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  1. Short version: what size stock would you recommend using for tong reins if forge welding them on? So I have a decent amount of 5/8” round stock, mild steel. Seems like good stuff for making tong blanks out of, but it’s pretty thick stuff. I’d imagine that a 12-14” pair of tongs with 5/8” reins would be a nice heavy duty set of tongs, but overkill for what I will be needing. A big heavy set of tongs seems unnecessary for my current skill level, and projects that I’ll be doing. I thought about drawing the reigns out on every blank like I have done with smaller square stock, seems like it will be more work than it’s worth. I’ve been testing out forge welding on some random scraps, and I think I’m ready to try and forge weld reins into a set of blanks. For those of you who go this route, what size do you use for the reins? thanks for the info!
  2. The forge isn’t completed yet but it is functional. But I couldn’t wait to try out forging for the first time. First I need to give credit to all blacksmiths that forge with a hammer, I was wiped out after making these which took about 3 hours (per side). This has only made me more impressed with what can be achieved. Definitely need to work on hammer control. I think i wasn't heating the metal enough and i shouldn't have started with 3/4 round bar. Drawing out the reins almost killed me. After watching more videos of smiths being able to do this in much fewer heats than it took me (1 heat to my 12 I need to do) and the metal seemed to moved so much easier than it did for me. While trying to adjust the reins l noticed a small crack which I assume was because i didn't have them hot enough so l had to tack weld it on one of them. Any advice, suggestions, point out the good, the bad and the ugly will be appreciated.
  3. Last weekend I forged a pair of crucible lifting tongs for a A6 sized crucible. Starting stock was 20mm square mild steel. I just want to share the result with you here.
  4. Hello! I'm relatively new to blacksmithing and bladesmithing (I'm also a college student strapped for both time and cash, lol!), but I recently got about 20' of 3/4" mild steel square stock and wanted to start making my own tongs so I can get rid of the Harbor Freight mechanic's needlenose pliers I've been using (they're good, but I want better <shrug>). My question is, do I have good enough material to make decent tongs, or should I look for better material? Also, any suggestions or tips on methods for making the aforementioned tongs would also be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
  5. Well, I tried the TPAAAT method and had results within 24 hours. Now comes the part where I try and figure out how much to offer and get some help from you folks on what kind of condition this animal is in. I will go back tomorrow with a ruler and a ball bearing and test the rebound, as well as lightly tapping all over the face horn and heel. I did tap the face once and it rang very strongly, sort of like a bell. It seemed very hard. I think it’s cast steel, It weighs around 150 pounds and the only mark I could find on it was sort of indistinct under the heel. I’ve included a photo. At the bottom of the anvil there is an oval shaped indentation and everything else seems like it’s intact just a little bit of wear on the step and face. I also found a swage that looks to be at least 100 pounds and numerous tongs.
  6. Are “slot jaw” tongs available commercially or must they be custom made? I saw a pair being used on one of Black Bear Forge’s demos and they looked to be handy for various shapes.
  7. Built my 2nd set of tongs today. Sized them for 7/8 round bar. Fits 1 inch as well. Not the perfect grip into the bar I wanted. But they will do I think. Lots of practicing and lots of skills to be learned by building tongs I am finding. It is a pain to draw out the reins by hand but as I do it I am learning new technique, and proper hammer control. I went with the more extreme curvature because I think it looks kinda cool. Anyway from what I see out there they are far from perfect, but like I say, I had fun building them. Material I used is an old hex shaft that was in the scrap bin at work. Figured I'd use it. Cheers!!
  8. Hey it’s been 3 days since I turned on my first forge, read several books but have no practice, made 3 sets of tongs horrible but they work... will read more and try to forge something better cheers
  9. I recently received a set of antique colonial flat bit tongs. The tongs are in moderate condition for being that old one of the reins is just bent and wavy but the other has several cracks less than halfway down from the rivot I was thinking about taking off the broken piece and forging a new one so I can use them again. I hate seeing tools just sitting there and doing nothing. But is it a good idea for something so old? - Sergey
  10. So I have been reading through a ton of tong threads and I have my material picked out and I have came across several discussions that refer to bolt and wolf jaw tongs as the 2 most universal tongs I have been wondering if anyone has tried to make a hybrid tong between the 2 and if so we're they a success or were there detriments to using them? I've attached a rough sketch of my idea if you guys wanna critique it and let me know what you think.
  11. This first set is a pair of nippers I repurposed for 3/8 round stock. After using them a bit I think ill try to make a pair of scrolling tongs next. 3/8 is a little unwieldy. This pair I made from some tongs given to me when I first started. Initially they held 3/8, but I want to bring them up to 1/2in stock for future tong making. Any help to further my progress is appreciated. I was glad to have a day to just forge away, as these project took just about 3 or so hours. I am happy to report that with the techniques I learned here, I have little fatigue at this time, but we'll see what tomorrow brings.
  12. I picked up a set of large truck brake spring pliers for $10 and instantly saw the pick up or hammer eye tongs I've been wanting to make. Didn't take long and turned out pretty good. Nice steel too!
  13. Alright so made these now over the last few days. They are made from some 3/4 inch high tensile studs. Never doing that again by hand. Is there a specific name for them? Maybe v grove tongs. Also do feel free to let me know what could be improved. Cool with that. Cheers David. Hope it is alright to upload several pics as I wanted to show the steps I had to do to get them done.
  14. I finished my replica Viking Tongs tonight. These are made from 7/8 inch wrought iron square bar which I picked up from an old cattle ranch bone yard. Overall length is 17 inches with 12 inch reins. The reins have plenty of flex and they are comfortable in the hand. See this link for a picture of the Viking era tongs I use used to make the replica. http://sciencenordic.com/viking-blacksmith-buried-his-tools I didn't really have any sort of scale to go by, so I printed the photo a couple times until I got a scale that seemed about right. The challenge was getting the two sides equal, but I got them pretty close. I can see from the original tongs that the two halves are not entirely equal either. The tongs work really well gripping flat stock, like a knife. I may adjust the reins or the jaws a little more so the reins are not so far open when holding something about 1/4 thick. Overall it was a fun project. I'll definitely use them around the shop and they will be an interesting piece to talk about with other blacksmiths. See my two other topics on old world (African) pattern tongs and wrought iron: There are some photos in there of forging the viking tongs and a pair of African style tongs. http://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/48679-african-style-tongs/ http://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/48828-wrought-iron-bar/
  15. I need prices on anvils, tongs, hammers, and forges. And I don't mean the cheap prices just the ones to get started. btw I live in alaska Mod Note: post edited
  16. Made some tongs today in class at the tonapah mining park. They are bolt tongs with a different bend on the jaws. The idea is when your upsetting or hammering back on them they won't want to open up.
  17. Take a close look at the tongs this African blacksmith is using. This video has a close up showing the details. I have noticed that most of the videos I see of African blacksmiths (and other blacksmiths from around the world) use tongs like this. Notice how well the tongs grip the material and how easily the smith maneuvers his piece with those tongs. I see them mostly used for flat work like knives and hoes. Has anyone on the forum made tongs like this? If so, did you find them useful? Any idea why this pattern seems to be so common in so many places around the world? My next pair of tongs is going to be made like this so I can try them out.
  18. HoobaJibbs

