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 Harden and Patch a Mould Board


To harden a mould board is no easy job in a blacksmith's forge, and it is no use trying this in a portable forge, because there is not room enough for the fire required for this purpose. First, dig the firepot out clean, then make a charcoal fire of two bushels of this coal, have some dry basswood or wood like it, and when the charcoal begins to get red all over then pile the wood on the outside corners of the fire. Heat the point of the mould board first, because this being shinned, it is thicker and must be heated first or it will not be hot enough; then hold the mould board on the fire on pile the wood and hot coal on top of it. Keep it only until red hot in the same place, then move it around, especially so that the edges get the force of the fire, or they will be yet cold while the center might be too hot.


When the mould board is red hot all over sprinkle with prussiate of potash, and plunge into a barrel of ice or salt water. A mould board will stand a good heat if the heat is even; otherwise it will warp or crack. Another way to heat a mould board: if you have a boiler, then fill the fire place with wood and heat your mould board there. This will give you a very good heat. If it is a shinned mould board the point must be heated first in the forge, then place it under the boiler for heating. This must be done to insure a good heat on the point, which is thicker than the mould board and therefore would not be hot enough in the time the other parts get hot. When a mould board is worn out on the point a patch can be put on, if the mould board is not too much worn otherwise. Cut a piece of soft center steel to fit over the part to be repaired. Draw this piece out thin where it is to be welded to face of mould board. Hold this piece in position while taking the first weld, with a pair of tongs. Weld the point first, then the edges, last the center. The patch should be welded to face of mould board. When the last weld is taken place the mould board face up, with some live coal over it, in the fire; use borax freely, and, when ready to weld, weld the patch while the mould board is in the fire, using a rod of round iron as a hammer with one end of it bent for this purpose.

Two Plow Shares

When the patch is thus welded in its thinnest place then take it out and weld on the anvil. In heating for the weld never place the patch down towards the tuyer, for there the blast will make it scale, and it will never weld this way. Remember this in all kinds of welding. Figure II A represents two shares. No. I represent a share set for spring plowing, when the ground is soft. Notice the heel of the share following the square for about one inch at c, while the heel in NO.2 rests with the extreme edge on the square, and is set for fall plowing, when the ground is hard. The line between a and b shows the suction at d, which is not more than an eighth of an inch. Breaking plows and large plows which are run shallow should have a wide bearing at c. In breaking plows the heel will sometimes have to be rolled up a little at this place.