Forging a Scorpion From a Lag Bolt




About: Hi, I'm stephen, I'm a certified welder, working on my machinists cert, and working part time at a hardware store. Mixing in all of that with my hobbies of blacksmithing and knifemaking, only makes for more...

Part two of my blacksmithing series. How to forge a scorpion from a lag bolt.

these things are fairly quick to make (when you get used to them), look cute, and sell fairly well as you can price them for a fairly low price, and still get money for your time and supplies.

Have fun with it !

Part 1 in the series was forging a J hook -
Part 3 will be forging an S hook

Step 1: What You Need.

You need - 
   -basic forging supplies (forge, anvil, hammer, tongs, chisels, punches, etc.

   -lag bolt (I like 3/8"x3", but you can use what you want for different sized scorpions). If you use galvanized lag bolts, make sure you soak them in vinegar at least for a day. If you try to forge them without removing the galvanization with acid, the zinc fumes from the galvanization are POISONOUS!

    -spray paint or beeswax (for finishing. On this one I'll use paint, but I typically use the beeswax finish. Namely, melting beeswax over the warm metal)

Step 2: The Tail End

Heat it up, and begin flattening. flatten the tail end (the pointy side) first. After it's flattened, you need the bring the end to a point.

Step 3: Flatten

Go ahead and flatten the rest of the lag bolt now. When it's nice and flat, as well as evenly flat, make sure everything is nice and straight. As you can see in the photos, the head became askew some, but I fixed that by heating it, clamping the head in the vise, and driving the lower portion in the correct direction.


Step 4: Make the Claws

Split the flattened head partially down the middle. Then use the chisel to cut a groove down the middle of each little "wing" . If I confused you here, look at the pics.

Step 5: Embellishments

use a small punch to punch in the eyes. Then use a flat tipped round punch right at the end of the cut from splitting the claws, this will give almost a little beak look when you bend the claws.

Now you heat the head, and using pliers, twist them around so the groove is facing out. and bend them out a little until they look nice. take a little time and mess with them till they look good.

Step 6: Curl the Tail

using pliers or your anvils horn (I like to use the horn now that I've learned how to place my blows, but early on in teaching myself blacksmithing, I used pliers), curve the tail of the scorpion up and over. Try to give it a nice wicked curve. Once again, play with it a little till it looks good,

Step 7: Finishing

Now, your done. Wire brush it real good, and finish it in one of two ways. Either give it the beeswax finish I described in my J hook instructable, or do as I did on this one, and spray paint it a nice glossy black.



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    24 Discussions


    4 years ago on Step 7

    cool. not going to make it since I have no forging skills, but it's cool. And using the screw: good idea.

    Yeah. But those torches waste a lot of energy for work on something like this. If you can, order some kaowool (google it, it's a high temp insulating fiberous material) and use it to line the inside of a large coffe can. Run the torch in through a hole in the side, and run it on low, that should waste less energy, and get things hotter. 

    Here is a simple tutorial about a forge like I described


    My grandpa dosnt use the cutting torch he just let's me play with it sometimes
    So the efficiency dosnt really matter that much. And what do you use for an anvil I'm just gonna make one from the 1/2 inch steel plates he has that I cut up to make shapes and stuff

    I have two anvils. One is an old small 40-50 LB anvil. The face is all scarred, but I got it for free. The other one is a 53 LB round chunk of mild steel. Because the actual anvil is all scarred, but the good steel makes it better for forging, I use the real anvil as the forgin anvil, and the round one for finish forging.


    I told my local ag agent I was looking for an anvil. And when he was at a farm, he noticed one laying by the barn unused. He asked the farmer if a young beginning blacksmith he knew could use it, and I was given it on the condition that I couldn't ever sell it for scrap. Basically a permenant loan.


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Good project. Just thought it should be mentioned, please don't use galvanized bolts. It doesn't take much zinc in your lungs to make you very sick or even kill you. It wasn't that long ago that we lost one of our best.

    1 reply

    7 years ago on Introduction

    It's great to see someone of your age pursuing a great hobby like this. Thanks for sharing - this is great!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    You should link-back to your J-hook in the last step of this project, since you mention it.

    Also, this scorpion would make a sweet coat hook, just like a J-hook! I'd love to have a few of these crawling up my wall, waiting to hold my hat or coat!

    2 replies

    You bring up an interesting point, I haven't done it yet, but I intend to figure out a way to make liitle guys like these, but make em so they can be used as wall hooks. Thanks for reminding me, I'll try to figure that out when I'm forging this saturday.