The steps to making a pair of handmade spurs with welded shanks usually starts by making a pencil sketch
of the spurs to be made and if I am making these spurs for a customer I show it to them for their approval.
If it is a design that I have not made before I make a cardboard template of the spur shank and then transfer
it to a tin pattern.
Next I use a cutting torch to torch the shanks out, after they cool I dip then in water and
next I grind the slag off the back side and with a 80 grit belt clean the top side up and then put a coat of
layout dye on the steel shanks.
I have used 4130 for my spur shanks but cold rolled or hot rolled mild steel will work just fine, we have a metal
yard here in Gainesville called Metal Sales and that is where I get my metal for spur shanks and jigs and fixtures
I make for Bit and Spur Making.
I have a 2"X72" belt grinder I use for profiling the spur shanks once I scratch the shape of the shank on to the
steel I start the grinding process and grind a pair of shanks out that match.
It is time to bend the heel bands around the heel band jig, I can usually bend a pair in twenty to thirty minutes
sometimes less. Once the bands have cooled off I lightly belt sand the back part of the shank that will be welded
with a 120 grit belt just so the metal is clean, it is very important that both surfaces to be joined are clean, it
makes it much easier to blend the welds if there are no pits in the metal after the shanks have been welded on.
The welder I use is a Miller 250DX Syncrowave I bought it used and it works great for bit and spur making.
I need to mention that I put a heavy bevel on the shanks so the weld will set down in there and when I remove some
of the weld with a grinding rock their is still enough weld to hold the shanks on. I use a 10" grinding rock to start
the blending process and the go to a 80 grit belt and then a 120 grit and then a 320 grit. Try to say of of the coarser
belts and leave as much metal at the back of the heel band as possible.
1 Determine the pattern of the spurs
2 Cut out the shanks and profile
3 Bend heel bands
4 Bevel the shanks and clean up with 80 grit belt
5 Prepare back of heel bands where the shanks will be welded on
6 put heel band in heel band jig
7 use a shank tree to hold the shank at proper angle on heelband jig
8 Tack the spur shank on at the top let cool and pull out of the jig
9 Put a wire across the front of the heel band to keep the spur from spreading out
10 Weld the shanks completely on
11 Start the blending of the welds process
This should give you a idea of what it takes to make a pair of welded shank spurs.
Thanks for the question,
I have a two hour spur making DVD, it can be found at www.prosaddles.com