For most of his youth, Cody was the one that would sharpen the hoof knives for his mom and I. He had a knack from a young age, and I didn’t. I thought it was a special gift, and something I did not have. Come to find out, you can learn how to if you really want to or really have to. I finally did learn how to sharpen my knife pretty good. It is quite something to have your own kid serve as an inspiration for yourself, and I am lucky to have a couple of kids that do just that.
As time went on, he would shape my punches and sharpen my pritchels until he was about 16. At that age he started being a little too busy to work on my stuff anymore, but that was okay. I could go back to doing it myself if I had to.
Somewhere in there he started making a few punches and creasers. They were magic. Something about the geometry or the hardness or both. At any rate, they just drove. His creasers were slick and fast and seemed to penetrate about 20% more than other creasers. Every time I would get one and use it at a clinic, it would end up being sold and I would go home without a creaser again. The upside was he was selling a few tools. The downside was that I was ending up without his tools to use.
In 2016 Cody decided to get a mill and actually make a go at tool building. Now, he has not been to a trade school for running a mill, and he hasn’t worked in a machine shop. What he has done is realized that he can learn and do anything he wants to learn and do, so he took on this huge task on his own. For me, getting a 3-Axis, 20-tool changer, CNC Mill seemed like a daunting thing. To Cody, it seemed like what he needed to make tools.
The mill arrived and so did a pile of manuals. Cody would get up early every morning and get to reading through these. He already knew how to use his old fashioned manual mills. Now he had to learn how to program in order to use his CNC mill. During this time he was also building the vise that he needed to hold the stock to make the creasers in the mill. He then got help where he needed it, and his first run of fullers came off the mill just in time for the trip to the American Farrier’s Journal annual International Hoof Care Summit in 2017.
There were 24 creasers that were made for that trip. I did not get to use one until I went to do a clinic in South Carolina and borrowed Shearer Wludyka’s. It was the first time it was run, and it moved like it was working on its own. I was so impressed and happy for Cody.
Here is the beginning of Cody Gregory Tools and the first round of creasers.
The stock is clamped in the custom vise that Cody made for the process and the program begins, sending the bit to do its work removing steel for each individual creaser shape. Once that is done, each creaser is cut out of the bar that they were created from. The next step is a lot of handwork and each creaser needs to be shaped and finished with the belt sander. Cody has a few of these with different configurations. Once the handwork is done, the tool is heated up so it can get name stamped and have the eye drifted. The next step is to harden and temper, which is done with a heated oil quench and a heat-treating oven. Once this is all finished, the tools are handled with a rubber-wrapped wooden handle. The final result is a creaser that you just can’t beat out of the box.
If you are ready to take your forging to a professional level, you should look into getting a Cody Gregory Tools creaser. It is the start of his line, but I am certain that there will be a lot of great tools to follow.