Hammered Effect Mild Steel....

Hello,
I am starting a new project: entrance door of home. The door will be very rustic\colonial in nature. Part of the design
incorporates "fake" strap hinges at the top and bottom amd maybe one in the middle. They will be approximately 26 to 28 inches long and about 2 1/2 to 3 inches wide. They have a heart or bean shape at the end. Enuf of the boring details.... What I want to do is create a hammered look on the face of these "hinges." Heat um up and strike them with what? I don't have a forge YET. I do have an oxy\acetylene rig but don't if it would be useful in this situation. I also have an outdoor wood furnace I heat my home and shop with. Would the coal bed inside it be useful?
Tips and Suggestions Wanted, Ed Also, What would be a fair price to have a door knocker ring made by a local smith? The ring would be about 6-8 inches in diameter and fatter at the bottom than at the top.
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Why not just buy hammered hinges off the shelf.
King Metals sells them as do many other architectural suppliers.
try www.kingmetals.com
and www.indital.com
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wrote:

Blasphemer!
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wrote:

Don't ! One day you might learn some smithing, and then you'd be horrified at the mess.
Smithing doesn't have a "hammered" look like this. Good smiths put a bit of effort into neat clean surfaces, not making it look like plasticine with a child's thumbprints all over it! There is a _textured_ look to hand ironwork, particularly in real iron, that you don't get in machine rolled steel, but this can't be replicated just by hitting it.
If it were mine, then I'd either draw the bar down to get some surface texture onto it (which is real smithing) or I'd apply a surface patina afterwards. I certainly wouldn't go around hitting it randomly.
I'd probably finish it something like this (the brown one): http://codesmiths.com/shed/armour / That's well cleaned beforehand to take the mill scale off, maybe sandblasted, then slathered with "rusting paste" (salt, vinegar and pickles) and left to rot for a week. Then oil it. The surface is still "smooth" (i.e. undented) but it's no longer as glassy-smooth as factory steel. It also hides the difference between rolled surfaced and cut surfaces.
If you want it for outdoors, then hot-oil it, heating sections with your torch and wiping them with old engine oil on a paper towel. Repeat until black.
Like the hinges here: http://codesmiths.com/shed/things/boxes/sarah /
Outdoor steelwork really needs a paint-like coating on it. You might achieve this by oil alone, but something you bought in a can is often a quicker and more reliable route. I use bitumen roofing felt primer a lot for this - bit of weather resistance, but it doesn't look like "paint".

Yes, heat them up. I've never seen cold-hammered "repro" that looked anything like real smithing and didn't just look messy instead. Working cold is hard work, so the inclination it to hit hard, and not hit often. This leaves a piece that looks like factory steel with dents in, not an overall worked piece.
If you're definitely going for this hammered look, then you need to work hot, you need to use a light strike, and you need an awful lot of them.
Lee Valley (www.leevalley.com) are a woodworking supplier who sell some repro "medieval" hings, made in Italy. These are quite nicely done in some ways but they have hideous "three big cold blows" marks to make them look "hand" worked. http://www.leevalley.com/hardware/page.aspx?c=2&p@251&cat=3,41241,41262&ap=1 I bought some of these once for cheap repro work, but I've never used them - not even for customers, let alone myself.

For complicated reasons I don't have a forge in my own workshop (mainly woodworking) and the one I do use is some distance away and quite small. If I were making hinges like this I'd probably do it on my oxy-propane rig, because it's handy and it works on long pieces.
Oxy-propane is better than oxy-acetylene for heating steelwork, because the gas is cheaper and you can use more powerful burners. If you already have oxy-acetylene then the extra cost is quite cheap too, especially if you already have a propane-air rig. Worth considering, but oxy-acetylene will work fine too.
You should definitely make a hearth - just a few firebricks in a cage http://codesmiths.com/shed/workshop/techniques/hearth.htm

Well that all depends !
Doorknockers are one of those craft products where the pricing is market-driven, not cost-driven. If you make something that's simple enough to make a few of and sell them at the craft circuit, rather than one-off commissions, they can sell well if you price them reasonably. My rule (woodworking) is "under 100, carryable in one hand, and suitable as Xmas gifts". For door knockers then the price band seems to be $50 - $100, with varying quality and originality depending on the smith. Like anything, cost drops if you make them in small batches, so talk to the guy who's already offering them, not necessarily the one-off.

