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How do I forge a gecko?


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Hi all,

The wife has a small collection of gecko figurines on the wall. If I want to keep getting "idling" (smithing) time,  I need to prove my worth. Ergo, I need to forge a gecko.

So far, I didn"t mennage to devise a plan. Please help.

My material is flat bars and rods.  I would like most/all the work to be "traditional" forging - hammer, chissel ect. I do have an angle grinder, but I feel that shaping with it is a little cheating. So this is a last resort. Also - Preferably without welding, as I suck at it.


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I did a Google image search for inspiration, and came back with quite a few hits from "metal lizard".

I think that forging it all out of one piece of bar stock in a reasonable amount of time would be a struggle for anyone other than a fairly advanced smith. It would certainly be a growth opportunity for your skills, but there would be a lot of scrap-making and frustration along the way. Not burning off one foot in the forge while you work on the rest is the challenge.

Do you feel that making some cuts in a pre-form would be cheating, rather than chiseling? How about forging the head, body and tail in one piece, and then welding on the legs from smaller stock? Hide the arc welds under the body.

Easiest solution is to cut the body out of thin sheet metal, and hammer the body over a dishing stump. Lots of opportunity to add texture or cut patterns in the body.

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I have tried a few of these, but with mixed success. To forge the body shape from bar stock is quite easy but obtaining the mass for the legs and toes is really difficult without welding.

As John suggested above, you can weld on small legs, flatten the ends in the forge and then chisel in the toes. I usually swell the toes with a bob punch. If your welding is a bit untidy you can always clean up with an angle grinder and flap disc, then put it back in the forge and texture with light hammer blows. That's not cheating - just a means to an end.

You'll have to accept that you may generate a bit of scrap with this project. There are one or two LSO's (Lizard Shaped Objects) languishing around the bottom of my quench tub. Good luck with your work, and let us know how you get on.

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If you embrace arc welding rather than resist you may find your range of design possibilities becomes much more interesting and rewarding. Even the smallest dot of weld can provide sufficient strength for a decorative piece & your insecurities Re: structural welding may prove themselves to be disproved. (Real word?)

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5 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

Don't forget you can rivet and forge braze too!  The top of the rivet can even be part of the "design"---forge it into the shoulder blade of the bestie.

Ooh! Ooh! If you left the rivets a little loose as articulated joints, it would be pose-able! Add a couple more in the neck and tail, and it will be unique.

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