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In an attempt to step slowly away from my mig welder and grinder habits, I am trying to come up with some different ideas on building a small stand somewhat similar to what I've done in the past. The stand pictured is approximately 10"-12" long and around 4"-5" wide. The sizes will vary on a case-by-case basis, but will all be around this size. The bar stock diameter on this one is 3/8".

I was thinking that I could forge a piece of steel relatively flat, and then split the ends to be able to roll them up and downward. Punch the body of the flat stand ends just prior to the slit and feed the round rails through the ends, possibly upset the round stock to hold it all together? Based on my limited forging experience, that's my first thought, but I can shoot holes in it at the same time, such as the upset ends could look really bad if not done properly (or could look bad regardless). Some of the previous stands I've built have a second side bar running parallel to the one shown, but slightly above and inboard of the one shown below to give more of the look of two sticks/logs stacked from the sides.

I really need to keep the upper radiused portion, so I'm also good sticking with the round stock for the ends, but possibly forge weld them instead of relying on the mig? Seems like theres an easier way to accomplish the same result, but I'm not coming up with it. I could start with a larger piece of round stock (1/2"?), split the ends, and round the upper and lower branches and then draw the center down to a smaller diameter to match close to the 3/8" I have now. That would definitely take some trial and error since the entire end piece would be growing in length as I draw the center section down to the desired diameter, but it would result in a single forged end piece that required no welder. Maybe flatten the ends of the center round section enough prior to the splits to feed the side bars through?

I like the idea of having the round side pieces protruding through the end plates, regardless of what the end plates end up being, I just personally like that kind of look. I can also drop the round side bar diameter down from 3/8" to 5/16" if need be.

On the stand I have pictured, I'm sure it's painfully obvious that it was all made mechanically & cold, including using a chop saw and my roll bender for the end sections. I have since started putting my own vine pattern on the round stock with a spring swage and bending the end pieces by forging them in a 5" radius hardy swage. But I'm still doing all the joinery in a less than desired way. At first I was pre-cutting the ends, but found it was hard to hold onto them while bending and it was throw the bends off some due to the tongs interfering with the swage. I also got tired of cleaning up the mess left by the chop saw. I've since started using longer pieces of stock, bending the radius, and then hot cutting on the hardy. I wasn't using proper cutting techniques at first and was having to do a lot of post grinder clean up on the ends. I've since corrected the cutting problem, so I guess this is the most productive way to make the bent end pieces. But again, I'm open for alternate styles on the end plates as well. I've also started experimenting with different patinas other than spray paint, such as brass brushing, beeswax, wood stain, gliders paste, plum brown, etc.

As always - any input, ideas, opinions, criticisms, etc. will be much appreciated!



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I would develop a way to rivet all of the joints. The public likes solid head rivets because they have an "old-school" look that isn't seen commonly seen these days. You can also do a light upset on each bar end, which will dress up the raw cut. There is no limit to finishes but sometimes bright colors look pretty cool on forged work - there are so many options to basic black.

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Well, ... without knowing the purpose of the assembly, it's difficult to make intelligent observations.

So I'll ASSUME the arc at the ends, is the critical element.

For a "traditional" appearance, I think a pragmatic approach is preferable.

That being said .....

The ends could be easily formed from one length of round stock, with an "eye" formed on each end, to accept the ends of the straight bars, and then arched to form the "cradle".

The "eyes" could be bent down to create "legs", ... or the legs could be bent into a "pigtail" wrap around the straight lengths, and then finished with any sort of "foot" that suits your fancy.

Either way, the assembly is reduced to only 4 parts, and requires no welding.

Or, ... the "cradle" could be formed from one continuous length of bar stock, with the "straight" piece connecting the ends on one side, and the arched ends terminated in a "foot" on each end.

No welding, no joints, just a simple solution.

There's LOTS of ways to "skin a cat". :P

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