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Category: Shoe & Tool Fabrication
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There are many ways to measure a foot for a fullered straight bar shoe. This is one that works for me. This tutorial is based on using 5/16 by 3/4 inch stock.

ARE YOU READY??? Relax....As the great Bob Marshall once told me, "It's only a piece of steel. You can always cut another!"


Determining the length of stock using 5/16 by 3/4 inch stock. I use a soft tape measure (sewing type)










Measure from one heel buttress around the toe to the other heel buttress.


Subtract 2 3/4 inches.


Measure and add the distance between the heels.

This length should put you in the ball park.

Marking Stock Be sure to mark your stock before starting!

Make three marks. One in the center of stock for the toe bend and a mark from each end of the stock, half the distance between the heels for the connecting bar. For example: If the distance between the heels is 2 1/4 inches, half of that is 1 1/8 inches.

fremlin_1_0Marking Stock

Heat #1

Heat two-thirds of the stock.

Bend the toe

Hockey stick the first half of the bar. fremlin_1_hockey1
Scarf the end. fremlin_1_scarf1

Turn the branch.


Heat #2


Heat remaining stock. Hockey stick second half of the bar.


Put scarfs together.



Heat #3


Place shoe in forge so that the bar is surrounded by the fire.

Bring to welding heat. Tack the weld together, brush and flux.

Heat #4 Place shoe in forge in the same manner as in Heat #3. Bring to a welding heat, place shoe over bick, bar side up. Using the round side of the hammer, strike the shoe in the location indicated by the red arrow.


Pull the shoe back toward the inside of the bick and strike again in the location indicated by the red arrow. Now face the point of the bick, holding the toes of the shoe with the tongs, and place the ground side of the bar on the end of the bick. fremlin_1_strike2
Again, use the round side of the hammer and draw out the center inside edge of the bar. fremlin_1_drawout


The finished bar.

Heat #5


Heat the whole shoe evenly. Shape shoe to desired shape.


At the toe, mark the top of the fullering. Bump up the quarters and mark for fullering.

Heat #6

Heat first branch to a bright orange-yellow heat. Then:


Fuller branch


Bottom punch


Pritchel nail holes.

Heat #7 Heat remaining branch and repeat steps as in Heat #6.
Heat #8

Bring to a dull cherry red heat with fullering facing down. Brush and level shoe. Take care to forge out any sole or nail pressure.


File off sharp edges.

Nailed and Finished... Time To Get Paid!

With a little practice you should be able to make a pair of fullered straight bar shoes in about 35 minutes or less. REMEMBER: Don't get in a hurry. Take your time and have fun!



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DISCLAIMER AND WARNING: Forgery, metalsmithing, welding, blacksmithing and similar activities have INHERENT RISKS INCLUDING POTENTIAL SERIOUS INJURY TO THE PRACTITIONER AND/OR BYSTANDERS. The practitioner is responsible for ensuring adequate safety precautions (including eye protection appropriate to this type of activity) and skill, issues not covered or purported to be covered in these web pages. KEITH FREMLIN ASSUMES NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR INJURY TO THE PRACTIONER OR OTHERS ENGAGING IN ACTIVITIES OF FORGERY, METALSMITHING, WELDING, BLACKSMITHING OR THE LIKE AS ILLUSTRATED IN THESE WEB PAGES.