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View Full Version : Suppose I wanted to make a trellis....



T.Hoffman
05-30-2012, 09:51 AM
I have my O/A torch that I'm getting much better at welding with. I was at a local garden center and noticed some nice big iron(?) trellises.
I liked the design, and thought it wouldn't be out of my cabilities to fabricate something like that.

...or at least I think that now.

Is wrought iron still used? Or is most of it a certain type of steel now?

Is there a beginner blacksmithing forum similar to this board?

I feel forming metal with fire and hammer would be something I could get into head over heels.

fjk
05-30-2012, 10:05 AM
Is wrought iron still used? Or is most of it a certain type of steel now?


99.999% of "wrought iron" is steel these days.

you can make nice stuff using standard pieces parts available
from your local steel service center (or big box home improvement
store --- though the big box's selection is more expensive and more
limited).

here's a pointer to a thread of mine on the miller welding site
about a trellis i made for my wife's roses and vines to climb on.


http://www.millerwelds.com/resources/communities/mboard/showthread.php?25572-Recent-Project

T.Hoffman
05-30-2012, 10:21 AM
Any type of steel better for this sort of thing than others?
There's many different steels in McMaster to choose from.
Lower carbon content better?

bborr01
05-30-2012, 10:37 AM
Any type of steel better for this sort of thing than others?
There's many different steels in McMaster to choose from.
Lower carbon content better?

I think I would use hot rolled.


Brian

brian Rupnow
05-30-2012, 10:46 AM
Yep, hot rolled mild steel 1018-1020. I used to make a lot of "wrought iron" using an old Lincoln 180 Amp buzz box and mild steel.

T.Hoffman
05-30-2012, 11:14 AM
Anyone ever make a home forge?
....this has my interest in a big way lately.

fjk
05-30-2012, 11:47 AM
Any type of steel better for this sort of thing than others?
There's many different steels in McMaster to choose from.
Lower carbon content better?

Buying from McMaster or any of the other on-line/mail order
places is _very_ _expensive_. Same for places like Fastenal.

Buy from a local steel service center. Many will flame-cut by hand
to approximate (+/- 1 or 2") length for free or minimal cost
(which you might want to fit your pickup or the like). If you can find
a place that also buys scrap, you can find better deals on random
scraps --- also you might find some interesting shapes in the piles.

Hot Rolled Plain Carbon Steel is basically what you want -- the
exact grade is not important for the type of work you're planning on.

Boucher
05-30-2012, 12:22 PM
A trellis tends to be obscured by the vines. I just use 3/8 rebar.

EVguru
05-30-2012, 12:37 PM
Genuine wrought Iron is very hard to come by these days.

Quite a few Smiths quit when the supplies of wrought Iron dried up. Wrought Iron works like butter campared to Steel.

I was talking to a Smith a couple of years back. He'd picked up a big load of Halberds heads as military surplus. He said the wrought Iron that made up the bulk of the weapon was an absolute joy to work with.

T.Hoffman
05-30-2012, 01:02 PM
A trellis tends to be obscured by the vines. I just use 3/8 rebar.

Up north in some places for the winter, the vines are cut way back each year.
So later in the fall, all the winter, spring, and first part of summer you see the nice trellis until the vine regrows fully....

T.Hoffman
05-30-2012, 05:27 PM
Is that wroght iron "look" of the metal (that matte flat black) in most stuff now a surface treatment or paint?

Alan Smith
05-30-2012, 05:38 PM
Most of the time that flat black appearance will be paint or powder coat. You can create a nice surface finish by heating steel to nearly red and plunging into oil, waste sump oil works, boiled linseed is very good. This gives a nice black reasonably rust resistant finish which would be suitable for indoor items like door furniture etc but would not prevent rust outside.

If you are looking for a black-smithing forum I found Anvilfire to be a friendly lot.

T.Hoffman
05-30-2012, 06:17 PM
Most of the time that flat black appearance will be paint or powder coat. You can create a nice surface finish by heating steel to nearly red and plunging into oil, waste sump oil works, boiled linseed is very good. This gives a nice black reasonably rust resistant finish which would be suitable for indoor items like door furniture etc but would not prevent rust outside.

If you are looking for a black-smithing forum I found Anvilfire to be a friendly lot.
I am, and thank you!

lbender
05-31-2012, 10:00 AM
Another blacksmith site:

http://www.iforgeiron.com/

T.Hoffman
05-31-2012, 10:32 AM
much appreciated!

