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I Forge Iron

Looks like Vines


SoCal Dave

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I have a metal railing that I want to weave some metal ivy vines and leaves outside a window. I have different thickness round stock 1/8'" and up to use. How do I get that bumpy look every inch or so? It looks like a leaf stem broke off and left a bump. I have different welders I could use, but thought I would bring up the issue to see if there are better methods. Also, the vines have lines running along the length of the vine and I'm not sure how to make that look on 1/8" or 1/4" stock. Any ideas on this?

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I use 1/8 x 1/4 flat bar and really go at it rough forging it.
only hit from the 1/4 inch way and it will start to kind of hour glass shape on the sides like this )(
I make no attempt to straighten as I go and it is real close to looking like a natural vine
much eaiser to do than it is to explain.

Mike Tanner

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For stuff like that I power hammer down from 1/2" stock... that way you can get more interesting/realistic tapers and leave bumps wherever you like. I forge with drawing dies and constantly turning with medium hard hits which gives me a LOT of texture. It's easy to knock the texture back a bit with the hand hammer wherever it is overdone. The knobby vine look maybe not quite as literal as having lines but MORE interesting and easy to sell to the viewer as an authentic look. A bit of roughness on the dies or scale on the rods just adds to the effect. Of course this is not helpful if you haven't got a power hammer... though I've done it before I owned a hammer by hand, it can be pretty tiring and slow.

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here is one I demo on saturday I used 1/4" and folded it back welded in place and cut free then tapered the end and curled the end


Just something I had been thinking of as far as joining pieces for this type of work.
When grafting trees and shrubs arborists made certain types of cuts on both the main limb and the donor limb to be grafted in order to seamlessly join them.I`ve always meant to research those cuts to see if I could adapt the approach to get a more organic looking join at the weld for a limb or vine.
The wife is wanting some vines/limbs(as well as a copper crow) on a garden gate so maybe I`ll have to put these musings to work soon.

The list just keeps getting longer.She brought the glass and sand portion of an hourglass home recently and wants wood turned bases joined by "Shiney metal posts with neat things on them" to make the rather large hour glass complete and ready to sit on a shelf forever. <_<
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I 've thought of making a spring fuller that would make lines and bump along the rod as I ran it through at a medium heat. Never done it before, but trying to figure out how to get the bumps and line in the 1/4", 3/8" and possibly 1/2" round rod. UNFORTUNATELY, I don't have a power hammer. If I have the power, I've got the hammer, which doesn't last long.

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