Farm Blacksmithing

by J.M.Drew St. Paul Publishing Company 1918


There are several good ways of making a clevis. When good iron is used-that is, Norway iron, or any tough iron, about the best way is to upset and punch the ends the same as in beginning the first chain hook. A piece of 5/8 iron 13 inches long makes a good clevis. Upset both ends and the middle as shown in b, Fig. 12; then flatten out and punch the ends; then bend into shape. The holes should be large enough to take a half inch pin. Another way to make a clevis, and the best way in case ordinary or poor iron is used, is to draw out the end square for about three or four inches, as shown in Fig. 13, and bevel off the end; then bend and forge Ii sharp angle, as shown at a, about two inches back towards you forge another angle (b). These angles are formed by bending the iron at nearly right angles, then hammering, as shown in the cut. It is not an easy thing to do, and requires practice to make a good job. After forming the angles, or corners, bend the iron so that the two corners will come together, forming a round eye. Now weld the end fast to the side and one end of the clevis is done. The other end is, of course, formed in the same way.

Making a Clevis Figure 12

Another and quicker way of upsetting the end (the way which is usually taken to make the end of a brace) is shown at Fig. 14. The end is bent at right angles and flattened down, making a round lump. The edges must be heated to welding heat and welded down, or a crack will show where the flattened part joins the other iron. To make a clevis in the shortest possible time take 20 inches of 7-16 iron, bend in the middle to form a long “U”; weld the ends together the same as in making a chain link. Now close the sides together, as in Fig. 15, and bend to form a clevis. After making a clevis we will want a pin or bolt for it. This brings us naturally to the making of bolts.


It is much cheaper to buy bolts than to make them; and if one could always have access to a stock of bolts of all sizes and lengths, he need never take the time to make one. But the farmer will often find himself in need of a bolt which he has not in his assortment, and if he can make one himself he is master of the situation. Having a bolt of the right size, but too long, it is an easy matter to cut it down to the required length and cut new threads.

Making a Clevis Figure 13

The simplest way to make a head on a bolt is to up set the end until it is about a half larger in diameter than the bolt; then drive into a heading tool see Fig. 16. This is the way usually followed in making small bolts. Large bolt heads are usually welded on. To make a welded head, take round iron a size smaller than the iron of the bolt. For example, if the bolt is half inch iron, use 7/16 iron for the head. Form a ring, or eye, in the end of the smaller iron by bending around the horn of the anvil. This eye must be of a size to loosely fit the bolt, and must be cut so as to reach only about three-quarters of the way around See Fig 17.


After forming this eye, do not cut it entirely off from the rod, but cut it nearly off; then heat the end of the bolt and upset it a little in the eye, or ring; then break the ring loose from the rod, where it was nearly cut through, and hammer it so to make it clasp the end of the bolt tightly. Next heat to welding heat and weld. Don't be afraid to hit it hard. You will now see that the ring reaches entirely around the bolt. Had it been cut long enough at first to reach around it would have been apt to double up and cause trouble in welding.

Clevis Pin Figure 15

After welding the ring to the end of the bolt, heat again to welding heat and drive into the heading iron, being careful to drive it straight down so as not to make a one-sided head. After flattening it down take it out and shape the head round or square, or hexagon, to suit your needs or fancy. When a head is needed on a long rod, for instance a bridge rod, it is first formed on a short piece of rod, which is afterwards welded to the long rod.