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I Forge Iron

Hand forged hand

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I mentioned making these yesterday in another thread. I made one today to share.

I usually get the fingers dressed up a little nicer with a special purpose built swage, but its been a year or so since I've made one and I've either lost or repurposed the tool and forgot. 

Anyone have tips on how I can clean these up?



Edited by Panday
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There are no square edges on a hand. The angle where the thumb metacarpal meets the wrist (carpals) is about 45*. The metacarpals and carpals on the pinky side are almost in line with the Ulna. Yeah, I looked up hand bones. Though if I read it a couple more times I'll probably never get it out of my head.

However, it's an excellent representation as it sits. The viewers minds will fill in the little details to make it look perfect far better than we can forge. I'd probably call it good with a little dressing of the edges at most.

Frosty The Lucky.


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I use a curved chisel for the joints, Allow the thumb to lie alongside the fingers at about a 45 degree angle and taper the back of the hand into the wrist.  I make mine like a thumbs up emoji.  the curved fingers make it a bottle opener.  I don't cut the fingers free, well I did make one for a friend where I had to cut the middle finger free to make an obscene gesture.   I then taper the arm to a point and forge a rat tail and add a split ring for a key ring.  Another multi-tool.

Edited by WayneCoe
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Thanks for the replies and compliment.

Probably mans greatest tool is the opposable thumb. I spent forever figuring out how to get that into a forged piece. I used to make them flat as has been suggested, but they never looked right, especially when you try to make it "grip" something.

The first one of these I made (well the first one that didn't get scrapped) i made for a pen holder. It's easy enough to make the thumb in the same plain as the fingers, but that is not how our hands rest naturally even if it is how we've been trained to view them since our first Thanksgiving in Kindergarten. 

This could have come out much better all around, I'm decidedly out of practice making these, and probably never did that great of a job to begin with. 

FWIW, I didn't use a vise to make this. I started making these before I had a decent vise so I had to figure out another way to make it happen. I start with 1/2" x1" and forge a shoulder and make a tang that fits into my pritchel hole. That way after I've marked my fingers I stick it in the pritchel hole to chisel the fingers free and dress the web of the fingers. Only problem is it really flattens the heel of the hand and drives stock into the pritchel hole making it look very square. (This is why there's a fullering mark partway down the "tang".) I do have a leg vise now, I just never mounted it after my last move, and at this point I honestly think I'd have to change some things to do this in a vise. 

I set down the stock lengthwise and chisel the thumb up from the palm. I got a little over zealous setting this one down so you can see a mark in the palm that shows where I set it down.

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