Johngineer writes:

My mother collects rocking horses. She tries to get at least one each year for Christmas. This year, she couldn’t find anything she liked in the stores, so I made her one out of brass stock I had lying around.

I did a little CAD drawing to help myself visualize what it would look like. You might find it useful. There are very few dimensions, but you can still use it as a guide to bending the stock. The drawing is 1:1, so if you print out the PDF, you can just lay the bent metal on the paper to check the contour.

Becky Stern

Becky Stern

Becky Stern ( is a DIY guru and director of wearable electronics at Adafruit. She publishes a new project video every week and hosts a live show on YouTube. Formerly Becky was Senior Video Producer for MAKE. Becky lives in Brooklyn, NY and belongs to art groups Free Art & Technology (“release early, often, and with rap music”) and Madagascar Institute (“fear is never boring”).

  • Simon

    Brass, not bronze. They are different things.

    One way to easily bend springy brass is to anneal it first. Heat it to a red glow then cool it (slowly or quench it – it doesn’t matter) then it will become soft and more easily workable. If you then bend or hammer it it will eventually work harden again. This works for copper too.

    • Becky Stern

      Thanks, generally I’m aware of things like this, just in a rush to get into the xmastime celebrations. =] I agree, annealing would help, but then you have to pickle and/or polish away the firescale!

      • Simon

        For pickling (that’s removing the soldering flux for people who wonder what the funny term is) I think you can use a citric acid solution. I say ‘I think’ since I know it works on copper but I have never tried on brass.

        You can buy citric acid as a powder at the local supermarket. Just dissolve some in water. Much safer than using other, nastier acids. I did this recently for a copper steam engine boiler I made and it worked well.

        For something like the horse though just using some steel wool to polish it all up in some soapy water would work. Pickling is good for things like boilers where you can’t physically clean the insides of it easily.