Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How To: Forging, fabricating and fitting a copper ferrule.

#1. Start with a piece of copper pipe and a tight fitting mandrel. Cut the pipe extra long for added stability on the mandrel.

#2. Slide the pipe over the mandrel, leaving a small amount sticking up above the top of the mandrel and forge it over the end. Repeat this process until the desired aperture at the top is reached, annealing the copper as needed.

#3. If the ferrule starts to pucker out at the top, bring it back in by using a swedge block and planishing hammer.

#4. Once the ferrule is trued up it can be cut to length with a jewelers saw.

#5. For extra strength, reinforcement and decoration, rings can be added by silver brazing them in place.

#6. Lastly, a slot is filed in the top to fit the tang of the knife on this style with a “closed top“. This style looks nice and also prevents the ferrule from rotating or turning.

Here’s a couple shots of the finished knife.


  1. Fantastic Post Brother! I had a ton of fun when we did this process. I recently created two different size mandrels for my non-ferrous studio for making these fancy ferrules.
    That bowie turned out amazing!

  2. Thanks Don! :)

    Those ferrules are a lot of fun to make.

  3. That's a great Tutorial Tai.great steps and pics.even a caveman should be able to do it now.

  4. I really like this, and plan to use it to make ferrules for my hiking staff. I asked and received great answers to my questions regarding this process on another website, I copied and pasted them here for anyone who is interested.

    Q1. 1. The mandrel that you used, what is it made from and what did you use round over the end?

    A1. It's a bar of steel. Just about any kind will work including mild steel. The important part is that it should fit tight. I rounded the top with a bench grinder.

    Q2. I assume that you heated the copper before forging it over, is this correct?

    A2. The copper is annealed as needed and worked cold. Annealing is done by heating it to a cherry red and quenching it in water.

    Q3. What type of hammer is used to do this?

    A3. I used a jeweler's planishing hammer, which is only about 1 to 1-1/2 pound or so. You can see it in part in the 3rd and 4th pix from the top. Just about any hammer in that size range with a slight dome will work.

    Tai Goo, keep the great content coming!