Forging. Glossary of terms

Glossary of terms — - what a customer needs to know about forging.

Communication with any specialist greatly expands not only the horizons, but often the vocabulary of the customer. Turning to the workshop for wrought iron elements for your own country house, you will definitely meet some new concepts for you. In order not to confuse masters in the wording of their questions and easily understand what they mean to you, we have compiled a small dictionary of basic "blacksmith" terms.

Brothers Johann and Georg Schmidberger in their forge in Molne, Austria. ©Lisi Niesner/Reuters

General principles

The metals and alloys used in artistic forging are iron, steel, copper, bronze, brass, tinplate, and aluminum.

Forgability is the property of metals that allows them to lend themselves to forging and other types of metalworking. The main indices of ductility are resistance to deformation and ductility.

Corrosion resistance - the ability of metal to resist the effects of an aggressive environment.

Stiffness of forged structures - the property of forged parts of metal structures not to change geometric dimensions under external influence.

Elements: forged and cast

Often, to reduce the cost of the product is proposed to "assemble" the design from prefabricated elements. Or in the description of the project, made by your picture, mentioned the name, unfamiliar to you by ear. Most often these are classic decorative elements of wrought iron products.

This may upset some, but wrought iron elements are usually made in China. Wholesale suppliers bring in custom batches of elements for blacksmiths to choose from in extensive catalogs.

Acanthus leaf
Acanthus leaf
A wrought acanthus leaf is a classic decorative element depicting the leaf of a southern plant.

A wrought iron baluster is a shaped column joined by a railing at the top. In the forge they are used in the manufacture of railings for staircases, balconies, terraces.

iron vase
A wrought iron vase is a decoration stylized as a vase or basket.

A wrought iron volute element in the form of a scroll. In architecture, a spiral-shaped motif, often with an eye inside.

Wrought monogram the initial letters of proper names, linked together in an openwork pattern.

A wrought iron garland is a motif of woven flowers, leaves, and fruit, sometimes wrapped in a ribbon.

A wrought iron cartouche in the form of a scroll or shield with twisted edges.

Bracket (wrought iron)
A wrought iron bracket is an artistically designed piece or structure that is attached to a wall and serves as a support for something.

The oval or round frame for an image, as well as the design, relief ornament itself, enclosed in such a frame.

iron Topping
Forged tip decorative completion of the top part of the post, column (balls, spikes, cones, etc.).

Кованый оконечник
Forged tip is a classic element of artistic forging, the completing part of the wrought product, characterized by a taut end (often a delicate curl with a decreasing thickness).

Кованая пальметта
A forged palmette motif in the form of a stylized multilobed palm leaf.

Кованая розетка
A wrought iron rosette motif in the form of a circular stylized image of a flower with identical petals.

Solomon's spiral (basket, cone)
Кованая шишка
Forged cone decorative element formed from thin rods, spirally twisted and forming a hollow openwork "cocoon.

Кованые цветы
Forged flowers is one of the most popular motifs in art blacksmithing. Most often made in parts, and then assembled into an artistic pattern by welding, riveting or soldering.

A few more terms:

is a repeating element of an ornament.
decorative element (or fragment) taken as the basis for the construction of the same repetitive pattern.
Link (section)
part of a metal fence or enclosure, bounded by two posts or posts.

Finishing for wrought iron products

heat treatment of a metal product with prior application of special chemicals: acids and oils to its surface. As a result, the metal is covered with a blue-black oxide film.
obtaining a pattern, or an inscription on a piece of metal by applying a caustic chemical substance.
the decoration of forged metal items with other non-ferrous metals or precious stones.
a decorative treatment of metal by applying "dashes" to the surface. It is used to make a fine figured pattern, such as the image of the veins on the leaves of plants.
an oxide-carbonate film which has a color shade (silver, bronze, green). The patina is formed under the influence of the environment, while at the same time protecting the metal from deterioration. It has a decorative value especially in the production of forged objects "under the old".
one of the methods of decorative finishing wrought iron items with forging tools (rough engraving).
a decorative finishing of metal products with patterns of twisted wire.
Palace of solemn registration of birth, St. Petersburg
Palace of solemn registration of birth, St. Petersburg



an element that connects several rods or other wrought elements. Today only used in hand hot forging.
a wire that is used to temporarily (before welding or soldering) join the elements of a wrought item.
an iron rod that is cylindrical in shape with a head on one end; used to join wrought elements and parts.


one of the oldest methods of joining forged metals, when individual parts are joined by rivets.
the process of introducing solder (molten material), which has a lower melting point than the parts to be fused, between metal parts, resulting in a strong connection.
A method of joining metal products by deforming them together after heating the welding spots. In the past, a horn was used for this purpose, today gas and electric welding are more commonly used.

