Milling/Engraving Horseshoes?

Recently I was asked if I could engrave some text into an old
horseshoe. I would use a 3/8" solid carbide bevel end mill (about 120
degrees or so-makes nice engraved text) on my heavy duty Taig benchtop
CNC mill. Overall depth would probably be no more than 0.050".
My main question is that I know that horseshoes are forged, not
machined. What kind of steel are they made of and, more importantly,
are they too hard to successfully machine/engrave? Does the forging
process, particularly hand forging rather than drop forging, affect
the hardness? I know they can be filed somewhat, but I would
appreciate some advice from someone who has done/tried this or similar
before.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions,
woodworker88
Reply to
woodworker88
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Not knowing the metalurgy of horseshoes, I can't give you a good answer other than if you can file them and your machine has the rigidity to run carbide then I bet you can do this.
I was under the impression that the typical file is Rc 50 but I can not confirm that atm.
Wes
Reply to
Wes
Almost all (magnetic) horse shoes are mild steel. (ie: a few might be aluminum). I knew a guy who made shoes for the Budwieser Clidesdales (sp?) and he used 1050 for that, but those are REALLY big shoes and should be easy to spot. If in doubt, take a spare shoe and heat it intil a magnet is not attracted to it (a meduim red heat in a dark shop), then quench it in room temperature water until cool. If it will still file, then it's mild steel.
Pete Stanaitis -------------------------
woodworker88 wrote:
Reply to
spaco
Okay. Thanks to all those who replied. I'll do some more tests and see what I can do. Thanks ww88
Reply to
woodworker88
Finally, one _I_ can answer! :)
Wife has had horses longer than she's had me.
The typical keg shoes currently bought by the box are mild steel, even up into the draft horse sizes. So are the handmade shoes most farriers use, 1/4" X 1/2" or 3/4" stock.
Even a medium carbon shoe some farriers use for draft horses will anneal to dead soft.
I'd think aluminum shoes would also be easy to engrave.
Reply to
John Husvar
I'll just add that I have bought shoes from Tractor Supply and used them to make horseshoe puzzles. My preferred method is to drill a ~1/4 inch hole through each end and then countersink that (chamfer?) hole on both sides so they don't bind on the chain. They drill easy, I don't remember any issues with putting holes through them. I've been getting the small 000PL shoes by Diamond listed on this page:
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I don't think you will have any problem with run-of-the-mill shoes.
Reply to
Leon Fisk
Wow, thanks for the advice. Now I'm not worried about the hardness part. The bigger problem it seems, now, is finding some shoes large enough to have a sizeable area to engrave. I found an old small shoe while digging around in the shop, and it's only got about a 0.5"x1.5" area, not all that big. However, I think a large horse or draft shoe should have enough space. I can bend the text to match the shape of the shoe, so that's not an issue. Thanks for all the tips I'll post pictures when all done. ww88
Reply to
woodworker88
How about welding in the nail holes and sanding it down flush. That would give you a lot more text area and still have the shape.
Jim Chandler
Reply to
Jim Chandler
Definitely a good idea, however, my welding skills are somewhat mediocre. I was considering grinding things down a bit, anyways to give me a bit more space. ww88
Reply to
woodworker88
For stuff that I want to look really nice I use oxy-acetylene and for the stuff that I can get get away with covering up the slop with grinding I use MIG.
Jim
Reply to
Jim Chandler
Indeed. Maybe I'll get one of my friends, a crack O/A welder, to help me out. He does some really nice stuff, but I'll have to do all the surface prep and grinding. Shouldn't be a problem, though.
Reply to
woodworker88

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