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."
this intrusion, rest assured, Robert E intends to stay. Please
stop by to drop off your repairs and continue taking your business
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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
Vise - Named for it's long post that extended down to the
floor to absorb shock.
- A blacksmith had various sizes and shapes of tongs to handle
hot iron. All of which he made himself.
Tub - Filled with water or a brine solution the slack tub
was used to quench iron for hardening and tempering.
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.
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.
- 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.
Cuts - Cold cuts were used to cut cold iron by placing them
on the iron and striking the back surface with a hammer.
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
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 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.
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.
- Used to draw out iron by continually indenting it and pushing
it it outward from the side of the fuller.
Tool - Used to form a rounded end such as a bolt or rivet
- Used to remove metal such as a chisel would.
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.
- 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.
Iron - The blacksmith did repairs of all kinds, among them
The soldering irons shown are copper with a piece of iron forged
around it to accept a wood handle.
above information on blacksmith shop tools is courtesy of the
that may have been kept by a town blacksmith or that the blacksmith
could help you locate: horses, cows, buffalo, chickens, dogs,
tools: scrawl (for leather saddle's to make holes), buck saws,