Welcome to Shadetree Blacksmith.

I'm about heating steel up to an orange-yellow color and beating it into useful and decorative items on my 100 year old anvil. I put my heart and soul into every piece I make and use recycled steel as often as I can.

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Sunday, June 10, 2012

How to Forge a Cattail

How to Forge a Cattail Shadetree Blacksmith photo

I'm Shadetree Blacksmith.  I have a shop on Etsy and this is my first blog post.

Today I want to tell you how to forge a cattail.

Materials list (mild steel):

33" long "stem" - 38" round stock tapered to 1/4" on top half

23" long "leaf" - 1/8 " flat stock, 3/4" wide at base tapered to a point

5" long "seed pod" - 7/8" od tubing or black pipe

How to Forge a Cattail photo

Step 1:  Forge stem-  taper from 3/8" at base to about 1/4" at the top half and then to a point.

Step 2:  Forge leaf-  make a gradual taper from 3/4" wide at base to a point.  Distress it with ball pein hammer.

Step 3:  Forge seed pod with guillotine fuller hardy tool.  For more instruction on guillotine fuller hardy tool go to  Taper both ends of the 5" long seed pod being careful not to close ends completely so that you can slide it on the stem.

How to Forge a Cattail photo

how to forge a cattail photo

Tapering ends of the seed pod.

how to forge a cattail photo

We can see how the tool tapers the ends of the seed pod.

how to forge a cattail photo

This shows the guillotine tool tapering the ends of the seed pod.

how to forge a cattail photo

Seed pod formed at the end of the tubing before and after it is cut off.

Now we need to assemble the cattail.

Picture of seed pod assembled on the stem

Step 4:  Drive seed pod onto end of stem until 2 1/2" of the stem sticks out the top.  You can leave it friction fitted or weld the top and bottom of the pod onto the stem.  I welded mine on.

Step 5: Heat the bottom 2 1/2" of the leaf and wrap around the bottome of the stem. Weld in place.

Now your cattail is complete!

how to forge a cattail photo

how to forge a cattail photo


  1. I always see art like this but had no idea of what was involved in making it. Beautiful! It is so nice you provide the information about how to make these. Not that could ever do that, but it is so interesting! Carolyn

    1. That you so much for the kind comment. Glad you like it. Thanks for reading.

  2. great information. Just what I need to make my first gate, for my backyard!