-shoers in shoeing to stop interfering will 
make common shoes shorter than they ought to be and 
set them far in under the foot, so that the hoof on the 
inner side will stick out over the shoe a quarter of an 
inch. These they don't rasp off, and everybody knows 
that the hoof adheres to and rubs harder against the 
leg than the hard smooth shoe. But, foolish as it is, 
such shoers stick to their foolish ideas. I call all such 
fads faith cures. • 

The rule is to have the side weight on the outer side, 
while the exception is to have the side weight on the 
inner side of the foot. For old and poor horses ground 
feed and rest is better than any kind of shoes. It will 
give more strength and more flesh to spread the legs. 

''Knowledge is of two kinds; we know a //ling ourselves^ or we 

know where we can Jind i?tfor?nation upon 

it. " — Z)r. Samuel Johnson. 




...^"NEESPRUNG is the result of disease that 
sometimes is brought about by bad shoe- 
ing. In a healthy leg the center of gravity 
is down through the center of the leg and 
out at the heels. This is changed in a case of 
kneesprung legs, giving the legs a bowed appearance. 
This trouble always comes on gradually; in some cases 
it will stop and never get worse, while in others it will 
keep on until it renders the horse useless. A horse 
with straight legs will sleep standing, but a knuckler 
cannot; he will fall as soon as he goes to sleep, on 
account of the center of gravity being thrown on a line 
forward of the suspensory ligaments. The cause of 
this trouble is sprain or injury to the back tendons of 
the legs; soreness of the feet, shins or joints. In old 
cases nothing can be done but just to relieve the strain 
a little by shoeing with a long shoe and high heel 
calks, with no toe calk. In cases not more than three 
months old clip the hair off the back tendons when 
there is any soreness, and shower them with cold water 




several times a day for a week or two, and then turn 
the horse out for a long run in the pasture. 


Contraction is in itself no original disease, except in 
a few cases. It is mostly the effect of some disease. 



Contraction follows sprains of the tendons, corns, 
founder and navicular disease. When contraction is 
the result of a long-standing disease of the foot or leg 
it will be in only one of the feet, because the horse will 
rest the affected leg and stand most of the time on the 
healthy leg; thus the healthy foot receives more pres- 
sure than the diseased, and is spread out more; the 
foot becomes much uneven — they don't look like mates. 
This kind of contraction is generally the result of some 
chronic disease, but in most cases contraction is the 



result of shoeing and artificial living-. Before the colt 
is shod his hoofs are large and open-heeled, the quar- 
ters are spread out wide, and the foot on the under side 
is shaped like a saucer. The reason of the colt's foot 
being so large is that he has been running on the 
green and moist turf, without shoes, and the feet have 
in walking in mud and dampness gathered so much 
moisture that the)^ are growing and spreading at every 

IBadiiy contTzacted fbfft. 

step. This is changed when the colt is shod and put 
on hard roads, or taken from the pasture and put on 
hard floors where the feet become hard and dried up. 
A strong high heeled foot is predisposed to contrac- 
tion, while a low heeled flat foot is seldom atflicted 
with this trouble. 

When contraction comes from bad shoeing or from 
standing on hard floors, pull the shoes off, pare down 
the foot as much as you can, leaving the frog as large 
as it is. Rub in some hoof ointment once a day at the 


coronet and quarters, and turn the horse out in a wet 
pasture. But if the horse must be used on the road, 
proceed to shoe as follows: First, ascertain if the frog- 
is hard or soft. If soft, put on a bar shoe with open 
bar. I have invented a shoe for this purpose. See 
Figure 2, No. i. The idea of shoeing with an endless 
bar shoe is wrong. In most cases contraction is 
brought on by letting the shoes stay on too long, 
whereby the hoof has been compelled to grow down 

with the shape of the shoe. If an open shoe has 
helped to bring on contraction, much more so will a 
bar shoe, which will tie the hoof to the shoe with no 
chance of spreading, no matter what frog pressure is 
put on. Make the shoe as light as you can, with very 
low or no calks; let the bar rest against the frog; keep 
the hoofs moist with hoof ointment ; use an open bar 

Make a low box and fill it with wet manure, mud or 
clay, and let the horse stand in it when convenient, to 
soften the hoofs. Spread the shoe a little every week 
to help the hoofs out, or the shoes will prevent what 


the frog pressure aims to do, but this spreading mast 
be done with care. If the frog is dried up and hard, 
don't put on a bar shoe, as it will do more harm than 
good. In such a case make a common shoe with low 
or no calks; make holes in it as far back as you can 
nail ; spread them with care a little every week. Let 
the horse stand in a box with mud or manure, even 
warm water, for a few hours at a time, and keep the 
hoofs moist with hoof ointment. In either case do not 
let the shoe stay on longer than four weeks at a time. 
In addition to the above pack the feet with some wet 
packing, or a sponge can be applied to the feet and 
held in position by some of the many inventions for 
this purpose. 

No man can comprehend how much a horse suffers 
from contraction when his feet are hoof -bound and 
pressed together as if they were in a vise. The pain 
from a pair of hard and tight boots on a man are noth- 
ing compared to the agony endured by this noble and 
silent sufferer. It must be remembered that there is 
no such a thing as shoeing for contraction. Contrac- 
tion is brought on by artificial living and shoeing. A 
bar shoe for contraction is the most foolish thing to 
imagine. The pressure intended on the frog is a dead 
pressure, and in a few days it will settle itself so that 
there is no pressure at all. If a bar shoe is to be used 
it must be an open bar shoe like the one referred to. 
This shoe will give a live pressure, and if inade of 
steel will spring up against the frog at every step and 
it can be spread. I will say, however, that I don't 
recommend spreading, for it will part if not done with 



care. It is better to drive the shoe on with only four 
or five nails, and set them over often. Contraction 

1- ^;;C^ 





Fore 'Arm. 


Cannon hone. 

