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Creating a Caulkin by Darren Bazin

We are very lucky to have had our first farriery article written by three times World Champion Farrier, Darren Bazin AWCF. Based in Northamptonshire, also employing apprentice's, Darren offers additional shoeing clinics to those wishing to enhance their skills further. Visit the Clinics & Tuition page of the Education and Training section for further details..

Click here to download a pdf version of this article for printing.

"This is my method of making of caulkin. It is not the only way to make them but I find it is the most effective way for me to make them.

Always ensure you have the correct heat, the steel in this case 1 inch x 0.5 inch needs to be white or to put it another way 'dripping'.

Start the drawing down over the bick.

Continue over the face, be careful not to go back over the drawing down already done over the bick.


The drawing down creates a squarer section. Notice the thickness created compared to that of the undrawn branch.


The steel is also narrowed in preparation for the setting down and graduating of the branch.


Now set approximately 1.75 inches over a round edge. Then run back up the branch towards the toe with overlapping blows. One run is enough at this stage.

Next reverse the branch so that the set faces upwards with the line of the set on the round edge of the anvil.You can now knock the caulkin down and over making a 90 degree bend.
Forge the top of the caulkin down. This starts the shaping of the caulkin. Only allow yourself 3 blows on each different angle of the caulkin. The reason I count the three blows is to reduce the chance of over working one particular side of the caulkin. There are five positions to forge the caulkin -


The first being from the top.


The second from the front of the caulkin.


The third from the outside edge with the branch raised at 45 degrees.


The fourth from the inside of the caulkin. To put the check on and take it away from the frog, keeping the branch flat on the face of the anvil.


The fifth position comes after a heat so that the caulkin will turn easily to bring the face of the caulkin in line with the toe. Hold the branch at 45 degrees to the anvil, make sure hammer blows are parallel to the edge of the anvil and work the caulkin back. You can also set the caulkin down over the sharp edge of the anvil at the same time and work back up the branch towards the toe to get the necessary graduation, shown here -


With the caulkin now forged it can be sweetened up with a rasp.

The finished caulkin."


Making sure the front of the caulkin and the back are parallel.