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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Since It's Sunday...

What does a farrier do? Shoe a horse? Farriers of days gone by did a lot more than that. Even if they specialized in horses, they did plenty of other work, like fitting iron rims on tires, or working on farm equipment, sharpening the tines of a harrow, or making all sorts of metal implements and tools for use in the workplace and the home.

One of the things that has always fascinated me is that blacksmiths were also locksmiths. They made the locks. They made the keys to fit the locks they made.

Handmade church keys from Gary Huston's forge

Gary Huston recently shared some photos of two keys that he made for his local church in England. When the key was lost, the vicar turned to Gary to make a new one. Smart Gary: he made them a spare at the same time.

Wouldn't you love to see the door that this key opens!

This is a close-up of what Gary calls the "business end" of the key

Thanks very much to Gary for sharing these photos.

Gary has a terrific YouTube channel with lots of videos showing how he makes things in his forge, in addition to shoeing horses. There's no video on how he can make keys to fit pre-existing locks. But the end result is impressive!

The ultimate equine anatomy book--from the fetlock down only!

 © Fran Jurga and Hoofcare Publishing; Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog is a between-issues news service for subscribers to Hoofcare and Lameness Journal. Please, no use without permission. You only need to ask. This blog may be read online at the blog page, checked via RSS feed, or received via a digest-type email (requires signup in box at top right of blog page). To subscribe to Hoofcare and Lameness (the journal), please visit the main site,, where many educational products and media related to equine lameness and hoof science can be found. Questions about this blog? Send email to  
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