Zitfantent: f 


Elexor ^ 


never affects the hind feet because of the moisture 
they receive. This should suggest to every shoer 
that moisture is better than shoes. 



Corns are very common to horses' feet, a majority 
of all cases of lameness is due to this trouble. 

Corns are the result of shoes being- allowed to stay 
on too long. The shoe, in such a case grows under 
the foot and presses on the sole and corns are formed. 
Even pressure of the shoe and sometimes too heavy 
bearing on the heel causes corns. Gravel wedging in 
under the shoe or between the bar and the wall is 
sometimes the cause of corns. Leaving the heel and 
quarters too high, whereby they will bend under and 
press against the sole, is another cause of corns. 

The seat of corns is generally in the sole of the foot 
at the quarter or heels between the bar and the wall, 
at the angle made by the wall and bar. 

Anything that will bruise the underlying and sensi- 
tive membrane of the sole will produce corn. This 
bruise gives rise to soreness, the sole becomes blood 
colored and reddish ; if bad it might break out, either 
at the bottom or the junction of the hoof and hair or 
coronet, forming a quittor. 

Cut out the corn or red sole clear down. If the 
corn is the result of contraction pare down the hoof 
and sole, put the foot into linseed poultice that is 
warm, for twenty-four hours, then renew it. If the 
corn is deep, be sure to cut down enough to let the 
matter out. It is a good thing to pour into the hole 
hot pine tar. In shoeing the bearing should be taken 
off the quarter or from the wall over the corn by rasp- 
ing it down so that it will not touch the shoe. A bar 


Modern blacksmithing 

shoe is a good thing as it will not spring as much as to 
come in contact with the hoof over the corn. Give 
very little frog pressure. An open shoe can be used 

A<772 ^ 

The clamp and itai/ remedies 


4 ^ 

>7ctiiaZ //iichiess 
oftva//s of /too f. 

0/or/ercrar/<yrifh crosscut 

and in such a case there should be no calk at the heel. . 
A calk should be welded on directly over the corn and 
the shoe will not spring up against the wall. 




Quarter and sand cracks are cracks in the hoof, 
usually running lengthwise of the fibers, but some- 
times they will be running across the fiber for an inch 

The crack WdUr^mcyed to show 

C/acke</ Jfaiis. 

Sand Crack Clamp. 

One effect of Quar4er Crack . 

or more. Quarter cracks are cracks mostly on the 
inside of the hoof, because that side is thinner and 
weaker than the outside. The cause of it is a hard 
and brittle hoof with no elasticity, brought on by poor 
assimilation and a want of good nutrition to the hoof. 
Hot, sandy or hard roads are also conducive to these 
cracks. What to do: If the horse is shod remove the 
shoes, and cut off the wall of the quarter to take off 


the bearing on both sides of the crack. If the crack 
goes up to the coronet and is deep, cut off both sides 
of the crack the whole length. About one inch below 
the coronet, cut a deep cut clear through either with a 
knife or hot sharp iron across the crack. This will 
help to start a new hoof. 

If the flesh sticks up between the cracks, let a veter- 
inarian burn it off. In shoeing for this trouble, it is 
best to use a bar shoe (endless) and shoe the horse 


When shoes with a clip or a cap on the toe are used 
it sometimes happens that the toe is bruised and it 
starts a dry rot extending up between the wall and the 
laminae. Remove the shoe, pare away the hoof at the 
toe so as to take away the bearing from the toe. Any 
white or meaty substance should be picked out. Apply 
hot pine tar into the hole, and dip a little wad of tow 
in the hole to fill up. Replace the shoe, but don't let 
the clip touch the wall. 


Pricking often happens in shoeing from a nail run- 
ning into the quick, but the horse is often pricked by 
stepping on a nail or anything that will penetrate the 
sole and run into the quick. If the horse is pricked by 
shoeing pull of the shoes and examine each nail, the 


nail which has gone into the quick is wet and of a blue 

If it is a bad case the sole or wall must be cut down 
to let the matter out and the foot put into a boot of 
linseed poultice. In milder cases a little pine tar put 
into the hole will be enough. 


Mistakes are often made by inexperienced men and 
horse-shoers when a case of this kind is to be treated, 
and I would advise every horse-shoer to call in a 
veterinarian when he gets a case of this kind. Cramps 
of the muscles of the thighs are sometimes taken for 

When stifle appears in an old horse, chree ounces of 
lead through his brain is the best, but for a young 
horse a cruel method of shoeing might be tried. Make 
a shoe with heels three inches high, or a shoe with 
cross bands as shown in illustration. Figure 8, No. 2, 
for stifle shoe. This shoe must be placed on the well 
foot. The idea is to have the horse stand on the stifled 
leg until the muscles and cords are relaxed. 


String halt or spring halt is a kind of affection of 
the hind legs, occasioning a sudden jerk of the legs 
upward towards the belly. Sometimes only one leg is 


In some cases it is milder, in others more severe. 
In some cases it is difficult to start the horse. He will 
jerk up on one leg and then on the other, but when 
started will sfo alonof all rig^ht. 

For this fault there is no cure because it is a nervous 
affection. If there is any local disorder it is best to 
treat this, as it might alleviate the jerk. For the jerk 
itself bathe the hind quarters once a day with cold 
water. If this don't help try warm water, once a day 
for two weeks. Rub the quarters dry after bathing. 


Many devices are now gotten up for shoeing kicking 
horses. It is no use for a man to wrestle with a horse, 
and every horse-shoer should try to find out the best 
way to handle vicious horses. 

One simple way, which will answer in most cases, is 
to put a twist on one of the horse's lips or on one ear. 
To make a twist, take a piece of broom handle two 
feet long, bore a half-inch hole in one end and put a 
piece of a clothes line through so as to make a loop six 
inches in diameter. 

