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I Forge Iron

A shifty lizard

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post-50874-0-20616500-1390813791_thumb.jNot strictly blacksmithing, but the forge was useful in creating this bit of junk sculpture, and I thought it may be of some interest. I have a blacksmith mate who calls this use of the forge 'cartoon blacksmithing'.
This lizard is based on a bearded dragon lizard - pretty common throughout Australia. I call them 'shifty lizards' because the starting point is a shifting spanner. I think in the U.S. you may call them adjustable wrenches.
I have done close on a hundred of these things of all sizes - from the little 4 inch shifter to the larger 18 inch ones which make a lizard a metre long. They are very popular at my demos and sell well. Great garden ornaments and the small ones are good paper weights. The kids love them. Often I will make the parts in the forge after doing the more serious stuff, before closing down.
I usually anneal the spanner first and then make a bend which raises the 'head'. On a big wrench I need to make some cuts on the belly to allow the bend. Usually put in a lateral bend too - as that is the pose these lizards often have.
The front legs I make from an old exhaust clamp or similar u-bolt, heated in the forge and the feet flattened and chiseled into toes. The rear legs are old gutter brackets bent to shape. Tails are easy - they can be forged out of round bar or better still, old garden fork tines save a lot of tapering time. Reo bar works well too, as it already has a scaly look. Same with old round files, suitably annealed to bend.
Eyes are done with the mig - held vertically for about 4 seconds. That way, you get a little crater in the middle. Or sometimes I'll heat the whole head in the forge and punch the eyes. A drilled hole fitted with a brass round-headed screw looks good too. A bit of brass burnishing on the head gives some colour, especially on a newish spanner.
I'll attach a pic or two. There's one pic there of a 'frilly' lizard. The frill is an old circular saw blade annealed.
P.S. No living tools were harmed in this project - all recycled broken stuff. You'll notice this spanner has no adjusting ring.



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This is a wonderful, Nice, Fun, and Creative piece of art for sure.
We need to keep this kind of ingeniously inspired thinking in the metal working craft.
I see this work as a small but necessary antidote to offset the serious and sobering world we live in.
You put a smile on this old (but pretty :rolleyes: ) face this morning!  :P
Thank You!

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Steve's right, maybe I have too much time on my hands. As a retired teacher, it's nice to have that time. I enjoy thinking outside the square and making fun things from what others discard. Here are a few more:

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