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I Forge Iron

It's Xmas Time


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The nice thing about Blacksmithing is you can make xmas gifts AND still practice technique. Ok, the last part pertains to those of us who are still trying to figure out what end of the hammer to hold.

So I did 2 projects (so far), one for my mother and one for my brother and his family.

Mom's is a lilly leaf candle holder, Made with 1"x 1/4" fb for the leaves and a necked down, coned out 1" pipe. (pics 1 & 2)

First two pictures......

The next project was going to be a set of wall sconce candle holders but ran into trouble so had to make them for the mantle or a table.

The idea came to me while I was at work welding away, happens to me WAY too much. I grabbed a piece of paper and sketched out the idea (3rd pic) and that is the original drawing. I then took paper and started to make cutouts and fold into the shaped. Went thru alot of cutouts to get the shape to work (4th pic). I then transferred the cutout to some tin and worked the shape as close as possible, ended up with a newish design I liked (pic 5). Made a slight design change, layed out the design on some 1/16" sheet steel (6th pic). After cutting out the shape, I put a piece of wood on the anvil and with the peen end of my hammer I put "dents" into the shapes. To roll the shape I used a rubber mallet over my horn and got the finished pieces without damaging the dents. Made 2 candle cups and 2 bases, welded the pieces together and done. I just have a little clean up and then apply a finish and I am done.

Sorry for the long post and the slightly out of focus pics.








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At my wife's request I made cheese cutters for her sisters.

The photograph shows a jig that I made specifically for making this type of cheese cutter. If I am going to make more than one of something, I prefer to make tooling for the object. This tooling allows the cheese cutters to be made more quickly and greatly aids in keeping the tines even.

Steps in making cheese cutter.
1. Cut an 18 inch length of 5/16" round stock.
2. Taper and point both ends, and curl both ends.
3. Put one twist near each end
4. Bend iron rod in half, hammer both sides to parallel
5. Put bent end 1/3rd into vise
6. Bend tines out to 90 degree angle
7. Mark spot on horn of anvil with chalk for where you are going to bend tines
8. Bend tines on horn of anvil (or using your favorite bending jig). :D

almost forgot:
9: Clean metal
10. Using 0.017 plain steel guitar music wire (less than a dollar at music store), wrap wire around one end, stretch to other end and wrap around that end, cut off excess.
11. Apply finish
12. Put one of the corners over horn of anvil and tap gently to tighten the music wire.


Edited by UnicornForge
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Very nice, I do have a couple of questions, How does the guitar string fasten to the tines also how does it remain tensioned ? You mentioned wrapped, is there any particular method in the wrap ?

Here is a photograph. I recommend wrapping it around the curl 2 or 3 times to prevent it from breaking from stress, then securing the end by wrapping it back around itself along each end of the cutting part of the wire (see photograph).

You can also use:
- Number 9 piano wire
- Small gauge solid steel mig wire (or so I have heard, but not tried this).


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