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I Forge Iron

Forging Wrought Iron

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Have a look here at Working Wrought Iron. Use the search function at the top of the screen. There are a fair number of threads that discuss them in various amounts.Also go to Google books and do a search. The older books on blacksmithing were likely referring to Wrought Iron.

Also if you are going to split or slit then drill or punch the ends of the cut to keep the iron from splitting.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I just finished three chest hinges and one lock hasp for restoring an antique Mexican, wooden chest. I was not required to use wrought iron, but I did. It makes one feel good to be true to the material and the period. I have a special stash of wrought iron beside the shop. I identified it by the spark test and by forging it to see how it behaved. I located some small strips to use that were of high quality and well refined. I wanted to avoid the gross, super stringy, least refined iron that you sometimes find, especially on wagon tires.

Regarding forge welding the hinge barrels, I used a sweating heat, not a sparking heat, and it worked. Wrought iron can be welded at the brighter sparking heats, but it is not always necessary to do so. The hinge material was 1/8" x 7/8" and the hinge pin was 7/32" diameter, dead soft wire. I mention the material size to emphasize what is possible, if one is careful with the material.

Wrought iron is weaker than mild steel, especially regards tensile strength. Nevertheless, it is strong enough for many applications. An example of low tensile strength is when you are cutting on the hardie. When you're down to about 1/16" or so, you can wiggle the material once or twice and it will break easily. Mild steel hangs on longer, and high carbon stell hangs on even longer.


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