Chapter 6.

Techniques used to form wrought iron components. 3/5.

6.2 Drawing down: This is the action of reducing the section to a taper and increasing the length of a bar. The hammer finish will be clearly evident. It is used on early iron L-ties to extend the length of the main arm where the crook has been upset to strengthen it (Fig. 6.7).

Drawn down L-tie

Fig 6.7. Stapled L-tie in the Barley Barn at Cressing Temple. The arm has been drawn down in both directions, probably to compensate for the upset crook of the L. This gives an elegant profile without loss of strength.

6.3 Spreading: This is the flattening of a section in all directions to form a flat plate. This can also be used to create flanges for eyes. Some iron L-ties have their terminals spread to take a nail hole (Fig. 6.8).

Spread terminal on L-tie

Fig 6.8. The terminal of this L-tie on the Guild Hall, Lavenham, Suffolk has been spread to accommodate a nail hole. It will also resist twisting to a greater degree.

6.4 Fullering: This is a technique of flattening a section in one plane only. A fuller (Fig. 6.9) is struck on the hot metal until a close series of grooves if formed. This extends the length of the bar, but not the width, by flattening the section in one direction only. The peaks and troughs are later evened out with the plane face of the hammer. This gives hand-wrought iron its familiar beaten surface.

Fuller on anvil

Fig. 6.9. A fuller is used to extend the length of a bar by reducing its thickness without spreading. The ripples caused by hammering the metal over the blunt wedge are smoothed out with a plane hammer afterwards.

6.5 Cold cutting, 6.6 Hot Cutting.

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