....was just scanning CL and found a Peter Wright anvil near me for a decent price, and looks in very nice shape. Might have to go look....

Gazz
05-31-2012, 01:19 PM
A good blacksmith finish can be achieved with a torch, a rag and some linseed oil. Get your metal hot with the torch - not red hot which is to hot - and apply some linseed oil with the rag. It'll smoke a bunch but keep wiping it on and applying heat as needed. To hot and you burn your coating off - just right and the oil will polymerize and form a nice black, durable finish.

You would use a lot of gas to do a trellis so I would just use paint. I have a couple of pieces of metal work that reside outside that I sandblasted and then painted with regular old Krylon. Primer first and then the finish color. One piece has been outside for six years with no care and it looks fine.

Marty Feldman
05-31-2012, 01:29 PM
T.Hoffman:
You've got a couple of different things going on here - O/A and blacksmithing, both great activities but possibly not the best way to do the trellis project. Depends on just what sort of design you had in mind. A simple trellis frame, without features like leaves and so forth, might be best suited to stick welding. A low-end Miller, Lincoln, or similar box, along with a helmet, electrodes, and power source does not run into too much money as these things go, and you will have an outfit that you might find more uses for than you imagine. Draw up your trellis design and then drive to a steel supplier and buy a few long lengths of mild weldable steel square rod, 3/8 A/F or whatever size you want. It's relatively cheap, and you can pretty easily hacksaw it to length. Get plenty, since you will want rod to practice on. A local vocational school or welding supply shop is a good place to ask about courses you can take to get going. Think about how you are going to bend the rod to make the curved shapes you want. I built my own bender, but with a helper you may find that you can do the bends around treetrunks.

Here's a simple trellis I stick welded, painted with green rustoleum.

http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u164/martfeld/trellis7-11_a.jpg

-Marty-

T.Hoffman
05-31-2012, 02:49 PM
Thanks guys for more great tips!

That trellis looks great- nice job!

I was toying with the idea of a welder as well- lots of them out there for sale.
That would be another learning curve to go through, not that I'm opposed to that.
But I will admit I sure do like the old-school torch and have great fun with it....

I was wondering in my mind about bending, funny you mentioned that.
The design I was considering (rather large) would have 4' width with a 2' radius half-circle arc on the top.
When trying to get a nice consistent bend that large, do you apply general heat or do it cold?
This isn't my design, but shows what I'm considering for the top arch:
http://www.gardenarborandtrellis.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/glenbow-300x300.jpg

dp
05-31-2012, 07:49 PM
Evan made a nice metal twisting tool and built quite a lot of fancy fencing with it and his MIG welder. I thought there was a link to the fence here but couldn't find it. Here's the twisting equipment:

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showpost.php?p=463343&postcount=28

fjk
05-31-2012, 08:43 PM
The design I was considering (rather large) would have 4' width with a 2' radius half-circle arc on the top.
When trying to get a nice consistent bend that large, do you apply general heat or do it cold?
This isn't my design, but shows what I'm considering for the top arch:
http://www.gardenarborandtrellis.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/glenbow-300x300.jpg


Ring roller from your local harbor freight would fit the bill

Frank

T.Hoffman
05-31-2012, 09:25 PM
Blacksmithing.
great, another rabbit hole that I see myself heading down....

jeremy13
05-31-2012, 10:23 PM
A trellis tends to be obscured by the vines. I just use 3/8 rebar.
Rebar cheap and near free if you can find a slab being poured they will have all kinds of scraps.
But I made one out of copper tubing.

cameron
05-31-2012, 10:34 PM
Rebar cheap and near free if you can find a slab being poured they will have all kinds of scraps.
But I made one out of copper tubing.

All kinds of scraps left over? ...Hmmm... I wonder if the inspector checked the rebar placement against the drawings?:rolleyes:

jeremy13
05-31-2012, 10:50 PM
Hears a pic of the arch way I did in copper tubing sizes range 3/4-1/4 tubing. And a free standing trellis in copper with tubing for a vine and tubing split and cut in to leave shapes. All this was just silver soldered together.
http://i1224.photobucket.com/albums/ee374/Jeremy_Hanak/005.jpg
http://i1224.photobucket.com/albums/ee374/Jeremy_Hanak/007.jpg
http://i1224.photobucket.com/albums/ee374/Jeremy_Hanak/008.jpg