"– Double Twist Basket Handle"

Jeff Salter


Jeff became interested in working with molten metal when he took a welding class
in 1983 in High school. He joined the US Army in 1988-1992 as a Ranger. During
that time on weekends off, he apprenticed with a local Farrier. Jeff was looking
at becoming a Farrier, as a profession. In 1993 he began the 2 year Farrier
Science Coarse taught by Terry miller, at South Puget Sound Community College,
in Olympia, WA. The Course was very comprehensive, covering Equine anatomy and
form and function of the Equine leg and hoof.  It taught business management,
marketing and accounting. Building shoes from bar stock for sound horses, as
well as a large variety of specialty shoes for correcting lameness problems.

Jeff was privileged to study 2 quarters of Blacksmithing, under Dorothy Seigler.
Her classes offered basic all the way to advanced Smithing. Dorothy had guest
Smith’s from all over the world come to teach and do demonstrations. Students
from foreign countries came to study under Dorothy.

Jeff took the American Farrier’s Associations test in 1994 and received the High
Point award as a Certified Farrier. Complete Farrier Services began in 1995.
Jeff worked 6 days a week and was called in by Veterinarian’s to consult on lame
horses. He quickly became the area expert on correcting Lameness issues. He
worked on ponies, donkeys, mules, driving animals and riding horses of all
disciplines. His signature gift to good clients was an ornamental horse head
hoof pick with brass finished mane, 16 years ago.

In 2003 Jeff joined the Special Forces and was stationed permanently in Ft.
Bragg, NC.

In 2008 as a Christmas gift Jeff’s wife paid his dues into the NCABANA.  Do to
multiple deployments overseas for the next several years; it was 2009 before he
got his Blacksmithing shop wired for Smithing. In fall of 2009 he returned from
Iraq with an extensive shoulder injury. He had surgery and was unable to hammer
for 6 months. He deployed again in late spring of 2010.  While overseas he was
reading his “Hot Iron Sparkle” and saw that they were looking for demonstrators
at the State fair in October! He emailed Marty Lyons and the rest is




Double Twist Basket Handle by Jeff Salter

The basket.

Jeff Salter

His lovley wife Barbara

The jig used to preform the outer bars before attaching to the inner bars.

Jeff is doing this demonstration at Roger Barbour's shop in Clayton NC. during the 4th quarter NC ABANA meet held December 3rd 2011.

Start with the four inner bars. Size is up to you so experiment.

Wire together

Place one end of the wrapped up bars in the forge to be forge welded together.

Heat to almost yellow and brush mill scale off.

Sprinkle on flux.


Place back in forge and bring to almost a yellow heat. Look for the surface to be "wet".


Bring to the anvil and hammer once on one side...

turn 90 degrees and hammer once there.

Repeat turning back and forth 90 degrees until all four bars a welded well.

Remove wire and weld the other end up.

Now to form the outer bars.

Place on the anvil as such and bend the ends of the bars slightly. Do this cold.

This is how it should look on the jig before the next bending step.

Hammer down the bar to form it to the jig, do this cold as well.

Make four bars like this, again the size is up to you but the lengths need to match the inner bar you have welded.

Heat the center of the four inner bars you have welded together and twist them in the vise.

For this basket Jeff turns the inner bars 1 1/2 times.

Straighten as needed.

With a pair of vise grips, clamp one of the outer bars to the now twisted inner bars.

To forge weld all the outer bars to the inner bars work one bar at the time on only one end.

Bring to an almost yellow heat...

wire brush, sprinkle on flux, reheat and weld.

This shows one end of one bar "lightly" welded on the inner bars. Notice there is hardly any flattening of the outer bar, basically it is 'tacked".

You can tack the other three bars on this way but to save time we will tack with a wire welder.

One end tacked up with the four outer bars.

The other end is not tacked.

Heat up, brush, flux, reheat, and forge weld the tacked on bars.

Use the same technique as before, hammer one side then turn 90 degress and hammer that side.

Back and forth rotating 90 degress until the end is welded solid.

Turn the basket around. This end has not been tacked so the hammer blows from welding the other end has moved them slightly so you must straighten them before welding.

Having welded the other end, Jeff cools the basket off completely before the next step and passes it around for people to see. Rick Morrison admires the craftsmanship.

The next step is to heat the entire basket with a torch. This is being done because it would take too long for the meeting to get all the parts to the same dull red in the forge at the same time. That way is to heat up a large ammount of coke in the forge and bury the basket within and turn off the air and wait for the dull red color. This may need to be done several times while rotating between each heat.

Heat the center first, keep it hot with the "over spray" from the torch as you heat each one of the outer bars.

Twist back 1/2 turn in the opposite direction as you twisted the inner bars.

This opens the center bars as it curves the outer bars.

Straighten as needed and there you have it.

 Jeff Salter is a certified farrior and serves in the US Army Special Forces station at Fort Bragg. You can read more about Jeff  on this website, just click on his name to the left.

















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