A bending jig allows you to scroll ornamental iron into tighter curves, allowing you to create more elaborate designs. Making your own jigs allows you to determine tine spacing and adjust handle length to suit your needs.
1-inch diameter round bar stock, 2 feet long
2 pieces 1-inch diameter round bar stock, 6-inch long
Wrap-around eye protection and ear protection
Bench grinder with coarse wheel
110-volt gasless MIG welder
Welding helmet, welding gloves and full leathers
Spray penetrating oil
Clean paper towels
Step 1: Don wrap-around eye protection, ear protection and a NIOSH-approved respirator. Deburr the long and short pieces of 1-inch-diameter round bar stock at each end, using a coarse wheel on a bench grinder.
Step 2: Align the long piece and the first short piece at 90-degree angles to each other, flush with one end of the long piece. Don your welding helmet, gloves and full leathers and weld the two pieces of rod stock together.
Step 3: Align the second short piece of rod stock along the long piece of rod stock 1 1/14-inches from the first, and weld it in place to create a fork whose tines are perpendicular to the handle. When finished, your bending jig should look like a capital “F” at the end of a long handle.
Step 4: Lay your bending jig with the “F” facing right. Weld two additional 3-inch rods facing left, spaced 1-inch apart to create a double-headed “F.” This allows you to bend tighter or looser curves as needed.
Step 5: Grind all the welds smooth and deburr any sharp edges with a wire wheel on your grinder.
Step 6: Spray the entire jig and handle with penetrating oil until they are dripping wet and wipe dry with clean paper towels. Secure the handle in a bench vise and heat the entire jig with a propane torch until peacock blue and allow it to slow cool. Turn the jig around and repeat to heat the other end to peacock blue and allow the jig to slow-cool.
Published in: Do-It-Yourself