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I Forge Iron

Learning Curve

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Well, this week I have been getting instruction on how to make horse shoes. I have to say I have a whole new appreciation for Farriers that make their own shoes. You might think, ah anyone can make a horseshoe.... not so my friends. From breaking the toe to getting the branches right and the corks. "There is more to it than meets the eye"- Frank Turley
So once I got a meager handle on the radii I proceeded to make a circle and forge weld it together... and I am happy to report you can't see the joint. Tomorrow we are really going old school, I am learning how to forge braze the corks on hunter/jumper shoes.

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Thanks Beth & Bent.
I have only been actually learning blacksmithing for a short time and I am trying to learn all I can. I have an excellent teacher that has taken me under his wing. I recently changed professions to pursue smithing on a more full time basis so I want to learn the shoeing end of it also. It seems from observation that the best traditional smiths were/are farriers.
Thank you for the kind words.

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Nice I myself still having trouble with the welding side of things but again as with this craft trial and error and learning from mistakes are what makes it so challenging and rewarding keep it up cheers Bully

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It seems from observation that the best traditional smiths were/are farriers.

Up to the early 1950's in the UK the blacksmiths also carried out shoeing horses, however a licensing scheme was brought in and there are two distinct trades, the farriers requiring an apprenticeship with a master farrier whilst at the moment any one can call themselves a blacksmith

As a qualified farrier, you would be on a par with a veterinarian specialising in equine chiropody.

The farriers can do blacksmiths' work (Usually less lucrative) but blacksmiths cannot shoe anyone else's horses except their own, and again that is pretty limited in its coverage to blacksmiths practicing before the legislation came in.

Farriers from outside the UK who come to settle here have to take exams and attend college before they can start as a business.

Hence I would agree with the quote up to a point, but it is not as valid here in the UK as it used to be. In the last 12 years since the National Champion Blacksmiths competitions have been competed for, the majority of competitors and Champions have been blacksmiths as opposed to farriers.

The farriers have their own competition structure
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Beautiful work!

I used to shoe our own horses but always with shoes from the feed and tack store.

I believe that way back when, whether a blacksmith shod horses or no depended on the quantity of work available. In large cities the blacksmith and the farrier stayed out of each other's way, but in smaller towns and villages, the blacksmith had to be more of an all-around. As the industrial revolution got into full swing, blacksmiths found they had to diversify more to make up for the work lost to factories.
My great-grandfather worked in a small town from the 1880's up until the 1930's. He did horseshoeing, farm implement repair, and even had a steam powered well drilling rig. They credit him with over 400 artesian or "flowing" wells in the area. Besides that he had a few cows, pigs and chickens and did a bit of farming. He had to feed 9 kids, 8 of them big strapping boys.

Speaking of the old boy, I have what's left of his old post drill press. Eric "DABLACKSMITH" is helping me to restore it as close as possible to original. Someone along the way motorized it and it's missing the flywheel and the ratchet advance mechanism. Also the original chuck has been replaced with a modern type Jacobsen chuck. Had it not belonged to a family member I probably wouldn't bother.

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