Processing of a forged product

the rapid cooling of steel heated to an extremely high temperature; hardens the workpiece and provides it with other desired qualities.
the mechanical removal of scale, weld spatter, weld beads, and other metal defects from the forged item.
Sand-blasting matting
surface treatment with a jet of sand, fed under pressure, which helps to align the surface and make it more rough (to improve the adhesion of paintwork materials).
Anticorrosion treatment
coating metal surfaces with a thin layer of another metal, alloy or nonmetallic material to form an anti-corrosive coating for protection against corrosion.
applying a pre-coat on a forged item to improve the adhesion (adhesion) of the main protective or decorative coating.
the application of a protective or decorative (often combined) coating on a product.
a metallic film applied to a surface of metal items by galvanizing in order to give them hardness, wear resistance, anticorrosive, antifriction and decorative qualities (galvanizing, anodizing, chromium-plating, nickel-plating, oxidizing). This method is not widely used because of its high price.
Ковка в Лувре
Louvre, France, 17th century

Rolling material

The material from which the blacksmith will make the product.

metal semi-finished product, billet for the production of parts by means of plastic deformation or machining. Depending on the purpose of the bars have a section of round, rectangular, hexagonal, less often trapezoidal, oval or segmental shape.
  • Square - is a bar with a square cross-section and diameter from 8 to 25 mm.
  • КRound bar - a bar of round cross-section.
A round bar with a diameter of 50 mm, used for turned pieces.
bar of rectangular cross section, half a square.
dimensional section of the product obtained by rolling, pressing, forming (bending) between the rolls. Section of the profile - a cut on a line perpendicular to the long side of the segment; varies in width.
intermediate billet or product, obtained by forging or extrusion forging. Depending on their features, forgings are subdivided into square, rectangular, polygonal and round cross-sections, and forged and hammered according to the production method.


One of the main types of metal forming with the use of heat. According to technology, a distinction is made between hot (processing of red-hot metal), cold (deformation of blanks of cold metal), mixed (using forged, finished cast and welded elements).
Forging in dies
A method of iron working in which the desired shape is obtained by pressing prepared materials into a special metal mold.
The process of obtaining shaped castings by filling molten metal into prepared molds. Casting elements (balls, spades, etc.) are often used in parallel with forging elements and are integral parts of fences, gates, railings.
Type of metal forming, when the forming of forgings from heated billets is carried out by using a special tool, a stamp.
A blank for the production of standard repetitive elements required in large quantities (for example, the same type of curls for the fence).
Torsion (twisting)
A method of treating metal rods to give a decorative appearance. Rods no thicker than two centimeters, previously annealed and cooled in the air, by means of simple technologies can be twisted in a cold state.
Ковка на Спиридоновке
The fence of Z.G. Morozova's mansion in Spiridonovka Street, Moscow

Methods of metal processing

Turning wire into a narrow strip by rolling in a special roller, one of the classic techniques of artistic forging.
Metal processing pressure, in which the round or shaped profile workpieces are pulled through a hole with a cross-section less than the diameter of the workpiece.
Bending a part out of shape by hammering it with a preheated hammer.
Cutting parts of a specified shape by using cutting tools from sheet metal.
Cutting out
Cutting out with a sharp tool (chisel, sledgehammer, etc.) of the details of a certain shape or part of the workpiece.
Changing the shape and geometry of the metal, produced without preheating. The force causes the workpiece to bend and deform, stretching its outer layers and compressing its inner ones.
Processing of metals and metal alloys by pressure, which consists in compressing them between rotating rolls of rolling mills.
The process of working the metal with a special forge axe, chisel or undercut. One of the techniques of artistic forging, which results in cutting off part of the metal on the outer contour of the workpiece.
Straightening (straightening) rolled stock, wires, long forgings, forgings, castings, machined parts to remove distortions and other defects.
Artistic machining of metal, making a pattern, inscription, image, consisting in hammering out a certain relief on a plate.