Fold-forming: Rueger (seed pod) fold

This tutorial describes how to make a seed pod shape using fold-forming. The fold is called the Rueger fold. It requires inexpensive tools and is quite easy to do! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me on jenny@jennyekbergstjohn.com, or use the contact box at the bottom of this page.

Materials (Figure 1):

–          Metal sheet, 24-28 gauge

–          Torch and water for quenching

–          Bordering/forging hammer

–          Solderite pad or other heat resistant surface

–          Raw hide or plastic mallet

–          Metal cutters (I use bonsai scissors)

–          Permanent marker pen (Sharpie)

–          Bench block or anvil

–          Oyster knife or other object that can be used to open the final fold-form

Fold-forming requires very basic, inexpensive tools: a forging hammer, a mallet, a small bench block or anvil, a hand-held butane torch, metal cutters, a Solderite pad or similar heat-resistant surface, a marker pen and a flat sheet of metal (copper, brass, silver or any other metal that you like; 24-28 gauge. You also need an object to pry open the final fold form, such as an oyster knife, and a bowl to quench your hot metal in after annealing.

Methods:

  1. Fold the metal sheet in half, flatten with a mallet and draw an elongated shape with a marker pen. Cut out the shape (Figure 2).

    After folding the metal sheet in half and flattening it with a mallet, draw an elongated shape as shown with a marker pen. Cut out the shape with metal cutters.
  2. Begin to forge along the closed edge with parallel, repeated blows, starting from the middle and moving towards each end (Figure 3).

    Begin hammering with parallel blows along the closed edge. Start from the middle and move towards each end. When finished, flip the metal over and repeat on the other side. Anneal the metal and start over again.
  3. Anneal the metal. First draw a few lines on both sides of the metal with your permanent marker. Heat the metal with the torch from one side until the marker pen lines disappear. Quench, flip it over, and repeat the process on the other side
  4. Forge again, just like before. Anneal and quench and repeat the cycle 8-20 times, depending on how much you would like your seed pod to curve (Figure 4).

    For this fold-form, the hammering/annealing cycle was repeated 8 times.
  5. Anneal a final time and pry the fold form open with an oyster knife or similar object (I use the back of a laboratory spoon). It will now have a lovely, three-dimensional shape (Figure 5).
    After carefully opening the fold-form, it will take on a pod-like, three-dimensional structure.

 

4 thoughts on “Fold-forming: Rueger (seed pod) fold

  1. Bleah, only responses are spam? We can do better than that.

    You did a nice job explaining the technique with good pictures, might want to show more how you’re doing the fluting in figure 4, I beat the edge into a valley filed in a block of end-grain hardwood for better control, YMMV. Also might mention that these forms will curve more as you open, that can affect how far someone wants to forge in the first place.

    And of course the canonical book is by CLB who developed this technique, _Fold Forming_
    though _Creative Metal Forming_ by Longhi and Eid is more recent and also quite good.

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