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This is not really a project (yet).

I found a nice old axle in the scrap. I must have been there a hundred years because its entire length is deeply pitted. I kinda like that - it has a texture that nature has provided and it adds to the individuality of the thing.

Anyway, I got to thinking what to do with it. It would make a fine hat stand, perhaps using rail spikes for the hooks. An old dray axle rim for the base would complement it well. Just thoughts at this stage. Any other suggestions to take advantage of the weathered nature of this piece?

Here's a pic of the full axle and a close up of its surface:

 

 

DSC_5035.jpg

texture.jpg

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Looks kind of like a thorny walking stick type wood or perhaps leaf scars on a branch. I really like the texture, I'd sure be looking for something suitable to use it for. A hat rack sounds like a good idea.

Frosty The Lucky.

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The texture is amazing!  Reminds me of what we call Devil's Walking Stick.

I think the real challenge would be trying to tie the other parts to it without ruining the look of the gnarly shaft.  I'd almost suggest splitting the end into quarters so you could draw those "tines" out in to delicate bows that end in coat/hat hooks.  That way you could blend the transition zone so everything flowed smoothly.

Of course, it might also be better to forge a half-dozen of the bow/hook and weld them onto the end of the shaft, using a collar hide the joint.  Maybe you could dig through that Utopia of a scrap pile you have and find some similarly gnarly pieces that could be cold-bent to form the bow/hook so you wouldn't lose the overall look.iris_242ir10_garderobenstaender.jpg

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I would look into the possibility of simply splitting the larger end just enough to forge two hooks and bend enough of the foot to have two rivets in a steel plate stand that could be textured with a hammer. Of course I do not know the lenght of your aile. If the aile is too short, I would do it that way and forge a foot for it.

Like you said, a hat tree. And like all said above, beautiful texture.

Edited by yves
Type errors and one more idea ...
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Greetings Aus,

I'm with Rachelle on the leaves and vines. I would make a free standing structure of vines and leaves in the surround form and only use that fine textured piece for the center.. You could add hooks and things to the surround and leave the center untouched.. Just my 2c 

Forge on and make beautiful things

Jim

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The texture is amazing!  Reminds me of what we call Devil's Walking Stick.

 Maybe you could dig through that Utopia of a scrap pile you have and find some similarly gnarly pieces that could be cold-bent to form the bow/hook so you wouldn't lose the overall look.

Thanks for all those suggestions. Some thinking to do now! I like the idea of splitting the axle but not sure my skills are in line with that.

Vaughn, I could find a few of those gnarly old harrow spikes for the hooks, but I don't know about cold bending. I would maybe forge them with a smooth transition from rough to round. They would match the axle very well:

These things:

 

 

DSC_2434.jpg

DSC_2436.jpg

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The texture is amazing!  Reminds me of what we call Devil's Walking Stick.

 Maybe you could dig through that Utopia of a scrap pile you have and find some similarly gnarly pieces that could be cold-bent to form the bow/hook so you wouldn't lose the overall look.

Thanks for all those suggestions. Some thinking to do now! I like the idea of splitting the axle but not sure my skills are in line with that.

Vaughn, I could find a few of those gnarly old harrow spikes for the hooks, but I don't know about cold bending. I would maybe forge them with a smooth transition from rough to round. They would match the axle very well:

These things:

 

 

DSC_2434.jpg

DSC_2436.jpg

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Aus, if that flat stock is hardened and tempered, you'd need to put in in the fire to take that out, but not a big deal.  As for forging it round... don't.  The hammer will just ruin that beautiful look.

Contrary to most thinking, I've never really liked coat hooks that have a very small cross-section for the coat to actually sit on.  This puts a lot of strain on the fabric and wears it out rather quickly, so I prefer a hook that's nice and wide.  In your case, that flat stock is rather abrasive and has some sharp edges, so I'd be more inclined to weld a small pad of smoother steel on to the portion where the hat/coat will actually rest.

Cold bending is just like it sounds - you bend the metal around a form (barrel) that has a nice curve to it.  The metal will want to spring back a little bit, but that can be easily compensated for: very easy to do if the metal's only around .125" thick, or less.   You can do the same thing hot if you have a metal arc to use as a form (which, of course, you undoubtedly have in your wonderful scrap pile).   Might be better to do it hot so you don't have the metal snap due to all the corrosion.  Just don't hammer on that metal and mess up the texture.

If you weld the hooks onto the main shaft, throw a nice collar around it to hide everything.  Maybe use brass or copper to add a bit of pizzaz.

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I'd forge that as little as absolutely possible!  Arc weld the hooks on and cover the weld with a collar.  (or braze them on and leave the brass showing.)  Is your soil acidic or basic?

Not sure, Thomas. The ground is highly mineralised, and I would guess at more alkaline than acidic. Never had it tested. A lot of our scrap came from all over the place, so I don't know if this particular axle was from here or elsewhere.

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Disappeared . . . AGAIN!! :angry: Three tries, it's getting hard to bring myself to post anymore.

Hot isn't going to damage the texture, forging will. I'd split it with a bandsaw.

If they're med or high carbon they'd make some killer pattern welded billets. Say can welded with powdered steel or saw cuttings and drill/lathe shavings.

I'd have to experiment by tumbling and or sandblasting one tine. The rusty scale would be a BAD thing for a clothes hook.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I feel your pain with these disappearing posts, Frosty. I wrote a reply another thread and it disappeared, all except the picture. Now it won't accept a reply there at all. Makes you cranky.

And yes, I wouldn't leave rusty scale on a clothes hook. Sandblasting works well, as it keeps the texture but removes loose stuff.

Rivets and collars sound like a good attachment method, although I have had minimal experience with either. I like the idea ... then I see the MIG smiling temptingly in the corner.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I reckon I have found the ideal things for the hat pegs on this stand. Found a few old (and I mean old) railway spikes that are badly rusted. They will match the axle well. With the rust brushed off them they look better. They are wrought, but that's OK as I don't have to forge them, just bend to shape.

The ones on the left are 'as found':

 

 

DSC_5133.jpg

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  • 2 months later...

Das, no I haven't. I have procrastinated for a while, wondering what the best solution would be. It's still sitting in the scrap pile surrounded by possible additions to make a hat stand. I do intend to use it before our exhibition of scrap art in late March. I have a couple more the same. Want one?

I like that weathered steel. Here's a piece of 3/4 bar I picked up. I can't make it like that in the forge. 100 years of weathering at least. There must be something I can make from this to highlight its age. The guy picking up our scrap looked at me as though I was crazy, but I see beauty in a thing like that.

 

 

weatherd bar.jpg

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:D I'd love one. the way that thing rusted is beautiful.

I know rust is death to drill bits but what about using and bending some of that flat bar to make the stand and an upper part to connect some of those spike as the hangers by drilling and using a tap to bolt it together to preserve the patina. could use a burr on a die grinder to get past the rust to drill it. could even drill and tap the spikes. just an idea. 

I liked where you were going with this one and was wondering.

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14 minutes ago, Bud in PA said:

That axle reminds me of a Black Thorn staff, the wood that the Irish make their shillelaghs out of.

Now that you mention it, it does. 

That smaller piece would be nice to showcase on its own or with some other similar very rusted pieces in abstract. Maybe mounted to a flat-ish piece of very weathered wood. 

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Here is what our hat/coat rack looks like sorry for the fuzzy pic always happens with this rack.  It is made from my grandpa

And great grandpa and my wife's grandpa and great grandpa's old wrenches.

 

image.jpeg.ac3ab6290534bb98038ab9df88db9image.jpeg.748ef8c6f757456b920049a110c37

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