Jump to content
I Forge Iron

What did you do in the shop today?

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 18.3k
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

  • ThomasPowers


  • Daswulf


  • JHCC


  • jlpservicesinc


Top Posters In This Topic

Posted Images

6 hours ago, Frazer said:

I also repaired one (and destroyed one) basket twist. The one I fixed had thicker round stock and i broke out the welder to reattach a couple strands.  I have been having a lot of trouble with the second weld when the mandrel isn't keeping everything in place...  Any suggestions? It seems they just don't wan't to stick like the first bundle which always seems to go well. 

What mandrel?? 

It might simply be a "Nomenclature" thing. 

Simple observation is to heavy of a hammer hit setting the welds, and not hot enough or a combination there of.. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yea, I'm probably using the wrong term there, but I'm talking about that piece of round stock that you wrap the bundle around to make the first weld, then remove for the second. 

You'e probably right, I'll try using my little 1lb-er on the next one. As for the heat, Maybe I'm fooling myself into thinking that I'm at a welding temp when really its only the strands, and not quite all the way through. Ill give it a shot, thank you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I get it.   Are you using the method I show in the video or something else? 

I personally avoid using a center rod that has to be removed (yes it's a mandrel). 

There is a method out there that works pretty well with a mandrel to keep the round rods centers so they don't collapse onto each other when welded.. for this you cut the sections into about 3/4" long, stack them up inside the rods with the last one being the filler piece for the weld.  If you have baskets that are collapsing at the ends this can be a great tool to use, but I find if I keep an eye on that little fill piece as i am welding I can avoid the collapse. 

You leave these filling pieces in until the both welds are complete then remove the 3/4" pieces by opening a little space for them to fall out of. 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am using the method showed in one of your videos where you had used a mandrel, but instead of a filler piece, I am doing a scarfed piece at both ends. I need the extra length at both ends since it's not being used as a handle. I do have some trouble keeping an eye on the end of the scarf for the the second weld sometimes, so I think I am missing the spot I should be hitting and just squishing the rods, then they end up burning away while I am trying to fix the bad weld. At a certain point, once it gets all covered with ash, they just wont stick. My forge isn't very big or deep so it doesn't keep a clean fire for welding for long. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you change the method or the order of the steps it will change the outcome. It doesn't have to, but the way it was laid out was the most consistent for most people for the item shown. 

If you are looking to add another bar to the end like for an element in the middle of a bar this method shown breaks down because it wasn't designed for it.  

the weight of the bar on the other end when taking a welding heat can move all the pieces out of alignment.    So use the exact method shown and then you will have to do a lap weld for second shaft part on the other end. 

So, ideally the mandrel is used to weld the very end where the finial would be placed..  The finial can be welded on just after the rods are welded together and before the mandrel is withdrawn if proper technique is used so the mandrel does not get welded inside the bundle..   You can use a stainless steel rod in the center of the bundle is you are worried about the mild steel mandrel being welded inside if the technique is not clean.  

if you can watch the video on the Herb hook as for how light the taps are when setting the weld.    I'm welding 3 round 5/16 bars together.. it is so much easier with a swage, but I didn't even use one.   You can here the guy ask if that was the weld, it was that quick and light. 

So,  there are methods that would need to be changed in order to make it work in a different scenario. 

Draw a sketch or take a picture of what you are trying to make happen and we can work on it if you'd like. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I actually just watched your second basket twist video where you add the plate in the middle of the twist, that was very cool! I think ill need a little more practice before trying that extra complication, but it did give me some things to think about. I was following the method in your video entitled ""How To" Forge a Blacksmith Twist Handle (Basket) for those Who have not Mastered forge welding."

I wont embed the video itself, since it is long and I'm not sure how that would affect the loading speed of the page for other users. Only was scarfing and welding in both sides instead of just one (with very limited success). 

