by Bob Selvaggio


I wish that I could take credit for this handy little Blacksmith Helper. I received this stand from a fellow that got it out of the Allegheny County Workhouse, which was located in Blawnox, Pa. The workhouse had a blacksmith shop as well as many other shops. When the facility was closed my friend gave me the stand.

List Of Materials:

  •     1 piece of 3/4" x 24" round bar

  •     1 piece of 3/4" x 20" I.D. black iron pipe

  •     3 pieces of 1/2" x 9 1/2”  rebar

  •     1 piece of 3/4" x1/4" x 7 "1/2" flat bar

  •     1 piece of 3/4" x 1/4" x 12" 1/2 "flat bar

  •     1 - 1/4" x 1" round headed rivet

It is a handy little thing, just right for keeping off to the side and moving it into position when forging long items that need to be supported. Being lightweight, reaching for it, and adjusting the height can be done with one hand while holding onto the material being forged. 

The original stand is a mixture of traditional forging and newer arc welding.  I decided to keep it that way when reproducing a couple more.  The way the support piece moves up and down through the adjusting device, it is locked into place by the downward motion of the top bar. 

To make this helper, begin by making the feet. Take the three pieces of 1/2" rebar and forge the ends over.  The one end is forged over 1" and the other is forged in the opposite direction at 1-1/2".  The three one inch ends will go up into the pipe, of which a small flair is forged. The flair permits the three pieces of rebar to fit.   The 3/4" round bar is split back 4" on the one end and forged into the "T".  For the adjusting device, I start out with a longer piece of the 3/4" x 1/4" bar so that I can hold onto it without using tongs.  The piece that goes around the top of the pipe I measure back 5" and center punch on the edge and measure up from that mark 4" and center punch again.  At these two marks, I forge it to a somewhat 45 degree bend and forge it around to match up the marks.



 I have found 4” to be enough to slip over the pipe.  At this point, you should have an eye large enough to fit over the pipe and the remaining materiel should be over lapped onto itself.  The piece is then brought up to a welding heat and forge welded about 2" back from the eye. The pieces are welded together just enough to stick , no need to reduce the size down at all. Heat the piece up again past the 2" section and clamp in the vise and put about a 80 degree bend starting at 2" from the eye.  This remaining piece should not be welded together and will be opened up later to accept the top piece.  Open up between these two pieces so that the top bar will move freely between them. The top piece has a smaller eye, one that should take about 3-1/4" of material for the eye.  First forge a taper on the end, measure back about 1" or so, center punch once again on the edge, measure from that mark 3-1/4" center punch again and forge into the eye.  This eye needs to be large enough to allow the 3/4" round bar to travel freely; so if it is tight you need to forge a bigger one!  This top bar is riveted to the bottom bar, line them up when they are placed in a parallel position to each other and mark for the holes and drill.  Tack the feet pieces together, place the pipe over the rebar and weld the pipe to the feet, use a level to get it plumb. Weld the bottom “eye”  piece to the top of the pipe, rivet the top  “eye” piece to the other and slip the “T” support bar into place.

 *Editor’s note—This nifty stand was auctioned at the Depreciation Lands Museum and won by Nick Cardello-You missed it!

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