Jump to content
I Forge Iron

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


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


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 ed


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


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


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

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


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

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 years later...

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.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 years later...
23 hours ago, 671jungle said:

Is there a way to retrieve these photos? Is there a list elsewhere?

These are some of the ones in solid 1/2" square bar, I'll see if I can find the old samples and photo them again.

I also have a selection of multi strand twists we have done on courses and elsewhere.809294713_1Twistshowingpitchdifference.jpg.90b73a9ad0f85db0db3f3c791c50c80d.jpg768645074_2Twosidesincised.thumb.jpg.b6449154a6c516f7dd93642676c2a0f9.jpg1783396284_3Foursidesincised.thumb.jpg.3934fa5618ac5d883504f0859039701b.jpg712084152_16ElongatedCagetwistinsolidbar.thumb.jpg.ab953eff51f347a59d6312c3f636cce4.jpg742152488_6Twooppositeedgesincisedbothsidesothercornersremoved.thumb.jpg.e5d94c4d7a471eb20f8870581b7488f1.jpg911085637_7Fourcornersincised.thumb.jpg.02f29a153ca14ef5bf80d936eac1dba0.jpg739187221_8Twistedandsquaredupagain.thumb.jpg.1c3b5aa3dd02c1df8092fb75efe6d403.jpg1158514379_9Twistflattentosquareandreversetwist.thumb.jpg.cb5873d423bfa01db9a829c2b282d719.jpg1019838331_10Incisecentreeachsidetwistflattenandincisecentrerevershalfofprevioustwist.thumb.jpg.dc0ac285749f0add5cdf9cd21f69889e.jpg937767850_11Inciseatedgequartertwistthenquarterreverseandrepeat.thumb.jpg.c17e2252fec948360bc517eb296ccd21.jpg1644571853_12Inciseatedgeshorthalftwistthenreverseandrepeat.thumb.jpg.dfcbec3c53f695959aa95a350adc8d00.jpg1378360969_12Samebutdifferent.thumb.jpg.97827bfc82ccd3833dab323cbfea0e6e.jpg114917851_13aNotchedandtwisted.thumb.JPG.7d3d6665c65d81fe2cf7203b02c5f3a4.JPG2018788667_13Incisecentreallsidescutcubesonoppositecornersandtwist.thumb.jpg.cfc1d03152df93366a75cd052e501a43.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's not a full sized 2 man saw  though that handle would probably work better if it was. 

I have a weakness for crosscut saws as I attribute my marriage to one...Our "marriage saw" was a 1.5 man saw (D handle on one end and upright shaft on the other.)  I and my now wife of 35 years used it to saw up a large dead choke cherry tree that had fallen in her yard. The saw was found in a decrepit shed on the place and was old and rusty and not very sharp and after we spent a heap of hours pulling it back and forth between us and talking; I figured if she could put up with me for so long doing that; she might be able to put up with me in marriage.  I'm still waiting for her to wise up...That saw is stored in my study for sentimental reasons...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

"marriage saw"

I started my day reading this. Thank you, beautiful story. I don’t know what I would do without mine. Some would say she is to blame for all this inspiration to become a blacksmith. My love is a fire dancer/samba dancer on top of being my  jiu-jitsu training partner for a number of years. there is much in common with the primal side of nature.

Marriage Saw is quite the twisty term. 

Speaking of twists, anyOne do tooling type twists (augers, drill bits)? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well I do some "anti tooling twists"; when I run across auger bits in too bad of shape to be worth restoring; I heat and hammer them flat and use them to make desert plants---like ocotillo.  My mother was once complaining to me how my younger adopted siblings dogs were destroying her plants---so I made one they couldn't destroy!

BTW 671; do you need some augers?  I believe it was a train track repair depot dumped several hundred pounds of augers in my local scrapyard and so I have a few...Too nice to reforge IMNSHO


Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, ThomasPowers said:

BTW 671; do you need some augers?

I do not. If I did, I know who to ask. I was just curious since we are relighting the torch on the subject. I sure need a Scrapyard like yours around. Still feeling my way around the SLC industrial. A tool steel ocotillo would make for an intimidating flower. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Hi Sascha,

Preparation for both is the same, 

Incise two opposite sides near to the edge, the length of the twist section required,

then make a short ¼ twist, then make a reverse ¼ twist at the desired spacing, and repeat along the required length

Both twists are basically the same, one has a quarter of a turn, as long as you wish,

The second twist is the same proceedure, but a half a turn twist is used,



I believe these were known as Water twists The quarter twist has the incised line showing at the edges in an intermittent pattern, the half twist results in the incised line visibly running in each section , it does not show in the picture, as it was taken from the no show side

You could do the same twists but without the incising.

Enjoy !

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...