I do like the lap weld method for adding additional length at the other end of the twist. Its like welding on the reins for tongs, but I didn't think to do that here.. I'm going to try some of the things you have suggested and see how it goes, and if things still don't improve I'll draw up some things and share them with you outside of this thread. Thank you very much for your help and for sharing some of your knowledge with people like myself. 

Sorry everyone for getting a little off topic here. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Nice work shoshinjoe.  Looks like some mighty fine work on the draw knife..  Preference wise,   I like my draw knife handles angled more at a 90 in the corners but it's just a style thing..  Love the Owl too..  Some really nice work..  did you use a fuller to set in the cutting edge to the draw knife or peen of hammer? 

I had looked years ago at different styles and it was interesting to say the least how they changed over time and they also got lighter.. I think it had to do with Cast steels becoming more easily able to attain.  Vs wrought iron steeled.  I did notice that larger ones seemed to follow the older patterns and the newer lighter, finer ones used the hollow bevel aspect. 

Frazer,  this forum is one of the most off topic, come back around places I have been to.   Have you been on a thread where it's about one particular thing and you strike a funny bone..  Oh, that is a ride into a topic happening near the moon and back.. But somehow the topic gets back around to.. 

A great understanding of forge welding completely opens doors into another world of design..  The method used in the video you watched first is only one approach that can be applied to really fine wired handles..  

Mild steel today complicates things some but with the right eye, all of it is possible. just takes a little longer..  Wrought iron welded to itself looks like the same bar to start out with.. those days are gone though.. Well unless you have a stock pile. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


I forged this out of a 5/8" car spring yesterday. The blade is 5". The quench today resulted in an impressive warp. Managed to straighten it during the tempering. It seems to have a vague knife like quality. So far, so good. I'll also try to resize the picture.

Resize photo from 971X547 to 550X309


Edited by Mod30
Not sure how to resize the picture.
Link to comment
Share on other sites


It looks like you spent quit a bit of time and effort both designing and building your forge. I like your "swirlivator" to mix the gas and air. Not to be negative but it looks like it is fairly high up. Why ?    I bet you wish you had had your new welder when building the base! 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks, Old Crew.  It has to be after the Gas inlet and I don't like bending over all that much.  It won't be in harms way there..............and if it is, it'll be easy to lower.   A big "yup" on your comment about the base.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It has been a tough week and I was feeling depressed. So I was browsing through some posts here and came across a video of a JABOD variation with nothing more than an old hair dryer a piece of pipe and a few bricks.  My forge build has been on hold for a while because I am OCD/ADD and anal.  Its a bad combo.

So this evening I went out and built a forge in about 1/2 an hour. I stole a hair dryer from the bathroom (alright I asked) and I had some old bricks.  I set some bricks as a floor on a rolling cart and put a pipe surrounded by bricks on the floor. A few more bricks to contain the fire and I had a quick and dirty forge!    Fuel ?    All I had was some charcoal briquettes  and a bag of coke  that I bought a few weeks ago at a blacksmith demo. No coal they had sold out.  I put a few of the briquettes in a used my torch to start them and put some coke on top. Before long I had fire!    Soooooooo  What to forge with  my new found fire ?  I needed a good beginner project  Like a SWORD!   My small amount of common sense won.  So I took a piece of 1/2 round rod and forged it square for a couple inches then did a square taper from 1/2 down to about 3/16.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

wow, Chris that is excellent.. A blown forge, way to go.. I'm sorry i missed the build thread on it.. I'll have to check it out for sure. 

Old Crew You won't need much more than that starting out.. I'd put a little longer pipe on it, just so you can shut it off between heats but that will work well for a little while till you get totally hooked. 

Beautiful work LBS..  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I forged a hammer head at a friends shop with his help and a 200# Beaudry for my first project. Very little hand hammering . So I figured that squaring and drawing to a taper would be a good beginner lesson on hammer control.  I didn't have as much heat as I would have liked. Maybe not enough hairdryer or not enough coke or not enough experience in building a fire.  


The hair dryer is not connected to the pipe. It is just blowing into it no heat transfer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Mod42 changed the title to What did you do in the shop today?

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...