Shop Floor Talk

Shop Floor Talk (https://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums/index.php)
-   Blacksmithing & Forming (https://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=35)
-   -   Forged Aluminum (https://www.shopfloortalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=51164)

Matt Shade 08-18-2019 09:30 AM

Forged Aluminum
 
2 Attachment(s)
I ended up playing with some aluminum this week. It's pretty interesting stuff to forge. You only leave it in the fire long enough that when you rub a piece of wood on it, it leaves a charred line on the aluminum.The aluminum will melt long before you see a change in color.

I turned the forge way down and still only had it in there for about a minute at a time. You really can't multi task and have more than one piece going because you can hammer on a piece ten times longer than you can leave it in the fire. The first time I tried this, I turned around and had a puddle running out the door of the forge:eek:

The aluminum moves faster under the hammer than steel, but maybe not the way you would think. It doesn't feel particularly soft, and still takes a decisive blow to move it, but poor hits leave much bigger dings and divots. Swinging had to be a little slower and very deliberate.

You also have to watch trying to turn it over the horn and especially the edge of the anvil as it will pinch easier than it will bend if you hit too close to where it is contacting the anvil.

I didn't get any progress pics but here is what I made. Wasn't a happy occasion, one of our customers show horses got sick and had to be euthanized after a week of ups and downs in a vet hospital. It was hard for everyone involved. It worked out that I had some of his old shoes in the shop, so I made this for the owners. This is made with a complete set of them. The outside shoes that make the heart were his back shoes, and the other two are his fronts, which I tried to leave the shape of his feet as much as possible.

mccutter 08-18-2019 01:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Matt Shade (Post 740424)
I ended up playing with some aluminum this week. It's pretty interesting stuff to forge. You only leave it in the fire long enough that when you rub a piece of wood on it, it leaves a charred line on the aluminum.The aluminum will melt long before you see a change in color...

What alloys were you using? Do they make horse shoes out of Al?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Matt Shade (Post 740424)
...The outside shoes that make the heart were his back shoes, and the other two are his fronts, which I tried to leave the shape of his feet as much as possible.

Horse Noob question: Are front and rear hooves different sizes? Which are bigger? I would guess rears are larger... And sorry for your loss. :( PS: nice work on the heart :)

Matt Shade 08-18-2019 02:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mccutter (Post 740435)
What alloys were you using? Do they make horse shoes out of Al?



Horse Noob question: Are front and rear hooves different sizes? Which are bigger? I would guess rears are larger... And sorry for your loss. :( PS: nice work on the heart :)

Show horses that need shoes, often get shoes made of aluminum. The lighter weight of the shoe, has less effect on the swing of their leg, which is something the judges look at in certain events. Some horses need a corrective shoe, that is thicker at the heel than the toe, and these are also aluminum as making them from steel would be too much weight.

I don't know the alloy. I am sure it varies from one manufacturer to another. You can weld them with 4043 wire. It is hard to make clean pretty welds on them (spoolgun, would like to try tig where you can dwell on an area while it heats up), but they clean up with a wire brush.

On a typical horse, if you were to look at the footprint, a front hoof is close to a circle while the back feet are more of an egg shape. They should be similar width but the hind feet are longer front to back and the toe makes just slightly more of a point.

mccutter 08-18-2019 06:53 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Matt Shade (Post 740437)
I don't know the alloy. I am sure it varies from one manufacturer to another. You can weld them with 4043 wire. It is hard to make clean pretty welds on them (spoolgun, would like to try tig where you can dwell on an area while it heats up), but they clean up with a wire brush.

Thanks for the info! I learned something I didn't know today! :) I did a quick search and all I could find was a fancy anodized 6061 T6 1/2" thick shoe made from a "billet". LINK 6061 is certainly weldable with 4043.

greywynd 08-18-2019 09:49 PM

Draft (work) horses like Clydes and Percherons will have feet close to the size of a dinner plate. And if they are really working, logging, plowing etc, will often have very aggressive spikes or ‘corks’, either fixed or threaded into the shoe.

Sometimes horses will only have front shoes, in case they kick out at other horses. Without the shoes on the rear they’ll do less damage.

Matt, if you want it shiny, polish it then clear coar it right away, before it can oxidize again.

Nice work, and a nice tribute.


Sent from my iPhone using ShopFloorTalk mobile app

JBFab 08-18-2019 10:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by greywynd (Post 740465)
Sometimes horses will only have front shoes, in case they kick out at other horses. Without the shoes on the rear they’ll do less damage.


Sent from my iPhone using ShopFloorTalk mobile app

Around here, some of the trail riders only run fronts as well. They carry a bit more of their weight on the front than the back. I assumed that was part of the reason.

Also, some farriers run their clients barefoot. My wife's new farrier does this. I'm quite impressed with the attention to detail when rasping the toes. Much smoother than the last farrier we had.

Also, Mr. Shade, that is a beautiful tribute. Your friends are very fortunate to have you in their circle.

Sent from my mobile device using ShopFloorTalk mobile app

Matt Shade 08-18-2019 11:21 PM

Thanks for the kind words everybody.

Between lesson horses, boarded horses, and horses that are in for training, there are about 80 horses at the farm at any given time. We have some barefoot, some with just front shoes, some with all 4 feet shod. It really just depends on what their job is and how often they do it. The main reason to put shoes on is when hoof wear exceeds hoof growth, but there are also times when you need to correct an angle, or provide more support to arthritic joints etc.

There are also lots of people looking for a problem in need of a solution they just invented. We have had some horses come in with some very wild stuff nailed to their feet and most of the time they were healthier when we got rid of it.

This is the (somewhat) local farrier/ horse shoer supply that our guy uses:
https://www.ken-davis.com/
If you look at the website you will see they stock a mind boggling number of styles of shoes, from steel to aluminum, to stuff you put on with glue, you can also get titanium shoes if you so desire.

After you've done this stuff for awhile you can look at the shoes a horse has on and make a pretty good guess at what his job is, and how hard he works at it. Maybe most folks wouldn't look at it the way I do, but I kind of equate it to walking into someone's workshop and seeing their tools. It tells you something about them, and I guess most of you guys can understand that.

arizonian 08-20-2019 01:03 AM

Thank You for sharing that, Matt. Beautiful work.

Matt Shade 08-20-2019 01:38 PM

Thanks!

allessence 08-22-2019 07:43 PM

Nice work.

Sooting is also used for the forging of alum. When the soot leaves the alum it's at forging temps.

6061 can be welded with pretty much any of the 4000 or 5000 series of tig rod.

It really depends on whether it will be anodized later or not for color match.


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:52 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions Inc.