Modern Blacksmithing Rational Horse Shoeing and Wagon Making

with rules, tables, recipes, etc., useful to manufactures, blacksmiths, machinists, well-drillers, engineers, liverymen, horse-shoers, farmers, wagon-makers, mechanics, amateurs and all others who have occasion to perform the work for which this book is primarily intended. by J.G. Homstrom 1901

More of The Blacksmiths Shop

Blacksmiths Shop Layout

I shall, in this chapter, give a few pointers how to make some of the tools used. I will not spend any time in explanation about the more intricate tools like drill presses and tools of that kind, because no smith has experience or facilities to make tools of this character that will be worth anything. I shall simply give a few hints on the most common tools used, with illustrations that will be a help to new beginners. Before we go any further let me remind you of the golden rule of the mechanic. A place for everything and everything in its place." Some shops look like a scrap iron shed, the tools strewn all over, and one tenth of the time is spent in hunting for them. I shall first say a few words about the shop and give a plan. This plan is not meant to be followed minutely, but is simply a hint in that direction.


In building a shop care should be taken in making it convenient and healthy. Most of the shops are built with a high floor. This is very inconvenient when machinery of any kind is taken in for repairs, as well as in taking in a team for shoeing. Around the forge there should be a gravel floor. A plank floor is a great nuisance around the anvil. Every piece cut off hot is to be hunted up and picked up or it will set fire to it. I know there will be some objection to this kind of floor but if you once learn how to keep it you will change your mind. To make this floor take sand and clay with fine gravel, mix with coal dust and place a layer where wanted about four inches thick. This floor, when a little old, will be as hard a~ iron, provided you sprinkle it every night with water. The dust and soot from the shop will, in time, settle in with it and it will be smooth and hard. It will not catch fire; no cracks for small tools or bolts to fall through; it will not crack like cement or brick floors.

If your shop is large then make a platform at each end, and a gravel floor in the center, or at one side, as in figure I. This floor is cool in summer and warm in winter, as there can be no draft. The shop should have plenty of light, skylights if possible. The soot and dust will, in a short time, make the lightest shop dark. The shop should be whitewashed once a year. Have plenty of ventilation. Make it one story only if convenient to do so, as an upper story in a blacksmith shop is of very little use. The shop is the place where the smith spends most of his time and he should take just as much care in building it, as a sensible housekeeper does in the construction of her kitchen.