Step-by-Step: Making an "S" Hook

Blacksmith: Robert Elliott

Photos by Brenda Ross

s hook step 5

In this photo, Bob is finishing the curved cradle of the hook.  You can see just a glint of cherry-red color in the taper as he finishes.  Remember that he started with a red-orange heat before curving the stock.

At this step, nearly all beginners have made a mistake!

Beginners fail to "think in reverse" and end up making a "C-shaped" hook.

Why?  The small scroll tip at the end is made the same way as the larger curve but has to be done in reverse.  Beginners fail to realize this and simply make the scroll tip opposite to the already-finished end.  Then they bend the hook into the shape of a "C".  The second scroll tip needs to be curved inward as if making a "C".  Then it is positioned correctly to make the "S".

The small scroll is made just like the large curve shown--and at a red-orange heat.  You will learn to do this on the anvil horn.  Later on, you will learn to do this step with scrolling tongs.

After you have made the scroll tip, quench only the tip in water.  You can then tap the quenched scroll and curve the hook's shank.  If you do not quench the scroll tip, you will close it shut when striking with the hammer.

And when you make a "C" hook, have your instructor show you how to twist the center shank to correct the mistake.  

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