Another way: Make a leather strap with a ring in, 
put this strap around the foot of the horse; in the ring 
of the strap tie a rope. Now braid or tie a ring in the 
horse's tail and run the rope through this ring and 
back through the ring in the strap, then pull the foot 
up. See Figure i6. The front foot can be held up by 
this device also, by simply buckling the strap to the 



foot and throwing the strap up over the neck of the 

Shoeing stalls are also used, but they are yet too 
expensive for small shops. 

No horse-shoer should lose his temper in handling a 
nervous horse and abuse the animal ; for, in nine cases 


out of ten, will hard treatment make the horse worse, 
and many horse owners would rather be hit themselves 
than to have anybody hit their horse. 

Don't curse. Be cool, use a little patience, aad you 
will, in most cases, succeed. To a nervous horse you 
should talk gently, as you would to a scared child. 
The horse is the noblest and most useful animal to 



man, but is often maltreated and abused. Amongst 
our dumb friends, the horse is the best, but few recog- 
nize this fact. 


In shoeing a trotter it is no use to follow a certain 
rule for the angle, because the angle must vary a little 
in proportion to the different shape of the horse's foot. 

Every owner of a trotter will test the speed by hav- 
ing shoes in different shapes and sizes, as well as 
having the feet trimmed at different angles, and when 
the angle is found that will give the best results the 
owner will keep a record of the same and give the 
horse-shoer directions and points in each case. 


The average weight of a horse-shoe should be eight 
ounces. Remember this is for a trotter. Make the 
shoe fit to the edges of the wall so that there will be 
no rasping done on the outside. In farm and draft 
horses this is impossible, as there is hardly a foot of 
such a uniform shape but what some has to be 
rasped off. 
■ Use No. 4 nails, or No. 5. 

Don't rasp under the clinches of the nails. 

Make the shoes the shape of No. i, Figure 8. 



Sometimes it is difficult to shoe so as to make the 
shoe stay on on account of poor and brittle hoofs. In 
such a case the shoe should be fitted snug. Make a 
shoe with a toe clip. 


In weak heels the hoof is found to be low and thin 
from the quarters back. The balls are soft and 
tender. The shoes should not touch the hoof from the 
quarters back to the heels. An endless bar shoe is 
often the best thing for this trouble, giving some frog 
pressure to help relieve the pressure against the heels. 



Founder is a disease manifested by fever in the feet 
in different degrees from a simple congestion to a 
severe inflammation. It is mostly exhibited in the 
fore feet, being uncommon in the hind feet. The 
reason for this is the harder pressure, a much greater 
amount of weight coming on the front feet, the strain 
and pressure on the soft tissues heavier. The disease 
is either acute or chronic, in one foot or both. When 
both feet are diseased the horse will put both feet for- 
ward and rest upon the heels so as to relieve the pres- 
sure of the foot. If only one foot is affected that foot 
is put forward and sometimes kept in continual motion, 
indicating severe pain. The foot is hot, especially 
around the coronary band. The disease, if not 
checked, will render the horse useless. When such a 
horse is brought to you for shoeing it would be best to 
send him to a veterinarian. 

How to shoe: Let the horse stand in a warm mud 
puddle for six hours, then put on rubber pads or com- 
mon shoes with feet between the web of the shoe and 
the hoof, with sharp calks to take up the jar. It 
would be best not to shoe at all, but let the horse loose 
in a wet pasture for a good while- 

"^ righteous man regardeth the life of his beast.'' — Solomon.. 


N this chapter the author desires to give some 
hints about the treatment for diseases 
most common to horses. 


There are two kinds of colic, spasmodic and 

Spasmodic colic is known by the pains and cramps 
being spasmodic, in which there are moments of r: lief 
and the horse is quiet. 

Flatulent colic is known by bloating symptoms and 
the pain is continual, the horse kicks, paws, tries to 
roll and lie on his back. 

For spasmodic colic give ^ ounce laudanum, ^ 
pint whisky, ^ pint water; mix well and give in one 
dose. If this does not help, repeat the dose in half an 

For flatulant colic give, ^ ounce laudanum, ^ ounce 
turpentine, ^ pint raw linseed oil, ^ ounce chloro- 
form, ^ pint water. Mix well and give in one dose. 
Repeat in one hour if the pain is not relieved. 




Sometimes there is no other symptom than the bots 
seen in the dung, and in most cases no other treatment 
is needed than some purgative. 


Mange is a disease of the skin due to a class of 
insects that burrow in the skin, producing a terrible 
itch and scab, the hair falling off in patches, and the 
horse rubs against everything. After the affected 
parts have been washed in soap- water quite warm, 
dry and rub in the following: 4 ounces oil of tar, 6 
ounces sulphur, one pint linseed oil. 


JMake a strong tea of tobacco and wash the horse 
with it. 


There are many kinds of worms. Three kinds of 
tape worms and seven kinds of other worms have been 
found in the horse. The tape worms are very seldom 
found in a horse and the other kinds are easily treated 
by the following: One dram of calomel, i dram of 
tartar emetic, i dram of sulphate of iron, 3 drams of 
linseed meal. Mix and give in one dose for a few 
days; then give a purgative. Repeat in three weeks 
to get rid of the young worms left in the bowels in the 
form of eggs, but which have since hatched out. 



Distemper is a disease of the blood. The symptoms 
are: Swelling under the jaws; inability to swallow; 
a mucous discharge from the nose. 

Give the horse a dry and warm place and nourishing 
food. Apply hot linseed poultice to the swellings 
under the jaws and give small doses of cleansing pow- 
der for a few days. 


As soon as a case is satisfactorily recognized, kill 
the horse, as there is no remedy yet discovered that 
will cure this terrible disease. 


There are four kinds of spavin and it is difficult for 
any one but a veterinarian to tell one kind from 
another. In all cases of spavin (except blood spavin) 
the horse will start lame, but after he gets warmed up 
the lameness disappears and he goes all right until 
stopped and cooled off, when he starts worse than 

There are many so-called spavin cures on the mar- 
ket, some of them good, others worse than nothing. 
If you don't want to call a veterinarian, I would advise 
you to use "Kendall's Spavin Cure." This cure is 
one of the best ever gotten up for this disease, and no 
bad results will follow the use of it if it does not cure. 
It is for sale by most druggists. 



