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I Forge Iron


jake pogrebinsky

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Coatrack.21" wide.1020 cold-rolled,1/2" round(brackets 1"x 1/4").14 hours.Propane.

The last shot is of a quick prototype that inspired me to gang up a few of them.It's 1/2"round forged sq.Seemed heavy,so that the multi-hook job was forged down to about 3/8"sq.*

Rivets are sections of 40d nails,headed in situ,top and bottom simultaneously(as the great T.L. said,the sign of genuine old work was the poor quality/unsufficient head-mass rivets B) )

But,being as i'm too lazy to forge out my punch,and it's taper is quite short(in theory 1:7 is right,and it's way less),i pay very close attention to which way the cone of the punched hole is facing.Same as the pivot-pin in tongs,rivet is filling up a conical space,as also in a flush rivet principle.

The twists are sloppy on purpose.Again,the dig under the "authentic",old work.But mainly for the "hand-maid" effect:I see no future in competing against the cold-worked industrial standard.Also,i do try to work fast,and being persnikety about details can murder me on time and fuel.So,simply,i'm not good enough(yet)to work fast AND accurately.

The balance of the entire thing was by eyeball.I did diagram the general scheme,very quick and dirty-like.Here's a photo of the diagram,for s.&grins(next post,sorry).The letters denote r/l of twist,the numbers distances.Thought about expanding all into the 24" stud spacing,but decided not to bother.

I too was young once,and way overused the plain twist,then went through the stage of being reluctant to use it at all.Here,in this plain-ish,rectilinear design,it seemed appropriate.

The design was made as an attempt to woo a certain business in the nearby city,who seem to be doing good peddling stoves and accessories thereof to a(surprisingly,for our parts)upscale crowd.Or similar.So is a study in a certain look,and should be versitile and flexible enough.

It was an entirely gas job.Usually i find gas awkward,and reserve it for the most utilitarian forging.But my coal has run low,and had to save it for the most indispensible situations(welds,upsets,et c.,of which none was incorporated here on purpose).

Can't think of what else that i can say about this that someoneone would have any use for.Actually,even the name of the topic itself was redundant enough...

P.S.The one rivet per hook is not the best idea,ever.But once again,the economy of effort had precedence.

*I use no stock sizes/surfaces in finished work.The last few years the LG25 has made that easier.Now am looking at 2 months working away from home,minus the power-hammer,and will be back to "knocking the factory-look off" by hand.




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The layout diagram(or what passes for one in this,half-a$$ed establishment :blink: )

Jake,you need to fire the layout artist as he doesn`t know how to spell.
When working magic it`s spelled abracadabra.From the first pics I`d say the boys in the shop still got the magic part right even if layout failed them. ;)
Nice work,got a pic of it installed? There seems to be a depth element to it that needs an installed photo with a side or oblique view to be fully appreciated.I get the feeling this is not you average coat rack and has more than one level in more than one direction that isn`t being shown to it`s best effect in the 2 quick pics you put in the first post.
I for one would like to see more.
Thanks for posting,your work is always a joy to look at.
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It's really BEAUTIFUL Jake!! It looks very Nordic or perhaps Russian! The ends of your hooks are interesting... I assume that you used some sort of bottom tool to create them? I'd think that single riveting would be adequate but I might use square rivets or just key the rivets to prevent twisting. You know what I mean by keying is to chisel a small nick in the side of the rivet hole so that the head upset fills it... you'd do it on both sides in this case but for tongs it is usual to key only one side. It appears that you have riveted tightly enough and seated the hooks into the cross bar that there should be no problem but you might have fun with square rivets or keying them for some future project (I know that you know about this just reminding you so that you'll think of it next time).

The way that you have set the hooks out from the wall is quite unusual and IMO very NICE! It is cool looking stuff! I think the twists seem very appropriate here and they look darn well done to me!

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Bob,i'll have to fire every one of them,the entire layout dept.,and the photographer especially,whatever they all are smoking out there,it's a disgrace...
The whole idea was to give an illusion of depth,and so the whole deal stands off the wall close to 4".
The small camera of mine creates this fish-eye effect where the oblique shots look weird,i'll try a side view,and may just have to leave the rest to the imagination.The "installed" version may never come to pass,after all,if my stuff unexpectedly starts aquiring owners,what would become of all the good "starving artist" image that i've worked so hard and long to create?!
It's really a simple bar with 5 coathooks in a row,offset from the wall by a couple more inverted J-brackets.
The funky top bar connecting the two hooks serves as the reinforcement,a top chord in a truss,as the main bar is weakened by holes(and one can never overestimate the weight of outer gear that people in this State will pile onto a hanger,becides even the concealed unmentionables in the pockets...).
Thanks,Bob,for your kind words.My hope in posting this was that someone may see a solution to some design arrangement/detail,and would be able to resolve a problem in the planning stage,before having to forge it out,just to see what would happen.Something that i've often struggled with;have a heck of a time visualising stuff hypothetically.
Other than that it's not really anything to write home about.(Still have a hard time believing that it took 14 hours of shop-time.Maybe the shop boys need to be fired along with the rest).


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Clay,thanks,and very good point:
The sq.holes would be good,but challenging to orient correctly.
The keyed holes would be best.Keys,of course,oriented in the direction of most beef remaining around the opening,but yeah-very sound technology,and necessary.
The hook ends are simple as can be:Worked over the radiused near-edge of anvil,peened wider if desired,incised in the same position,and if need be,corrected over a radius on the far edge.
The transition from beefier stock to flat helps in rolling them up by providing more resistance.The scrolling done across the anvil,toward oneself.Very easy element to make.

