If you don’t know how metal is made into shapes then you tend to think its all about heat and then cooling and oil tanks and all kinds of things you have seen on Forged In Fire on the History Channel. Well that’s what i thought anyway.
Ill let you into a little secret. Shhhhhhhh……most small bends or twists on thinner square bar flat bar or round bar can be done with a little elbow grease and a strong pair of hands. No need for flames forges or specialist tools.
Mill Green Forge in Essendon in Hertfordshire have never steered me wrong and Robin the blacksmith there showed me a few things in this vein and Ive put it to work.
I had to make 4 single twist flat bar pieces to be attached to four fence posts so the customer can run wire lines for vines to grow along. Not only did they need to be thick enough not to bend when put up but also look the same along the fence line.
I put the flat bar in a vice and my vice is very small so i needed to add a thick flat length of metal behind the piece to be twisted so it stays flat at the vice. Then i measured a set distance from the vice’s grip to give enough room for an easy turn which provides the 90 degree bend needed to give the side to be screwed to the fence post as well as the side to be drilled so that the wire can pass through to support vines that the customer wanted to grow along the fence top.
As i needed 4 identical items i did this process exactly the same way 4 times. They all came out uniformly and the bend was given enough room so as not to stress the metal and do its job properly.
As id been told about cold steel bending at a time before i was asked to do this i knew basically how to do it. Again like the wheel burners this seems very simple but if i didn’t know the basics of how it was done then id have used heat and maybe overdone the job to the point where the end result was useless.
The lesson here is to pick up any knowledge you can from people you talk to or buy from or you know that they know more than you. Learning is all about listening to people who know how to do it.
I try and learn all the time and am lucky enough to interact with people who do know how most things are done. Obviously im starting this blog with simple tasks because my progression to more difficult things didn’t come without time and knowledge and hard work so im starting these blogs by passing on simple but very useful tips.
Please share my blog with anyone you may think would be interested as id love some people to read and learn and maybe just maybe give something a go!
I hope you find these blogs helpful they wont all be about teaching. You never know i might just have some fun to!
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