Drq

Sharpening Plowshares.

14 posts in this topic

I seem to have run into an all to common problem with hobbies like blacksmithing; All the old guys are gone. I've been asked on numerous occasions to sharpen plowshares for different folks and I've always had to say I haven't the faintest idea where to start, but if they knew someone who did I would would love to learn. The usual response includes "well there used to be a guy up in (insert small town name) that did them, but he passed away ten years back".

So I thought (in my youthful ways) Google knows everything ! So I consulted the google. And it was useless.

So my fellow ifi'ers. Anyone know how to sharpen plowshares ? Or know of a good tutorial ? Or have a shop somewhere up in western america that might be able to show someone how to carry on a seemingly lost art ?

Thanks again for the help I always find here.

Logan
(Drq)

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At the Little Giant bithday party I watched Bob Bergman of Postville Blacksmith Shop sharpen plow lathes. Google postville or old world anvils. His shop is south West of Madison, Wis, USA
Phil Cox who is on this forum had imput. UMBA made a video of the event

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We had it demonstrated at a SOFA meeting once Ed Rhodes (sp?) was the smith.

"Practical Blacksmithing" Richardson had lots of tips on it IIRC as it was written when it was still a big part of the typical small town forge's work.

As I recall the exact angle to be used differed depending on the local soil and such knowledge was handed down locally.

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Contact Irnsrgn on IForgeIron. He is a 3rd generation blacksmith and has first hand knowledge on the subject.

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I saw a welding blacksmith shop not too long ago with a mechanical plowshare sharpener. just set the disc in and it revolved and sharpened it. it had two wheels(dies) with bevels on them that just cold forged it sharp.

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Alot more info is needed here. Is it a walking plow, horse drawn riding plow, single or multiple bottom,
or tractor drawn, what type soil. also what type share, chilled, soft center, solid steel?
Also it will be much easier to under stand if you have actually plowed before. Are you going to use a
power hammer or a hand hammer? I know it's a lot of questions but till you know all of this don't even
think of heating or hitting it.

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I seem to have run into an all to common problem with hobbies like blacksmithing; All the old guys are gone.

Logan
(Drq)


When you notice that 'all the old guys are gone'......

you're the old guy.

Welcome to geezerhood.tongue.gif

Bob

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Peacock, the fellow that I talked to this weekend had a three bottom tractor drawn. I will give him a shout and see what he thinks they are and what soil he's playing in. Perhaps I will see if I can get out with him a few times when he's plowing, I think your right that a guy needs to have a little experience in before he really has any clue what needs to be fixed.

Bob S, if I'm the old guy I think we're all doomed.

Origami, I actually have one of those disk sharpeners, never used the thing, but it holds my dirt down.

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If you are reslly interested in learning about plows, plowing, are care of them
I recomend the book the Draft Horse Primer. It has a great tutorial with pics
about plows and there use and care. Next best thing to hands on help.

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I saw a welding blacksmith shop not too long ago with a mechanical plowshare sharpener. just set the disc in and it revolved and sharpened it. it had two wheels(dies) with bevels on them that just cold forged it sharp.


Isn't that a disk harrow rather than a plow shear? The 50lb Little Giant I picked up a couple summers ago still has the factory plow shear dies on it, not that I have any idea how to sharpen a shear. Heck, it's coming up on it's 100th B'day this January 17th.

Frosty the Lucky.

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All the ones that I have seen have replaceable parts on them, they are bolted on, or is this one old enough you can';t get one for it?

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All the ones that I have seen have replaceable parts on them, they are bolted on, or is this one old enough you can';t get one for it?


That'd be a moldboard plowshear. The moldboard is what the blade bolts to, same as a modern road grader, dozer blade etc.

Frosty the Lucky.

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No not be critical but if you all want to know. The main fram of the plow is called the beam.
The frog bolts to the beam, the moldboard, share, and landslide bolt to the frog.
Some plows have a replaceable shin ( leading edge of the moldboard) that also bolts to the frog.

When you sharpen a share you do not want the share to warp or it will no longer fit the frog
correctly. to prevent this only heat about an inch to no more than an inch and a half of the edge
to a cherry red in low light then forge the edge to a sharp edge. The point will most likely
be worn thin, this will need to be upset by hammering on the point before it is forged to the
correct shape and sharpened. If done right minimal grinding will be needed. Set the suck, both
down and to the landside. Depending on the type of share retemper, and buff on a cloth wheel
loaded with compound. Job is now complete.

One bottom plows are not to hard to do. Multiple bottoms will test your skill. All the shares
will have to have the same shape and suck for the plow to run right. It helps to work the most
worn share first so you have plenty of steel to work with to match the shape.

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