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I Forge Iron

How do you do this?

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Browsing the net, I found an "blacksmith" trunk on ebay, and it has some very unique handles.

My question....

Do the ends look like they were doubled over and welded to add extra mass?
Can you honestly do a ninety degree bend in round stock and have it come out that sharp? I've simply never seen such a thing.

Is it a cast handle?


Regardless, this is probably the best example of mounting a handle to a trunk that I've seen. I'd love to duplicate it, but I don't even know where I would start!

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Hi VT, That should not be too much of a problem to duplicate, IMHO

The hinge bits are merely a staple (U) with the ends flattened bent at opposing 90 degrees, the U bit held in the vise at an appropriate depth for the handle to pivot freely, and the ends bent down at 90 to give the Z configuration (one for the right hand the other left hand) then punch in the securing holes, start to punch the holes with the U facing down at the front edge of the anvil, then when the location is marked you can flip the piece over and slide the piece onto the anvil face or bolster plate/pritchel hole to complete the hole, clean up and finish.

The handle can be made in various ways, the main points to consider are

the lugs on the ends which act as stops are offset and I would think the bar has just been knocked down at 90 degrees and flattened, apparently on a taper, so they act as a stop when in use, but allow the handle to lay flat when freestanding.

The next bend along from this is a straightforward radius bend

The next is the corners/handle section, these can be done in a couple of ways depending on your choice/comfort zone

Make it in two pieces, starting with a jumped up square corner, on a bar of adequate length to allow for working ends for lugs, and for piece to give handle, these can then be forged to shape at the working end (bend and lug) then welded together to give the handle shape,

Or this handle piece could be made out of one piece of metal and drawn and forged as appropriate

Nice little exercise in good honest 'smithing

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It would certainly be going about it the hard way to weld on a project like this! Looks as though the corners may have been upset a little to get a squarer shape. An interesting handle design and looks very utilitarian but I would say that it only requires intermediate skills.
With a few slight alterations it could be made much simpler to forge and still be perfectly functional. The squared corners are not necessary and the flattened tapers at the handle ends could be made in many other shapes and still work fine.

I like the simple styling of the riveted brackets that attach the handle! There are lots of other possibilities that would work just as well there. The whole thing is just three pieces (not counting the back plate) and two of them are identical but mirrored. A real challenge for a beginner but quite within the reach of an intermediate level smith.

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For what it's worth .....

I would "skew" the ends of the "staples" so that the mounting holes did not fall in line with the grain of the wood, ... and make them longer, too.

This would spread the load, ... making the wood less likely to split.

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