In nearly all cases of lameness in the hind leg the 
seat of the disease will be found to be in the hock- 
joint, although many persons (not having had expe- 
rience) locate the difficulty in the hip, simply because 
they cannot detect any swelling of the hock- joint; buc 


Spay in 

in many of the worst cases there is not seen any swell- 
ing or enlargement for a long time, and perhaps 


Bone spavin is a growth of irregular bony matter 
from the bones of the joint, and situated on the inside 
and in front of the joint. 

Cause. — The causes of spavins are quite numerous. 


but usually they are sprains, blows, hard work, and, in 
fact, any cause exciting inflammation of this part of 
the joint. Hereditary predisposition in horses is a 
frequent cause. 

Symptoms. — The symptoms vary in different cases. 
In some horses the lameness comes on very gradually, 
while in others it comes on more rapidly. It is usually 
five to eight weeks before any enlargement appears. 
There is marked lameness when the horse starts out, 
but he usually gets over it after driving a short dis- 
tance, and, if allowed to stand for awhile, will start 
lame again. 

There is sometimes a reflected action, causing a little 
difference in the appearance over the hip joint, and if 
no enlargement has made its appearance, a person not 
having had experience is very liable to be deceived in 
regard to the true location of the difficulty. The horse 
will stand on either leg in resting in the stable, but 
when he is resting the lame leg he stands on the toe. 

If the joint becomes consolidated the horse will be 
stiff in the leg, but may not have much pain. 

Treatment. — That it may not be misunderstood in 
regard to what is mearit by a cure, would say that to 
stop the lameness, and in most cases to remove the 
bunch on such cases as are not past any reasonable 
hopes of a cure. 

But I do not mean to be understood that in a case of 
anchylosis (stiff joint), I can again restore the joint to 
its original condition; for this is an impossibility, 
owing to the union of the two bones, making them as 
one. Neither do I mean that, in any ordinary case of 



bone spavin which has become completely ossified 
(that is, the bunch become solid bone), that, in such a 
case, the enlargement will be removed. 

In any bony growths, like Spavin or ringbone, it will 
be exceedingly difficult to determine just when there 
is a sufficient deposit of phosphate of lime so that it is 
completely ossified, for the reason that in some cases 



the lime is deposited faster than in others, and there- 
fore one case may be completely ossified in a few 
months, while in another it will be as many years. 

The cases which are not completely ossified are those 
that I claim to remove. One of this class which I have 
seen lemoved was a large bone spavin of four or five 
years standing, and I think that a large per cent of 
cases are not fully ossified for seveial months or years. 

I am well awaie that many good horsemen say that 
it is impossible to cure spavins, and, in fact, this has 


been the experience of horsemen until the discoveiy of 
Kendall's Spavin Cure. It is now known that the 
treatment which we recommend here will cure nearly 
every case of bone spavin which is not past any rea- 
sonable hopes of a cure, if the directions are followed, 
and the horse is properly used. 


This is similar to bone spavin in its nature, the 
difference being that the location is within the joint, 
so that no enlargement is seen, which makes it more 
difficult to come to a definite conclusion as to its loca- 
tion, and consequently the horse is oftentimes blistered 
and tormented in nearly all parts of the leg but in the 
right place. 

The causes and effects are the same as in bone 
spavin, and it should be treated in the same way. 

These cases are often mistaken for hip disease, 
because no enlargement can be seen. 


The location of this kind of a spavin is more in front 
of the hock-joint than that of bone spavin, and it is a 
soft and yet firm swelling. It does not generally 
?ause lameness. 


This is similar to bog spavin but more extended, and 
generally involves the front, inside and outside of the 
joint, giving it a rounded appearance. The swelling 



is soft and fluctuating. Young horses and colts, 
especially if driven or worked hard, are more liable to 
have this form of spavin than older horses. 


This is a small, bony enlargement, and generally 
situated on the inside of the foreleg about three or 
four inches below the knee joint, and occurs frequently 
in young horses when they are worked too hard. 


By this is meant the sudden shifting of a joint farther 
than is natural, but not so as to produce dislocation. 


Every joint is liable to sprain by the horse's falling, 
slipping", or being overworked. These cases cause a 
great deal of trouble, oftentimes producing lameness, 
pain, swelling, tenderness, and an unusual amount of 
heat in the part. 

Treatment. — Entire rest should be given the horse, 
and if the part is found hot, as is usually the case, 
apply cold water cloths, changing frequently, for from 
one to three days until the heat has subsided, when 
apply Kendall's Spavin Cure, twice or three times a 
day, rubbing well with the hand. 

If the fever is considerable, it might be well to give 
fifteen drops of tincture of aconite root, three times a 
day, for one or two days, while the cold water cloths 
are being applied. Allow the horse a rest of a few 
weeks, especially in bad cases, as it is very difficult to 
cure some of these cases, unless the horse is allowed to 


A disease of horses, resulting from some lesion of 
the brain, which causes a loss of control of vob^ntary 
motion. As it generally occurs in fat horses which 
are well fed, those subject to these attacks should not 
be overfed. The cause is an undue amount of blood 
flowing to the brain. 

Treatment. — The aim of the treatment should be to 
remove the cause. In ordinary cases give half a 
pound of epsom salts, and repeat if necessary to have 
it physic, and be careful about overfeeding. 


In mad staggers, it would be well to bleed from the 
neck in addition to giving" the epsom salts. 


