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Bending pewter bird feet

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  • Bending pewter bird feet

    How does one bend pre-manufactured pewter bird feet to fit the shape of a limb which it is to be mounted to? Does it require heat? If so how much? Thanks for any help with this.

  • #2
    Re: Bending pewter bird feet

    never used them, normally make my own, I do believe that you could bend these after being in hot water, but also cut notches underneath the feet to help the bend...good luck...mark.


    • #3
      Re: Bending pewter bird feet

      I've done it, and had as many failures as successes. DON'T torch them... BE PATIENT and GO SLOWLY, using the hot water alot. the cap's indicate where my fails have been in the past! Good luck!!!



      • #4
        Re: Bending pewter bird feet

        I have used a hair dryer to heat them up to the point you need a piece of paper towel to hold them while you bend them. I have tried notching them from the under side but it also weekens them too and best to reinforce with super glue and bakeing soda after final bend.
        Best luck is with larger feet. Kestrels, falcons, hawks. Smaller feet usually break if you try to roll them down enough to fit a small stick.
        If the shape is critical, it is best to make them your self from copper or brass wire.
        Charlie Wolfe


        • #5
          Re: Bending pewter bird feet

          Do you have any suggestions or resources about making your own bird feet?

          J.M. Norton


          • #6
            Re: Bending pewter bird feet

            Don't remember where I got the info but it works for me. Bend a 20" in copper wire[ size depends on the bird]in the middle, then bend in the middle again. Now you have 4 strands about 5 " lg. Twist tightly the length you need for the leg, take one of the 4 wires & bend it back on its self for the length of the toe, twist, . do the other 3, then take the remainding 4 short lengths & twist for a mounting post. Now solder the whole foot. then apply epoxy to suit the design. I can assure you they wont break!!. Bend the foot to fit before Epoxy. Check my California Quail in the bird section. Good luck!!!


            • #7
              Re: Bending pewter bird feet

              Thanks very much, I'll give your method a try! Do you heat the whole foot with a torch when applying the solder, or apply the solder a little at a time? (I don't do much soldering, obviously!)


              • #8
                Re: Bending pewter bird feet

                I like to make my songbird feet this way also. Here are some tips that help me
                1.use 22 gauge wire (copper or brass or any wire that will take solder)
                use 20 gauge wire for larger song birds.
                2.make the pair at the one foot after the other so you can measure them to make them equal.
                3.cut your wire (one for each foot) about 20-22 inches long
                4.pull the wires through a piece of sand paper to get them ready for solder
                5.fold each wire in half and then in half again so you have 4 strands of wire of equal length
                6.grasp the wire about 1.5 inches from the double loop end with needle nose pliers and twist these wires together to make the "leg"
                7.cut the loop at the other end and spread out the four strands...3 one direction and 1 the opposite direction...these will be toes.
                8.starting with the hind toe bend it in the shape of a paper clip and where the wire comes back to the leg bend it down. this will become part of the post
                9.twist this hind toe leaving a loop on the end. Use calipers to measure the hind toe from leg to the beginning of the loop (best to count how many times you twist this wire so that you can repeat it for the middle toe in front. The hind toe and middle toe are usually the same length. It doesn't matter how bid the loop is because you will cut it to shape after you solder the toe.
                10,do the same thing for toe #2 and #4. only these toes are usually about a toe nail shorter than the middle toe
                11.Now twist the 4 ends of the toe wire to make a post that goes into the mount.
                12.solder after cleaning your foot with acetone or alcohol...use lots of flux.
                Heat the metal and have your soldering iron very hot...let the metal melt your solder
       you can cut the loop making to toe. be careful not to cut it off the end of the twisted wire. Sharpen the nail with sandpaper or file. It is good to put some solder on the top of the loop before you cut out the bottom of the loop so the nail is stronger.
                14.Now add epoxy putty. heat the wire a little so the epoxy will stick better.
                when you mix the putty let it sit for about 30 minutes so it isn't sticky and it is easier to work with.
                Hope this helps. Once you get the hang of it you will enjoy making the feet.
                Happy carving, Dick


                • #9
                  Re: Bending pewter bird feet

                  This must be where I got the method It works !!


                  • #10
                    Re: Bending pewter bird feet

                    If you need toes, it is always better to make your own. There have been various articles in Wildfowl Carving Magazine dealing with this topic. Jerry Simchuk's carving and painting books usually (I don't have them all to check with) have sections on making toes and legs, as does Bob Guge's Northern Cardinal book.

                    Another alternative is to buy only the separate pewter toes from your supplier. These do bend easier. Then make the legs as outlined in several of the sources above.


                    • #11
                      While i usually make my legs Ihad some pewter for a woodpecker. Used the hair dryer and it bent them successfully. v-e-r-y slowly....


                      • #12
                        There are videos on you tube for making Bird Feet


                        • #13
                          I tried the bent wire method and it looks very promising. thanks for the tip.