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I Forge Iron

Folding steel shape how?

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I’m hoping to get the forum’s opinion on how to achieve a certain effect in flat bar. I’ve recently been inspired by the work of Fred Crist. I‘ve attached a picture of the piece in question. I’m not planning to copy the work in its entirety but I do like the “folded” section he’s created.


I’m racking my brain as to how to achieve this with any sort of cleanliness? Right now I’m thinking it might work to establish shallow fullers where I’d like the bends to happen, then with as even a heat as possible bend it into a lazy “WWW” shape. Then turn it on end and compress it from there?

Id appreciate any feedback you guys have before I reach out to the artist himself to ask….and/or waste a lot of material in trial and error! 


the work in question: 



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Two things:

 First, Fred is a great guy, and I’m sure he’d be happy to help. 

Second, the shallow fuller is a good idea, if only to mark where you want the folds to be. However, the most important part of making a sharp bend like that is isolating the heat, since metal will bend where it is soft. Depending on your setup, you can either heat the bar in the forge and quench on either side of the fold, or heat just the fold area with an oxyfuel torch. I would recommend doing one fold at a time, as that gives you greater control than trying to do the whole thing at once. 

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Big +1 on the fuller and torch to localize heat. You can see where the fuller was a little deep in the first top bend in the sculpture. There are signs in some of the others but it's pretty clear in that one.

Frosty The Lucky.

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