Farriers or Horseshoers

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Mr.pacojack
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Farriers or Horseshoers

Postby Mr.pacojack » Fri Dec 18, 2009 1:34 pm

Thought this would be fun. I posted this a few years back and was wondering how many are doing it.
As we know ,for those of us who have done it, good tools and sharp tools make a job easier. I want to know how you are sharpening you Hoof knives, rasps, pocket knives. And maybe some of you know how to sharpen your hand tools( I dont ).
Lets hear how you do it and then I will tell you my how I do it. :wink:

I use to go through a rasp a day and I would keep about 7 knives on hand and switch out throughout the day. Now if I was still a farrier full time I would go through a rasp a month and I only have one knife I use. What do you use and go through?
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Re: Farriers or Horseshoers

Postby Brady Davis » Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:00 pm

I have shod horses for 14+ years. I can tell you that there are a couple of factors in keeping tools sharp. When I shoe ranch horses with rock hard feet it eats a knifes edge...shoeing hunter/jumpers that are kept in stalls all day is a different story. There is nothing that makes a shoeing look prettier than extremely sharp knives. Another HUGE factor is what knives and tools you're using. I have one of me best friends who I competed with in the World Championship Blacksmiths who owns Yukon Forge. He builds some of the best knives I've ever used. The best way to sharpen a knife is with a wheel using a red rouge then a white buffing compound on the other wheel. Another key thing is to keep the bottom side of the blade flat. The wheels that I use are a cloth wheel. The red rouge is melted with a water combo then allowed to dry on wheel...The white rouge get reapplied about everytime I sharped. I have seen every kind of file to sharpen a knife and they just hack up a blade.

When I was competing all over I got in the habit of using many sharp sharp knives, and I still like to keep a bunch sharp. I like to sharpen them in my shop so I don't do it in the field.

As for rasps, I love Heller white tang rasps, I use them about 30 horses. You can find cheaper but I love the fine side of these rasps. I also use a seperate finish rasp.

I really do think it boils down to what and who your shoeing for. If I was shoeing ranch horses full time I'd have 1 knife, good sturdy rasp and I'd probably do most of my sole work with nippers. Shoeing horses where looks count too and there are no shortcuts to good rasp and good knife work...

Hand tools? I've never had much luck sharpening my own nippers etc. Don't know many guys who have. I usually use GE and then rebuild them somewhere. Love rebuilt nippers!
Last edited by Brady Davis on Fri Dec 18, 2009 3:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Farriers or Horseshoers

Postby horshur » Fri Dec 18, 2009 2:37 pm

chainsaw file for the Knife...only use cheap knives mostly frost use a couple up a year.
when it dries up you cannot use a knife here at most stops. Use a pair of GE half rounds.
Tried most brands of knippers always go back to GE..Lopez is just as good or better but harder to get in Canada.
In the summer I may use a rasp a week or less but come winter can put months on one.
Prefer save edge rasp for there durability but tough to get a good finish...I don't really like the hellers but they are mostly what is stocked local so I have used them alot as well...

Best knife i ever had was a Peterka...watched him make them one day in a charcoal forge at hastings park..Joe knew how to sharpen a knife...

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Re: Farriers or Horseshoers

Postby Mr.pacojack » Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:29 pm

Brady Davis wrote:Yukon Forge. He builds some of the best knives I've ever used. The best way to sharpen a knife is with a wheel using a red rouge then a white buffing compound on the other wheel. Another key thing is to keep the bottom side of the blade flat. The wheels that I use are a cloth wheel. The red rouge is melted with a water combo then allowed to dry on wheel...The white rouge get reapplied about everytime I sharped. I have seen every kind of file to sharpen a knife and they just hack up a blade.

Thats what I do i use the buffing wheels and rouge. This is a great way tho sharpen your rasps too.
I use all Shane Carter stuff, tongs, Hammers and knives, the Yukon knifes were copied from Shanes kinives. Shane was world campinion and makes great stuff. Yuko knives are good also a bit cheaper and don't last as long but I like them, they look just alike.
As for sharping nippers I also use Lopez. I have used GE forever but Lopez sent me out some of his nippers and have been using them every since. They are alittle easier on the hands. Happy Holidays to all
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Re: Farriers or Horseshoers

Postby Brady Davis » Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:34 pm

Mr.pacojack wrote:
Brady Davis wrote:Yukon Forge. He builds some of the best knives I've ever used. The best way to sharpen a knife is with a wheel using a red rouge then a white buffing compound on the other wheel. Another key thing is to keep the bottom side of the blade flat. The wheels that I use are a cloth wheel. The red rouge is melted with a water combo then allowed to dry on wheel...The white rouge get reapplied about everytime I sharped. I have seen every kind of file to sharpen a knife and they just hack up a blade.

