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I Forge Iron

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I've been busy rebuilding a rusty 1980 Jeep CJ7 since last fall...needed a few graduation presents so I pounded out a pair of oak and iron benches/end tables/small coffee tables/firewood.  The oak is 2" thick, legs are textured 1 1/4" steel tube, leg wraps are 1/4" round, tapered both ends.  The legs set out at 5 degrees...the concrete is wet

 

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Look into a way to make your own turnbuckle. A long bolt with a hand made wing nut will work. Use short threads on both ends of the bolt and maybe twist the center section of the bolt. 

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They make left and right handed tap and die sets. They are affordable from Erwin tools. Many places don’t know they make them but they do. I was quoted a crazy price for a custom set in 3/4” for making adjustable packsaddle trees, but Erwin wanted the same price for left and right handed sets. So hand forged turnbuckles are certainly doable. Note forging square to round is easy, but forging to speck a PITA with out a die set. If you don’t want to go to that trouble square stock that matches round on the diagonal makes interesting threads. Not supper high strength but plenty strong for this application.

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I agree with Mr. Powers, altho I did not consider the turnbuckle a point of "style" when I was putting these benches and a previous 8' bench together.  When several people sat in the middle of the previous bench (pictured below) the center of the oak would deflect down, causing the legs to scrape outward on the floor.  Steel feet on the legs, even with patches of leather glued to the bottoms, will scratch a customer's floor - the turnbuckle completely eliminated the flex.  The fellow for whom I made the 8' bench, and especially his wife, were so thrilled with the how the iron complimented the wood and the wood carried its own message...well, you get the idea.  Including the turnbuckle on these two smaller benches, altho not needed structurally, just seemed "right".  You are welcome to incorporate this idea into your work; I know I used a previous poster's use of a bridge turnbuckle in his work...swedge

 

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I remembered the earlier bench and noted that these benches were short and heavy and probably did not need the turnbuckle for structural reasons; but rather for  keeping the "look" the same AKA "Style".

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Thanks for your comments, master crudge.  My next bench/table will likely incorporate automotive tie-rod ends somewhere in the leg structure...just have to figure out how to do it.  Someone out there who reads this may beat me to it, but I'm good with that - just be sure to post photos so I can comprehend, since I'm a blacksmith, not an artist !!

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And there I was a few weeks ago, lying on my back, looking up at jeep steering components, thinking "run a tie-rod bar thru the power hammer, making it square or octagonal, put in a few twists, sink the swivel joint, sans grease collar, into a table leg cross-brace" - starting to sound steam-punk...more beer (VooDoo Ranger, because I am one)...it"s Friday; but then, I'm retired...

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