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This might be a silly question, or it might be one of interest.

I am wondering why Hardy holes do not seem to be made under 3/4" square.

 

Is it merely becuase tooling of any smaller shank would not stand up to the stress of daily hammering?

 

If that is the case, then why not make a smaller (i.e. 1/2" square) hole for offset tooling or for light duty hardies?

 

I suppose I am just trying to understand how and why the standard became the standard.

 

Thank you!

Ridgeway Forge

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If you find some very old anvils in Europe you can see hardy holes that small, but I have never seen one so small on a more modern anvil. I believe its just as you said in your post, To light for most work. Most anvils in america are large enough that such a small hole would just be silly.

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Greetings Ridgeway,

 

I think the main reason hardy holes were made 3/4 and bigger is that many of the tools used had side stress  bricks  tapers ect...  Another is many farriers use the hardy hole for turning a shoe...  As you know we all use it for small bends and straighting...   My biggest question is how did it get its name...   Must have been Mr. Hardy...    I teach my students that blacksmiths tool names are usually the function...  Flatters , fullers ,  hot cut,  punch.. ect.  ect.   I still think its Mr. Hardy..  Go figure...

 

Carry on and have fun..

Jim

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Its spelled hardie by the way.  The prichel is a hole for punching holes.  A farrier uses a tool called  pritchel or pritchel punch to make the nail holes in their shoes.  They started showing up in anvils @1820 according to the book "Anvils in America".

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Weren't hardies called that as they were often made of hard steel rather than just iron?  

The "Free Dictionary" by Farlex would support your supposition that the hardy hole is so called because it is "hard" steel

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I've seen a lot of hardy holes smaller than 3/4" and even have a hardy with a tiny shaft on it (may have been used in conjunction with a vise)---I'll have to measure it to see if it's 3/8 or smaller.

 

I run into difficulties the other way; I have 3 anvils that take 1.5" hardy tooling.  I've started buying top tools and forging the striking ends (and hammer eyes) down to fit the hardy holes.

 

As I believe the term predates the standardization of spelling and there is great local variation I would not be too pedantic on hardie vs hardy.  Have to check and see what Moxon used if he used the term...

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I once heard that "Hardie" came from "hard edge" but I have never seen any evidence that that is any more than a guess.

 

I have an anvil with a very small hardie hole. If you are going to do some really heavy bending or anything of the sort I suppose the hardie stalk could shear but even at 1/2" that would take a lot on torque.

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Keeping these things in mind, would it beneficial to make a hardy bolster plate with perhaps the sizes of 1/2" and 5/8" square on them? That way there is a greater number of small hardies that can be made for say a classroom setting where the largest stock being used on them will be 3/8"?

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  • 3 years later...
On 17 March 2013 at 0:32 AM, Jim Coke said:

Greetings Ridgeway,

 

I think the main reason hardy holes were made 3/4 and bigger is that many of the tools used had side stress  bricks  tapers ect...  Another is many farriers use the hardy hole for turning a shoe...  As you know we all use it for small bends and straighting...   My biggest question is how did it get its name...   Must have been Mr. Hardy...    I teach my students that blacksmiths tool names are usually the function...  Flatters , fullers ,  hot cut,  punch.. ect.  ect.   I still think its Mr. Hardy..  Go figure...

 

Carry on and have fun..

Jim

I think it's because of the chisel like tool they were originally used to hold which was called a hardie

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My thought on smaller hardie holes would be that like when making a hot cut, you would start with about 1 1/4" (-+), and with a smaller hardie you would have to draw it down more, and upset it more than if you were to start with larger stock.

                                                                                    Littleblacksmith 

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