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How to forge this quickly? - Help needed


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Dear All!


In spite of my limited forging experience I may have a chance to get a bigger order. A local project needs a hundred key fobs shaped after its logo. I said I give it a try although the time we have is very short: 3. of october. 


You can see the shape in the picture. Also the sizes are shown but for sure's sake: longest curved line is 50 mm, shortest line is 8 mm, the lower one with the right angle in it is 24 mm, and the other lower straight one is 18 mm. 




I tried it two ways:

50 mm 10x10 square stock cut into three parallel sections on one end up to 30 mm. The 20 mm uncut section drawn down to be the longest top line. - Total failure.


50 mm 10x10 square stock cut into two parallel sections both ends up to 22 mm. The cuts placed as they are in right angle to each other. (As in a split cross.) - It was complicated to do, and the result was pretty awful. The center where the lines started from took very big space thus screwing up the whole shape.


I think about two pieces of slimmer starting stock bent to shape and tenoned together. The 8 mm section may allow this as it could be the tenon. The two longer lines (the 50 mm and the 24 mm) could be the longer stock and mortise it for the shorter stock. 



What do you think? I have only handhammers, vises, angle grinder, no help, no flypress. No welding allowed.


Any help is very much appreciated! Thank you in advance.






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This is what I would try : (not sure that it would work, just a thought)


Forge 2 pieces,


piece 1, the  "U"

piece 2 an angle of "confortable" lenght.


Rivet them together and forge weld the joint.


Bend and adjust the angle and cut to precise lenght.

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I would try pretty much the same as Yves. The U on it's side and an inverted V shape forge welded together. I wouldn't bother with a rivet or tenon though.


Second option would be tenon the inverted V into the U. Don't bend the U till after the tenon.Tenon it then bend. Though Unless starting with larger stock for the V you'll probly have to forge weld. You could forge the V shape down from larger stock leaving a stub for the tenon. If you wanted to avoid a forge weld.


Third would be cut from parent bar only rather then cutting same size parts cut pieces to the MASS needed.


Oops got to go work. Good luck.

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I've done a good bit of playing around with smaller keychains.  I'd be tempted on that to form the two pieces from small diameter round stock (the U and the V-ish thing), get them how you wanted, flatten them not quite flat but nearly (leave enough weight to make it pleasing), then rivet.  To produce a lot of them in the limited time you have, that might be the simplest method.  Just a thought. 

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Cut a piece of 3/8 square (10mm) 80mm long. Split it or saw it from one end 24mm. From the other end on the same flat split it or saw it 50mm Open both ends on the anvil edge so you have an "X".  Cut "legs" off to 8mm long , 24mm long and 18mm long. leave the last leg at 50mm long. Bend the "U' over the horn and make a right angle on the 24mm leg. Hope I explained what I mean so You can understand it. There will be 6mm in the middle that is not cut. Just my take on it.

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my thoughts are drawn to attempting to find a piece of starting stock that is already shaped like a (+) plus sign and readily available, that way you don't have to bother with that odd connection, just trim the legs to the correct length, bend, tweak and apply your finish.  something like a roll of wire fence (not chain link), the square grid kind that is actually welded together, provided it doesn't have a bunch of sloppy electric welds at the joints.  you can lightly forge the joint down to reduce the appearance of two pieces of round stock sitting on top of themselves.


something similar to this:



I like the modified split cross version that 1forgeur presented as well, hope you have a lot of sharp hacksaw blades though :) might predrill where you want the cut to stop to give you a consistent stopping point and reduce the stress riser that will want to form at the V where the cut ends.

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I would be inclined to just get a load of them plasma or laser cut from 2mm or 3mm plate! Much easier than forging them and if you need 100+ then much cheaper for the customer too ;)

I agree. Why make life difficult. It is a graphic design rather than a form that is derived from the forging process. So water jet or laser cut with a bit of needle file chamfering would be my approach.

Depending on circumstance I might offer to design a more forgeable form that they could use for their symbol.

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Hi Friends

and thank you again for the help! You really help me think outside the box.


I tried yesterday 1forgeur's method - It worked very good, thank you for that. I produced a prototype and showed today to the project manager. It was recieved well but it needs to be smaller. 


Chinobi and GottmitUns:

Wonderful idea - I try to find that kind of stock!



This was exactly my safe net solution, although the same problem with joining without welding it.


Dave and Alan:

Unfortunately there is no plasma oor water cutter in this region. It would make the whole stuff pretty expensive to find and use one. :(

And the product must be hand forged.


