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I Forge Iron

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I am just going to have to try that next week. I have a lump of 4" square about 6" long kicking around. It may even prompt a "that's cool dad" from my teenage daughter.

  • 3 weeks later...
  • 4 weeks later...

took a shot at this over the weekend, pretty rough though.  disregard the smaller one looking like it was in a fight with the pavement, i tried to get some copper to melt into the depressions but it ended up flaking off when i started to grind it down.

 

larger of the two was off a piece of 1/2" square, the little one was from a cutoff of 1/4" bar, starting size was probably about 3/4"x1/2" or therabouts.

 

looking forwars to applying lessons learned and trying again in the near future :D

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yea it was pretty rough trying to hold onto the flatter/smaller one with scrolling tongs, fortunately the larger one i was able to work while it was still on the end of its parent stock, however, despite my careful planning i still managed to start it upside down, which i think is what made forging it so much more complicated.  i wish i had thought to treat it as forging two at the same time connected by the chin!

 

got some good advice on cold inlay from some of the staff at the forge to add to the list of stuff to try  :D

 

excellent and very informative diagram earlier in the thread too by the way, thank you for sharing that with us!

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  • 1 month later...

redid the eyeballs on the little one again, drilled out the eye sockets, then used my rotary tool to undercut the hole a little.  bent two pieces of 12 gauge copper ground wire into a tight U and hammered them into the eyes to wedge them in.  put it in the forge until the copper melted.  soaked in vinegar overnight, wire brushed, torched a little more than i had intended to get some oxide on it, wire brushed the steel again while trying to avoid the copper.

 

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ooking forwars to applying lessons learned and trying again in the near future :D

 

I'd have to say that about a third my forging sessions end up this way. 'what have we learned to do differently today?' as I shut down the forge.

 

  i wish i had thought to treat it as forging two at the same time connected by the chin!

 

Just did this with some dragonflys, working on two at either end of a bar. It seems easier to get similar details working like this

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Hey Danger! Small world. Hanging out with some jewelry folks after work this week including Wayne W. He was across the aisle from you at the last art show and said he loved those skulls! He loved your big sculptural stuff too, just not portable.

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Hey John, I thought my load out of a half ton in less than 30 min. was pretty good, I don't think his jewelry made it out that fast! Sure was a lot of work, I was enlightened how much of a lifestyle it is doing these shows. I also had a person give me a laser pointer during the show, unfortunately I think my age deficit showed up when the other exhibiters started getting the red dot treatment... :ph34r:

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  • 3 months later...

Nice job Frank, the more you make the easier to get the proportions right. Shoot for more forehead and deeper mouth, I have also found making up a tool to do both eyes at once helps. 

 

I recently purchased a 6' bar of 2" round bronze for a sculpture competition  :ph34r: I couldn't resist. 

 

This one is around #30, a 2-1/2 pounder.

 

 

 

 

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I rough forged 2 more on Saturday and had a harder time with these than #2 & 3.  I was having a hard time holding onto them while getting the correct angle on the corners when using the power hammer. They kept wanting to jump all over the place. I switched from tongs to channel locks as I could get a tighter grip. That worked better, but maybe it was just too hot that day and I was getting tired and losing focus. I have only had my power hammer a few months so it is still a learning process on everything I make.
 
I tried to make the forehead a little bigger on these as I think you also mentioned it earlier in the posts, but maybe I will go even a little more. Rather than notching the back side of the skull / mouth area, I put a flat bar over the eye area and forged to raise the profile of the mouth. It looks different but maybe I am making them look to much like monkey skulls. What do you think?  
 
 Also I am using a single ball bearing welded to a bar as the tool for the eyes and was hoping it wouldn't be too brittle and shatter. Have you had any problem using them? I am going to make a double ball tool, but I thought I would wait as I wasn't sure if I was getting the spacing right.

 

 
      I really like these little guys and I appreciate you posting your work and the help.
                                                     Frank

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they do have kind of an iron planet of the apes feel to them :) make a 'fur' textured hammer, give the whole perimeter of the face some love with it, then let it rust out to a nice bright orange.  then you have a real orangutan :)

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Frank, less is more when forging these suckers, simplify your process as much as possible (notice the facets on mine). I use mild tooling for the eyes and they are not round, a slightly squash ball gives them a more sinister look.  I cut the mouth past halfway, this opens it up enough to chisel the teeth after which I close up with the skull on end under the hammer. Keep up the good work!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Mr Googly Eyes looks like Jeff Dunham's Achmed the Dead Terrorist! Great job. Looks like I need to make some more tools and give it a shot!

That was the 1st thing that popped into my head as well!!

 

Those look great!!

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  • 11 months later...

yesterday i figured i't give this skull thing a try, was going for something akin to the punisher logo.

SS is a whole lot harder to forge than i ever anticipated, but i did get the job done and now i have a rough idea on how to do this, i'll definately be making more of these

 

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