Show me your twist

Recommended Posts

Show me a twist that you put into steel, and describe how it was made.

It can be a simple twist in square bar, a pineapple twist, a cube twist, a wheat twist, a decorative twist, and the list just goes on and on.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


We have just done a twist course at Westpoint this weekend, here are some of my notes


NOTE: Twists can be right handed or left handed

Tools used when producing these, Forge, Anvil, Leg vice, Hammer, Centre punch, Hot set (Hot chisel/incising tool), Appropriate tongs, Twisting wrenches, Water dipper, Water tank/supply, Wood block and rawhide or wood mallet and a Wire brush, and a sacrificial plate for cutting through on the cage twist in solid bar to prevent damaging anvil face.

Right hand are illustrated pictures are large for ease of understanding method and appearance.


12mm square bars used in sample pictures

From Basic Twist to Cage Twist

Done Cold, produces an even twist but it has a limited length of pitch before it shears, in practice it is limited by ability to apply pressure on wrench and grip on other end.


Done Hot twists can be tighter (shorter pitch)


Two sides incised on the centre line and twist, Appears like Two flat bars twisted together


Four sides incised on the centre line and twist, Appears like Four square bars twisted together


Four sides incised on the centre line with a pair of opposite corners knocked off into a rounded edge and twist,

Appears like Two round bars and two square bars twisted together


Four sides incised on the centre line, all the corners knocked off to form a rounded edge and twist, Appears like a Rope twist


Four sides incised on the centre lines, then split right through, (this could be from all four sides or just two)

The bar is then twisted a known number of times, and then untwisted half the number of turns whilst pressure is exerted to push the split part of the bar back into itself, compressing the twist and forcing the cage outwards to the required shape, adjust if required. Cage twist pictured is a parallel sample,


These twists are all made using the same basic twist and using different numbers of incised lines on the centre lines, if you move the position of the incised lines before twisting, and forging the corners, you will get even more different effects or appearances. The combinations are only limited by your imagination.

Here is another sample that is similar but different to a previous one shown. This one has four sides incised, not on the centre line this time, but near and adjacent to two of the edges, with the two opposite corners knocked off into a rounded edge.

Another variation is a small flat is forged the length of the twist on each corner/edge, an incised line is applied on each edge and then the bar is heated and twisted. Ribbon twist


Or these, sometimes called Water twists

Incise two opposite sides near to the edge, the length of the twist section required, and then make a short ¼ twist, then make a reverse ¼ twist at the desired spacing, and repeat along the required length


Or increase the twist rate to ½ turn and reverse ½ turn


Same but different for comparison ½ twist gives a chunkier appearance


Or you could do these twists in the same direction (no pics available)

If you apply the same principle about development and you can produce a pineapple twist, or three separate styles of twists starting with;

A square bar is twisted, then the twist’s high spots are forged back to the original square bars’ size

The bar was differentially twisted as opposed to equal twists, and you can clearly see the difference it makes in the appearance of the facets. This was due to lack of uniform heating throughout the twisting operation


If you then reheat the bar and reverse the twists, you get a Knobbly effect


However, if you incise the four sides on their centre line, twist a known number of times, then flatten to square, incise again on these ‘new’ sides and reverse twist half the number of previous twists, and if arranged correctly will give a Pineapple twist or Diamond Twist effect


This from iforge source Cube twist

Incise down centre line on all four sides, then cut using a hacksaw or thin blade on angle grinder the equal sections diagonally across opposite edges



Edited by Glenn

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Very impressive post. Very informative. Thanks so much for posting all the different types of twists.

Mark <><

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Notch the corners of a square bar with a hacksaw or gullitine tool and the twist looks like squares stacked up.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Had an opportunity to have a play for a couple of hours, (don't have many of these now) and so here are the results, material was 5mm bar, in a coke forge.




A couple of the corn on cob /twisted/braided variations,




And a first and second attempt at the Claydon Knot, without any special tooling, just using anvil, bending forks and swage block/pritchel hole on anvil and punch


Didn't particularly like the first attempt, didn't quite look right 


post-816-0-69104400-1405018641_thumb.jpg  post-816-0-26304900-1405018669_thumb.jpg


Second attempt looked better, but with a couple of mistakes, not symmetrical, and a miscut on one of the component bars


post-816-0-46132600-1405018917_thumb.jpg  post-816-0-60620700-1405018934_thumb.jpg


We have a multiple twists course this weekend, so may have a chance to pass these on if we have time outside scheduled programme.


Had fun, darn I miss my forge.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now