Yves Rashelle and Spanky:

You gave me the new safety net idea. The U and V shapes did not show to my eyes. If I can't find heavy weight expanded stock I go with that.


I try to have a pic from the prototype to show you guys the product. Sometimes soon, hopefully...


Bests to all, and if you got something more I'm still very pleased to hear/read it...  :)





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All of my water jet cutting is done away from here and delivered by carrier. But that doesn't help if the criteria is that it must be forged. I can't really see how that object can best display the fact that it was forged when it appears to be just parallel sections....

You have given the lengths of the legs but no indication of their cross section, unless I am being blind. If they are going to end up as square section and therefore I am guessing at around 3 or 4 mm square (1/8" - 3/16") I suggest you forge a piece of metal to that thickness and then you are just working in one plane.

E.g. If they are indeed 3mm square I would forge a piece to 3 x 9mm and then put a cut in from either end with a 1mm slitting disc in your angle grinder, slightly off centre to give you around a 3x3mm leg and a 5x3mm leg. The end of the cuts would finish about 8 mm apart . The 5mm will form the top curve and the horizontal stubby bit. The reason I would cut it wider is that when you open up the split that bit will tend to stay straight and the thinner bits will bend. Before you form the curve you can easily get to that bit to reduce it down to 3mm.

Before you open up the splits you could forge a 3mm deep vee (forging will drag the two corners in but you might soften them to a radius with a needle file) into the 3mm side which will help the 3mm legs to bend sharp and preform your vee shape. By forging in that initial vee you will have a bit of extra metal spread sideways which can be either forged back in or removed after opening the splits.

The reason I suggest the slitting disk rather than chisel or hacksaw is that you will not risk building in distortion or creating sharp flashing which will take ages to file away. It will also give a rounded end to the cut which will not crack when you open the split.

Maybe a bit more information like thickness and the original logo image may make this approach unworkable!


PS. Having just re-read the thread, if they are 10mm thick then ignore the bit above regarding the forged 9x3 blank. The off-centre slitting and preformed vee prior to opening the splits should still help. Suggested dimensions are just that. The final sizes you work to will come through experiment of course. :) Alan

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01 forging

Please excuse my lack of not being able to think metric, so I will use fractions where necessary. Also, I'm just going to define setup and procedure and not calculate exact lengths. If you need that info, don't hesitate to ask.

Assume the cross section of finished piece is 1/2" square other than transition which will be 1/2" x1".

Use two pieces of 1/2" square of appropriate length. Note: two legs are 29mm+8mm leg and 18 mm+ 50mm plus transition finished.

Any champfered edges should be done first as you cannot easily get to them in the transition after the forgeweld.

1)Forge the right angle at bottom left to dimension.

2)Forgweld two pieces at appropriate place to create transition and slightly longer than distance from crotch of bottom vee to top of finished flat of the transition.

3) bend the top left(8mm) and top right(50mm) to left and right.

4)hammer out top vee to create flat at top of transition, which will upset 1/2x1" transition. Dress transition and open out rt bottom leg to appropriate angle

5) Form "U".

!!Details to note!!

Transition is from bottom vee to top flat.
This length on both pieces will have to be known and upset before forgeweld to achieve 1/2" x1" from bottom vee to the flat at top of transition

Also this upset needs extend enough upwards so that when the top vee is hammered out, there are no "wasp waist" on each of the top pieces of 1/2" square that form the 8 mm and 50 mm legs.

Hope this helps and good luck

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100 pc. is a lot to make and I cannot imagine they want to pay much for them.  You don't  mind making peanuts on a couple of pieces when you are learning but 100 is a lot to make and you will be hating them by the time you are done. 


I would be inclined to make a  stamp with there logo on it, weld a handle on it so you don't smash your hand. Then slice a bunch of slugs from a round bar say 30mm round 6-10 mm thick.  Then take a good and hot heat on the slugs and with a heavy hammer give the punch a real nice blow,  or even recruit a helper to strike with a sledge.  You want it to squish the slug nicely so it deforms it nicely.  


You might want to  pre forge the slugs by using a flatter or a better yet an regular hammer (scrap hammer) face held against the slug (anneal the opposite face of the hammer)  With a really good heat on the slug hit the flatter or hammer with a sledge to get a bit of a bulge.  You need the slug really hot and a really hard blow to do this or you will get sharpened corners rather than a bulge.


A square slug might be better than round as the distortion from forging will likely be more obvious.  If you don't want to make the stamp or you want them more unique you could stamp the shape with a fuller or 2 and a curved fuller.  That might be better if you don't have a striker.





