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TOPIC: Tool Collection #4

Tool Collection #4 04 Nov 2008 12:37 #1

  • Mark_Gough
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Okay... this is thread #4 in the Tool Collection thread series. If you haven't seen the others, start with the first and go thru them in order.

This series puts us back in the little cabin that is the "blacksmith shop".

I had posted a photo of a rack of swadge hammers. Here's a different perspective shot of the same rack that I should have put up earlier. Notice all the giant dies on the back wall behind this rack. Those dies are scattered all over the buildings. Blacksmiths had need to cut threads on just about anything you might imagine back then.

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg181/msgough/Blacksmith-Shop/IMG_0061.jpg?t=1225801609


This wall includes some of the more interesting displays. In this collection you can see several styles of hoof knives and clinch cutters. At the bottom are a collection of mechanical hoof nippers. Honestly, I had never seen nippers like these. Bob shared that they are quite common. I took some close up shots of these nippers and will share and talk about them more later. This collection includes knives from Heller and a lot of hand-mades.

Hand knives on the left; Sole knives down the center; clinch cutters on the right.
http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg181/msgough/Blacksmith-Shop/IMG_0069.jpg?t=1225801744

More hoof knives, some bone-handled, some wood. Notice the empty hangers? Bob has already sold quite a few items from his collection. I'm told that several pieces were bought by Lee for his collection/museum in Oklahoma.

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg181/msgough/Blacksmith-Shop/IMG_0072.jpg?t=1225801961
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RE:Tool Collection #4 04 Nov 2008 12:54 #2

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Okay... now this is a fascinating collection.

Upper left corner. That contraption is an equine dentists speculum (sp?). Holds the horses mouth open while you float his teeth. It's hand forged.

Just to the right of the speculum is another set of Oxen shoes.

Beneath the speculum is a cauterizing iron used to stop bleeding when you pull a horses tooth! Ouch!!

Next two items beneath the cauterizing iron are floats. The second float includes an extra set of grinding blades. Cool huh?

The two wood-handled devices beneath the float blades are tools used to pull teeth.

Notice the very cool combination creaser/punch on the right?

Too much here to discuss in detail, so I'll just post the photo and talk more about some of it after the next pic.


http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg181/msgough/Blacksmith-Shop/IMG_0070.jpg?t=1225802461


Okay... let's take a closer look at this contraption.

This is a "Medicine Bit". I've seen these before but never this old and in this condition. What's a Medicine Bit? It's a bit you put in the horses mouth to administer medication. You just pour the medicine (ground and mixed into a solution) in the big tube on the left. The medication goes into the bit. The bit has a hole in it and allows the medication to enter the horses mouth. Simple, huh?

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg181/msgough/Blacksmith-Shop/IMG_0076.jpg?t=1225802791

Here's a close-up of the medicine bit holding tank. This one is specifically "Dr. Le Gears Stock Remedies" model from St. Louis, Missouri. Bob is asking $200 bucks for this, in case you're interested.

Now.. go back to the first photo. See the "medicine bit" to the right of the Dr. Le Gears model? That one is hand-made by a local blacksmith. Hey... why buy when you can make your own, right?

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg181/msgough/Blacksmith-Shop/IMG_0077.jpg?t=1225802935
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RE:Tool Collection #4 04 Nov 2008 13:08 #3

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Yes... once again, Bob likes clinchers! Here's a collection that also includes another clinch cutter and a few home-made clinch blocks. Notice how big the pritchel clean-out end is that top cutter. It's made by Heller. Handmade sole knife on the very bottom. Again.. notice all the empty hangers. Slow but sure, he's selling things off.

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg181/msgough/Blacksmith-Shop/IMG_0071.jpg?t=1225803463

There's lots of ways to turn a heel calk or twist some barstock into decorative wrought iron. Here's a few tools to help you get the job done.

Look at the bottom left. Sears/Craftsman introduced a "new" idea for self-adjusting open-ended wrenches a couple years back. Guess it wasn't such a "new" idea after all, huh?!

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg181/msgough/Blacksmith-Shop/IMG_0073.jpg?t=1225803607

Handmade swedge hammers and a few shoes. If you're a blacksmith, you see everything in terms of "inside-out". Want a hole? You have to think about what the inside looks like and make that shape. Need a concave surface? You have to imagine what it looks like as a convex shape. What about a "hole with a centered post that you'll thread for later for an axle nut? Well... check out the "donut punch". That's all there is to it. Simple, right?

Kinda like being a farrier. Everything is viewed from a hoof that is upside down and backwards. :D Don't forget to punch-mark your lateral branch!

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg181/msgough/Blacksmith-Shop/IMG_0074.jpg?t=1225803794
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RE:Tool Collection #4 04 Nov 2008 13:21 #4

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Okay... I want to cover two topics in this post. Mechanical nippers and an interesting clincher.

Remember that photo of several mechanical nippers I posted in an earlier thread? Here's a close up of one.

There is a single, removeable blade that closes against a tiny "anvil" face when making the cut on the hoof wall. When the blade gets dull, you simply sharpen it. Now.. once it's sharpened, the blade/anvil will eventually lose contact at full closure, right? When this happens to your modern GE nippers, you have to send them out for a rebuild. Not with these little gems! You simply adjust a screw on the back of the nippers to move the blade a bit closer to the anvil face and voila... you're back in business! Slick, huh? Bob has a dozen or two of these.

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg181/msgough/Blacksmith-Shop/IMG_0123.jpg?t=1225804262

Here's another mechanical set that doesn't adjust. There's more play in the reins so you just keep sharpening your blade until you need to replace it. No need to adjust anything.

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg181/msgough/Blacksmith-Shop/IMG_0075.jpg?t=1225804451


Okay... clinchers. Bob has a lot of 'em, but this pair caught my eye.

These clinchers include a rolling clinch face on a geared assembly. As you pull up on the bottom rein, the clinch rolls across your nail rather than pulling it down like todays modern versions. I think the intent was to avoid those nasty gaps/holes that inevitably appear above your finished clinch. I intend to actually try these and test how well they work next time I shoe a horse (today). I'll let you know how they work out. Bob tells me these were originally made in Iowa. There is a makers mark on this pair but the mark is nearly illegible.

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg181/msgough/Blacksmith-Shop/IMG_0133.jpg?t=1225804605

Here's a close-up of the geared clinchers. I bought these from Bob. Gave him $65 bucks. I have no idea if they're worth that much, but I'm pretty sure I can't just buy them at a farriers shop on the internet.

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg181/msgough/Blacksmith-Shop/IMG_0134.jpg?t=1225804727
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RE:Tool Collection #4 04 Nov 2008 13:32 #5

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Few more shots from inside the cabin.

Stuck up in the rafters of the cabin was this collection of buttress sole knives.

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg181/msgough/Blacksmith-Shop/IMG_0078.jpg?t=1225805171


Hung on the side of the cobblestone forge is this giant ladle. I didn't measure it but would guess it to be about 10-12 inches across. That's a lot of hot metal to pour out folks!

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg181/msgough/Blacksmith-Shop/IMG_0080.jpg?t=1225805289

Bob uses this book to track and identify many of the tools in his collection. Not sure if it's still in print or not. The book was published by the Shelburne Museum in Vermont. Bob has a couple copies that he regularly uses.

http://i248.photobucket.com/albums/gg181/msgough/Blacksmith-Shop/IMG_0079.jpg?t=1225805363
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