Calfroper

First pair of spurs

15 posts in this topic

Well im a newbie when it comes to blacksmithing (made a couple of knives but nothing fancy) but want to progress and move forward. So im wanting to take my frist step and make my first set of spurs. It doesnt seem to terribly difficult to do. Gonna weld my shank on and make my own rowls. I am wanting to put some silver on them (which also doesnt look to difficult either) but i dont know what gauge to use or if i should use sterling silver or nickel silver. If any one has any experience with this or has some tips on making spurs anything helps. Thank you!

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Thank you Frank ill be sure to check them out! Ive seen some things on here where people made rasp spurs where they cut the rasp in half. Where one half is for the heel band and the other side is for the shank. Could you discribe to me how to make the shank out of that other side? Ive herd they fold it im guessing to make it thicker? 

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Personally, I'd use nickel silver. A pair is spurs is something close to the ground  and therefore constantly getting beat up. Not much point is using the premium material when you can't tell the difference and they're going to get covered in dirt and...other things. As you get better you might want to mount a pair with sterling as a set of wall hanger. 

Here's a pair I built last year. The nickel silver is a little heavy on these, 16gauge for most and 14gauge for my name. 

image.jpeg

image.jpeg

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Wow those look great! Is there any reason to go with the heavier gauge? I was thinking about going with a 20 gauge nickle silver?

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The only reason I can think of for heavier silver would be deep engraving. I used what was handy. As you said, spurs aren't terribly difficult but there are some things that do require some thinking. The hangers come to mind, I had to do a few practice hangers before I got some I liked. If you got any questions let me know. 

 

Ben

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Oh ok ya that makes sense. And what do you mean about the hangers? And thank you have you made any rasp spurs? I have seen some people say about cutting the rasp in half and using one half for the heel band and then folding the other half and using that for the shank. 

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The hangers are the part that swivel that the button attaches to. I'll add a picture of a hanger. I've not made and spurs out of rasps. They're not really my style and I don't want to spend the time grinding down bands to a suitable thickness.  What you say about the shanks makes perfect sense though. If I was going to do that, I'd anneal the pieces of rasp that are to be the shanks then rough them out with the harbor freight portable band saw. Then I'd tack the two pieces together and grind them very close to the final shape. Then I'd weld the edges with a wire feed if available. What ever method you choose for welding, I'd use plenty of anti-splatter spray. After the weld, anneal them again so the metal doesn't end up too hard to drill the hole for the rowel pin. 

As I said, rasp spurs aren't really my style but I've seen a lot of them both good and bad and can offer a pointer from what I've noticed on the better ones. Pay attention to the direction of the teeth. Make sure the teeth go the same direction on each side. If the teeth on the outside of the bands cut towards the rowel, make sure the teeth on that side of the shank do the same. If you are using one piece for the band, the teeth on the inside of the band will cut towards the toe of your boot and that side of the shank should do the same. The best looking rasp spurs I've seen are made of two halve connected at the shank and all the teeth, inside and out, point in the same direction. 

In my opinion, you want your band to end up around 3/16" thick but using a steel like a rasp might allow you to go a little thinner for a lighter spur and still have a springy band. 

Ben

Outside of hanger on a purchased set of spurs 

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Inside of a hanger I built.

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Do you have any tips on bending the hanger? Also for the nickel silver should i use a hard or easy solder? Some videos ive seen were using a 45% hard silver solder. Ill be brazing them if that makes any difference. And thank you for all the help ive also been playing with the idea of doing a rasp band and just a regular steel shank. I have a few rasps that i have used to make knives out of so i figured id put them to use since i have them already

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I've got tips on bending the hangers but I'm not very good at describing things. I don't know how gung-ho you are to get these built but if you can give me til next week, I'll bend a couple and take pictures of the process for you. If you're just looking for a reason to uses those rasps, have at it! Rasps are decent material and there's always a use for good steel. I'm actually toying with the idea of building a set of one piece spurs. That's what got me into pounding steel to begin with. I quickly learned that isn't a beginner project and gave up. I'm hoping my skill set is now up to the task. If I do that, I'll probably start in the next couple of weeks as time allows, I'll take pictures of the process. 

 

Ben

A really good material for making bands that can be had for free is the angle iron from a bed frame. It's better steel than mild steel and if I'm not mistake is close to spring steel carbon. Just thought I'd throw that out there. 

 

Ben

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Those pictures of the hangers would be great and im gung ho on making them but it probably wont be till next week at the earliest. Ya i think rasp spurs are pretty cool so i figured why not and plan on putting some silver on there. I got a couple friends that are asking me to make them some pairs already. And thats a good idea about that angle iron im guessing its just a high carbon steel?

And id really like to see the pictures of those spurs when you get done with them

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Bed frames are made from old railroad track which is around a 1080 steel. Some manufacturers show the process on their sites. They heat the rail, split it into the three main sections of top, web, and base, then run it through rolling mills to get the shape they want.

I used to get them for free back home, but where I live now they are sold all the time, and I have yet to see a free set.

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1 minute ago, BIGGUNDOCTOR said:

Bed frames are made from old railroad track which is around a 1080 steel.

Bit of an over-generalization. I'd say most bed frames are made from high-carbon; both bed rails and RR track vary in their composition depending on (among other things) age, manufacturer, planned load-bearing capacity, etc.

Keep in mind also that not all angle iron is the same as bed rail angle iron.

For any steel that you suspect might be high-carbon, it's as well to do a quench test: heat a piece of scrap to non-magnetic, quench in water, and test it with a file.

6 minutes ago, BIGGUNDOCTOR said:

I used to get them for free back home, but where I live now they are sold all the time, and I have yet to see a free set.

I just picked up a set from a neighbor who was throwing it away. If your area has residential trash pickup, drive around on trash day and see what you can spot.

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Pulling up the manufacturers websites it was interesting to see how they took RR rail to bed rail. 

I live in a much smaller community now than I used to.... approximately 7,000 total within 5 communities spread out over 20+ miles. I am sure if I hung out more in the big city I could scrounge some up, but I literally have tons of metal already. 

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If you're really interested in all sorts of spurs and bits, I recommend tuning in bookfinders.com and typing in "How to make Bits and Spurs" by Robert M. Hall; an excellent book.

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