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So maybe we could also actually "sketch" this in iron?


It looks like the "3" shape could be bent/lapped over onto itself at the 8mm segemnt, with space left to insert the angled leg. Then the two pieces could either be riveted or forgewelded together. This way the whole part could be made out of the same size stock. Of course this would make the 8mm segment thick, and would also turn this into a 3D piece instead of 2D, and might not be best for a key fob.


So hopefully this crude sketch helps explain my take on this... hopefully...




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Ok I'm awake. That'd be a tiny forge weld for a key fob. Still doable though. A probably more viable option would be copper braze the two shapes together. Or rivet then braze if you don't trust either method alone. At pocket sized splitting larger stock via a hacksaw, then drawing out the legs to their appropriate sizes might be another option.

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Hi All!


First of all I want to tell you how amazed I am by your generosity. I did expect some help of course but offering this many ways and sacrificing this much time to my little problem... - I hardly can thank you enough for all your efforts.


By Saturday evening the situation is the following:

I made a prototype piece from the 10x10x94 mm stock checking if I'm able to do it. Also I wanted to show something to the project members. I got this:



It's a bit rough around the edges but the essence is in it. Although the people liked it the manager and myself agreed it was too big and heavy for a key fob. 

I was thinking to go with 8x8 mm stock but also struggling with problems:

1. Cutting 8 mm thick stock 60 mm deep with hand held grinder is pretty risky = slow.

2. If I do the work much faster as with the prototype I can produce a piece in 30 minute. 100 pieces go in 3000 min. That equals 50 clean work hours. It is very utopistic to hope I can have that much work time. 

3. I had that thing in my pocket and it was not good. Even if it's smaller it won't be comfortable. I was thinking how to curve or smooth the lines but you can't change a logo.



So JNewman hit the nail on the head. I try to convince the manager about it being a good idea.


Thank you very much for your kind help! I will report what happened on Monday.






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  • 2 weeks later...

Dear All!


JNewman rules! 


Last week I managed to make two prototype models with stamping (picture 001). Showed them to the project manager. He said it's ok, let's make the 100.



So I started to make the stamps (The prototypes were only "stamped" with fullers.) I decided to use two hammerheads I found on scrapyard. I annealed them on Wednesday. Thursday I marked the shape, drilled and grinded for 1,5 hours, when I realized I did not mirrored the shape of the logo. It was so rookie mistake I couldn't even be angry.

So I began to feel I'm running out of time: I have no stamps, so no work can be done.


Friday I went to my turner friend asking him to help with the stamps. Unfortunately he couldn't help but as we talked he mentioned leafsprings. The same day my mother called and said she is visiting us the next day. I cancelled the striker I called for Saturday, and tried to stay calm.


Saturday I was real down. Tried to rest a bit. And suddenly when was lying half-awake surrounded by my family it flashed to my mind: think in separeted lines as not one but two stamps and use leafsprings because they are moveable material.

I was a bit relieved but also known the whole work is still on the edge. Aslo my 3,5 months "old" daughter got a 5 kg hammer from her grandparents as a gift. - I took this as a good sign  :) .


Sunday morning my striker arrived and we started to work. The first stamp - the R without the vertical leg and with a long horizontal wing - was not too difficult. The half and mirrored E on the other hand was impossible to make from the leafspring stock. Just no way we found to bend it into the right angle with 7mm between the horizontal stems. 

The time was ticking with no mercy, when the striker found the hammerheads and suggested that we hit in it a square stock, hot of course. It worked, grinded, tested, and go... 4 hours later we had 106 pieces of useful, stamped key fobs waiting for cutting, punching, final chamfering, wirebrushing and lacquering...

post-48601-0-00658000-1411979313_thumb.j post-48601-0-36816500-1411979322_thumb.j post-48601-0-51860400-1411979331_thumb.j


I have hope now to finish it in time although there is plenty work to do.


Bests to all of you!



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It is done!!

The job is done. 101 pieces all together. The first layer of sprayed on lacquer is applied now, so it's just the matter of time now. Two more layers to go but that's nothing.


Thank you all for your kind help and support.



100 is a lot to make eh  :rolleyes:


I'd say so! I tried to calculate the time needed for each one of the processes but when something unforeseen came up it took time to accomplish. Ie. the hanging device on the pictures. But I'm pretty proud of myself to get the whole project done in the time planned.


So some pictures:

post-48601-0-46551700-1412169170_thumb.j post-48601-0-22156800-1412169178_thumb.j post-48601-0-77171500-1412169184_thumb.j post-48601-0-30523500-1412169191_thumb.j

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