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Using traditional blacksmithing techniques, make a hook to hang things in your home!

This is my first instructable, made in ye olde village smithy at The Crucible. This hook design is taught in the beginner blacksmith's class. This is intended as a teaser for the full class, which will go much more in-depth on the specific techniques addressed here.

Be Wary! Treat all metal within a shop as if it is hot. You're working with very hot objects and serious damage can happen if you don't know what you're doing. Wear gloves! Wear eye protection!

Wear earplugs!!!!!

Step 1: Gather Tools

You will need:
1. A forge (I used propane, but gas will work)
2. Blacksmithing hammer (10 lb)
3. Tongs 
4. Anvil 
5. Punch
6. Twisting Wrench

Step 2: Place Metal in Forge

Getting a good heat is the key. You want a cherry-red-orange as your optimal working temperature. Be careful-everything in a blacksmithing shop can hurt you!

Use your tongs to place the material in the forge, and let it heat up. Gloves highly recommended. 

Step 3: Flatten Wall-Hanger Portion

Remove metal from forge using tongs. Firmly grasp the end with your tongs and place the metal about 1 inch overlapping with the edge of the anvil. Hit the metal with your hammer using consistent, overlapping blows. It will give you a nice shoulder and a flat space to mount your hanger to the wall.

Be sure to hold your bar level with the anvil! It should thicken to approximately 1/2 inch wide, with a good shoulder to mount on the wall. 

Step 4: Punch Screw-Hole in Flat Portion

Reheat the wall-hanger end to a nice cherry-red, and ready your punch. Use a punch plate to preserve your anvil.

Place punch in desired location and use it to pin your hanger to the plate, and punch through the metal with a few hammer blows. Be sure to hold the punch completely perpendicular to the anvil face to get a clean puncture.

Step 5: Taper the Other End

Now, place the other end of the metal in the forge and get to a nice cherry red. Angle your metal at a 45 degree to the anvil.

Swing your hammer with angled blows, and draw out the end of the material to a taper. This should be done with multiple heats. Continue to draw the end out until you have a nice taper, about three inches long. 

Step 6: Create Your Scroll Tip

Reheat your metal.

With the shoulder of the metal facing upward, place the tapered tip over the edge of the anvil. With light glancing blows, bend it slightly around. 

Flip the material, and hit the metal towards you to get a scroll tip. The material should be against the anvil, and the angle should dictate how the curl looks.

Hammer control is very important! At the tip, you should use light strikes, but as your angle steepens, and you get towards the thicker material, your hammer blows should increase in magnitude. 

Step 7: Bend Your Hook Around the Horn!

This is a pretty fun trick. You get to use the horn of the anvil, which gives you a nice curve. 

Rotate your material 180 degrees, and lightly start to curve the material about the horn on the anvil. Use glancing blows, and hit just over the edge of the horn, without directly striking on it. You're creating a smooth curve that will form into a J shape.

This is pretty tricky to get a nice curve, so work slowly, and don't be afraid to take another heat.

Step 8: Decorative Hot Twist!

This is possibly one of my favorite parts of blacksmithing. Put your material into the forge, and get a nice even heat. 

Take it out, and put the J portion into a vise. Do this quickly, as the heat will bleed into the vise, and mess up your bend. 

Grab the upper end with your twist-tool. You can use a pipe wrench if need be, but be careful to twist it evenly. 

Now, Twist! Give it a full 360 rotation. Be sure to keep the angle of twist parallel to the ground, or your bend will be skewed. Be sure to align the original angles of the material for a full rotation, or you will have some funky angles. 

Dont't be worried when your metal starts to shed scales. It's just molting. The scales are a natural part of growing up. They will come off in hot flakes. 

Step 9: Finishing Touches!

Your work is complete. Make sure to align your piece. 

Place your shoulder flat against the anvil and note if there is any wobble. I balanced mine with a hammer. Feel free to heat it up, pick it up with tongs, and try and hit it flat against the anvil. 

If you've got a wire wheel, brush off all the slag and flakes that you worked into it. It'll turn into a nice sheen.

Be sure to clear coat! Polyurethane spray paint works well. Otherwise, your hanger will rust. 
<p>That is very cool</p>
<p>I have seen metalwork done with a piece of rail at a midevil festival I also found a simple build for a forge https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Mini-Forge/ looks like it was done with a break drum</p>
I can't see most of us having access to the proper tools, but maybe substitutions could be made. An acetylene torch with a rosebud tip could suffice, I suppose. Harder to get a nice even heat, but if a guy worked at it, I think it could be done. Maybe an old fashioned coal fabricated, and a bellows or electric blower added to get the higher temp. The one tool that would be pretty much a necessity would be a good anvil. Maybe something else could be used, like a piece of rail from some old tracks could be made to work. At any rate, it seems like a fun little project that is also useful.
<p>You really can't forge well with a torch. You can make a forge out of a can and some insulation. There are instructables here for that. You can make one out of a 30 lb propane tank and insulation, check the internet. Even if you got hotter with an oxy-acetylene torch, it wouldn't work well. You won't get even, sustained, workable heat.</p>
Also if you get a large pair of metalworking round nose pliers you can taper the point of the short end of the J hook and use the round nose pliers to round the pointed end so it has a fancy looking tip to it.....!!!
Good point! Forgot about the metal pliers. Not sure if there were any in the shop, though..
Just a suggestion something to think about for the next round of making J hooks...! <br>
Good point! Forgot about the metal pliers. Not sure if there were any in the shop, though..
Excellent! I have a few tips for you though. <br>1) Use a magnet to find the proper temperature. When your steel is hot enough it will no longer be attracted to the magnet. It is hard to find cherry red in direct sunlight. <br>2) Bounce your hammer. Swinging a 10lb short sledge will kick your arse in about 10 minutes. Let the hammer do the work for you. <br>3) Get a rhythm. With it you can get MUCH more done. <br>4) You can treat your steel with a bit of oil, like 3 in 1 , and it will prevent rust.
Thanks for the tips! Will try the oil quench. <br> <br>Heh, It's pretty hard to get a rhythm when i'm taking pictures of each step!
Thanks for the tips! Will try the oil quench. <br> <br>Heh, It's pretty hard to get a rhythm when i'm taking pictures of each step!
Thanks for the tips! Will try the oil quench. <br> <br>Heh, It's pretty hard to get a rhythm when i'm taking pictures of each step!
hey I have made a few of these at the crucible before!
Excellent Post I made over a dozen of these as nail style that you pond into wood....certainly the screw hole type is easier to make and more people friendly.... <br> <br>I hope you post more Blacksmith stuff...!!! <br>
what size bar stock?
Incredible work. Beautiful Hooks. Thanks!
Nice job! I like to heat and dip the finished work in recycled (insert 'old, used') engine or cooking oil. it puts a water/rust resistant layer on the piece, absorbs into the surface pores of the steel and darkens it evenly. Thanks for the clear and informative pictures. my camera doesn't work so well with glowing steel. Cheers!
Great looking hanger!
cool :)
I want an anvil!!!
Great! I am always jealous as soon as I see a picture of someone's anvil.
Nice work.
Beautiful work of art! Thank you for sharing your techniques. I envy your shop. Lucky dog! :-)

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