Take the following ingredients well mixed together, 
and give one tablespoonful daily in food during sick- 
ness, and as a preventative two or three times a week: 

Powdered charcoal i pound 

mandrake 2 " 

resin i " 

saltpeter 8 ounces 

madder 8 " 

bi-carbunate of soda. ... 6 pounds 



Pounds required to tear asunder a rod one inch 

Cast steel 145, 000 

Soft steel 115,000 

Swedish iron 85,000 

American iron 60,000 

Russian iron 62,000 

Wrought wire 98,000 

Cast iron, best 45,000 

Cast iron, poor 14,000 

Silver 40, 000 

Gold 21,000 

Whalebone 8,000 


Bone 8,000 

Tin 5,000 

Zinc 3,000 

Platinum 40,000 

Boiler plates. 50,000 

Leather belt (Hn.) 350 

Rope (manila) 10,000 

Hemp (tarred) 14,000 

Brass 40,000 


As near as can be figured out, two cubic feet of corn 
in the ear will make one bushel shelled. To find the 
quantity of corn in the crib, measure length, breadth 
and height, multiply the breadth by the length and 
this product by the height; then divide this product by 
two, and you have the right number of bushels of corn. 

It is estimated that 510 cubic feet of hay in a mow 
will make one ton. Multiply the length by the breadth 
and the product by the height; divide this product by 
510, and the quotient shows the tons of hay in the 


Not often do the farmers gain any by keeping the 
grain, for it will shrink more than the price will make 
good. Wheat will shrink 7 per cent in seven months 
from the time is is thrashed. Therefore, 93 cents a 
bushel for wheat in September is better than $1 in 


April the following year. Add to this the interest for 
the money you could have used in paying debts, or 
loaned, and it will add 4 per cent more, making it 11 
per cent. 

Corn will shrink more than wheat, and potatoes are 
very risky to keep on account of the diseases they are 
subjected to; the loss is estimated at 30 per cent for 
six months. 


A ton of gold is worth in money $602,799.21 ; a ton 
of silver, $37,704.84. 



Elephant i to 400 

Whale 100 

Swan 250 

Eagle 100 

Raven no 

Stag 50 

Lion 75 

Mule 75 

Horse 3° 

Ox 30 

Goose 75 

Hawk 35 

Crane 24 

Skylark 20 

Crocodile 100 

Tortoise 150 

Cow 20 


Deer 20 

Wolf ,. ... 20 

Swine 20 

Dog 12 

Hare 8 

Squirrel 7 

Titlark 5 

Queen bee 4 

Working bee 6 months 


Ringworm is a contagious disease and attacks all 
kinds of animals, but it often arises from poverty and 
filth. It first appears in a round bald spot, the scurf 
coming off in scales. 

Cure: Wash with soap-water and dry, then apply 
the following once a day. Mix 25 grains of corrosive 
sublimate in half a pint of water and wash once a day 
till cured. 


Balking is the result of abuse. If a horse is over- 
loaded and then whipped unmercifully to make the 
victim perform impossibilities, he will resent the abuse 
by balking. 

There are many cruel methods for curing balking 
horses, but kindness is the best. Don't hitch him to 
a load he cannot easily pull. Let the man that is used 
to handling him drive him. Try to divert his mind from 


himself. Talk to him; pat him; give him a handful 
of oats or salt. But if there is no time to wait pass a 
chain or rope around his neck and pull him along with 
another horse. This done once all there is needed, in 
most cases, is to pass the rope around and the horse 
will start. It is no use trying to whip a balking horse, 
because balking horses are generally horses of more 
than common spirit and determination, and they will 
resent abuse every time. Kindness, patience and 
perseverance are the best remedies. 


When a horse has been bitten by a rattlesnake, 
copperhead, or other venomous serpent, give the fol- 
lowing: One-half teaspoonful of hartshorn, i pint 
whisky, ^ pint of warm water. Mix well and give 
one dose. Repeat in one hour if not relieved. Burn 
the wound at once with a hot iron, and keep a sponge 
soaked in ammonia over the wound for a couple of 


Rosin, 4 ounces; bees wax, 4 ounces; pine tar, 4 
ounces; fish oil, 4 ounces; mutton tallow, 4 ounces. 
Mix and apply once a day. 


Aloes, 3 drams; gamboge, 2 drams; ginger, i dram; 
gentian, i dram; molasses, enough to combine the 


above. Give in one dose, prepared in the form of a 



Don't burn the shoe on. 

Don't rasp under the clinchers. 

Don't rasp on the outer side of the wall more than 
is absolutely necessary. 

Don't rasp or file the clinch heads. 

Don't make the shoes too short. Don't make high 
calks. Don't pare the frog. 

Don't cut down the bars. Don't load the horse 
down with iron. 

Don't lose your temper. Don't hit the horse with 
the hammer. 

Don't run down your competitor. Don't continually 
tell how smart you are. 

Don't smoke while shoeing. Don't imbibe in the 
shop. Don't run outdoors while sweaty. Don't know 
it all. Always be punctual in attendance to your 
business. Allow your customers to know something. 
No man is such a great fool but that something can 
be learned of him. 

Be always polite. Keep posted on everything 
belonging to your trade. Read much. Drink little. 
Take a bath once a week. Dress well. This done, 
the craft will be elevated, and the man respected. 




T is cruelty to ani- 
mals to raise a colt 
and not train him 
for shoeing, and 
the horse - shoer 
must suffer for this 
neglect also. Many a valuable horse 
has been crippled or maltreated, and 
thousands of horse - shoers suffer 
hardships, and many are crippled,* 
and a few killed every year for the horse owner's care- 
lessness in this matter. A law should be enacted 
making the owner of an ill-bred horse responsible for 
the damage done to the horse-shoer by such an animal. 
Every horse-raiser should begin while the colt is only 
a few days old to drill him for the shoeing. The feet 
should be taken, one after the other, and held in the 
same position as a horse-shoer does, a light hammer or 
even the fist will do, to tap on the foot with, and the 
feet should be handled and manipulated in the same 
manner the horse-shoer does when shoeing. This 
practice should be kept up and repeated at least once 
a week and the colt when brought to the shop for 


shoeing will suffer no inconvenience. The horse« 
shoer's temper, as well as muscles, will be spared and 
a good feeling all around prevails. 
Horse-raisers, remember this. 


