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TOPIC: Swaging barstock

Swaging barstock 20 Jan 2006 01:20 #1

  • Hoofangler
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Questions for those of you with experience with harness horses.
When using an anvil mounted swage block, lets say for 5/8" shoes, what size bar stock and cross section do you use?
Is it flat stock or square or what-have-you?
Also, do you swage at a red or yellow heat?
And, finally do you use anything on the block(beeswax,etc.)?

Thanks for the help...I've been buying them out of the box but, was given the blocks and figured I'd have a go at them.

Mike
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RE:Swaging barstock 20 Jan 2006 02:27 #2

  • solidrockshoer
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Top anvil tools are alot of fun playing around with. Get in the forge and tinker with differant size stock and you will see how to answer your questions yourself. Getting a feel for moving hot metal just takes doing it! Good Luck! Gary
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RE:Swaging barstock 20 Jan 2006 02:42 #3

  • George Geist
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Mike,
Yes it is necessary to use beeswax. Preheat the block with a piece of s**** for that purpose. Then apply beeswax till it flows. Do this every time between heats with your steel. My experience is mostly with a training plate block. For that 1/4x1/2 works best. Youll have to experiment a little as every block fills differently.

I also have one for polo bar. On this one I found I need to use round stock. Practice enough and youll eventually be able to figure in the stretch. This is also quite challenging as again they all fill differently as well as your hammering isnt always the same and I even found different lots of steel to react differently.

Try to get your steel as hot as you can while swedging. Youll need all the heat you can get as well as pre-heating. Draw towards you as you hammer with the heaviest hammer you can swing. With practice I got to where I could do a training plate in 3 heats. Maybe other guys could do it in less but thats the best I did it in.

After swedging the bar, File off flashing in a vise. Finally, turn shoe and shape with a wooden mallet. Good luck.
George
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RE:Swaging barstock 20 Jan 2006 03:56 #4

  • T.N. Trosin
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Hoofangler wrote:
Questions for those of you with experience with harness horses.
When using an anvil mounted swage block, lets say for 5/8" shoes, what size bar stock and cross section do you use?
Is it flat stock or square or what-have-you?
Also, do you swage at a red or yellow heat?
And, finally do you use anything on the block(beeswax,etc.)?

Thanks for the help...I've been buying them out of the box but, was given the blocks and figured I'd have a go at them.

Mike

I wish to heck I could remember the dimentions, I'll have to ask dad or Big Roy (one day I'll tell you stories)
George is right, you have to bees wax the snot out of the swedge.
When I would monkey around with swedging, I found that just just above orange was perfect, the way I swedged yellow was too hot and I'd put a ton of flashing on the stock or worse yet drive the stock through the swedge (dont laugh George it happens don't ask me how).
Last piece of advice I would have is dont be affraid to use a bigger hammer. I had a lot of fun learning what I consider a fine art. Damit I'm going to the thoro' bred site to see if they still sell them.
Soliceter General Warning: This message may not have been spell checked for your protection
Just a piece of advice, think to yourself is this something I would say in front of a client, before your click the submit button.
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RE:Swaging barstock 20 Jan 2006 14:02 #5

  • George Geist
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Mike,
After giving this some thought. For harness I might be inclined to give half round a try. You'll need to make half round half swedges anyway so try that stock dimension first in maybe 1/2".

If you want to make toe grabs there is a block available for that too. For that it's best to use 1/4" round. Garage door spring makes excellent toe grabs.

Good luck to you and let us know how it works for you.

George
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RE:Swaging barstock 20 Jan 2006 20:06 #6

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Thanks Guys,

I'll dink around with them some more. The half round idea never occured to me... sounds good. I appreciate the advice. And, T.N., Thoro'bred does carry them at about $35 a piece (see the marketplace on this site). Thanks again.

Mike
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RE:Swaging barstock 20 Jan 2006 20:42 #7

  • George Geist
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Hey Mike
Forgot to tell you one more thing. When swedging, use a long enough piece of steel for 2 shoes. Swedge one, then turn around and swedge the other one. This enables you to hold the steel in your off hand and not need tongs. When you have them both done, then cut them separate. Is much easier this way
George
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RE:Swaging barstock 21 Jan 2006 04:34 #8

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Should have figured that out for myself this afternoon... I'm out at the anvil dragging 1/2" half round (which does fit by the way, thanks) through the block trying to hold on to it with a size too small flat jawed forge tong. Frustrating but, I bet if you were watching you'd have had a good laugh. Just about set the new Bluetick puppy on fire !

Mike
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RE:Swaging barstock 26 Jan 2006 13:56 #9

  • George Geist
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Mike,
How you progressing? You practicing for a test or just for the fun of it?
George
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RE:Swaging barstock 26 Jan 2006 20:08 #10

  • Hoofangler
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Hi George,

Doing well.Not practicing for a test, just like to work in the fire. I've found that improving forging skills really helps speed things up in the field. It is good for the horse also, as I'm not reluctant to bang out any mods or make one where it might help.
I appreciate the input. Started using the stock as long as two shoes and holding on to one end, that works great. I find I really have to wax the heck out of the swage so it doesn't drag. I've also found that a really light hammer turns this stuff better than the 2# er. I'll use these on a few trotters that I'm shoeing later next week. They look as good as the store bought stuff that's piling up in the shop!

Mike
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RE:Swaging barstock 26 Jan 2006 20:21 #11

  • George Geist
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Good Job Mike,
Glad to hear your doing well with it. When I swedge I make all the blanks with long unfinished heels. That way if you need a bar shoe you got it. Anything else just cut to fit. Try a wooden mallet for turning that way you wont mess up the swedge so much. The hotter you can keep your anvil and especially your block the easier it is to do thus the importance of pre-heating. I have an old horseshoe that I folded into a little rectangular cube. I get it red hot and sit it on the cold block just to pre-heat before I start. Then I try to be working 2 at a time in order to keep hot steel in it as much as possible.
Catch you later,
George
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