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I Forge Iron

Twisting Bar


TomN

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I need to make myself a bar for twisting material.
I need to go over the process, before I start it, to make sure I get it right.

I thought i'd write down on here what I was going to do and people can correct me where I go wrong!

Firstly I was going to take a piece of spring steel and cut off approximately 60cm of material to give me a 20cm 'handle' on each side and 20cm (+ spreading) in the middle to make my holes for inserting the bars in to twist.

I would cut this length off, then make sure all of the toxic paint is burnt off, in a well ventialted area (outside for me).
Straighten the bar out to give me a nice ~60cm long piece. Then I would flatten the central area, which would spread it slightly. This flat area, I can cut into to make different sized holes for twisting different sized stocks.

I plan on normalising, or even annealing the central part of the bar to make it really soft. Then using the angle grinder with a cutting disc to cut in my holes to insert my different bits of stock into.
Once I have all the shapes cut into it, I would make sure its flat and then harden the whole piece.

So how far off am I with this, and how many beginners errors have I made?

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Tom, to make it simpler, just find an old monkey wrench and weld a length of 3/8" round bar on the top, opposite the handle. That gives you leverage plus the ability to be adjustable for lots of different sizes. I have two of these. One for my shop and one for my "traveling tool box" for demos. They work GREAT!! :)

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I have a second hand store here in town and he usually has a couple of them. Here's a picture of one of my regular ones and (I forgot about this one) a "super sized one that I used to twist 1" square stock with. If you would like for me to, I can pick one up and send it to you. Give me a PM with your address.
:)

post-1549-0-60734300-1330969253_thumb.jp

Just realized that you are in the UK. Shipping may not be "cheap". :(

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Those look ideal. Exactly what I wanted to make!

Thanks very much for the offer, I appreciate it.
I've found monkey wrenches over here, but they aren't that cheap. Plus they all come with hardened and tempered teeth, so they will be a bugger to grind down, to stop them marking my work.

I will keep an eye out at car boot sales to see if I can find any.
Might make the little twisting bar out of tool stool, whilst I wait.

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Hi Tom, Cannot post pics for some reason, must be new update like last time, look on Blacksmiths Tools Explained in the other half of this tool section and scroll down to Twisting tools another alternative you can easily make is there,

Problem with holes in bars and tap wrenches is acccessing the section of bar to be twisted, as it has to be moved down from the end of the bar, not always convenient, practical or possible the open side is a far better solution,

You could also use two pairs of tongs until you get what you want.

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That monkey wrench that you guys use is seen as antique shop goods outside of the USA and quite expensive I bought one for $50 and would not use it the way you guys do, "our" monkey wrenches have teeth for gripping pipe and they mar your work.

Tom, it is not that difficult to modify a standard shifting spanner and add an extra "leg" thus achieving a similar tool!== having used those"american" twisters I must say they work really well.

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Ian: Come see us again in the Northwest and I'll give you some old monkey wrenches!!!!! Love to see you again and swap some stories! Eric Sprado


Eric, I want to come again this year, this time drag(I'm sure she's keen) my wife along I've raved on about the wonderfull folk/characters I met last trip and to show her where I think we should relocate to. I saw monkey wrenches galore in pawn shops and at yard sales and I was green with envy............. It would be wonderfull to sit round a fire listening to you, not just stories but your tunes!
Best Regards my friend.
Ian
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Yea, you don't want the bar with holes in it. The monkey wrench is great, but for up to 5/8" square it's not needed. Just use plain hot rolled mild steel, 5/8" square is big enough and round each end for handles. Bend the piece in the center to match the size stock you want to twist in each side. So the drawing shows 3/8" sq. on one side and 1/2" sq. on the other. Two wrenches like this and you have twisting bars for 3/8" to 3/4". This was the way Francis Whitaker taught us. The second photo shows how they hang at the vise. With this style you can reach any where along the piece to twist.

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post-1310-0-81187400-1331042081_thumb.jp

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Tom, trawl through the boot sales once they start which, conveniently, is after the rugger season closes. You'll often get a good sized wrench in good condition for well under £10, often under £5. G.

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I've been roped into clearing out my Grandmothers garage on Saturday. No doubt she will just want to throw stuff away, so I will be doing a check for tools whilst i'm there. Fingers crossed that I find something useful, especially if its a monkey wrench!

I will be up the forge ALL of Sunday working away and trying stuff out.

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  • 8 months later...

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