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Horseshoes are primarily formed by forging, one of the oldest metal-forming methods. The metal is deformed by hammering, pressing, or rolling it. With a hammer, a smith forges a part by banging it against heated metal. Blacksmiths (farriers) perform this forging process on horseshoes. The same process can also be carried out by machine and is referred to as hammer forging.
Using shear blades, the bar is cut to length based on the type of shoe. A foot pedal or a mechanical system operates the cutting equipment. The bar is heated to around 2,300°F (1,260°C) in an induction furnace or gas-fired forge after it has been cut. Custom-designed equipment is then used to wrap the softened metal around a block of steel.
A plunger shaped like a shoe is another type of equipment used to bend bars.
The majority of horseshoes are forged using the two-drop process. By using a powered hammer, the bar is forced into a die with the required dimensions after it has been bent. Hammer and anvil hammers are used to attach the two halves of the die. During the stroke of the ram or when the dies meet, a cam mechanism controls how close together they are.
A punch press is used to make the nail holes after the shoe is bent. Each shoe is usually drilled eight times. Each shoe type has its own punch tooling. Excess material is then removed using a trim press. A temperature of 1,900-2,000°F (1038-1093°C) is still present in the shoe at this point. A 45-60 minute air cooling period follows trimming.