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

Well Drills - Granite Tools


Well drills are made of different sizes and kinds. Club bits and Z bits. How to dress: heat to a low red heat. If nicked or broken, cut out, otherwise draw it out to the size wanted. The caliper should touch the lips of the bit when measured diagonally so that the bit has the size on all corners. Heat to a low red heat and harden the temper to be from dark straw color to blue according to the kind of drilling to be done. The trick in two words, low heat.


By granite tools is meant tools or chisels used by granite or marble workers for cutting inscriptions on tom tombstones. When a man understands how these tools are used it is easier to prepare them. These are the kind of tools where an unusual hardness is required. The hammer used in cutting with this chisel is very small, and the blow would not hurt your nose, so light it is, therefore they will stand a high heat and temper. The chisels should be very thin for this work. When dressed and ready to harden, heat to a red heat and harden in the following solution: one gallon soft water, four ounces salt. Draw the temper to a straw color.

A blacksmith once paid a high price for a receipt for hardening granite tools. The receipt was, aqua, one gallon; chloride of sodium, four ounces. This receipt he kept as a secret and the prepared compound he bought at the drug store, thus paying 50 cents for one gallon of water and four ounces of salt. The real worth is less than a cent. It is said he succeeded remarkably well with his great compound, which he kept in a jug and only used when anything like granite tools were to be hardened. The reason why he succeeded so well was because of his ignorance concerning his compound, not because it was not good enough. I hold that it is one of the best compounds, in fact, the best he could get. People in general like to be humbugged. If they only get something new or something they don't know anything about, then they think it wonderful. Salt and water should be called salt and water, and be just as much valued. Let us "call a spade a spade," the spade will not be more useful by another name, nor will it be less useful by calling it by its proper name.