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



The forge can be made either a single or double, square or round. The square is the best as it can be placed up against the wall, and you will then have more room in front of it. The round forge will take more room, if it is placed in the center of the floor there will be no room of any amount on any side and when the doors are open the wind will blow the fire, cinders and smoke into the face of the smith. This is very uncomfortable. The smokestack, if hung over the fire will sometimes be in the way. Of course the hood can be made in halves and one half swung to the side, but it will sometimes be in the way anyhow, and it seldom has any suction to carry away the smoke and cinders.

Blacksmiths Anvil


The anvil should not be too close to the forge, as is often the case in small country shops. Make it six feet from center of fire to center of anvil. The anvil should not be placed on a butcher block with the tools on, but on a timber the same size as the foot of the anvil. Set the timber down in the ground at least three feet. For heavy work the anvil should stand low in order to be able to come down on it with both hammer and sledge with force. When the smith has his hands closed the knuckles of his fingers should touch the face of the anvil and it will be the right height for all-around blacksmithing.


Close to the forge under the water tank or barrel should be a coal box 18 x 24 x 16 inches, this box to be dug down in the ground and so placed that one end will protrude from under the barrel or tank far enough to let a shovel in. This opening can be closed with a lid if the tools are liable to fall into it. In this box keep the coal wet. In figure I a plan is given from which you can get an idea of a shop and how to place the tools and different articles needed.

Blacksmiths Tool Table


On the right hand of the anvil should be a tool bench or tool table 20 x 20, a little lower than the anvil. Outside, on three sides and level with the table, make a railing of 17inch iron, about I ~ inch space between the table and railing, this makes a handy place for tools and near by. Many blacksmiths have no other place than the floor for their tools, but there is no more sense in that than it would be for a carpenter to throw his tools down on the floor all around him. There ought to be "a place for every tool and every tool in its place."