Forging a Hinge

I’ve been toying with making a “dutch tool chest” for a while, and lately I’m wondering if I could make my own strap hinges.  So I thought, since I had the forge out and hadn’t burned myself so far, I’d do a sample piece.

I started with some hot rolled steel bar stock, 1/4″ x 1 1/2″ (ish).  I drew out (thinned) one end, formed a hinge eye (sort of) and laid the thin part onto the back.  I forge welded that so the eye would be plenty strong.  Then I forged a little decorative lump on the other end.  It looks sort of like part of a hinge.

The stock is a little too thick for this scale hinge – I’m just working with scraps I have on hand.  When I set up the space to do woodwork I hauled away all of my scrap metal that I’d saved up for “someday” blacksmithing projects.  And no, I don’t miss it.

So, what’s the verdict?  I think I could make a pair of hinges.  A little thinner metal (1/8″ or maybe 3/16″) would work better.  I need to make a “tool” to help chap the hinge eye, these are called “fullers”.  I started incising a design, and decided I didn’t like how it was going, but I think it needs some ornamentation.

I’ll call it a firm “maybe”.  I have a design in mind, but I don’t have the chops to pull it off.  Maybe with some practice.

Eye roughed in, ready to forge weld on the back

Eye roughed in, ready to forge weld on the back

Yes, Virginia, that's HOT

Yes, Virginia, that’s HOT

Completed Eye and Forge Weld

Completed Eye and Forge Weld

Back of the "hinge" thingie

Back of the “hinge” thingie

Finished Hinge Part

Finished Hinge Part





Categories: Uncategorized | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Forging a Hinge

  1. I did some research on forging hinges this morning, it looks like most folks just roll the material to form the hinge eye toward the front without forge welding it to the back. 1.5″ wide by 1/8″ thick with a 3/8″ pin seems to be a common size for these.

  2. Dang, Joe. You are “Renaissance Man”!! I’m still just gettin’ the hang of butchering wood. Always fun to see what you are up to 🙂

  3. Joe

    The trick isn’t the forge weld’s the forge weld using a gas forge.. nice job

    • Thanks Joe. The only downside to the gas forge is you can’t really do localized heats, it’s pretty easy to get to a welding temperature though. At least in the gas forge, I had another that I’d made and that was a tough to pull off, it took a long time to get to a welding temperature.

      I need to do some practice with the forge work. I was never that proficient, but I’m totally rusty and inept.

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