Sunday, February 10, 2013

Making metal loops in a coal forge

As I mentioned, I've been making these fabric painted heraldic panels, to mark the entry way to our Estrella camp this year. ( Now, while I do great on the fiber side of things, I turned to my husband to figure out a way to display these panels. We decided that he'd make some rebar stakes with metal rings on them, one for either side of a panel, and I'd sew ties to the sides of the panels to attach to the rings.

Hmmm. We had some old rebar, but we didn't have any metal rings. We did however have a bunch of metal rod.
And, we have a small coal forge in the side yard. He cut the metal rod to the appropriate size, and fired up the forge. I thought it might be fun to take pictures of how he transformed the rod into rings, so you could see what he was doing too. It is a neat process!:

He took the piece of metal rod, and stuck it down into the hot coals.

Then he cranked the blower to force air into the forge, to heat things up.

When the metal was hot, he fished it back out again...

...and used a handy hole in the legs of the forge to help him bend the metal rod.

The metal cools relatively quickly, so it went back into the forge to heat back up.

He fished it back out again...

...and this time used another set of pliers to help him bend the metal the rest of the way around into an approximate loop.

One more time into the fire. (I just like these fire pictures, actually.)

He found where the loop was hiding under the coals, and brought it out one more time.

Then he used a hammer and anvil to do the last bit of shaping.

A few more taps, and it is done.

Time to let it cool with the others. He ended up making 42 rings total. That ought to do us!

Once the rings are cool, he can take them into the garage to the welding station, and weld them onto the pieces of rebar.

Yup. That ought to do the trick!


  1. Amazing! Your banners AND the forged rings are amazing!

    1. Thanks!! It was fascinating to watch him work. And now I've got an itch to try it myself. (But *after* the event I'm working on.)

  2. I am so impressed with you and your husband. Both so very talented.

  3. Forges have such mystique! This is a great post, I loved reading about the process :)

  4. Thank you, thank you! We've been involved in the historical recreation community for a couple of decades now. It is fascinating all the strange bits of knowledge that you pick up along the way.