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Forge a Letter Opener - Part 2: Pointing the bar

In this part of the tutorial we work on the other end of the bar and bring it to a point. This is called "pointing" and it is a useful blacksmithing skill.

Part 1 of this tutorial is here



We start by placing the rod just near the edge of the anvil. Hold it at an angle and hammer it.


This illustration shows how everything is placed.

Butt his would only flat it two ways, on top and bottom. We need to get four surfaces on it so it comes to an actual four sided point.

We do this by rotating the bar 90 degrees then hitting it again.

Repeat this process and practice it. You can do it in a rhythm. Hit the bar, rotate 90 and hit it, rotate it back 90 and hit it again. Do this process until the point is what you want.

Next we will use a technique called drawing out the steel. This is where we lengthen the steel. This also thins it which is exactly what we want to do while pointing it.

We continue a the very same hammering and rotating back and forth action now. But this time we push the bar past the edge of the anvil and hammer it with the hammer centered on the edge. With repeated strokes we move the bar forward. Continue to hammer, rotate and push it forward until it is the length that we want.


Now it is a tapered square bar. And we want it round!

We begin the rounding process by hammering the diagonals. This will make the cross section of the bar octagonal in shape which is practically round.


This illustration shows how we now place the square bar. Hitting/rotating, hitting/rotating will now bring it to an octagonal shape.

Depending on the size of the bar you are pointing an octagonal shape will practically be round. And you can leave it at that. Or...


Next I switched to a smaller hammer to refine the shape of the point.


And there we go. The point looks good. Lets' continue and flatten it out into the blade of the letter opener.




Grizzly 55 pound anvil - This 55 lb. anvil measures 6-Inch wide x 14 1/2-Inch long x 6 1/8-Inch high and has a 5 1/2-Inch horn and 4-Inch x 8 3/4-Inch face with 1-Inch square hardy hole.



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