A Busy Blacksmith Shop

Kit has been busy in his blacksmith shop the past few weeks. We've been getting some projects done before the busyness of summertime is totally upon us. Our shop has pulled double duty the last few years as a shop, plus hay and barn-beam storage unit. But now that summer is here and the hay is all gone,  Kit spent a couple days cleaning part of it out and reorganizing his work area for the summer.


Kit spent one day with the boys getting our horses ready for the summer riding season. The boys are taught various steps in shoeing their own horse, as their age and growth become equal to the job.


This go around, JW2 was allowed to hold the horse while his oldest brother drove nails into the hoof.


Meanwhile, his younger brother MJW thought daddy's shoeing box needed reorganizing, until he was told it was organized enough.


A critical moment - to move quickly and wring (or bend) the end of the driven horseshoe nail to avoid injury to the farrier.


A helping hand, to get the right technique.


20 years of experience is passed to the next generation.

Another day some time was spent forging ox shoes from a piece of bar stock.


Kit referenced this picture from one of his old shoeing books, and built a pair of ox shoes; minus the caulks this time due to the nature of the project.

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Tools and material needed.


A friend of ours wanted a pair of ox shoes to  make the cheek pieces for a horse bit. We can't wait to see how it turns out.


Fullered and ready for punching nail holes.


Marking the nail holes.


Hammer finished - before the final finish with hot rasp or grinder.

And yet another day was spent building a fire poker for some good friends. And while I did take some awesome pictures of the entire building process, my camera seems to have eaten them. First time it has ever done that:(


But I do have some pictures of the finished product.


Just look at this handle! I didn't know my husband could do this! I have since put in my order for the door handles of my new dairy barn to have this design:)


The center . . .


And the bottom.

Here's my closing thought - from Longfellow:

The Village Blacksmith

Under a spreading chestnut tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large sinewy hands;
 And the muscles of his brawny arms
Are strong as iron bands

His hair is crisp, and black, and long,
His face is like the tan;
His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns what'er he can,
And looks the whole world in the face,
For he owes not any man.

Week in, week out, from morn 'till night,
You can hear his bellows blow;
You can hear him swing his heavy sledge
With measured beat and slow,
 Like a sexton ringing the village bell,
When the evening sun is low . . .

Toiling, rejoicing, sorrowing,
Onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees its close;
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night's repose.

Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
For the lesson thou hast taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil is shaped
Each burning deed and thought!