How to Bend Wrought Iron

Bending and shaping wrought iron is the specialty of a blacksmith. Unless you are repeatedly forging the same size bend in a piece of metal--in which case you would want some kind of jig to ensure consistency--the only tools required for bending wrought iron are a metal forge (a very, very hot fire), a hammer and an anvil. With some basic knowledge and plenty of safety equipment, you can make your own wrought iron utensils.

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Things You'll Need

  • Low-carbon steel

  • Blacksmith’s coal

  • Wolf-jaw tongs

  • Metal forge

  • 48-ounce blacksmith’s hammer

  • Shaded eye protection

  • Leather apron or cape

  • Welding gloves

Step 1

Wear all protective equipment, including shaded eye protection, a leather blacksmith's apron or cape, and welding gloves.

Step 2

Grip the steel with the wolf-jaw tongs and hold it in the coals of the fire. Let it sit in the coals until it has reached the desired temperature.

Step 3

Heat the steel until it becomes soft enough to shape with tools. You will know it has reached its desired malleability when the metal glows a bright yellow-orange color. This is its "forging heat."

Step 4

Remove the hot steel with the tongs.

Step 5

Lay the hot metal on the anvil with part of the metal stock extending over the edge.

Step 6

Strike the unsupported stock with the hammer a few times to force it downward. You have just bent wrought iron at a 90-degree angle.

Step 7

Make a rounded bend by wrapping the hot metal around the anvil's horn, tapping it with the hammer so it conforms to the shape of the horn.

Step 8

Continue to shape the bend, by laying the metal on the anvil's surface, turned-end up. If you strike it on the inside of the bend, you will open it up, while striking it on the outside tightens the bend.

Step 9

Refine the bend by bracing it against the horn or the face and side of the anvil (depending on which type of bend you have made).

References & Resources