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I Forge Iron

Some of my first projects

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Here is a picture of a couple of simple projects I did today. I need to pratice doing leaves more. The top one is a leaf letter opener, next one down is a drive J hook with a twist, the bottom one is a simple S hook. I am working on projects out of The Backyard Blacksmith from Lorelei Sims. I have gone through a ton of books and references for blacksmithing and have found hers one of the best. Let me know what you think of my start. post-14247-088255700 1284616552_thumb.jp

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Good work, but bigfoot is right.

Work 'til you can make a rat-tail taper and make it super sharp, then scroll it.

Then work one to a thin, flat taper and scroll it.

And on your S hooks, shoot for perfect symmetry. Make both sides exactly the same.

If the next one is not perfect, try another one. After a couple hundred they get easier.

Keep at it,


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They look pretty good Mark, you need practice of course but you knew that.;)

As suggested already, drawing a finer sharper taper before scrolling the finial will make better looking finial scrolls.

Another thing about hooks, drive, "S", etc. a more gracefull curve, think fish hook like, looks better too. For "S" hooks getting both hooks even is a good thing and challenging. FHowever, for projects where you aren't up to making both segments close to exactly the same, make them distinctly different. For example if you're going to hang a key ring from a hook hung over a 2x4 it'd look a little odd and attract things OTHER than your keys if both segments were matched. So, making one just the right size and shape to go over the 2x4 and the other segment only large enough for a key ring not only looks good but keeps you a clear place for your keys. Or whatever.

I like to put a closed 180 bend on drive hooks where most folk put a 90. This is a bit harder to get right, especially for matched sets but it really aids in driving the hook in and pulling it back out. A simple 90, even a tight 90 still has some flex so the spike will flex when you strike it absorbing energy and making it harder to drive straight.

The letter opener needs refining. There is no basic difference between the leaf and the blade, only size if that. Make lots of leaves and make different shapes. You have to use the same processes and steps in the same order and it's a lot more conservative of material, less expensive. Being smaller will also require more control so you'll have to get better faster but leaves don't take as long and cost as much so it's a good thing.

All in all I'd say you're doing just fine, especially for a first timer. Well done Mark.

Frosty the Lucky.

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