Where to get wrought iron?

Self Made Knives

Well-Known Member
Hey, planning my next knife, my first Bowie build and I want to add some historic flair. I've seen a few guys make guards out of wrought iron, but where are you guys finding it? I think when scrap prices were high a couple years ago, everything around here got sold!
 

tkroenlein

Well-Known Member
Those little rustic antique shops have old wagon wheels sometimes, or more preferred, just the band that goes around them. The first thing to look for is a scarf weld. Sometimes they're pretty slick and hard to spot. That is the most plentiful thing I've found in my area.
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
Unless you SPECIFICALLY...FULLY.....TRUST the source, be VERY careful about buying anything labeled "wrought iron" sight unseen. It is likely one of the most fraudulent things sold when it comes to blacksmithing/forging/metals. As far as I know, there is only ONE modern source of actual wrought iron, and it is out of England. "Old" wrought is still findable, usually in the form of OLD wagon wheels, and one source many overlook are old iron bridges, and RR water towers. I have horded my own "stash" over the years...... and use it only for very special ironwork/ornamental projects.

As it applies to knives, wrought is far overrated for by most knifemakers for use, and unless a client specifies it, I do not use it on knives. Why? Unless anyone looking at the knife specifically knows wrought iron (such as those buyers who are knowledgeable enough to know/understand it, and how it's suppose to look).....they are going to think you have flaws in your work/knife (During my career, I've seen knifemakers get their bubble busted at shows time and again by using wrought, and folks walking up to their table(s) and ask "what happened there?")..... that is unless you "refine" it enough to eliminate the silicon slag...... then you might as well be using mild steel.
 
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Self Made Knives

Well-Known Member
Unless you SPECIFICALLY...FULLY.....TRUST the source, be VERY careful about buying anything labeled "wrought iron" sight unseen. It is likely one of the most fraudulent things sold when it comes to blacksmithing/forging/metals. As far as I know, there is only ONE modern source of actual wrought iron, and it is out of England. "Old" wrought is still findable, usually in the form of OLD wagon wheels, and one source many overlook are old iron
Yeah, Ed, I popped on ebay and searched for wrought iron, only 200,000 results! I had a couple knife makers private message me and offer to send me some pieces to experiment with, wagon wheel tires mostly. I know what you mean about the way wrought looks, I saw a knife from Karl Anderson a while back and my first thought was, what the heck is wrong with that guard? Once I realized what I was looking at, I loved it. I have drawn out a more modern looking Bowie pattern to attempt, but still wanted some history incorporated into to it at the same time. Might not work out, but willing to try it.
 

KenH

Well-Known Member
As it applies to knives, wrought is far overrated for use, and unless a client specifies it, I do not use it on knives. Why? Unless anyone looking at the knife specifically knows wrought iron, and how it's suppose to look.....they are going to think you have flaws in your work/knife..... that is unless you "refine" it enough to eliminate the silicon slag...... then you might as well be using mild steel.
I agree with Ed on this one. I used wrought iron (old wagon wheel) to make a "S" guard for a Bowie a while back. Didn't really like the etched pattern, wound up sanding fine and polishing, now it looks like mild steel that has been blued.
 
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