In every profession and trade it is a common thing 
to hear beginners say: I know, I know. No matter 
what you tell them, they will always answer, I know. 
Such an answer is never given by an old, learned or 
experienced man, because, as we grow older and wiser 
we know that there is no such thing as knowing it all. 
Besides this we know that there might be a better way 
than the way we have learned of doing the work. It 
is only in few cases that we can say that this is the 
best way, therefore we should never say, I know : first, 
because no young man ever had an experience wide 
enough to cover the whole thing; second, it is neither 
sensible nor polite. Better not say anything, but 
simply do what you have been told to do. 

Every young man thinks, of course, that he has 
learned from the best men. This is selfish and foolish. 
You may have learned from the biggest botch in the 
country. Besides this, no matter how clever your 
master was, there ^will be things that somebody else 
has a better way of doing. I have heard an old good 
blacksmith say, that he had never had a helper but 
what he learned some good points from him. 

Don't think it is a shame, or anything against you, 
to learn. We will all learn as long as we live, unless 


we are fcols, because fools learn very little. Better to 
assume less than you know than to assume more. 

Thousands of journeymen go idle because many a 
master would rather hire a greenhorn than hire a 
"knowing-it-all" fellow. Don't make yourself obnox- 
ious by always telling how your boss used to do this or 
that. You may have learned it in the best way possi- 
ble, but you may also have learned it in the most 
awkward way.. First find our what your master 
wants, then do it, remembering there are sometimes 
many ways to accomplish the same thing. Don't be 
stubborn. * Many mechanics are so stubborn that they 
will never change their ways of doing things, nor 
improve on either tools or ideas. 

Don't be a one-idea man; and remember the maxim, 
*'A wise man changes his mind, a fool never." 

Be always punctual, have the same interest in doing 
good work and in drawing customers as you would 
were the business yours. Be always polite to the 
customers, no matter what happens. Never lose your 
temper or use profane language, Don't tell your 
master's competitors his way of doing business, or 
what is going on in his dealings with people. You are 
taking his money for your service, serve as you would 
be served. 


A cement for stopping clefts or fissure of iron vessels 
can be made of the following: Two ounces muriate 
of ammonia, i ounce of flowers of sulphur, and i 


pound of cast-iron filings or borings. Mix these well 
in a mortar, but keep the mortar dry. When the 
cement is wanted, take one part of this and twenty 
parts of clean iron borings, grind together in a mortar. 
Mix water to make a dough of proper consistence and 
apply between the cracks. This will be useful for 
flanges or joints of pipes and doors of steam engines. 


(By a student of James College of Mechanic Arts, at 
Ames, Iowa.) 

Lathes, when first invented, were very rude affairs, 
but they, like all other machinery, have experienced 
improvem.ent from year to year until now some of them 
are more complicated than a watch, and for that 
reason should receive the best of care. They should 
be kept clean and well oiled. While being used the 
dust and shavings should be cleaned off at least every 
night, and every half day is better. 

When they are kept in a dusty place, as is very often 
the case in a general repair shop, they should be kept 
covered while not in use. Some cheap canvas makes 
a good cover. 

Every person who intends running a lathe should 
first become acquainted with his machine; become 
familiar with all the combinations that can be made, so 
that when a piece of work comes in to be done he will 
know just how to arrange the lathe to do that work. 
For instance, a piece of work needs to be turned taper- 


ing; this is done by shifting the tail stock to one side. 
Or there are threads to be cut; know just how to 
arrange the lathe to cut any number of threads to the 

Next to care of lathe comes care of tools. When 
there are a few minutes spare time see that the tools 

are sharp. Keep them sharp. They will do the work 
better, faster and with much less strain on the machine. 
All cutting tools should be made diamond shape, 
with either one side or the other, depending on the 
way the carrier is to move, made a little higher; the 
right side being highest when the carrier is moving to 
the right, and vice versa. The sharp edge of smooth- 
ing tools is made square across, like a plane bit, and 
thread-cutting tools should be made the same shape as 
the thread to be cut, 


Water or oil should be kept on the iron or steel that 
is being turned. It keeps the point of the tool from 
getting hot when heavy chips are taken, and it makes 
a smoother job when the smoothing tool is used. 
There is no need to use either water or oil when turn- 
ing cast iron. 

The tempering of lathe tools is a very particular 
piece of work, varying considerable with the kind of 
steel used and the nature of the work to be done. For 
slow heavy turning the tool must not be too hard, else 
it would break ; while for light swift turning it should 
be quite hard. For water tempering the temper color 
varies from a dark blue to a very light straw color, 
depending, as I have said before, on the nature of the 
work to be done. 

By way of illustration of a piece of work that repre- 
sents a number of lathe combinations, I will take the 
fitting of a saw shaft for our common wood saws. First 
place the balance wheel in the lathe chuck, being sure 
to get it in the center, so that when the hole is drilled 
in the wheel it will be in the exact center. Take a 
drill a sixteenth of an inch smaller than the hole to be 
made, and drill out the hole. Use the inside boring 
tool to make the hole the desired size. Turn a smooth 
face on the hub of the wheel where it comes against 
the box; then the wheel is ready for the key seat. To 
cut the key seat in the wheel use a key-seat chisel the " 
same size as the milling wheel used to cut the key seat 
in the shaft. 

Next take one of the saw collars; put it in the chuck, 
being careful to get this in the center also, with the 


widest side next the chuck, and drill a hole in it the 
same size as the hole in the saw. Turn off the end of 
the collar to get it square. Prepare the other collar in 
the same way. 

