Forged Angel

Demonstration by James Joyce

November 22, 2000
tonight's demo is an Angel ornament for your Christmas tree, made from 3/16" x 1/2" mild steel..

Figure 02

Figure 03

Figure 04
Using an 18" long piece of stock to avoid tongs, drive a 3/8" fuller down almost 3/8" and do so 3/4" from one end on each side of the bar stock.

Excuse me, with this size stock, drive the fuller down only until you leave 1/3" of the width of the stock remaining to form the neck later.
As in the 2nd and 3rd drawings, first working over the far edge of the anvil, then over the horn, form a round head above the fuller divot.

Figure 05

Figure 06

Figure 07
Go down the bar about another inch below the first fuller divot, and make a 1/8" fuller divot on each side.
Using the cross pien, spread the wings outward from between the 2 fuller divots. be sure to work from vertical center toward the sides, maintaining an even thickness. go out a bit less than 1/2" sp[read on each side at this point in th process.

Figure 08

Figure 09

Figure 10
Now use the cross pien to lengthen and spread the angels skirt area, striving for a triangular shape.
Don't worry about the bottom of the skirt and the transition back into the bar stock handle, we hot cut it soon as you feel it's spread enough.

For hot cutting, i use a hardy plate of mild steel, aluminum or brass and lay the part to be cut over the plate, and go for it. You a hot rasp to fine tune the cut.
Now, the last picture shows the angel laying out on the anvil face, and lines indicating when the cross pien alignment should be made to bring the square corners out into more of a triangle or butterfly (where have i heard that word recently?) shape. :)

As in the infamous Florida 'butterfly ballot' of election 2000 fame. -guru

Figure 11
the angel should look something like this, wings being finished and head and skirt needing final attention.

Go to the head and give it a final shape now with the ball pien or rounding hammer, working from center outward toward the edges without overly thinning the edges.

For a real nice effect, turn the front side of the head onto the horn of the anvil, and slightly concave it. This will give the angel the appearance of always looking down on you.

Figure 12

Figure 13
For any final tweeking you need on the skirt or wings, alternate between the anvil face and the post vice, where you can clamp the angel about the mid point and use a piece of flat bar, striking to the side of the angel on the bar to get into tight inside corners for final shaping.

Figure 14
The last few heats I use a stippling hammer (a framing hammer would probably work) and give texture to the front side only.

Then i go to the wire wheel (very carefully!) and clean the surface well, then i use a propane torch to bring a golden color to all except the thinner edges, which i run to bluish-purple, then immediately quench.
Spray with wd-40, high gloss clear, or your choice of light oil, but buff well and all those dimples will pick up light and show like a diamond around the room.

Figure 01
You can drill a small hole near the top to hand as an ornament.

Any questions?
Ever crease and bend the skirt so it can stand alone?
I made this for Marcia last christmas and have not fooled with one since, but all ideas i appreciate :)
I like the shape of your angel. Has sort of an ancient Celtic feeling.
Friend of yours, Jock? The ancient celt that is?
I think a halo made out of copper wire bent round and tacked on the back of head would be cute too.
Great idea for a halo sharon.

I'm a fairly ancient Celt! :)

Joyce used to Gorg when we came to Ireland from Norway in 1182 ad.
J-J, I'm gonna try some of these little angels. Will probably add some of my own touches, but think they will be cute. Thanks for ideas.
Sharon, one really beautiful touch if you are real brave, is to bring the finished angel up to a near welding heat, then wire brush. It will do for the finish what a stippling hammer does.
E. A. Chase uses a needle gun for the same thing JJ.

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