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Hand Forging by Thomas F. Googerty

FORGING, BULB, basket twist, blacksmith twist, iron, welded, round, welding, wire, weld, welding-flux, fire, heat, round-nose tongs, ring

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.
-guru
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FORGING A BULB 95 The method of forging the bulb is first to get out two pieces of iron to be welded in the top and bottom, also three short pieces of round to be placed in the center of the rods while welding the ends. These pieces are shown at A in Fig. 55; also the dimensions. At B are shown the Fig. 55. Method of Forging the Bulb top four pieces placed on the inside of the rods. A strong wire is twisted around them, binding the whole firmly. The weld is now made at the top, welding the small rods to the heavy piece of iron on the end. In making this weld some welding-flux must be used. The rods are welded directly on their ends. So the heat must be taken on the heavy piece first, gradually pushing the pieces a little farther into the fire until the heat reaches the end of the small rods. The work, while raising the heat, is held with a pair of round-nose tongs with a ring on the end of handles. The tongs should fit and hold the pieces

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