[ExI] horseshoes, was: RE: i predict chaos

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Thu Jan 6 06:00:12 UTC 2022



From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of Rafal Smigrodzki via extropy-chat
Sent: Wednesday, January 5, 2022 8:18 PM
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Cc: Rafal Smigrodzki <rafal.smigrodzki at gmail.com>
Subject: Re: [ExI] horseshoes, was: RE: i predict chaos




On Wed, Jan 5, 2022 at 12:23 PM spike jones via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org <mailto:extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> > wrote:



Now you have your horseshoe shaped cavity (or cavity shaped like a car part (such as an adapter plate)) in your sand cast, your crucible of molten iron, ready to pour.  Hmmm… pretty expensive horseshoe perhaps.  But we would have fun rigging up the stuff we would need.


 ### Cast iron would be a very poor material for a horseshoe due to its brittleness and stiffness. Horseshoes need high impact resistance and a little bit of flex to stay attached to the hoof which is why they are relatively thin and made of forged iron or steel. A cast iron horseshoe strong enough to resist shattering would be very heavy.






Rafal, after I wrote that goofy post I realized even if we used steel, the casting process is incompatible with horseshoes.  Casting leaves porosity in the metal which causes the brittleness of cast iron.  Forging makes the metal really strong.  So the blacksmith gradually sells away his hearing for a purpose: pounding on the hot iron is the way to make good horseshoes.


I do family history, so I will inject a story at this point.  My great grandfather’s brother was a blacksmith and suffered the usual occupational hazard: his hearing was damaged from years of clanging away at horseshoes.  Naturally his business declined in the 1920s and 1930s as farming and transportation were mechanized, horses and mules replaced.  He did not own a farm.


A nearby factory was making tracks for battle tanks.  The machine where they had an opening created individual tread shoes.  A block of red hot steel would come into the machine, the operator would center and align the hot iron block, then a forging device would slam down upon it, ten tons moving the speed of a modern car on the freeway.  It only took one strike for each tread shoe, but the noise was understandably horrendous.


The tank tread foundry wouldn’t take anyone for that job who was not completely deaf.  My relative wasn’t, he still had some hearing.  As he waited for his interview he heard a paper sack pop.  Apparently the applicant had jumped, proving that he was not completely deaf.  Appropriately forewarned, my relative realized someone was going to sneak up behind him with a paper sack during the sign-language interview.  When it happened, he heard it clearly but didn’t jump or look around.  Convinced of his total deafness, they hired him.  He made tank treads for the rest of the 1930s and the duration of the war, after which he had no hearing left, not a trace.  But his family had food on the table and shoes on their feet.


Times are better now.





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