The mason jar is one of my favorite glasses to drink out of. So one day when drinking out of my jar I decided I needed a handle! So we could call this the upgrade to the hillbilly drinking glass. This is how I forged my mason jar handle I hope every one likes it.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Your going to need a forge, I used my riveters forge that was my great great grandfathers.
Hammers, I used my 3LB cross peen, and a very small ball peen hammer. I dont know the exact size of the ball peen so will will just call it a very small one.
Chisel, make sure its not a carpenters chisel trust me that goes wrong.
Wire brush, This is very important. If you do not brush your steel after you heat it the scale will build up and get forged back into the steel. This can weaken the steel as well as make a very pitted finish.
I used a 5 7/8th long by 18th inch thick piece of steel. I would say that you should cut yours at 6 inches just easier that way.
Step 2: Preping the Steel
Now I could have used a chisel and cut the line in and punched the hole and hand sanded all of the black stuff off. But I kind of cheated I drilled a hole about 2 1/2" in from the steel then cut a line to the hole. This will be used for making the arms of the handle.
then I used the belt grinder to clean it all up just becasue I could. and it helps a little more with the heating of the steel.
Please take note to take all safety precautions! Safety glasses gloves leather aprons are all good safety precautions!
Step 3: Starting the Forge
I start my forge by building a small fire in the center then pilling the coal on top of it all. Then i start slowly cranking my blower. I have learned that it works better to slowly crank your blower trying to pump air in at mock ten burns more coal and is harder on the blower it self. so slow and steady, drink some tea when your cranking to pass the time!
Step 4: Forging the Arms
Start by placing your steel in the forge and taking a good heat. Try to always evenly heat the steel especially when working with smaller peaces, if you cold work the steel it could lead to cracks.
The first thing you need to do is start spreading the arms apart. so you can work on drawing them out. i just used a large cold cut chisel to start spreading them. it is very important to keep everything straight and flat when working the steel always take the time to straiten after each heat.
Then bottom out the cut, this is done by taking ether a round punch and making the bottom of the cut smooth. as I show it the pictures.
then just start drawing out the two arms in till they are 3-4 inches long. You should end up with a T shape once your done with this.
Then its a tea break!
Step 5: Forging the Handle and Making the Arms Fit the Jar.
For the handle I drew out the steel till it was about 8 inches long, then I texturized the handle to give it that wavy hand forged look.
For this part it would be best if you had an anvil with a horn if you don't have a anvil with a horn your going to want to find something to help you shape the curves. What I did here was took the two arms and starting shaping them around the horn to make a ring. I made mine so it threads on and off the jar. You have to keep checking your size and do a lot of adjusting so that it fits just right. This takes a lot of patience, lets just say a few jars might have sacrificed them selves for this project.
as for finishing I let the steel cool down till there was no color in it at all. then wire brushed the whole thing to help smooth it out. after that I set it in some vegetable oil. to help it get a nice finish. you do not want to quench this when its red hot it will make it to brittle.
Step 6: Finishing!
Now enjoy your self an ice cold drink out of your new mason jar mug!
I found this project really fun to make and enjoy! I hope you find it just as fun.
As always thank you for taking the time to look at my project! and I would be honored to have your vote.