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

Welding Steel Bands and Hoops - Seeder Shovels - Drilling Iron


Welding steel is quite a trick, especially tool or spring steel. The most important part to remember is, to have a good clean fire, and not to over heat the steel. To a good smith no other compound is needed than borax, but if this is not sufficient, take some borings from your drill, especially fine steel borings, and cover the weld with this and borax, and if a smith cannot weld with this compound there is no use for him to try. Most of the welding compounds are inferior to this, but some smiths would rather believe in something they don't know anything about; another will not believe in anything he can get for nothing.


When a round object is to be ironed or a hoop put on to anything round, measure, that is, take the diameter then multiply by three, add three times the thickness of the iron not the width, add to this one time the thickness of the hoop for the weld and you have the exact length of the iron needed; in other words, three times the diameter, four times the thickness of the band. This is a simple rule, but I know a good many old smiths who never knew it.


To weld seeder shovels is no easy job. Prepare the shovel; shape almost to it proper shape, draw out the shanks, weld the points first, heat shovel and shank slow, then fit them together so that no cinders can get in between. Now remember, if your fire is not at least five inches up from the tuyer iron, and clear, it is no use to try. Hold your shovel in the fire, shank down. Heat slow, use borax freely and apply it on the face side of the shovel to prevent it from burning. When ready, weld it over the mandrill and the shovel will have the right shape. If soft center, harden like a plow lay.


Every smith knows how to drill sometimes it gives even an old smith trouble. The drill must be true, the center to be right, if one side of the drill is wider than the other or the drill not in proper shape the hole will not be true. For centuries oil has been used for drilling and millions of dollars have been spent in vain. It is a wonder how people will learn to use the wrong thing. I don't think that I have ever met a man yet who did not know that oil was used in drilling. In drilling hard steel, turpentine or kerosene is used as oil will then prevent cutting entirely. Nothing is better than water, but turpentine or kerosene is not as bad as oil; if you think water is too cheap use turpentine or kerosene. I had occasion once to do a little work for a man eighty years old, and when I drilled a hole, used water. The old man asked if water was as good as oil, and when informed that it was better, said: "I used to be quite a blacksmith myself, I am now eighty years old, too old to do anything, but I am not too old to learn. "It ought to suggest itself to every smith that while oil is used in boxes to prevent cutting, it will also prevent cutting in drilling.