Welcome to the Kellogg & Sons Blacksmith Shop

Our traditional Blacksmith shop located in Northern New York. We do custom Blacksmithing work focused upon traditional 18th and 19th century hardware and tools.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Blacksmith made Bullhead Skinner Pliers

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!


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