    Pinning tongs

    So I'm having a bit of trouble and not sure if it has been addressed, but pinning tongs isn't quite working out as well as I think it should. I've made a few pair, but after those 3, I just haven't been able to get it right. The trouble I'm having is as I punch the hole, the boss caves into the pritchet and it may crack. I don't beat too thin but it still may be. Thickness suggestions? I read about using a nut underneath the boss as I punch. Using 1/2 in rebar, heating to a orange/yellow, moving it down to just over 1/4 inch.
  19. Just wondering if anyone knows where i could get a pair of tongs for cheap in the UK or at least an equally as good alternative. Currently im using vice pliers but im not having much luck with gripping the metal due to the smaller surface area
  20. Got a few things here I'm unsure of their use. Utility knife is for size reference. Tongs aren't too old I don't believe. I have a bunch of the + shapes chisels (?) and I have four of the old cone shaped iron pieces...hardy? The post is cylindrical so I wasn't sure if it was a hardy or not.
  21. pdesorm

    Mistery tongs

    Hello there, I am helping the local Colby Curtis museum and Stanstead Historical Society identify and label some blacksmith items. I do mostly small forge projects for fun so my worldly knowledge is limited. Any idea what these tongs would have been used for? I've also got a similar set at home. Thanks.
  22. Ok guys I'm in over my head. I started dabbling with blacksmithing built a trash can break rotor forge. I like to hammer when the honeydo's are done. Being a trucker I only hammer on the weekend. Now my set up is outdoors in my back yard. (my neighbors have horses they constantly ask me if I'm ready to make horse shoes and think it's hilarious) in my travels I recently acquired for free all these tools for ironworking. My question is how can i put this stuff to use. I don't plan on living in this house in a few years. So I don't want to build a shop but I really want to.
  23. StephanB

    Starter tongs

    I'm a new smith. Its a hobby that I don't want to sink too much money in. With that said, I'm hoping to make most of the tools I need. The way I understand it, there are a ton of types of tongs out there, all with different functions and jobs. My question is what types should I focus on first? I got started as a way to get into knife making. I'm playing around with small trinkets like bottle openers, key chains, ect... to give you an idea of my needs. I've been using vice-grips when the material is too short for me to hold on too for now. But I want to make things easier for myself and this will also give me practice. Also what are good stock sizes and metal types for tongs, so I know what to look for at salvage yards? Thanks.
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