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I Forge Iron

First attempt at "S" hooks . . please critique my work!


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I am an aspiring Blacksmith here in Central New Yorkistan . . .

 

Been away from the forge for a couple months while I was adding a 24' 2 story addition to my workshop . .  I paint cars, build hot rods and recently . . . . learning the craft of Blacksmithing.  Got tired of working in the cold rain today on the addition and decided to fire up the forge. I made four 6 inch "S" hooks. Started with 12 inch lengths of 5/16" round. Please let me know what I can do to improve these.

 

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Thank you for the kind replies. I am an Engineer (it's a curse) by trade and education so I am pretty anal about anything I put my hand to. But, in my older years I have definitely mellowed.  I was pretty pleased with the results and am glad that you all agree :) I have a crapload of 1/4" and 5/16" round so I will be making a lot more of these. I do not have any square stock in that size range. I will be shopping around for some. But I guess I could put a square to the round stock . .  hmmm.

Thanks again for the kind remarks for my efforts!!

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To make an assortment of twists on these you do not need to go to square, 2 flat sides will work, I often make a wide round flat area in the center leaving a ridge down the center as you often see on leaves, starting with a c shape then 1/2 twist to make an S hook. I like to bring my rat tails clear around to meet the original stock so there is not a hook on the end to catch things.

Your hooks are really nice and consistant.

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Nice job John, well done.

I close the finial scrolls to avoid snagging on things too.

Smaller overall and they'll look more robust. Scaling the finished piece to the stock can have a real aesthetic affect.

Working wise, Depending on what's being hung is how they'll hang in use. Force takes the most direct route so an S hook hung on something it will swing from and carrying something that can swing as well will hang from the longest possible dimension. If a coat is hung from the end of the hook it will cant forward a bit, forcing the bottom hook back and the shaft will appear more out of true.

You can also take into account what it's going to be used for. Hanging a lantern IN a barn might mean making a hook that will hold the lantern away from a wall or well below a beam. A beam hook's top hook might be formed to fit the beam snugly enough it won't swing.

These aren't so much critique of your work but ideas and factors sometimes worth consideration. Depending on if you want to sell a product it can't hurt to have specialty versions for folk with need.

Frosty The Lucky.

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23 hours ago, John Galt said:

Thank you for the kind replies. I am an Engineer (it's a curse) by trade and education so I am pretty anal about anything I put my hand to. But, in my older years I have definitely mellowed.  I was pretty pleased with the results and am glad that you all agree :) I have a crapload of 1/4" and 5/16" round so I will be making a lot more of these. I do not have any square stock in that size range. I will be shopping around for some. But I guess I could put a square to the round stock . .  hmmm.

Thanks again for the kind remarks for my efforts!!

USe the round to make square stock...  or...   I love octagon.   THis also provides a fully hand forged product.   Forged 100% over the entire surface.   it's great practice too.   And at 1/4" and 5/16" you are not going to kill your arm.

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4 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Of course few buyers are willing to pay for the "best quality forging"  Selling $50 pieces for $5 is surprisingly easy to do but very unsatisfying in the long term.

Unless you're the buyer of course.

Seriously, it's better to overcharge than undercharge. I won't go into the value of "bragging rights" part but if folk don't tell you it's too expensive now and then you're not charging enough. Folk who win every bid never stay in business very long, then again neither do folk who never win a bid.

Frosty The Lucky.

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On 12/29/2015 at 4:34 PM, Frosty said:

Unless you're the buyer of course.

Seriously, it's better to overcharge than undercharge. I won't go into the value of "bragging rights" part but if folk don't tell you it's too expensive now and then you're not charging enough. Folk who win every bid never stay in business very long, then again neither do folk who never win a bid.

Frosty The Lucky.

Frosty, what is a fair price for something like this? I posted these pics on my FB and have had several inquiries. I checked E(vil)Bay and saw similar S hooks for $12 a pair plus shipping . . .

On 12/28/2015 at 5:17 PM, Borntoolate said:

USe the round to make square stock...  or...   I love octagon.   THis also provides a fully hand forged product.   Forged 100% over the entire surface.   it's great practice too.   And at 1/4" and 5/16" you are not going to kill your arm.

Sir, that is my plan for the next batch . . . Thanks!! :)

On 12/28/2015 at 4:10 PM, Frosty said:

Nice job John, well done.

I close the finial scrolls to avoid snagging on things too.

Smaller overall and they'll look more robust. Scaling the finished piece to the stock can have a real aesthetic affect.

Working wise, Depending on what's being hung is how they'll hang in use. Force takes the most direct route so an S hook hung on something it will swing from and carrying something that can swing as well will hang from the longest possible dimension. If a coat is hung from the end of the hook it will cant forward a bit, forcing the bottom hook back and the shaft will appear more out of true.

You can also take into account what it's going to be used for. Hanging a lantern IN a barn might mean making a hook that will hold the lantern away from a wall or well below a beam. A beam hook's top hook might be formed to fit the beam snugly enough it won't swing.

These aren't so much critique of your work but ideas and factors sometimes worth consideration. Depending on if you want to sell a product it can't hurt to have specialty versions for folk with need.

Frosty The Lucky.

Thank you Sir! One of the things my Gramps taught me was to recognize the voice of experience and wisdom and then to LISTEN to it!

On 12/28/2015 at 0:02 PM, ThomasPowers said:

I close my counterbends too.  How are you finishing them to prevent rust?

Sir, I have Beeswax, Linseed Oil, and Turpentine. I have to make up a batch of Blackmith Goop . .  I will be referencing th Alchemy subforum for the recipe over the next few days . .

On 12/28/2015 at 7:38 AM, John McPherson said:

A trick to making them a little more rigid if used for hanging heavy items is to slightly flatten the loops, as is often done for earring hooks.

I would second closing the scrolls on the end, to avoid catching small items.

Excellent idea, makes perfect Engineering sense also ;)

 

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20 hours ago, Borntoolate said:

Nice post.  Awesome replies.   NIce reply backs.   Nice challenges and counterpoints...   Sweet!   This is why this website is so awesome!!!

Yes!!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 12/29/2015 at 7:19 AM, flemish said:

I have heard that if you want round stock buy square and if you want square you should buy round.  That way you get a true forged product.  Flemish

What he said!

Since you have 5/16 round, make something out of 1/4 square.

Squaring the stock leaving a good finish is excellent practice.

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To give the ones made from round stock a little more interest you can upset the stock in the middle of the bar and the flatten it out and twist it. The flattened area in the middle should be kind of an oval shape tapering back to the round parent stock. It makes a really nice looking ball shaped twist.

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