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Motor City Homestead » Blog Archive » Blacksmithing 101

Blacksmithing 101

So, if you’ve visited the homestead lately, you may have noticed several books on blacksmithing laying around.  I started off as just curious, but the more I read, the more I thought - that can’t be too hard.  Granted, it’s not like I’ll ever be a pro, in fact, I probably won’t even be very good.  But to have a working knowledge of it seems like a worthwhile pursuit.  So, I went to Home Depot, bought some metal rod, and set about fashioning something through the ancient art of smithing.  It’s not nearly as glamorous as I imagined it, but it was still fun, and it’s kind of a amazing to form something out of metal.  Pictures will follow, but here’s a basic diagram. 

Butchering Hooks

It’s a tool for skinning rabbits and small game.  Basically, you hang each back foot on one of the hooks for skinning / butchering.  I actually got the idea from one of the blacksmithing books.  I forged the hooks, the horizontal rod that keeps the hooks spread, and the ring at the top that holds the three lengths of chain.  Total cost, about $5.  Total time, 1 hour.  But using it I saved myself an hour butchering our litter of rabbits this weekend, so that seems like a pretty good trade off. 

 DISCLAIMER:  I’m a better artist than blacksmith.  The actual piece looks really crappy.  But it works, and that’s the important thing.

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