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I Forge Iron

I am frustrated trying to make tongs


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I have been thinking, Grant can probably smell the smoke coming out of my ears. Maybe Frosty too.

I bought a piece of 3ft long 1x1/2 inch hot roll some time ago. If I mark at 5 ...


Isn't this kind of large for tongs, especially for a beginner? We used 1x3/8 for scrolling tongs, and it was really kind of much to draw out the reins on. A lot of us beginners were having trouble. Eventually, I had to wimp out with an air hammer to finish. According to that bolt tongs website, 3/4x1/4 is marginal, and 1x1/4 should be fine.
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Yes it is a bear to draw out. Maybe I am overcompensating for the problems my first pair have. I found some 1/2 inch square mild from an old fire grate that I started working too. That pair is almost done, and I have only drawn out the one rein from the 1x1/2. Difficult drawing is not very frustrating to me.

I have learned a lot about hammer control and dressing a hammer. My drawn sections look more smooth and have no sharp jaggedness to them anymore. They are not free of hammer marks yet though.


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i made a couple of tongs i didnt think they where to bad to make and as nakeanvil said they are lifetime warrenty:) not the purtyist but they work:)
i just took 2 24" pieces and made the tongs ends the way i wanted the larger pair is 5/8 round the smaller is 3/8 or 1/2 not sure


Edited by bigcity
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  • 2 weeks later...

I tried to make the poz tongs and failed miserably. I think it started down hill at the beginning. I will try again of course. Try, try again until you know you can fail well or do it well.

Polarbearforge, I hope you take this as flattery..... since I work in a steel fab shop I have time to make some things and decided to take a shot at making blanks. I made them out of 3/8" cutouts from flanges of beams. Since you did not have measurements on your site pics ( good idea btw) I took guesses as to what I liked for sizing. 1 set was a normal type and the other I put a 2" opening between the jaw and rivet for spacing and made flat bar tongs. Darn did they turn out nice. Of course until we move to our new shop I am stuck using a torch and not the plasma.

For the guy who has limited funds, limited access to junk yards / steel recyclers the blanks are a good purchase. Up here in Edmonton, I pay $0.25 - $1 per lb for scrap steel when I need things my shop does not have around. A structural steel fab shop does not carry alot of small steel sizes so I do end up buying scrap from time to time.

Edited by DennisG
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