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Main pageArticlesClassic Cold Forging Elements

Classic Cold Forging Elements

"Classics" of decorative machine-tool forging

So, what shall you start with if you’ve decided to run your blacksmith shop? Of course, you have to select equipment and other forging tools.

Nowadays, market offers various equipment for decorative forging: machine tools and blacksmith hand tools. Despite the available choice of trade names and manufacturers, all this equipment is ultimately meant for deformation of various metals without preliminary heating – the so-called “cold forging”. Although, in some cases a gas forge or an induction heater is still required. By the way, all these heating devices can substitute a traditional forge hearth reasonably well.

"The range of metal goods, manufactured by means of forging machine or hand tools, does not change often. That is why, one can build one’s own smithery, geared to such thing as “classics of machine-tool forging”. The term “wrought elements” can refer to all types of metalwork end molding: “flat hammered end”, “fishtail end”, and also to different types of railheads: “spike railhead”, “wide base railhead”. A spike railhead is sharp enough to perform guard function, but it is aesthetically flawed.
A wide base railhead has a much more interesting look: flattened base and ornately shaped form. Railheads can be used not only as guard end elements of a fence, gate or wicket, but also as part of some decorative elements."

"Hammered ""ends” are elements, production of which requires high efforts. Therefore, one can either purchase rolled metal products with shaped ends or buy
a machine tool for flattening of ends. For small outputs, it is also possible to use a hand-operated multifunctional press with special mandrels. When designing
a blacksmith shop, one shall also take into consideration the fact that making of railheads and hammered ends requires preliminary heating of metal."

"The above mentioned hammered ends have wide application. More recently hammered ends have become an integral part of various scrolls. Furthermore, a hammered end can be used as an ornamental element in and of itself, conferring a rounded shape (flat or fishtail end) and relief (fishtail end) to a metal bar end."

“Scrolls” of various form and diameter are a very popular element. “Scrolls” are not only a wonderful base for metalwork design, their production is also cost-efficient. Having one machine or hand tool, one can make several types of scrolls. For example:

  • “C-scroll” – both ends of a bar are curved in one direction;
  • “S-scroll” – the ends of a bar are curved in opposite directions, producing a shape that reminds letter S;
  • “coma” or “snail” one end is scrolled and the other is left straight or has a hammered end, if required.

Various scrolls are the most commonly encountered elements of decorative machine-tool forging. They are used to make a wide range of patterns for all kinds of products, from gates to coat hangers. By combining elements one can obtain quite ingenious patterns.

"One more “classic” wrought iron element is various types of rings. Just as scrolls, rings have wide application. Rings can be produced by means of both forging machines and hand tools."

"A “twisted bar” element, which is obtained by longitudinal twisting of a square bar about its axis, can also be referred to as “classic”. Use of twisted bars in ironworks adds originality and unusual touch. The look of straight bar grates compares poorly to those made of twisted bars. Twisted bar elements look good on such ironworks as gates, wickets, fences, window grates, banisters, but they are seldom used in interior metalwork. When selecting forging equipment for twisting metal elements, one must take into consideration parameter of metals one intends to work with and the planned production volume. These are the key determining factors what to buy:       an electrical machine tool or a hand-operated forging tool. By the way the same equipment can often be used for making one more interesting wrought iron element – “basket” (sometimes called “cage”). “Baskets are made of square or round bars, combining 2 to 6 of them."

The above mentioned wrought metal elements are called “classic” for a reason – they are basic elements for all decorative machine-tool forging most widely used in metalwork design patterns. That is why, the forging equipment for manufacturing these “classic” elements is always bought on a first-priority basis.