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I Forge Iron

First job!

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Hey guys, well I finally got my first request in for a mostly forged piece! Its going to be a gift for the wifes best friend and she wants some wrought iron looking legs to attach to her church door-come desk top. She plans to ceramic tile the top of it so its going to end up fairly heavy and I'm wondering how beefy i should go with my legs so it remains sturdy. I plan to use square stock going straight down with a midway twist and forged footings on the bottom. My original plan is to forge 4, 5/8 or 3/4 square stock in a bundle to give it a substantial look while still being able to produce an attractive twist on it. However 1.5" of solid square will make those legs quite heavy. So my new thought is to maybe use 2"x1/2" flat bar for legs, then again those will be some heavy legs. Does anyone have any ideas how I can make twisted square legs in a better way?


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oh millions.....:D...
just a thought.....you can fuller tube, round or square to square, and twist, giving you the struct. without the weight..and add scrolls for strength or decoration.. same with thinner twisted solid...tack on and wrap or rivet on the scrolls to make it stronger

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I was also thinking about tubing to cut weight.

Another way is to skeletonize the legs instead of having solid.

I would be concerned with the legs racking being straight up and down.

Doing more with triangulation will give strength, stiffness, and cut weight.

What about a pedestal mount?

If the door is very large, it may look funny with spindly legs. The legs need to appear proportioned to the door/table. Big beefy table deserves big beefy legs. Then look into ways to mount the legs in a way that they are easy to dismount for moving ,yet sturdy when attached. By making them removable the table can be moved in more manageable pieces.

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Yea my main concern with the legs is that they appear in proportion to the table top (door). its 75" long x 35" wide and 2" thick
Unfortunatly, with the way the office is layed out, I'm pretty much stuck with a straight up and down leg but I plan to gusset the corners with some scrolling. Another thought came to me though. How do you think four 1" square tubings forge welded together would look?

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Getting the legs to look proportional to the door will be the tricky part. Supporting the total weight will be less so.

One possibility would be "cage" type legs. Forge up three bars of 1/2 square to match the corners - one straight up, and the other two curved/flared out at the top. Weld or rivet them to a foot plate and a mounting plate on top (possibly an L shape from flat stock.) That will cover supporting the weight. And scrolling the two ends on top that support the sides would add an extra "forged" touch. Then, for extra "mass" in the look, take some 1/4 round and spiral wrap it up around those three bars of the leg. Tack weld it to those three legs in several places to hold it all together.

This gives you the support, and some "forged" parts, and makes a good combination of elements between straight, curved, scrolled, and spiraled. And if you deliberately make each slightly different, then you won't have to worry about matching them close enough on all the bends. Plus that "cage" work created with the spiraled round rod will give the impression of more ... mass ... to help the proportions to the overall size of the door/table.

Just a thought to share ...

Mikey - that grumpy ol' German blacksmith out in the Hinterlands

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Hmm, I think one tube going straight down off the conner, then arch a second tube from one foot up to the top of the desk and then back down. You could then fill in the opening with some other work. I'll see If I can doodle something up....

Edit. Sorry for the crummy MS paint, but you should be the idea...


Edited by Drewed
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And here I was worried I wasn't being clear enough in describing those wrapped legs.

But that "girder" or "cage" look can also be created by tacking straight/curved/curled/twisted rods between each of the three legs. It doesn't have to wrap around the three bars.

One other ... expansion ... on that would be to make that wrapping round rod look like a vine climbing up the legs. A few forged leaves carefully placed and tacked on will greatly add to the look for very little extra effort.

And then you can go ... wild ... with those vines/leaves/flowers - and even put some "creatures" in the cage work. Flat cut-outs of birds/fishes would work well in the curved triangle along each side. 3-D examples would work well inside the "cage".

And you can then get as ... expressive ... as you wish.


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Hey guys thanks for the input! I didnt get a chance to build any prototypes last night but I hope to get the forge fired up tonight. I really like your vine idea mike! Unfortunatly the arch idea doesnt work with where the desk is being situated. I'm trying to make it fit in a tight spot where there is a floor mounted radiator. The radiator comes up quite high so the arch would have to start pretty high up on the leg. Thanks again for all the input. what a tremendous help!

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