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BP001 Easy to make tongs

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    Easy to make tongs. One rivet, one twist, and your done.

BP001 Easy to make tongs

By Whitesmith Copyright 2002


IForgeIron Blueprints Copyright 2002 - 2017 IFORGEIRON, All rights reserved.

BP001 Easy to make tongs

by Whitesmith


Whitesmith is a 10 year old that provided IForgeIron with the following easy to make tongs.

tongs 01a.jpg

Start with 2 pieces of 1/4" x 3/4" x 20" long flat bar. Drill, or heat and drift, a 1/4" hole, 3 inches from one end, and in the center of the bar. Insert a piece of 1/4" round rod into the hole. Put a vise grip on the handle end to hold the two pieces together and heat the working end of the tongs to orange in the forge.

tongs 02.jpg

Place the tong end in a vise. Put a crescent wrench just under the piece of 1/4" round rod and adjust the vise so there is about 1 inch of space between the bottom of the wrench and the top of the vise.

tongs 03.jpg

Turn the wrench 90 degrees or 1/4 turn. You are turning BOTH pieces of bar stock at the same time, and in the same direction.

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This shows how it looks from the top and the side.

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Remove the rod. Heat the tong end in the forge and then shape it for what you want it to do. This set of tongs was being built to hold 1/4" round stock. The tongs can be taken apart and worked easily in the forge. When you want to see how you did, put them back together with the rod.

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When you have the tongs shaped the way you want, heat the end of the 1/4" round rod and put it in the hole in the tongs. Clamp it in the vise and pein the end of the rod to form a rivet head

tongs 10.jpg

Once you have made a rivet head from the end of the rod, cut the other end of the rod off, leaving enough rod to make a rivet head on that side too. Put the whole thing in the fire and get just the end of the rivet hot. You can make the rivet head with the rod cold, but a little bit of heat makes it work a lot better. Put it on the anvil and pein the end over to form a rivet head. Be careful not to get it too tight. You can always make it tighter later, just pein it again, but you can not make it loosen up by hitting it with the hammer. Note: For the rivet, leave about 1-1/2 times the diameter of the rod to make the rivet head

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These tongs have just about the right space at the end of the handle to work for me. You can heat and bend the handles to adjust the space to fit your hands.

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These are not heavy tongs, and will not do the work of heavy tongs, but they will do a lot of work and are quick and easy to make.

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These would be perfect to make tongs without tongs so that you have something to use  to make your first "Regular build" tongs and other simple tools.  Solves the "I need tongs to make tongs" catch 22.

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Terrance: Did you look at the date the blue print was posted? It's nearly 3 years old. Don't sweat it, it takes a while to remember to check and even then we sometimes forget and respond to a long LONG old post. 

Twist tongs are outstanding tongs to get you started, you can make them with a: torch, two crescent wrenches and a hand drill.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I didn't see this one before, very glad I stumbled on it.  I can see how the tecnique can be "adjusted" to get longer, and maybe even bolt head tongs out of it as well.    Set the pivot hole back farther up, do the twist at about the same spot.  Then shape the arch between the flat and the hole.   I have to check my pile of scrap to see if I have the appropriate stock to make some of these.  I'd really like to have a better set of tongs to work with.

Anyone see any obvious problems with my idea?

Edited by Paul TIKI
added something I forgot
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The tong blueprint can be adjusted to fit your needs.  Want longer reins, cut them longer.  Want longer jaws, cut them longer.  Want to use them to hold larger stock, start with the appropriately larger stock. etc.

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20 hours ago, Paul TIKI said:

Anyone see any obvious problems with my idea?

Nope, you have the idea. The real problem folks have Forging tongs is getting the bosses and bits square, flat, aligned and matched. It's not actually hard to do but it can be finicky.

Twist tongs eliminates the above finicky details necessary to get tongs that hinge and bits that do what you want. Once you have the boss you can forge the bits and reins however you like. 

Nuts and bolts are perfect, you can make one pair of tongs serve several specialty purposes by simply making ONE new half.

Frosty The Lucky.

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