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Special swage block


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Hi,

I am new to blacksmithing so everything is new for me. Actually I am at the step of finding equipment for my new hobby.

Recently, I found this swage block. I don't know if it is really special but I did not find any other like this on the internet. The dimensions are 13.5 x 17.5 x 4" and it weight 203 lbs.

Part of the block looks to be dedicated to farriers. The hook form has the same shape as a farrier nippers head. The large radius fit the shape of a horse shoe toe. The waves on the side fit the nail groove of a horse shoe.

The other parts of the block has 3 shapes looking like tools head (adze or mattock, not sure of the right English words). 

Does someone has an idea of how old it could be?  

Also, I would like to use it as it was in the past, and forge my own tool heads. I do not have any experience in using swage block to form object and I really don't want to damage it. Any advises would be appreciated.

Does someone has an idea on how these tool head opening were used?  And, what kind of material and what form should I start with.

Thanks for your help.

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so what's the reason for this post???? the title says "special swage block" but theirs no description or pictures. not sure if that was on purpose, I'm going to guess no because there is a comma after the hi. did you just accidently press submit topic?

                                                                                                                  Littleblacksmith

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You are right Littleblacksmith, I accidently press the submit topic :wacko:.  And the time between then and now it the time it takes me to edit the massage.

So now, every body knows that I don't write very fast. :D

Again, any advise would be very appreciated.  Thanks for reading.

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I see swages to shape the "eye?" for adze, mattock, etc. handles. The one mattock looking swage with the large blocky half might be to supply enough material to forge a pick or axe. Then again the heavy side might be for a striking surface or to be a hammer. . .  or who knows?

The hook form I don't know but I seriously doubt a nipper. It's too easy to just forge tongs and nippers only have a different shaped bit.

I'd LOVE to have that swage block to go with my Lancaster pattern block. I can't imagine ever using it but I almost never use the one I have now and it is just so cool.

Frosty The Lucky.

 

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Very interesting and a good way to start your hobby.

Be sure to share your projects as soon as you get started.  This might be a good way of exploring some of the more overlooked aspects in the more recent history of the blacksmith.

Marius

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The photos don't show well but the curved portion of the hook shape is two time deeper. That's what makes me think it could be to forge a kind of tong used by farriers.  Frosty, I understand that for blacksmith it is possible to forge a tong but if this feature works, it is certainly faster. With the proper shape and size of material, it probably takes two ? heats and it is done.

 

The farrier tong makes me bring my horse shoe and then I realised that the strange waves on the side perfectly fit the nail groove.

Mister Stevens, If it is effectively a  feature to form the nail groove on a  horse shoe, this means this block is from an era where the shoes were made from scratch isn't it?  You probably knows the horse shoe history. What era was it?

 

 

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Very nice. If you were closer I'd be visiting so I could make a mold pattern from it. I know exactly what I'd be casting this summer in the iron casting class I want to take!

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On 2016. 05. 26. at 0:26 PM, JBOLDUC said:

this means this block is from an era where the shoes were made from scratch isn't it?  You probably knows the horse shoe history. What era was it?

Hehe! It's the era "right now" around here! :) The farrier in the next village still makes all horseshoes from scratch (or 25x8mm mild stock).

Anyways your swageblock looks pretty awesome and unique! Congratulations!

Bests:

Gergely

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Thanks for your answers.

Since then, I did some research on horseshoes history and now I know that sometime, they are still made from scratch.

I simply hoped that I could use this feature to have an idea of how old it is.

Thanks again

 

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To be honest I couldn't hazard a guess. The tool your calling a nipper looks to be a pull off, but they are infact often used to pull nailes out of lumber as well. The nipper and the clencher are about a hundred years old in the US, but as its not a nipper that dosnt help, most of the shapes are agricultural in nature, and wouldn't be out of place up into the mid 40's in the US. I am not real familiar with the hand made keg shoe historically, machines for keg shoes came into being pre civil war. The only bottom swages I use in shoe making are half round, rim and pollo shoe swages. I fuller shoes from the top with a fuller. 

Frank Turly may have more insight into pre machine made keg shoes and some one I'm sure can coment as to swage block production history (industrial cast iron) 

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

jbolduc, you obviously got everybody interested & excited - unique tool in very good condition

On ‎5‎/‎26‎/‎2016 at 6:50 AM, DSW said:

Very nice. If you were closer I'd be visiting so I could make a mold pattern from it. I know exactly what I'd be casting this summer in the iron casting class I want to take!

DSW, send him a carton of rigid urethane foam in a can, some nice release film from a craft supply & a case of beer.  A foam pattern wouldn't be much shipping.

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  • 2 months later...

I've never seen anything like it.  It's times like these that I really hate the fact that nobody seemed inclined to mark their swage blocks when they made them.

The shapes for the mattock and adze would have been really handy for cleaning up the junction between the blade and eye.  That can be really tricky with a striker or power hammer and working from the top.  Being able to flip it over and hammer it into a mold.... really speedy I'd think.

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