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I Forge Iron

Scroll then bend or bend then scroll

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I'm doing a single piece of balustrading in as traditional method as possible. I have some 30 x10 mm flat bar which will be scrolled at the end and will go into a sharp bend. When I'm forging this piece am I better to make the scroll, then bend or vice versa?

Thanks in advance, Gareth

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What sort of tooling and forge will you be using?  I have a small post vise that is good to do sharp bends with as it can usually fit inside things like a scroll  without too much deformation.   You might try it both ways with a sample piece and see what is easier for you with your setup.

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As Thomas said, a lot depends on your forge, tooling and skill level.  Also the specific design of the scrolls and the bend.  For example, if you have a gas forge there might be configuration issues with making the scroll after the bend (just how sharp a bend are you talking about anyway?).  If the bend is to be a nicely proportioned right angle bend it may be best to forge each separately and forge weld them together.  If just a simple bend and a coal forge, I most likely would scroll first, as it is easier IMHO to locate the bend precisely from the scroll after the scroll is formed.  Even using the solder trick and a scroll layout on paper, you can sometimes come up with an inexact length of stock used in your scroll (particularly with thicker material}.

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