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Livery & Blacksmith

Coming soon! Information about animals and transportation, just as soon as Robert E can spare a moment from his work to share with everyone! For now, we have the tools and items Robert E used while working. With the onset of factories and mass production, the blacksmith is being pushed into obscurity. Instead of personalized work and service, a lot of tools and wagon parts are being manufactured in large factories such as "Bethlehem Steel Company" and "Stanley Works."

Despite this intrusion, rest assured, Robert E intends to stay. Please stop by to drop off your repairs and continue taking your business to him.

The Forge - Forges ranged in size from huge permanent installations to small portable ones like this. The fuel ranged from wood to coal, including charcoal and coke, a form of coal. The extreme heat needed was made possible by a blast of forced air. The air was forced by a bellows. A blower type bellows can be seen at the rear of this forge. It was cranked by hand.

Anvil - Perhaps the most recognized symbol of the blacksmith. Anvils averaged from fifty to two hundred and fifty pounds, but are often much heavier or lighter. The two at the right are about one hundred pounds each. The weight gave the needed backing for the blacksmith to work his iron. Most anvils came equipped with two holes in their face, a square one called the hardy hole which accepted various tools, and the pritchel hole a round hole that was used to punch holes through the iron stock.

Anvil Stakes - Here are two examples of anvil stakes. They were usually mounted in solid wood blocks. The one on the right even has a small hardy hole.

Ring Mandrels - Ring mandrels were used to form and or size the various rings the blacksmith made. These were common in buggy shops. The one on the left still has a ring left on it.

Swage Block - Designed to swage iron into the various round and square shapes in the block. Copper ladles were once made on this block using the concave areas on the face.

Post Vise - Named for it's long post that extended down to the floor to absorb shock.

Tongs - A blacksmith had various sizes and shapes of tongs to handle hot iron. All of which he made himself.

Slack Tub - Filled with water or a brine solution the slack tub was used to quench iron for hardening and tempering.

Tire Shrinker - Also known as an upsetter. Used to resize and weld buggy tires. When the hub and or spokes dried out from age and dry weather the outer band of iron called the tire would become loose. The tire could be heated and placed in this machine and then upset or squeezed leaving a bulge which was hammered flat and trimmed at the edges. The created a tire that was of a smaller circumference.

Tire Bender - A tire bending machine used by blacksmiths and wagon makers from the late 1800s to the present. It was used to roll the outer iron hoop of the wagon or buggy wheel called the tire. After it was rolled into a ring it was cut to length, welded then shrunk onto the wheel assembly.

Hammers - Used for molding hot iron or repairing items using nails. On the top is a straight peen and on the bottom is a cross peen.

Cold Cuts - Cold cuts were used to cut cold iron by placing them on the iron and striking the back surface with a hammer.

Hot Cuts - Hot cuts were used to cut hot iron by placing them on the the heated iron and srtiking the rear surface with a hammer. Notice that the hot cut has a more slender shape than a cold cut. This allows it to cut more quickly through the hot iron.

Flatters and Sets - The two in the center are flatters. Flatters were used to give a uniform surface by flattening the iron and removing bumps and dips. The set on the top did much the same as a flatter but could fit smaller places and could exert more force in a given area. The bottom one could be used to reach under flanges or shoulders.

Punches - Punches like the ones in the photo at the left were used to punch holes through iron. They were placed on the iron directly above the pritchel hole in the anvil and hit on the heavier rear surface. This pushed a slug of metal through the pritchel hole leaving a hole in the iron. The one on top is square.

Top Swages - Top swages were used to swage iron into a given shape, usually round. They were used with a bottom swage that fit in the hardy hole. The photo shows examples from about 3/8" to 1-1/2" but they could be any size.

Fuller - Used to draw out iron by continually indenting it and pushing it it outward from the side of the fuller.

Cupping Tool - Used to form a rounded end such as a bolt or rivet head.

Gouge - Used to remove metal such as a chisel would.

Hot Cut Hardies - These were inserted into the hardy hole allowing the blacksmith to cut iron by laying it over the hardy and hitting it with his hammer.

Traveler - The traveler was an early tool for measuring. They were very handy for measuring the circumference of wagon and buggy wheels. The one pictured at the left is an early hand-forged traveler, while the one below it is made of cast iron.

Soldering Iron - The blacksmith did repairs of all kinds, among them was soldering.
The soldering irons shown are copper with a piece of iron forged around it to accept a wood handle.

The above information on blacksmith shop tools is courtesy of the Blacksmith Museum Online.

Animals that may have been kept by a town blacksmith or that the blacksmith could help you locate: horses, cows, buffalo, chickens, dogs, cats.

Other tools: scrawl (for leather saddle's to make holes), buck saws, hacksaw's

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