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I Forge Iron

Curtain Rod Finials

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I'm on the hook to make some curtain rods for my wife (only been three years since the original request - is that too long?).  I don't seem to find much in the way of descriptions or videos on this subject. The threads here seem to be a bit scattered on info (perhaps I missed something).  There seems to be three somewhat different techniques on attaching the finials to the curtain rod: the finials are an extension of the rod material, the finials are inserted *inside* a hollow curtain rod, or finally, the finials have a cap that goes over the end of the curtain rod.  

Any pointers on the best technique for attaching the finials would be greatly appreciated.  

Thanks in advance, 

Iron Rain Forge

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Note: Best is a meaningless term without listing YOUR criteria.  (Would a method that cost more than your house be "best" for you?)

"Hand Forging and Wrought-Iron Ornamental Work", Thomas F Googerty has a number of really nice finial designs in it, (chapters 7&8) spirials,  bulbs, baskets, etc.

I've seen hand forged flowers used as well as foliage. I've even seen old copper toilet tank floats used.

For my curtain rods---made from 5/16 scrap round stock for my rental unit down here on the border. I did a  flat spiral for the ends. For a house with more projecting curtain supports I would have done a pulled spiral or a double pulled spiral.

As for fastening them what are you using for curtain rods?  Tig welding is nice for solid steel and some pipe rods. Riveting works for other pipe rods---or as I did make the finial out of the parent rod stock.

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@ThomasPowers Thanks for the info. I should have worded the plea a bit differently: “What is your preferred method for attaching finials?” I have a variety of curtain rod sizes that are required (from 20mil) and would appreciate any insights. (Most are probably going to be just  plain old 1” black pipe.) 


BTW - I’ll be seeing my daughter over the holidays and will let her know that in the (many) years since she asked a question at a blacksmith meeting Albuquerque, you haven’t changed. You made quite an impression on her and the guys she brought. 

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OK for pipe finials with the finial stock going into the pipe I would drill and tap either a set screw or a  bolt into a tapped hole in the finial stock so they were removable.

Welding on the ends of solid stock I would go with tig.

I will take that as a guarded complement....

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Here's another idea that you might consider to go with your curtain rod,,,  curtain rod hangers.

And also consider curtain rod rings to attach to curtains and slide on the rod.

No matter, always consider the diameter of the ring to the diameter of your finial.  Too small a ring, or too big a finial, and they won't fit.

2015-09-24 17.15.32.JPG

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No steal, given freely.  

Thanks for the compliment.

There is one trick. The bottom of the scroll is a simple forge weld. Simple if you know the steps. 

Verbal are tough, but here goes.

1:Scarf the end of your parent stock.

2: cut it partially thru and fold it over. When done, the scarf becomes the bottom 

3: forge weld it, dont forge it. Meaning, dont lose your mass.

4: use a rounding hammer on the top side to set down your stock and reverse the curve. Now it should be flat on the bottom and your rounding hammer should be able to refine that nice curve on the top side.

No upset needed, and if your forge weld is visable, it's on the bottom out of sight.  ;)

By the way, this is the primary reason a rounding hammer is called a rounding hammer. It can make those really nice rounded concave curves like I have here.

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19 hours ago, RogueRugger said:

okay to steal? 

No problem. Verbals are tough.

Make your simple scarf. The top side us the outside on my bracket, the part you see. 

Come back for your cut as far as you want as this is part of your design. In my case, come back about 3/4" or so. Top side up. Then cut thru most of the way. Fold this back so the two bottom surfaces are in contact. The taper for the scarf is forward, and tapers to the rear.

Sheesh, here's a pic. This should help.

Farriers will recognize this as a variation on the way to do a forge welded calk that will slide, not dig in

The farther back you make your cut, the longer the taper on your scroll will be.


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  • 1 month later...

As mentioned by Thomas, with hollow poles my preferred method is to forge a tenon on the finial so the shoulder sits hard up against the end of the pole for as seamless transition as possible. Drill and thread a hole in the pole to accept a grub screw that will stop the finial from rotating but allows the finials to be removed if the clients to add/remove curtain rings.

I've attached an old sketch of how I make the brackets. (Ignore the bottom sketch). The black circle on the top is another threaded hole to take a grub screw which prevents the pole from rotating or moving side to side.


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