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I Forge Iron

Roses 101

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With Valentine's Day right around the corner I would like to make my wife some long lasting roses.

I've seen some beautiful roses made by Daswulf, 58er, and some others.

What are some thing you do to make your roses stand out? I like the detail of the peaned peddles and textured stem.

My current skill level isn't very high, but I'm always looking to try different things. I have never tried to make a flower or rose this this could be an epic fail, or should I say some really fancy scrap iron.

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What kind of tools do you have to work with? 

Just to say I use a plasma cutter to cut out the petals but tin snips could work on some sheet metal. ( there are some petal patterns online if you look, also pre-cuts) 

Mig welder for attaching my leaves and thorns. ( haven't done it any other way)

OA torch to heat the petals for shaping. I have used a map gas bernzomatic hand held torch before. Also small scrolling pliers/ needle nose pliers to shape them. ( keep some water handy to cool the pliers often) 

Other than that it's all forge, hammer, chisel and hot cut. Spring fuller can be a bit helpful but not a necessity. 

Others may (probably do) make them differently. 

I've not tried the one piece or forging out the petals. 


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4 discs cut into 5 petals and a 4 point "star" for the "sepal" part. Yeah basically. Have seen roses made a couple different ways. Technicusjoe has a video of making them on his youtube channel by more of a forged process. Good technique. 



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Thanks Guys. I have all the basic tools (scroll tongs, MIG welder, OA torch, ect.) I was assuming the leaves just got welded on and then the welds cleaned up. I wasn't sure if the thorns were the same, apparently so. I don't have any type of detail grinder, how hard will it be to clean up the welds with a 4 1/2"? Or is that all file work?

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Like Das said, 4 discs (or 3 will do for a start) cut from mild steel. (Suggest you avoid stainless until you've had some practice). Make the discs progressively smaller - eg 100mm, 80mm, 60mm  40mm etc, but the sizes are arbitrary. Drill a 6mm hole in the centre and  cut towards that centre hole to make 5 petals. (72 degrees if you want to be precise, but it's OK if they are not perfectly equal). It's handy to make a plastic template for this if you intend doing a few.  Round off the corners of the petals a bit to make them easier to overlap.

I usually put the blanks into the forge to a dull red and texture the petals. Be careful - it's thin metal and easily burnt.

For the stem I use 6mm round bar, textured, or at least with the smoothness taken off. I weld a stop about 15mm down from the top of the stem. Put the sepal star-shaped disc on and then slip the petals discs on that, large one first of course. I then get the whole thing to an orange heat in the forge and peen down the top of the stem to grab the petals tightly. Then bend each hot petal upwards and overlap them. Needle nose pliers are useful to bend the lips of the petals over. Sometimes you have to repunch the centre if things become loose.

Forge a few leaves with serrated edges and you're done. Thorns (pointing downward) look good, but I have never done any of those.

A brush with brass can look good, or finish as you desire. Heat colours are nice too.

I guess there are lots of ways of forging roses , but that's my take on it.

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My thorns are just cutoffs of the leaf stems. I tack them on then build them up a bit then a little grinding. 

You could use a 4 1/2" grinder to clean up but be Very careful! And lock it in a vise!

I use 3" roloc discs on an angle die grinder, and recently started using a small pnumatic belt grinder. Dremmel is also an option. Files are the safest bet and will do a great job with a little patience so that is what I'd recommend to start with.

Here is a pic with the thorns and leaf assembly just tacked on. 


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Thanks for the picture Daswulf, that helps a lot. Maybe I shouldn’t have called this Roses 101. I understand the basic concept, just trying to think of the extra little things to add. 

I like to have ideas and plans in my head before I ever start the forge, that way is something doesn’t work out I can just roll into plan B. 

I like the serrated edges on the leaves, I hadn’t thought of that and it adds nice detail. 

Thanks for the detail description ausfire. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I figured I would update this with what I ended up with for my first rose, well actually my first 2. It turned out to be quite a bit easier then I was anticipating. So this is what I made




I’m fairly happy with them. I still need to add some thorns and the leaves. I have the pieces cut out and am going to make a couple more with more of an open layout. Justbtobhelp amyone else our that may be looking, I essentially used ausfire’s dimensions which are below. 



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I just found this post and thought I'd add a few pics of my rose sculpture I made as a Valentine's Day gift.  It was well received!  

I ended up just heating the rose and stem to red to uniformly scale it - but I was wondering if anyone has had rust issues over time and added a finish like wax or similar? I don't really like the idea of painting it. I'm thinking I'll leave it be - and if rust ever does become a problem - I'll run it out to the shop and heat and re-scale it.

I have fallen into a routine of making a sculpture for the last 3 years.... I better start planning for a larger fireplace mantle to display them -lol.


Rose 3.JPG

Rose 1.JPG

Rose 2.JPG

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Nice tdriack.

I've been using a flat engine or exhause clearcoat that can be found at autoparts stores. It leaves the metal look but also protects it. You could use a wax as well. My early ones I made, I used the beeswax/BLO,/turpentine mix on. But for sculptures and especially with harder to get to areas I've been using the flat clearcoat with success. The exhaust and engine clear is more pricy but its worth it to me being more durable. 

On 2/10/2019 at 8:52 PM, Fowllife said:

I still need to add some thorns and the leaves. 

Fowllife, Ever get pictures with the leaves and thorns on? They look nice. Way better than my firsts. 

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Nice sculpture tdriack

Sorry Daswulf, your right I should have posted finished photos. I liked the more open face better so that is the one I ran with. I ended up giving one of the “practice” ones to my buddy to that was over helping cut some fire wood so he could give to his wife. I got them hot and finished them all with beeswax. I only ended up detailing the stems on the “good” one that I gave to the wife. It ended up being turned into a business card holder for her desk at work. I’m not a huge fan of the transition on the end for the leaf card holder, but it’s what I came up with with limited time. I still need to refine my leaf making, I’ve probably made less then a dozen so far. The stems are out of 1/4” square stock, small leaves out of 1/2” round, and the larger leaf card holder out of 1/4” plate. I use what I have.





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  • 5 months later...

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