Thursday, May 12, 2011

Ironwork Tips

Ironwork can be used for decoration and security.

Ironwork refers to objects or features made from, or decorated with, worked iron. Of the two main types of ironwork, wrought ironwork is the more accessible, as you need incredibly high temperatures to cast iron, a process usually only done in factories. You can do wrought ironwork with cold metal, although having access to an anvil and forge will help you considerably.

Know Your Anvil

According to the Farrier and Hoofcare Resource Centre, the pointed section of your anvil is called the horn or beak. The ridge above the horn is known as the step. The main working surface of your anvil is a rectangular area referred to as the face. The end of the face is called the heel. A pritchel hole is a small round hole in the face used when punching. The square hole is called a hardy hole. which you use to hold tools.

Master Forge Welding

According to Joe Delaronde et al., you should first rake out any clinker, or used coals, from your fire to leave it "clean." Place the two pieces of iron that you wish to weld together into your forge to heat up. When sparks begin to fly and the iron is a color between pale yellow and almost white, the metal is at welding heat. Remove both pieces with tongs and place them on the face of your anvil. Use a one-pound hammer to fuse the two pieces together with hammer blows.

Make a Pot Hook

A pot hook is an "S" shaped hook, traditionally used for hanging pots. Take a one-foot long piece of iron. Heat up about three inches of the end until it is orange-red. Bend the end over the horn of your anvil by striking it with a hammer. Use tongs on the bent metal to place the piece back in the forge and heat up the straight end. When this is orange-red, bend it over your horn the other way to form the "S" shape.

Add a Touchmark

Blacksmith Lorelei Sims suggests you add a touchmark to your work. This is your signature, initials or business name, plus the year and perhaps even the day and month you made the item. You stamp a touchmark into your work with a manufactured letter stamp set. Sims thinks touchmarks are important because they show you have pride in your work and will help future historians.

Tags: your work, forge heat, into your, will help, with hammer, wrought ironwork