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Tong Sizes


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Hi, All. Just getting started here. My mother in law has would like to buy something for the smithy so I thought some tongs might be useful, especially since we are working mostly with scrap. I am thinking of getting 3 pair. What sizes and styles? I thought 2 pair of OC V Bit and one wolf jaw. I need to hold 1/4" and up, square and round stock mostly at the moment. Any opinions would be appreciated. Thanks.~Eric

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I will write down the numbers on the sides of the one's I have and post the information later tonight.

I am going to go out to my shop and see about possibly making a step-down jig for a blacksmithing meeting tomorrow. The idea of the jig is:
1. To demonstrate the making and use of step-down tooling.
2. Encourage beginners to make something that otherwise they might be too intimidated to try.
3. Provide an opportunity for more people to participate in the monthly project exchange.
4. Teach the beginners about different ways of decorating something, in this case a basic cheese cutter.
5. Allow the beginners to focus on decorating their project.


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I asked a similar question and got some good responses.

I bought 1 pair so far, the OCP goose neck V-bit (chain maker) tongs in 1/2 inch. I bought 16 inch, but should have bought 18 inch since I have a gas forge (dragon breath). The nicest part is that longer pieces of stock pass the hinge without interference. I may buy the Peddinghaus tongs next month, but I am trying to make some tongs with what I have on hand. I am ordering some stock with what is left of this months budget.


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UF- Can you explain step-down tooling? Thanks in advance for the #s. Phil, I've been following your thread and your frustration :) I was hoping Grant might respond to a PM I sent him regarding specific tong sizes. I like the idea of goose neck tongs.

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What sizes would you recommend?

The wolf-jaw tongs that I have are labeled "40" for a pair that handles approximately 1/4" to 3/8" stock and a pair labeled "50" that handles approximately 3/8" to about 1/2" stock. I am not sure of the make, it is from someone who used to sell supplies at the local yearly "blacksmith days" conferences. :D

Step-down jigs, are jigs that are designed to make one object. As bend are made, the bar stock is lowered down into the jig in steps. This is done because metal-posts for later bends are made shorter so as not to obstruct earlier bends.

CivilWarBlacksmith took pictures of me trying it out today, maybe he will post pictures of the sequence of using it. My humble understanding is that he may submit the pictures and an explanation to the newsletter of the Blacksmith Guild of Central Maryland. I will take the jig to tomorrows meeting http://www.iforgeiron.com/forum/f81/bgcm-november-monthly-meeting-15412/#post142757, in case anyone wants to see it demonstrated and/or try it out. :D
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Grant, no problem. Thanks for your input here. What size stock do your wolf jaws handle? I know that you mentioned that the Peddinghaus wolf jaw tongs have more gripping power since the rivet is closer up. Which is more versatile?

Unicorn, that sounds like a great idea. Would like to see/hear more.

Phil, I'll be sure to get the 18"i n the 1/2" since we'll be using a gas forge, too. Maybe I'll get the 16" in the 1/4". The shorter reins might make it easier to tell them apart quickly. Thanks for the heads up.

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Mine are more versatile. The 16" tongs are a very light weight tong (12ozs) that are nice for coat hooks and weenie forks and such. The 18" are a much heavier pattern (2 pounds) for serious work. The 16's will do a lot more than you might think looking at them though.

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