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

How to Sharpen a Plow

If the share to be sharpened is a hardened share, and it is the first time it is sharpened, then be careful not to heat it too far towards the joint, so as to leave the temper as much the same as possible. For my part, I never follow this rule. I heat it as much as is needed to draw it out good, and then harden it over again. But beginners can sharpen a new share once without hardening it over, if the temper is not entirely out of the share. To sharpen a share without springing it some is impossibility. N a device will prevent this, and the only way to set it right is to heat it all over.

In sharpening a share it is drawn out on one side, and it is natural that that side is made longer, and as a result the share must warp. In a circular saw it takes only a couple of blows on one side to get it out of shape; then what else can we expect in a plowshare, when all the hammering is done on one side? Some smiths turn the bottom side of the share up and hammer on that side, but this is wrong; first, because in so doing you unshlpe the share; second, the scales on the anvil will mark the face of the share just as bad as the hammer, so nothing is gained by this. Place the share on the anvil, face up, and use a hammer with a big round face, and when you get used to this, the best result is obtained. Don't draw the edge out too thin. There is no need of a thin edge on a plow that has to cut gravel and snags, but for sod breaking a thin edge is wanted, and the smith has to use his best judgment even in such a case.