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Hand Forging by Thomas F. Googerty

HAND, FORGING, spiral, Bulb, Twisted, twist, swell, soft steel rods, welding

The BULB, also called, blacksmiths twist or basket twist are one of the few things that could distinguish hand forged work from any other. However, today there are machines that can cold twist these forms. While they do not have the grace of hand made basket twists they have cheapened the form.

NOTE: One mistake in most instructions for making the basket twist is the need to turn and tap downward. By initially twisting tightly the outer surface of the rods is stretched and when partially untwisted will expand on its own. Slight downward pressure helps shape the bulb but the least used the more symmetrical and graceful the shape.
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94 HAND - FORGING gether. The points may be twisted together also. A spiral of this kind is shown at A in Fig. 53. The Bulb.—Another form in twisting is to weld together a number of round or square rods Fig. 54. A Twisted Bulb at their ends, and then twist and swell them in the center in bulb form, as shown in Fig. 54. There are thirteen soft steel rods 1/4 in. round in the bulb. The length of the rods before welding is 7-1/2 in. Soft steel is used because iron will not stand the strain of twisting without danger of breaking.

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