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thought I'd make a quick pair of tongs this morning as i don't have any yet :/, so i got a bit of strip mild steel and just made a pair of about 1/4" flat hold tongs, i was really pleased with them till one of the jaws fell off, i reckon it was cause i cut half way through with a hot cut chisel not fullered 1/2-2/3 way through then twisted think the cut just made a weak point and it cracked, ahh well it's all experience, i did get a good forge weld though even with wet borax :) I'll have another go at tongs tomorrow i think if i get the chance, and post a photo of what i come up with, i may mig weld the jaw back on the broken ones too seeing as i have none and it would be very useful to have a pair while making some more, and they did look really nice till the jaw broke off :(

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Ragnarok, at least you are trying to make tongs, keep it up.

Here are the ones I just did today. 1" X 1/4" flat, 16" long.

tongstart.jpg tonghandles.jpg

Then like you I had an accident.......


Tomorrow is another day and I will work on another pair, just gonna have to weld this broken set up and finish them.

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nice effort. keep it up.
i think there is a blue print on ifi for a set of tongs from flat using the anvil edge, practice on whatever you have but chase up some say...30mm by 10-12 mm. for your tongs..unless light duty is all you are after. do you quench alot? or just too cold where the break is? i did these from 1" by 1/4"or just over and the scroll by 1/2" square, very light duty with the scroll, i stuffed up and went a bit thin on the hinge.

and yes keep making them till you get the ones you want.


Edited by double_edge2
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yeah I did quench quite a bit cause I have no tongs so I was just holding them with a glove on so working on 1end then the other needs some cooling :/ anyway I'll try again latter hopefully and maybe weld the jaw back on I'm thinking oxy acet :)

dennis those tongs look nice till they broke too! :( ah well makes forging the next pair easier I'm sure :)

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I believe you should use mild steel for tongs. 4140 is half hard steel, as you probably know, and your tongs will become hot while working. If you quench them while working in your slack tank they may become brittle and possibly break. You do not have to listen to me since I have not made a set yet, but I bet somebody else can confirm.

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While tongs can become "hot" in use, they should never become so hot that you are hardening them. That requires a red heat. Why would your tongs ever get red hot? Anything less is not "quenching" it's "cooling".

When fullering down before twisting, don't go nearly as far as you think. Just enough to isolate the twist. Then forge it to shape after. Start with enough material to make two tongs and draw out the reins at each end first. Cut apart in the middle and work on the jaw/pivot area.

wd&mlteach: never heard the term "half hard" used in ferrous materials. 4140 can be soft, hard or anything in between.

Edited by nakedanvil
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yeah i worked that out about the fullering down I've made one half of a round hold pair and almost done the other half it's going much better this time, i need to set up a vice near my forge though so that i can do the twist better that or I'm thinking of making somethings similar to scrolling wrenches to make the twist, i think it would be better than hammering it :)

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nakedanvil, it is a term used at a local welding shop that I get some of my metals from. He refers to 4140 as half hard and O-1/W-1 as hard. I guess the term is not universal, my apologies.

By the way I tried making tongs today. I started out with 1/2" x 1" x 15" and after many hours I only got as far as this. I had a blast doing it but I had no idea how long it takes to draw out two pieces like that, holy cow! I now have a new found respect for anybody who has made a set of tongs!

Got them this far I will try to finish on Monday.




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