You can bend, twist and punch wrought iron into different shapes. You can then use this ornamental metal to add accents to your home, including creating interesting lamps, staircases or furniture. To work wrought iron, however, you need a set of tools to help you manipulate and shape the metal. Generally, you can purchase these tools from a hardware or online store.
A metal bender helps you make different-size bends in your wrought iron. You can purchase small, stand-alone metal benders or larger ones that attach to your workbench. A metal roller helps you make scrolls or circles in your metal. Depending on the tool, you may have to heat the metal before you start shaping it. You can also purchase a tool specifically for making scrolls, which is known as a scroll former. Certain tools, however, have an internal heating element. A riveting tool helps you join multiple pieces of metal together. For example, if you create different types of scrolls, you can attach these together with the riveting tool.
A metal shear tool helps you cut your wrought iron into smaller pieces. This tool usually has an opening with a blade, and you place your wrought iron through this hole. Pull down the lever to cut the metal. If you want to create decorative holes in your iron, use a metal punch. These tools help you create small openings for aesthetic appeal or for screw holes. For example, if you are creating a wrought-iron shelf bracket, use the punch to create the holes that you need to attach it to the wall.
A metal twister creates scroll patterns down the entire length of your metal. These twists are tighter than the scroll patterns created by the metal roller and scroll former. This tool sits on a table, and it has a large handle that you twist from left to right to create the scrolls. Your solid piece of wrought iron is inserted through a hole that runs from the handle through a twisting element in the centre. You can purchase adaptors for this tool, including a practical twister adaptor and the basket-making attachment.
You can also manipulate wrought iron using traditional forging methods. This involves using a heating element like an open flame, and iron tongs for holding the metal over the heat. Once the metal is hot enough, place it on an iron anvil, and shape the metal using a hammer. This method is very labour-intensive.
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