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I Forge Iron

Hinge job under way

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I thought I was going to need to puchase some 1/4"x10" flat bar for the hinge job I'm working on. Those things are $100 per 20 foot at my steel yard. I only needed about five feet! That's a lot of left overs. I lucked out and found a piece of plate that would work for the forge hinge plates I'm doing. (MUCH CHEAPER) So for those of you who missed it in the first thread......here is the client's drawing of the hinge plate.

I have not gotten the pictures of the original strap hinges that these plates are supposed to go with, but I will get them soon.

Here is one plate 9 1/2" wide by 10 1/4" long. I've got the cut lines drawn and the holes drilled. I used the band saw for nearly everything and then I used a reciprocating saw to finish the hard parts out.

Here is the plate cut out and the ends of the barrel tabs beveled. (That's where the power hammer came in handy.)

Bending the barrel. As you can see from my facial expression this was an easy task!

The first barrel.

A finished plate.

There are a lot more pictures on my blog which is linked in my sign off. I made the hinge pins today and now I'm texturing the bolt heads. I'll get those pictures up in a bit.

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I am constantly overwhelmed with the complements on my work. I put myself into what I do because I love, and I try to do the best with what I know how to do. That is all.

More progress since our daily 3:30 PM coffee time break.

I welded up the four hinge pins. I used 1/2" RB wrapped around and forge welded to the end of a piece of 1" RB. I must confess, I used the mig to tack the rings onto the pins. It made it easier to keep the pin in place. :)

These are the strap hinges that my client sent me.

Each strap is stamped with a different number of dots in the same place on each hinge. My guess is it was a way to tell which hinge went with which parts. I have numbers 1, 2, 5, and 6.

Here are the hinges along with their new hinge plates and pins. Each plate was stamped with a matching number of dots to enable me to fit each pin and plate with each individual hinge. The result was a precise fit with smooth sliding pins and rotating plates.

Just to show they do actually go together....

And a close up...

All that is left is a bit more work on the lag screws for the plates, and then I'm straightening out the original hinges.
There will be no protective finish on the work because the client wants the stuff to rust. :(

P.S. The chamfered edges on the plates were left rough on purpose. Normally I would smooth those out evenly all around but I am trying to match them with the old hinges.

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Hey Dave hinges always take longer than I think that they should. It always looks so simple anyhow you want to be sure to rotate your hinges to make sure that they swing true, otherwise sometimes they can bind when mounted on a door and door frame. In my oppinion having a little slop helps as well. I normally wax mine this helps with the lubrication, but since they want them to rust you might just put some oil so they move nicely. They will move better when they mount them to a lever, I mean door. It looks like they are coming out pretty well. I hope you are getting enough for the job.

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Dave its always great to see what your working on. I still remember you demoing at Ocmolgee some years ago. Its just fun to see your skill level go up and up! If you keep luring at this rate you will be producing some amazing works in your life.

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nice clean job dave, your career is a promising one, I like the bevel edges, a nice touch. Your skills are noticeably improving, you have a good eye hand thing going,...I don't know about that touch mark though,... lol

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the hinge job is done! I'm kind of in a hurry now! I've got to get to bed.

I used some 1/8x1 1/2" FB and made some square washers for the bolts on the hinges. The bolts I did were much smaller than the forged sample that my client sent. (My bolts were factory square-head bolts that I textured the heads on.) The washers help give the bolt head a more bulky appearance closer to what the original bolt size was.

The lag screws were textured too but they didn't need a washer.

Here is the whole cake!

The original bolt is pictured to the left along with the twelve bolts that I reworked.

Notice all of the hinges are straight now too.

I don't know how old these hinges are but I do think they are iron and not steel. There is an obvious "grain pattern" which I've read will appear in iron when it rusts or is broken apart. Could someone confirm that? I have no experience with handling iron over steel.

Anyway, I was just thinking when I put these in the forge. Man the last time these were in a blacksmith shop they were being made. Some smith, perhaps not unlike me, was putting himself into a set of strap hinges for a client and probably took great pride in seeing them come together. The welds, the punched holes, and the finished working creation. I wonder if they were made from new stock steel or from an old wagon tire or two that was in the scrap pile.

I just think it's amazing that x-number of years later that I, an eighteen-year-old blacksmith have the opportunity to restore a pair of old hinges perhaps close to their former glory. If I used the word "cool" I'd say that is pretty dog-on COOL! :) Ok so does that make me an official blacksmith or just weird?

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Im glad the old hinges are back in service. The original hinges are probably not much more than 100 years old.

The straight sided hinge requires much more metal and much less labor to make. A older hinge would likely be tapered for nearly the whole length, Less material more labor. This is just a rule of thumb with most common forged hardware, because as time passed material price went way down as labor went way up.

Also just to be a little picky. Whether that was the type of mount the hinges originally had or not, you would rarely be able to see light between the barrel and mount. The mount plate in the middle would run right up to the hinge and then end in a taper underneath the hinge eye.

Regardless of any of this its nice to see a good working piece. They should work just fine

Nice work

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I just think it's amazing that x-number of years later that I, an eighteen-year-old blacksmith have the opportunity to restore a pair of old hinges perhaps close to their former glory. If I used the word "cool" I'd say that is pretty dog-on COOL! :) Ok so does that make me an official blacksmith or just weird?


Very nice work.

Thanks guys! The client seems pleased with the pirce and the work. I'm waitng on the final payment (I always, always, always, reqire at least 50% before I start work.) and then I'll ship them off.

Good business sense there, especially with custom work.

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