Now cut the shaft off the length wanted, and turn 
one end to fit tightly into the balance wheel. Turn 
off a place next to where the wheel comes for the bear- 
ing or box. Now turn the shaft around and fit the 
other end for the collars. The collar that goes on the 
inside or side next the bearing should be shrunk on. 
To do this leave the shaft about one sixty-fourth of an 
inch larger than the hole in the collar, then heat the 
collar to a red heat, and slip it onto the shaft. It 
should not be driven very hard, or it will break in cool- 
ing. Let it cool of its own accord. When nearly cool 
it can be put into water and cooled off. 

The next step is to true up the inside of the collar, 
leaving about one inch of surface to come against the 
saw. Now turn the shaft down to the size wanted for 
the thread, either i-inch or i^-inch, then with a cut- 
off tool about ^-inch wide, cut in next the shoulder 
the depth of the thread. If there is a die and tap handy 
that will be the quickest way to cut the thread, but if 
not handy then use the lathe. Now screw the nut on 
and turn off the inside of the nut. For fitting the loose 
collar there should be on hand a shaft about 14 or 16 
inches long, turned a very little tapering ; then drive 
the collar onto this shaft and finish it up. When ready 
put this collar into place on the saw shaft and screw 
the nut up tight. Now smooth off the outside of the 
collars for loops. Cut the key seat in the shaft and 


key the balance wheel on solid, being careful to get 
the distance between the wheel and the saw collar the 
exact distance between the outside of the boxes. 


When a pulley or balance wheel is to be balanced 
you must first have a shaft that is of the same size as 
the hole in the pulley. Of course, the wheel or pulley 
must be turned and trued up so that it is finished 
before you balance the same. 

After the shaft has been put in and tightened, place 
two pieces of angle iron or T-iron about two feet long 
parallel on a pair of wooden horses. The irons must 
be level. Now place the pulley between the irons so 
that the shaft will have a chance to roll on the "T" or 
angle iron, and you will notice that the heaviest side of 
the pulley will be down. Start it rolling, and the 
pulley will always stop with the heaviest side down. 
Now, if the pulley or wheel, as the case may be, has a 
thick rim, then bore out from the heaviest side enough 
to balance, or you can drill a hole in the lightest side 
and bolt a piece of iron to it just heavy enough to bal- 
ance the wheel. 


One of the most difficult pieces of work to do in a 
wagon shop is to put in a wooden axle. 

In the first place, you must have well-seasoned tim- 



ber, hickory or maple. Take out the old axle. The 
skeins will come off easy by heating them a little. 
Now cut the timber the exact length of the broken 
axle. In order to get the right pitch and gather, you 
must cut off one-half inch from the back side of the 
end of the timber and one-half inch from the bottom 
side, this cut to run out at the inner end or collar of 
the skein, as shown in Figure 14. Next take dividers 
and make a circle in the end of the axle the size of the 
old axle — in case new skein is put on, the size of the 


bottom of the skein inside. This circle must be made 
so that the lower side of it will go down to edge of the 
timber, and the sides be of the same distance from the 
edges. You will now notice that most of the hewing 
will be done on top side, as it must in order to get the 
right pitch, and as one-half inch has been cut froin the 
back side it will throw the front side of the wheel in a 
little; this is gather. If awheel has no gather the 
wheel will be spread out against the nut of the skein, 
and the wear will be in that direction, and the wheel 
will rattle, as you know the skein is tapered ; but if the 
wheel has gather, the pressure will be against the col- 
lar of the skein, and the wheel will be tight, as it forces 
itself up against the collar and the wider end of the 


Some wagon-makers will use the old axle as a guide 
and cut the new by the old. This is not safe, as the 
old is mostly sprung out of shape. 

In hewing the axle for the skein great care should be 
taken not to cut off too much ; better go slow, because 
it depends upon the fitting of the skein to get a good 
job. When the axle is finished or ready to be driven 
into the skein be sure to have the axle strong; that is, 
a little too large to go in easy. Now warm — or heat, 
if you will — the skein a little, not so much that it will 
burn, and drive it onto its place by a mallet. In mak- 
ing new wagons I think it would be wise to paint the 
part of the axle that goes in the skein, but in repairing 
I deem it unwise, because it will have a tendency to 
work loose unless it will have time to dry before using, 
and I have noticed paint to be still fresh in the skein 
after years of use. There should be no gap left 
between the collar of the skein and the axle, as water 
will run in and rot the timber. 





Jt VERY wagon-maker is supposed to know 
■^4^^^'- l^ow-to put in spokes. Still, there are 
sometimes wagon - makers, especially 
beginners, that don't know. First 
clean out the sliver left of the old 
spoke, and make the mortise dry, and 
in every case use glue. In a buggy 
wheel take the rivet or rivets out, if there is any, and 
be sure to have the right shape of the tenon to fit the 
mortise in the hub, so as to make the spoke stand 
plumb. Set the tenon going through the rim. Be 
sure to have this tenon reach through. This is impor- 
tant in filling a wagon wheel, because, if the tenons 
don't reach through the fellow, then the heft will rest 
against the shoulder of the tenon, and when the tire is 
put on tight and the wagon used in wet roads, the 
fellow will soften and the spokes settle into the rim. 
The tire gets loose, and some one, either the wagon- 
maker or the blacksmith, will be blamed — in most 
cases the blacksmith. Of course, the tenon should not 
be above the rim. After the spokes have been put in 



rivet the flange of the hub, or so many rivets as you 
have taken out. This should always be done before 
the tire is set. 






