Ask the smith what they can sell you, and how much it will cost.
From modern bar stock, it would cost as much (i.e. it's as much hand-working time) to make the ring "fatter at the bottom" as it would to make the whole piece with a parallel ring. It would be cheaper to put a twist into the bottom, or even split and basket it, than it would be to spend time drawing down a long taper to make the ring. Manufacturing costs are funny things and in a price-sensitive market you can often do well to ask what _should_ be made, not go in with a rigid idea and ask for it to be priced up.
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Thanks for the enlightment...
Heating and applying old oil sounds OK... Could I come back periodically and just swipe the metal with a coating periodically to keep the surface protected? The door is not directly in the elements as it is situated under a porch. -Ed
Andy Dingley wrote:

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wrote:

Yes for freestanding sculpture, not so easy for a strap hinge bolted to wood.
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Andy provided a fine response previously, and I'd like to add in a few comments, some of which are a bit different.
My first comment is, if you have no forge and aren't particularly experienced, I wouldn't recommend this project. You will likely become disenchanted with the results.
As an alternative, if you have access to a metal cutting bandsaw you could purchase some cold rolled steel in sheet form, trace your patterns onto it and cut it out.
After grinding the edges and drilling holes where you want the screws you can use "hammered" Rustoleum brand spray paint to simulate the look you're going for. See: http://rustoleum.com/Product.asp?ddfs&frm_product_id !&SBL=1 It is available at Lowes.
If you are insistent, you can use your oxy fuel torch to heat your metal and beat on it with a blacksmith hammer (do you even have an anvil?). You can find them at Home Depot for $16. Search for Model 56-218.
This is going to take you a long, long time as the torch is not very efficient and will only heat small portions of the metal at a time. You'll be able to do at most 1" at a time. You'll have to heat the metal to an orange or lemon color, then hammer. If the metal becomes cherry or darker you have to stop or you'll create stress fractures. Only forge above cherry colors.
I'll concur that you could probably pay a smith $100 to make you the ring, but I'll also question why you would do all of this instead of purchasing the set from a manufacturer.
Here are a few places to check:
http://customforgedhardware.com http://www.lundysiron.com http://www.oldsmithyshop.com
Good luck,
John

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John, The hammered paint is definitely worth looking into. Since I am ill-prepared for this I am steering away from pounding the metal. One of the reasons I wanted to use a local smith was to keep my money local and support the economy around here. I don't have a problem paying a slight premium for a "one-off" IF it is exactly what I want. This door is a one time deal (carving, etc.) and I want to get it right. I appreciate your input for sure. Cheers, Ed
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On the contrary, I'd highly recommend this project. Strap hinges are a project that can be largely about cutting and filing, rather than hot smithing. I'd advise against a door knocker, but strap hinges from sheet or strip should work well.
You don't want literal "strap" hinges, as they're too boring as a plain strap. So either cut the profile out (I love the plasma cutter!), or take strip and taper it a little, or split andd open a "fleur de lys" end, or even gas weld a wider "spade" onto a factory-rolled strip.
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Making a forge is easy - a coal one can be made from an old brake drum, or BBQ, pipe fittings and a hair dryer or car heater blower. A gas forge is a little more work, but not hard or expensive - see www.reil1.com. At a pinch, firebricks adn a propane weedburner from Harborfreight.com will do. www.anvilfire.com may have some info on making a coal forge as well. A proper forge will make the job easier, and cheaper than a torch Geoff
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It was somewhere outside Barstow when geoff snipped-for-privacy@bigfoot.com.DELETE.this.bit (Geoff Merryweather. ) wrote:

Has anyone ever achieved a useful temperature with those things ?
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Andy Dingley wrote:

I have consistently achieved a temperature that is useful for killing weeds, for one thing! They are also excellent for roasting peppers. I also use them to heat forged items prior to wiping on oil, for color.
It depends on what you mean by "useful heat". Actually, I don't use the HF weed burner, but rather a Magnum torch made in Italy. Nice unit.
GWE
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It was somewhere outside Barstow when Grant Erwin
That's possibly the same Italian one I have. It works for oil, but it's nowhere near hot enough for much else.
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wrote:

It's plenty hot for applying a honey/brown sugar glaze to a ham. No metal-working content, but it sure was tasty!
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(Geoff Merryweather. ) wrote:

No problem. I did it with standard hard yellow fire brick piled up for a heat chamber. It works. Not good and not clean but it works. Plan to use up a lot of propane - probably equivilent to about 5 or ten decent burners.
GA
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