(arrow ring, portable hole)
This is a ring you can stick in the ground to hold arrows while you shoot archery. A similar design could be used to hold a pole for a flag or banner (these usually have two rings, which makes things more complicated).
I like to use a 36" length of about 3/8" round stock. Exact size is not critical. Variations in length will affect how high off the ground the ring is. Stock much thicker than 3/8" will be kinda heavy, and much thinner may be on the weak side. Start by making a Leaf at one end of your stock.
Now draw out about 3" of the stock below the leaf. Exact shape not critical, but draw out at least 2" and make it thin enough that you can bend it easily later (while hot).
Now measure 16" from the part you drew out, and make a 90-degree bend. I used a bench vise mounted on a stump, but a post vise would be better if you have one. The bend does not need to be really sharp or exactly 90-degrees. Just get it close, you can adjust it later if necessary.
Now you should have an "L" shaped rod, with the leaf at the end of the shorter piece. Bend the shorter piece into a circle, so the drawn-out section touches the 90-degree bend. There are a number of ways to do this, but a bending fork (shown in hardy hole) is by far the easiest. (I will add instructions for making a bending fork when I get the chance, it's pretty easy). If you're not sure how sharp or gradual to make the curves, it can help to cut out a circle of cardboard the size your circle will be. In this case, you would need a circle 16" in circumfrence, or about 5" in diameter.
Now heat the drawn-out section by the leaf, and use pliers to bend this section around the 90-degree bend. Tuck the leaf along the stake, with the leaf veins on the outside where they are visible. Make sure the point of the leaf is not sticking out where it can catch on things.
Now change to the other end of the stock, and taper the end to a point. It does not need to be sharp, it's just to make it easier to stick into the ground.
At this point you have a fully functional arrow stand! However, there are a couple more things you can do which will make it look a lot better for only a modest amount of extra work. First, square off a section of the stake near the ring, and put one or more twists into it. Twists are easy to do and it's amazing how much they improve the look of an object. Finally, apply a finish. Heat to black-hot and scrub with a damp wire brush to remove any dirt or scale. Re-heat to black hot and apply beeswax and/or linseed oil (I will add a page with more info on this). Ideally this will back on to make a black finish. If the metal is too how and it all burns off, add more. If the metal is too cool and liquid remains on the surface, heat gently until it smokes.
The completed item in use! Note that for this one I used a length of stock that was a few inches longer than 36" so the stand came out a little taller than usual.
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