Forging Tips

stainless steel gum leaves and gumnuts


Leaves need to be made of stainless steel or copper so they won't rust when exposed to the elements. Actual gum leaves vary in length from around 60mm (2 ½”) to over 250mm (10”) and are long and flat, see the Reference Images page for examples of leaves and gumnuts. The larger leaves are generally no wider than 40mm (1 ½”) at their widest point. If you wish, you may like to forge a gumnut. Gumnuts are rounded and hollow. Although there are varieties of large gumnuts, they are generally no larger than a thumbnail. Click the links above to see step-by-step demonstations of forging a gum leaf and a gumnut.

Ideally, the forged leaves can be about 1–2mm (1/16”) thick. Stems need to be at least 6mm (1/4”) thick, no less and at least 50mm (2”) long. As one Australian blacksmith puts it;

“Folks, you have to realise that us Aussies are all descended from a bunch of thieving convicts. If you feel your design is going to go walkabout or fall off at the first gust of wind perhaps the design needs reconsidering.”

So please don’t make your leaf stems too thin, or your leaf may well become a trophy for a local vandal.

Please note, that these are guidelines only and we do not want 1000 exact copies of the same leaf! Each leaf will be as individual as the ‘smith that created it. If you have one, we ask that you put your touchmark on your leaves, or your initials, so we can identify your work and mark your contribution.