One of the stranger tools that Blacksmiths made must be Bullhead Skinning Pliers. They are used to clean Bullhead (a type of small catfish) and remove the tough skin. They are simple and blunt-ended to hold and remove the skin without damage.
The pliers are made like a simplified set of Blacksmith's tongs. This pair was made out of steel around 3/16 thick and one inch wide. The most forging was done to make the eye for the rivet that joins the pliers. These were made by an old farmer in the 1970's.
You can see that the handle and jaw end were left full dimension of the bar while the joint was hammered to have a flat 90 degrees out of plane with the handle.
These are an interesting old tool. The forge work on them is minimal. These were not expensive. The selling price didn't justify any effort beyond that needed to get them to function. They also were used wet and are very corroded. But you can still see that their form follows function. Bullhead season is coming up. I may have to make a pair of 'skinning pliers!
!! UPDATE !!
Over twenty people a day seek out this post. Do you have some old Bullhead Pliers? I'd love a picture. Are you looking for Pliers? Why? I am curious why so many people are interested in Blacksmith Made Bullhead Pliers! Feel encouraged to comment!
Monday, August 26, 2013
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Any 5 year old boy can tell you who is the coolest but least successful Blacksmith!
I have to admit that as a kid I loved the Warner Bros. cartoons. This is still how I draw my Blueprints.
Wile. E. Coyote and the ACME Anvil Corp. were Saturday morning regulars.
It was the Blacksmithing tools that my neighboring Farmers had it their barns that got me interested in Blacksmithing, but the ACME Anvil Corp. didn't hurt my interests!
Be safe! Respect the sign!
Those Coyotes are Wiley!
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
As many of my friends know I worked for almost 6 years at the Farmers' Museum in Cooperstown.
That involved commuting 130 miles each way and staying away from home for 5 days at a time. I am now focusing on teaching and Blacksmithing closer to home in Dexter! I am happy to be home in the North Country, but miss all the friends I made while in southern NY. It is time to get Kellogg & Sons going again! My Great-Grandfather started his business by that name in 1921.
What are my plans now? Some teaching, Blacksmithing, historic smithing projects, and having a little fun. I definitely plan on more Kayaking and fishing this year.
I have barely gone the last 5 years even though the Black River is in my back yard. I can fish for every major North American gamefish within walking distance. This Pickerel was caught 6 feet off my back yard.
I'm going fishing!