If you or someone you know is currently thinking about making a rustic barn door handle, be sure to make note of the following steps.
For starters, begin with a piece of square solid stock metal that measures 1 ½ inches on all sides. From there, heat up your coal forge (or propane if you have that) and allow the heat to build up. Once this happens, begin embedding your piece of steel into the heat.
From there, watch for the end of the steel to turn a bright orange color. This will indicate that you can begin manipulating it by drawing out one end and flattening it. This will cause the overall width to then measure 7/8 inches to one inch. You can achieve this by using a hammer to get the width needed.
The flat ends will serve as the foot that will help mount the handle to the door. The ankle of the steel is then heated up so that you can then bend the part of the metal that measures ½ an inch in order to create just the right amount of projection, which is how far out from the surface of the door that the handle will be. From there, turn the ankle to an 85 degree angle and make it to where the leg projects approximately 1 ½ inches.
Go back to the forge and heat up the metal enough to where it can again be bent to create the actual handle. This will measure approximately six inches before it’s heated up to create the following on the opposite end:
You can then twist the steel in order to create a decent enough grip for the handle itself. Once you are finished heating and hammering, use a wire brush to quickly get rid of all of the flaking and loose burnt metal. From there, the handle will be ready to be treated, as you can then dip it in wax. This will help to seal the metal’s pores while it’s still hot.
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