Mr. Rebates

Blacksmith Techniques — Making A Basic Wall Hook

This video comes from and is part of their "Country Creations Webinar Series". It features blacksmith Bill Pevey in the workshops of the Craftmen's Guild of Mississippi. Bill first became interested in blacksmithing about nine years ago and has been heavily involved since then, primarily with the Mississippi Forge Council. Members of both organizations hail from all over America. The Mississippi Forge Council also teach blacksmithing classes at the Craft Center.

Bill explains that the blacksmith once made everything that was made from iron and steel, including cutlery, pots and pans, nails, tools, stirrups and countless other items. He shows us a broad axe and tells us how it was used to shape and square up the beams used for houses, barns, shipbuilding and other large structures. The axe head itself was hand made by a blacksmith many years ago.

Bill then gives us a demonstration on how to make a simple wall hook from square steel bar. He explains that the bar will be drawn out to a taper, cut, twisted and then bent to shape by using basic blacksmithing techniques.

Bituminous coal is used in the forge. Once the impurities have burned off the blacksmith is left with the coke, which gives a good, hot and clean fire. Air is introduced to the forge via a squirrel cage blower. This produces a hotter and quicker fire in which to heat the steel. Bill explains that, historically, this air was fed in different ways -- mostly using a bellows of some description or another.

Once the square bar has been sufficiently heated, Bill draws it out to a tapered point using the hammer and anvil. This point will be the part which will be driven into the wall. The tapered point is then bent to allow for a striking surface which will be hammered to drive the point into the wall. The hook is then cut to length by using a chisel set into the anvil's hardie hole. The hook is then put back into the coals and once it is hot enough again it is taken out of the forge and quickly tapered at the other end.

The hook is then heated once more and placed in the blacksmith's leg vice, where it is twisted several times to add a decorative look to it. The scale, or oxidation, is brushed off with a wire brush. A curlicue is then added to the end -- again purely an aesthetic touch.

The final bend is made by hammering the red hot hook to shape over the horn of the anvil, taking care not to excessively heat up the curlicue. Once this has been done the hook is then cleaned up, straightened where necessary and all the scale removed from it. Now it's time to apply a beeswax finish. The beeswax is added so that the hook will resist rusting. A mixture of boiled linseed oil, turpentine and dryers can also be used to finish the metalwork of similar blacksmith-forged items. According to Bill, it is best to apply these finishes when the metal is still warm.

While the finished item may look utilitarian and is quite straightforward by nature, Bill has utilized the various different methods which are the very foundations of blacksmithing to generate a simple, yet delicate and stunning piece.

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25 Responses to Blacksmith Techniques — Making A Basic Wall Hook

  1. blacksmither1 on December 11, 2010 at 9:15 pm

    @duvexy no problem its what i

  2. duvexy on December 11, 2010 at 9:40 pm

    @groombridge34 I will have to save my money to pay 200.00 dollar. Also 200 pounds I would not be able to lift.

  3. duvexy on December 11, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    @blacksmither1 Thanks for letting me know.

  4. blacksmither1 on December 11, 2010 at 10:07 pm

    @duvexy harbor freighht anvils suck and are fake.

  5. SuperTrackstar22 on December 11, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    So… I’ve been forging things for a while and experimenting on different things, and I came across an intresting design. It’s called a flame dagger and I was wondering if you know how to make one, or have any tips or both. The more info the better. Thanks for the help.

  6. smijman on December 11, 2010 at 11:52 pm

    great vid, very humble man

  7. KySurivorMan on December 12, 2010 at 12:20 am

    OK I now have blacksmith shop envy!!!!!! LOL I like how he tells some history with it.

  8. Devonport11 on December 12, 2010 at 12:40 am

    Thanks bill great skill

  9. EnterAtOnesOwnRisk on December 12, 2010 at 1:02 am

    awsome work.

  10. TheGaelicPrince on December 12, 2010 at 1:52 am

    What size anvil is that your using? The measurements of the flat piece you were hammering on?

  11. groombridge34 on December 12, 2010 at 2:37 am

    @duvexy find a local state or abana chapter, i’m with new jersey blacksmiths asc. fellow members often have good anvils…. some brands to look for, haybuden (sp), peter right, trenton or fischer anvils… i prefer peter wrights but thats just my taste, i own a 200 pounder from the 1890’s is great shape… be prepared to pay on average a couple hundred and up for a nice anvil depending on size and face condition… don’t go china, get real anvil

  12. duvexy on December 12, 2010 at 2:42 am

    @sparky100able I bought an anvil today at habor freight. It is 55 lbs. I am really excited about it. It is taking time to get all the tools.

  13. sparky100able on December 12, 2010 at 3:32 am

    @duvexy they are hard to find but once in a while they are on ebay of Kijiji or country actions

  14. duvexy on December 12, 2010 at 4:07 am

    Where do you get a nice anvil that is not so soft? I am trying to learn.

  15. bikerbob1980 on December 12, 2010 at 5:00 am

    Beautifull shop!

  16. amandajaine on December 12, 2010 at 5:07 am

    Brill! 😀 xxxxx You are nice 🙂 x

  17. HolidaysInDevon on December 12, 2010 at 5:35 am

    Nice video. Take a look at our blacksmith in the UK . Take a look at HolidaysInDevon channel

  18. manilaenglish on December 12, 2010 at 5:41 am

    Great video. Very informative and detailed. Thank you very much for teaching us.

  19. wmstr353 on December 12, 2010 at 6:17 am

    i have a anvil clamp and forge but i cn not find any square stock but i have about 100 circle stocks about 5 feet long.

  20. freezinweasle1 on December 12, 2010 at 6:34 am

    Thanks a lot Bill! Great instructional video. I’m just getting started and appreciate your help. Have a blesed day.

  21. UNSFRenegade1 on December 12, 2010 at 7:27 am

    @ballygeale1 true dat its same up the north of ireland too

  22. OldSneelock on December 12, 2010 at 8:08 am

    Thanks for the great presentation Bill

  23. dbrandow on December 12, 2010 at 8:43 am

    Good video, thanks for sharing that.

    I’m curious, though, that it doesn’t seem like that coal forge has any ventilation, which doesn’t seem like a good design.

  24. BiliosoII on December 12, 2010 at 9:04 am

    @ballygeale1 Same with many places in the united states. Its unfortunate.

  25. ballygeale1 on December 12, 2010 at 9:16 am

    great job done there ,in ireland blacksmithing has largley died out

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