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I Forge Iron

buffalo skull

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I got a job to make a buffalo skull to fit over a harley horn cover. It took me three tries to develop a pattern. Lots of fiddling. Of course I underbid the thing, but I'm happy with the results. More to the point the customer is happy with it. I have welded it to the stock horn cover, and painted it since these pics. Sheet metal work is as much fun as blacksmithing. :o



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Great little project. And that sheet iron pattern for the skull is the really tricky part. It reminds me of the Longhorn Steer head I forged up and Jay Hisel then fabricated/blended into a sissy-bar for the one guy's bike. I was kind of concerned about those SOLID iron horns sticking out the sides, but the owner of the bike didn't care. He loved it.

And then there was that larger than life sized deer skull/anters that Jay and I made. I forged up the antler tines from solid bars. Jay worked out a sheet iron pattern to form the skull out of. Then we blended and welded it all together. I had brought in a deer skull to help get the curves and sizing worked out more realistically. After sandblasting to clean, we gave it a baked on powder-coat CLEAR finish. It really catches the eye and light/sun hanging in the peak of the guy's house over the front door/porch.

Fun projects.


p.s. And guys love their bikes! We did a number of custom accessories for them - pegs, stands, sissy bars, light brackets, etc. Jay even designed and built a mini-chopper - powered by a 16 horse B/S engine that could do 90+ (before the sweat no longer evaporated from Jay's forehead).

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Very cool!
You'll get faster the more you do.
Could always send it out to get chrome plated if your gonna make a few, alot of guys just gotta have chrome everything.
Me personally, I would paint it to look natural, bone white.


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I guess I"ll have to make another one......But I don't think that I can cut it, shape it, fit it, weld it, grind it and paint it in less than a day. :(
What is your shop rate??? :o

It won't take you a full day even for the second one let alone the 50th. You have your patterns yes? A few specialty dies to speed shaping and a jig for welding and they'll be finished in prifitable time.

If you want to that is. Often making something you've put so much time and care into making into a production item takes the desire out of it.

Then again having a paying craft where you can call the shots is it's own reward.

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