The Art & Science of Farriery
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Volume 1 Iss 4: Using the Undercut

Volume 1 Issue 4:
Using the Undercut


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By Roy Bloom & Dave Farley

The undercut, sometimes called a hoof gouge, can be used in place of the rasp when clinching. The photos give an excellent view of the steps involved. Like all new methods, the undercut may seem awkward the first few days of use.
I think the undercut gives me a stronger clinch with a smooth finish. The sketches illustrate the results of clinching with and without the undercut. In sketch A, you can see that after clinching, either with a clincher or a hammer, the nail is rasped or filed to eliminate burrs or jagged edges. This process takes material away from the clinch, weakening it. In sketch B you have the nail that has been clinched after undercutting. The undercut provides a pocket to fold the clinch into. The end of the clinch is also resting within the pocket, lessening the chance that it will loosen. Because it is not protruding from the hoof wall it does not need to be filed as aggressively. A sanding block may be all that’s necessary to finish.

I also think that the horizontal mark or scratch that is often caused by the rasp is weakening the wall, a bit like the process of cutting glass by scratching the surface. The undercut minimizes the area disturbed in the clinching process. The undercut requires very little maintenance. If it feels like it is becoming a bit dull just use a small flat file to touch it up. A couple strokes following the angle of the end of the tool is all you need. You need to be sure your undercut has the angles as shown in the photos.

photo1
photo2

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