Thats what I do i use the buffing wheels and rouge. This is a great way tho sharpen your rasps too.
I use all Shane Carter stuff, tongs, Hammers and knives, the Yukon knifes were copied from Shanes kinives. Shane was world campinion and makes great stuff. Yuko knives are good also a bit cheaper and don't last as long but I like them, they look just alike.
As for sharping nippers I also use Lopez. I have used GE forever but Lopez sent me out some of his nippers and have been using them every since. They are alittle easier on the hands. Happy Holidays to all


Devin, John (Yukon Forge) was Shanes apprenbtice for years before John was on the American farriers team. The knives arent really a copy, totally different handle and a bit different steel. But, John made his knivces to hopefully equal Shanes in quality and cost much less. Shanes knives are sweet though....Tony Kingrey in Denver is making knives now that are exact Shane replicas.

Johns knives usesd to be out of 440c Stainless and they have switched it, can't remember what steel it is now...But, they seem to last a bit longer, hard steel and yet still flexible. I guess I'm partial to Yukon Forge cause John is one of my best friends and I have spent countless hours in his shop grinding those damn knives out! But, he also spent COUNTLESS hours in a coke fire with me teaching me to build shoes. Good times. Three years ago I went to his shop every morning at 4:30 to build shoes till 7:30...We kicked some good ass in the World Championship Blacksmiths because of that....John is also a business partner of mine in some real estate.

Ditto on the nippers.....
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Re: Farriers or Horseshoers

Postby Brady Davis » Sun Dec 20, 2009 11:44 pm

John has won the tong class at Calgary a few times as well. In 2007 he competed with Bill Poor in the tong class and that was the year Bill won the world. They had to make a set of tongs and then use them to build a set of ox shoes. Bill flew up to CO and we practised for a week straight. I ran a fire and struck for them till I wanted to die. THe final pair of tongs made in practise were PERFECT and they gave them to me...John stamped the Yukon logo on one side and bill stamed B. POOR on the other...those babies are kept safe, probably won't use them....

Shanes stuff is top shelf though...Shane learned from the godfather himself, Jay Sharp, in Salmon ID. I was at a comtest with WCB in 07 and Jay brought down some of the projects he was working on...Unreal damascus work and all hammer finished. Shane has judged some of the contests and he is one heck of a judge, truly topshelf in his judging and his character...
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Re: Farriers or Horseshoers

Postby Mr.pacojack » Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:48 am

Jay would come down every summer and stay with Shane and I would go over and visit him for hours and hours the bits and spurs and hand tools and shoes that he made out of Damascus was unreal. HE would throw away stuf that I would have been veery proud of. Shane keeps saying he is going to come up for a hunt but he is a busy boy. :lol:
Was a real treat working with Ole Jay Sharp and seeing him work he really is a Godfather of the forge.
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Re: Farriers or Horseshoers

Postby Mr.pacojack » Mon Dec 21, 2009 12:53 am

Jay really liked my daughter and made her a 1lb rounding hammer and they would make stuff together. He is a great guy
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Re: Farriers or Horseshoers

Postby Brady Davis » Mon Dec 21, 2009 2:14 am

I agree, watching Jay forge was something that could only be appreciated by somebody who understood just how good he was. Hopefully Shane will get out and hunt with you....it's good for those guys to get out of the shop every now and then :wink:

That's really cool Jay made your daughter that hammer...tell her not to loose that one! That is a true heirloom peice...
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Re: Farriers or Horseshoers

Postby Cajun » Sat Sep 20, 2014 11:02 pm

Going thru some of the back posts & saw this. I have been a farrier since 1980. I have run the gauntlet as far as sharpening knives from diamond steel, files but agree that buffing wheels with rouge & the white compound are the best. I just started using the work sharpner to sharpen my knives. It is easy but does not do as good of a job as the buffing wheel. I use mostly G.E. tools & Simmonds black master rasps.
At one time 75$ of my work was racehorses but now it is mostly showhorses. Saddlebreds, or hunter jumpers.
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