13 280 










20.87 I 







18. 142 















I. 241 











2. 201 











1 5 





32. 160 






































10. 200 







9. 222 










Modern blacksmitHing^ 




























1. 461 


1. 041 

1. 301 


1. 821 




1. 881 





2. 191 





















4 010 





















































8 332 






















I. 151 



1. 410 


















1 ■ 


















5. 211 


1 1 

























10 310 

















10 835 

12. 190 















































































1 1 










}i - 









12. 500 



12. 190 











































































5. 311 

























































21 770 




























Advice to Horse Owners 180 

Advice to Young Men 181 

Anatomy of the Horse 135 

Annealing 116 

Anvil, The 33 

Axle Gauge 85 

Axes and Hatchets 67 

Babbitting 114 

Bands or Hoops 57 

Back Dished Wheel 75 

Belts, Points on 65 

Blacksmith's Tongs 39 

Blowers 54 

Blowing out the Boiler 131 

Bob Shoes 66 

Case Hardening 123 

Coal Box, The 34 

Cold Chisels 43 

Drilling Iron 58 

Expansion of the Tire 83 


198 INDEX. 


Fire, The 50 

Forge, The 33 

Forging 143 

Foaming in Boilers 130 

Gather Grange 85 

Grain Shrinkage 175 

Hammer, The 35 

Hints to Blacksmiths 179 

Hints to Horseshoers 179 

Horse, The 132 

Horseshoeing 134 

How to Measure Corn in the Crib and Hay in the Mow 175 

How to Make a Landside 88 

How to Harden Springs 124 

How to Weld Cast Iron 121 

How to Repair Broken Iron Pump Handles 123 

How to Repair Broken Cogs 116 

How to Restore Overheated Steel 117 

How to Dress and Harden Stone Hammers 117 

How to Drill Chilled Cast Iron. . . .' 118 

How to Drill Hard Steel 118 

How to Make Steel and Iron as White as Silver 124 

How to Mend Broken Saws 125 

How to Mend a Band Saw 125 

How to Write Your Name on Steel 12G 

How to Patch a Boiler 127 

How to Put in Flues 128 

How to AVeld Flues 129 

How to Make the Shoe 139 

How to Prepare the Foot for the Shoe 142 

INDEX. 199 


How to Shoe a Kicking Horse 160 

How to Shoe a Trotter 162 

How to Shoe a Horse with Brittle Hoofs 163 

How to Shoe a Weak Heeled Horse 163 

How to Shoe a Knee Sprung or Knuckler 149 

How to Eun a Lathe 183 

How to Balance a Pulley 187 

How to Put in a Wooden Axle 187 

How to Put in Spokes 190 

How to Strike and Turn the Iron 49 

How to Make a Hammer , 41 

How to Make Chisels 43 

How to Harden Files 62 

How to Harden Taps and Dies 62 

How to Make Butcher Knives 63 

How to Repair Cracked Circular Saws 63 

How to Prevent a Circular Saw from Cracking 64 

How to Sew a Belt 64 

How to Drill Chilled Iron 59 

How to Make Plowshares 88 

How to Put on New Tire 76 

How to Weld Tires 77 

How to Harden a Plowshare 103 

How to Point a Share 104 

How to Sharpen a Plowshare 107 

How to Put on a Heel 108 

How to Repair a Flopping Plow 108 

How to Set a Plow Right 109 

How to Correct Plow from Running too Deep 109 

How to Fix a Grang Plow that Runs on Its Nose 110 



How to Harden a Mouldboard Ill 

How to Patch a Mouldboard Ill 

Incompetency 17 

Interfering , . . . . 146 

Intemperance 14 

Iron Cement 182 

Landside Point for Slipshare 92 

Literature , 27 

Mill Picks 61 

Modern Guild 19 

Mower Sections 114 

Religion , 16 

RockDrills 47 

Rules for Smith and Helper 49 

Setting Tire 72 

Seeder Shovels 57 

Set Hammer 44 

Shoe, Right Fitting 144 

Shoe, Wrong Fitting 144 

Shop, The 31 

Sledge, The , 36 

Slipshare 99 

Smith, The 9 

Split Welds 56 

Standing Coulters 59 

Steel, Facts about , 119 

S Wrench 47 

Taxation 21 

Tensile Strength of Iron and other Materials 174 

INDEX. 201 


Tire in Sections 82 

Toe Tips ; 144 

Tools, Granite 69 

Tool Table 34 

Tuyer Iron 52 

Twist Drills 45 

Vehicles 71 

Wagon Making 71 

Water Tuyer 53 

Welding Axles 84 

Welding Steel 56 

Welding Iron 55 

Weight of One Foot in Length of Square and Round 

Bar Iron 192 

Well Drills 68 

Diseases of the Horse 165 

Bots 166 

Mange , 166 

Lice 166 

Worms 166 

Distemper 167 

Hydrophobia 167 

Spavin 167 

Bone Spavin 168 

Occult Spavin 171 

Ages of Animals 176 

Ring Worms 177 

Balking 177 

Founder 164 

202 INDEX. 


Hoof Oiutment ; 178 

Purgative 178 

Horse, The Wall 137 

Horse, The Sole ' 138 

Horse, The Frog 138 

Horse, The Coronet . . '. ; 139 

Horse, The Quarter 139 

Horse, The Bars 139 

Contraction 150 

Corns .' 155 

Quarter and Sand Cracks 157 

Seedy Toe 158 

Pricking 158 

Stifled 159 

String Halt 159 

Bog Spavin 171 

Blood Spavin 171 

Splint 172 

Sprain.. 172 

Staggers..., 173 

Hog Cholera, Cure for 174 


e==== By PHILLIP C. GOODWIN ===-hi 

FE W, if any of of the technical worka 
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J2mo Qoth. Price $J.OO. 
Sent postpaid to any address upon receipt of price. 

Frederick J. Drake & Co., Publishers 


Fred T. Hodgson*s New (1903) Books For Builders 



By FRED. T. HODGSON, J^rchitect, 

Mew and up-to-date. Published May 1st, 1903. Do not mistake this editiot. 
for the one published over 20 years ago. 

This is the latest practical work on 
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and how to form them by the aid of. 
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and other roofs are shown and ex- 
plained, and the manner of getting 
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tises, Tenons, Shoulders, Incline*? 
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Webster FamMy Library of Veterinary Medicine 
Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at 
Tufts University 
200 Westboro Road 
North Grafton, MA 01536 




M li 


• i 1 ; • 

\nl\ i ft'-' 

} Hill 

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