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I see Jake. So you used a butcher or cold chisel to create the lines on the hook ends? Until you posted this last pic I didn't realize how nicely you turned those hook ends... almost like a hinge barrel. I never thought about the HEAVY use that an Alaskan coat rack might be tasked with... I can imagine that! I once was an install foreman for a wire shelf company and I got a repair call where I found two 15 foot long shelves that were pulling out of the drywall... they had full length real fur coats hanging as tight as they would fit for the full length of each shelf!!! Probably about 90 coats in all!!! WOW!!! That was here in Missouri where a former Idahoan like me thinks we hardly have winter most years! What would that woman do in Alaska?!?!?! I really disagree with you about the quality of this piece of work! To me if you can't write home about a piece like that you'd just as well toss your stationery cause you aren't likely to use it! This is a remarkable creation! BE PROUD because you have earned it!

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I really like this idea of spacing the rack from the wall and how you managed to do it.
Here in Maine wood interiors have never gone out of style and many of the mudrooms even have at least 3/4 pine for panelling finished in everything from stain to varnish or shellac.Many of the old houses have an area rubbed free of finish behind the coat rack and in summer(when coats are scarce) it`s rather obvious.
While I have friends who are making good money cutting and removing the paneling and replacing that area with tile yours is a much more elegant approach to eliminating the problem.

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Thanks,guys,for your very germaine thoughts,it's all very valid,indeed.
The clothes hanging set-up does need that third dimention,for all of the above reasons.In the past,the hangers used to have all sorts of distance from the wall.The clothes were much more formal,and less "scrunchable",people probably liked to use a coat-hanger inside their coat to keep it's shape.(Which actually makes for an efficient filing system).That width,the distance from the wall,was often achieved by a wooden shelf.
That is also something that i've considered,a composite of wood and forgework as the wood is so much stiffer and better suited for cantiliever situations.Forged brackets for a nice chunk of wood,with forged hooks on it's outside edge,or something of the sort.

What you bring up,the weight of clothes,and that spot behind the rack(Bob,how i miss rural Maine!Spent but too short a time there in early '80-ies...),really brings this confusing point to my tortured brain:We all have such a hard time figuring out Who,exactly,we're working For.Are there going to be some fancy fur coats being hung on our work,or greasy coveralls?Both?(As often is the case here).Does it matter?
Thanks again,such conversations among craftspeople are valuable in the extreme.

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Remember those aweful star drills, four sided chisels that can drill a hole in masonry with a hand hammer, in less than 6 hours? I find star drills on the 'please buy me' rack at the hardware store for a dollar or two. Get the countersunk mat'l hot, and give it a whack or two with an appropriate sized star drill. When you rivet the tenon in, the star drill divots act as detents, the rivet stays put.

Jake I just saw this today in the first show thread. Advice from Mikehr. Looks like a simple and quick way to key rivets... I have a bunch of old star drills picked up at antique stores and farm sales for punch stock. I'll have to try this system.

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Great idea,Clay,thanks.There's a place to get those in town,in exactly as described sales rack.
Indexing the parts to be riveted is important,everything to do with rivets,as a matter of fact.
I love the store-boughten rivets,but never use them,too nice.It's a good practice making one's own.Essencially,it amounts to practicing upsetting,a skill avoided by many(myself first and foremost),because of it's difficulty.
Much has been written of assorted jigs and devices to help with all that,from "simple" upsetting jigs to the sexy C-shape type top and bottom hardy tool described in the Blacksmith's Journal some years back.
I've also come across some very simple bucking(backing)irons,that you could tell were made in minutes(handy to have an assortment of bearing balls,especially if one has the capacity to tack a handle onto one,vs fun&games with a loose one!).
All very important stuff,GOT to do more of it...

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the rack looks beautiful jake! - yes i thought it reminded me of russian too - will certainly try the hook ends myself. loving also the discussion about coat weights and types and things hidden in pockets -your posts always make me laugh and very informative in their detail and language . thanks very much - once again love the work :) ps i am one of those people that get in a cold sweat about upsetting - i will try to take heart....

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Beth,thank you so much for your kind remarks!Yes,there's a certain ethnicity that i don't seem to be able to hide,in the language and forgework both :) (looks like i even trade in it somewhat).
I'd very much recommend one of these endings,i think that you'll find that it has a very high difficulty/satisfaction coefficient,or a lot of bang for a buck(depending on what grade in school one got booted out of(7th,for me).
The chisel incisions always fascinated me as well,for the same reason:To accomplish much without an exessive amount of work.
I'm not saying all this (just)because i'm lazy.It's actually a very important,and somehow slippery point.
I've looked at some beautiful old work for years now,trying to figure out just what makes it so appealing?Sounds like a simple proposition,but at least for me,it's extraordinary confusing.Some stuff seems simple,yet radiates this "quality".That's the stuff that draws me in particular,but much old work is appealing for any number of,often mysterious,reasons...

Yes,all of us can use practicing upsetting.It's quite literally the "adding" part that compliments subtracting,dividing and multiplying.Avoiding it adds work,and robs from the self-esteem,thus detracting from the forging experience.

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jake you are so right..! just noticed you do actually have a russian looking name.... sorry - not terribley observant :) never looked at the upsetting thing as a part of an essential basic group of four...makes it les intimidating when you put it like that - i totally agree about the forging experience and the satisfaction levels to aspire to - the experience must be complete and balanced and practised from all angles. i think the thing is about trad/ancient work is that it is born out of necesity and has an authenticity and honesty about it that is extremely appealing and we long for and the beauty also comes from a more instinctive primeval set of images passed through generations in a lo - tech meaningful manner (non instant) (not google or whatever)visual points of refernce to do with the makers actual life and environment rather than totally disconnected ideas..? just seen you got some other work up so im going to have a looooook. ps - was ejected from school myself, but i kept at it a little longer than you!!

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