Inside: Learn how to forge a wall hook, a perfect beginner blacksmith project that anyone can accomplish with a forge, a blacksmith hammer, anvil, hole punch, and a hand fuller in just a couple short hours.
Whenever I begin a new blacksmith project, I try to follow the same sequence. 1 plan your forging, 2 practice your forging, 3 forge the project (the wall hook), and 4 repeat forging if necessary.
Plan your forging.
As a blacksmith this seems to include multiple parts. Yes there needs to be a plan of your overall project design, and secondly there will need to be a plan for the order of operations in which to forge the item. To do this, I try to have at least a rough sketch of my proposed outcome. As I am still in the process of learning, sometimes things change by the time I get to the finished product. Depending on the complexity, I have also done scale drawings or even CAD drawings. Since this project is simple in nature, I decided to use the sketch method. I drew an overall rough sketch then cleaned it up a bit. Sometimes I like to include a sketch of a detail portion. Not only do you have to plan just what your overall forging will look like, you should also take some time to plan out which tools you will need. If you don’t have them, then take the time to make them first. In the case of this forged wall hook, I am going to need a hand fuller, and two different sizes of round punches. Check out this article that I found on the importance of sketching and practice. I find that practicing these exercises helps me think through more of the details within a project.
Practice your Forging.
In this project I wanted to try a punched countersunk hole. This would mean that I would need two sizes of hole punches for this technique. I would punch through from the first side with a 1/4 in. to 3/8 in. punch, and then from the back side punch through with a smaller 1/8 in. punch. Once I had tried this new for me technique and was consistent a few times on a piece of scrap, I knew I was ready to try it on the real project.
Forging the wall hook.
The order of operations that I used for this project was to first layout my material, fan the hook end, fuller my two bend locations, punch the screw holes, bend the hook, clean metal, and finish. The material I use for this project 6″ of 3/4″ X 1/4″ flat bar. I marked my fuller lines at 1″ and 3″ measured from one end, and from the other end I measure the holes 3/4″ and 1 3/4″. Once everything is laid out I will begin. To fan the hook end I will just create a one sided taper, letting the material spread in width as I go. Next I would take a hand fuller and fuller all the way across the bar at the bend locations that I laid out at 1″ and 3″. Then I will punch the screw holes as previously described. Once punched, it is ready to bend along the fuller lines, wire brush it clean and apply a finish. I sometimes will just use a vegetable oil to finish, but I have used others that work well also, such as wax or linseed oil.
Repeat forging if necessary.
As you can see I am satisfied with the outcome of this project and have already put them to use. Sometimes though I feel like I could do better a second or third time, so I will try it again.
I hope you enjoy this beginner blacksmith project as you learn to forge this wall hook. Let me know in the comments how yours came out, and remember keep learning to forge. Plan, Heat, Hammer, and Repeat.
Be sure to check out Essential Blacksmith Tools for Beginners.