Forging a Plant Basket Hanger of 3 Railroad Spikes

Introduction: Forging a Plant Basket Hanger of 3 Railroad Spikes

About: I am Joe, a blacksmith from the Netherlands

In this video I have captured how I forge a plant hanger of 3 American railroad spikes.
These spikes have been sent to me by friends in the US.

In essence; this plant hanger has been produced by forge welding 3 spikes together and then forging this bar into 3 sections: the arm, back plate and C-scroll. They are still attarched to each other. I then hot-cut the bar apart and forge the 3 components more.

Materials list:

3 railroad spikes
anvil & stand
rounding hammer
Ball pein hammer
various tongs
block brush
leg vise & stand
round & square hot punch
Hot chisel
Copper cutting plate
Round cone hardie
cut-off Hardie
welding goggles shade 5
collar mandrel
soap stone
center punch
bolster plate
brass callipers

Step 1: Forge Welding 3 Railroad Spikes Together.

The 3 railroad spikes get scarfed on the end so they can be forge welded together.
I don't bother upsetting the ends for more material, because that doesn't matter in this case.

It doesn't affect the production if the bar gets a little skinnier where the welds are.

As long as the weld is solid, it's all as it should be.

No fluxes are used to forge weld.

Step 2: Forging the New Bar Into 3 Sections

The newly welded bar gets forged into 3 sections:

-The back plate
-The arm
-The C-scroll

I do this by selectively drawing out the parent bars or giving it more width and less length.
I can easily control the flow of material and shape it to the part I need.

Step 3: Separating the 3 Components and Forging Them to Size

The forged bar gets hot cut in 3 separate pieces. These new pieces will be forged to their final shape.

-The back plate gets decorated with a fleur de lis on the top and bottom and gets the holes punched to to have the arm and C-scroll attached to.

-The end of the arm gets upset (blacksmith terminology) in a bolster plate to create a shoulder and the tenon joint. The other end of the arm is drawn out, after which it gets turned into a hook. For light decoration, the middle of the arm has been twisted.

-The C-scroll is made and then the hole placement is lined out. I then unroll the C-scroll and punch the hole. After the hole has been punched and checked, the C-scroll gets rolled up again.

Step 4: Joining the Parts

After all parts have been finished, they can be joined. The arm is attached to the back plate with a tenon-joint and the C-scroll with a rivet. The C-scroll and arm are then held together with a collar I forged of the remaining materials of the 3 railroad spikes.

Then it is cleaned up and is ready for use!

This description as well as the video is much shorter than the actual production is. The video would be much longer if I included ALL steps. This also counts for the description here, it would become a book as much as I can write about it.

But in essence you can see how I produce this product.

I hope you enjoyed it and have learned a thing or two.

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    4 Discussions


    5 years ago on Introduction

    that's pretty freaking sweet. makes me want to start building a forge right now!