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Old 05-20-2014, 12:11 PM
Jere's Avatar
Jere Jere is offline
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Willits CA
Posts: 1,651
Default Getting Started #1 - Tucking Forks

After reading the post by Richard K ( , and the responses, and not seeing anything done in response I thought I might try to give the beginners, and those who have been lurking the chance to get involved by making some basic tools, made at home, and quite economically. You could make some projects just to get your feet wet with posting progress photos and by getting advice and helping guys at about the same skill level.

This series will be called “ Getting Started” meaning everyone will start at the same place and post pictures as the project moves along. This should allow everyone to see how someone else approached the same project and arrived at the end results.

The first one will be Getting Started #1 – Tucking Forks.

The second will be Getting Started #2 – Beater Bag

The third will be Getting Started #3 - Stump

These tools will not be the last tools you will have and they are not intended to be. They will be made of inexpensive materials and meant only to get you through making the projects that will be presented. You will definitely want to upgrade if you are intending to get more involved with metal shaping.

So with that lets get started on the first project - Tucking Forks

You can buy these pry bars at Harbor Freight for less than four dollars a piece, and you couldn't buy the material and grind the taper on them for that much. Cut the tapered portion off about 1/2” past where the taper ends (white line) and then remove the paint. I am making four sets in this set of pictures so don't be confused. You will only need two pry bars to make one set of forks.

To remove the sharp edges where the point is I tape the blunt end into a socket and with the appropriate adapter I use my hand drill and belt sander to put a nicely rounded end on both pieces.

This is what they will look like after dressing.

These are the dimensions you will use for the layout of the two 9/16” holes to be drilled in your plate. I am using 1/2” X 2” X 2” But you can use almost anything you have at hand. I would not suggest anything thinner than 3/8”.

First I drill a 1/4” hole as a pilot.

Then drill them out to the full 9/16” diameter and deburr. If you use the layout above, the distance between the two holes will be 1/8”.

These are all the parts necessary for four sets of forks. I use one inch square tubing for the piece to be held in the vise. You can use anything that is at hand that will suite your needs.

Place the two tapered pins in the holes and with a piece of 1/8” material in between clamp the two pins together. When everything is set in place put a small tack on the outside of each pin.

Here you can see the small tack I made with my TIG. The only reason for this tack is so they hold their place while turning them up side down to finish welding them.

Make a rosette weld on both pins and grind the bottom of the piece flat.

After welding the piece that will be held in the vise on the bottom, I spray them with Pam to keep them from rusting.

There is our first project. Please post some pictures of your process. Please give me some feedback so I will know whether this is something that is worthy to pursue.

Jere Kirkpatrick
Valley Forge & Welding
HEN-ROB Torch Dealer.
Teaching The Fundamentals of Metal Shaping

All tools are a hammer except the chisel.....That's a screwdriver.
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Old 05-20-2014, 12:47 PM
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Kerry Pinkerton Kerry Pinkerton is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Near Huntsville, Alabama. Just south of the Tennessee line off I65
Posts: 7,624

Excellent tutorial Jere and thanks for making the effort. I have created a new forum called tutorials just for this type of thread.
Kerry Pinkerton
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Old 05-20-2014, 03:17 PM's Avatar is offline
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Location: Eindhoven (The Netherlands)
Posts: 768

Great initiative Jere,


Frank de Kleuver
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Old 05-20-2014, 03:50 PM
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Madera,Ca. Home of Yosemite
Posts: 6,058

Very nice Jere!
It's nice to see you had your wheaties this morning
Rick Scott
The second mouse gets the cheese!
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Old 05-20-2014, 04:39 PM
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nonhog nonhog is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Puyallup Wa.
Posts: 282

I have a HF trip coming up. I'll make some forks and post the results, good, bad or different. lol
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Old 05-20-2014, 05:14 PM
rcv4 rcv4 is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: England
Posts: 127

nice thread Jere.
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