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Playing with fire: Sucking the heat out of the bar

Today the anvils are so cold I’m having to work much quicker and heat up the bar more frequently as the anvil is sucking the heat out of the bar.

.lesson 6 1


First I need to finish dressing the bar to make the sides smooth and flatten out the dents.
Then cut off the end with a grinder – so it’s square not oblong – followed by rounding off all 4 corners of the indent before the twist.

lesson 6 3

Lock the rod into the corner of the anvil to round the corners with the hammer

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Round off the ends next to the square

lesson 6 4


lesson 6 5

Warm up the bar

lesson 6 2

Put the end in the vice

With pliers twist the rod 90 degrees

The end is now on the left hand side and needs to be centred


Heat the rod and put it on its right side with a hammer and a crisp blow moving it across to the middle

Rounding the square with a swage

Now warm it up and make the square 7-sided

lesson 6 6

Make sure the bar is square on the anvil

Use a 5/8 inch swage to help round it

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Only round the edges of the sides not the corners as need to be a crisp geometric disc

lesson 6 8

Always hit onto the anvil and roll gently levering the bar so it makes an even circle and the anvil is doing the work.

lesson 6 10lesson 6 9

Playing with Fire: Don’t touch the clinker

These are the lessons I’ve learnt after a further three hours in the forge:

second lesson 8


Create a volcano shaped fire

Don’t dig too deep

Don’t touch the clinker

Keep the anvil clean

Keep the metal yellow

Don’t immerse metal in water unless you really have to

second lesson 3

Hammering Technique

Wear glasses so you can see what you’re hammering

Don’t use  too heavy a hammer or you’ll get tired and inaccurate

Hammer from 45 degree angle

Keep your thumb behind the handle

Keep you hand two thirds down the hammer until you’re any good

Only have your hand at the end of the handle to give heavy blows

Try to hit hard and accurately

Don’t make the metal too thin or it will fall off and you have to start again…

second lesson 10