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I Forge Iron

Finally, some reasonable tongs

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Like I said in my thread about needing a third hand to do a tong and drop weld I made some tongs. They are not too ugly so I thought I would actually post them here for comment.

As usual there are a few problems:

  • The hinge is thicker at the ends where I was drawing down the reins and jaws so they don't close as easily as they should. Heating them and working them is the next step.
  • The jaws need to be creased so they will hold rods, etc. Next time the forge is lit.
  • They are a bit light, I got carried away with the drawing out so next time ease off the hammer.

Will adjust them next weekend hopefully. Its too hot and windy here to light the forge, don't want a visit from the local fire brigade.

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Been making them for a while but still make the same mistake. I try to make both pieces at the same time instead of making one step of one piece then the same in the other to keep them the same. That way you end up with the curves different in both pieces :( Works but not the most efficient method.

I really have to keep it a step at at time.

Don't know what you are worried about with your tongs though. They look as though they are practical and, like mine, not too ugly. Great effort! That is why I like making tongs, they are a real challenge to make a set that works AND look good.

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You are off and running if they are your first try. As I said before, getting the two halves identical is the hard bit and even though its not essential as they still work the challenge to get them even is one worth taking up.

You are very lucky to be getting help from another smith :)

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Looking good Rob, the only thing I would add is to offsett the eyes more to allow you a wider gap between the reins (makes it easier to manipulate stuff then). My first pair of tongs went straight into the chipper and 27 years later I'm still not really good at making tongs. They are something you have to practice at, and I've never really had to make all that many for myself, (made a lot of special ones, eg for lifting rail etc)

Keep up the good work

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 3 years later...

Greetings , I enjoy making tongs mostly for the forging exercise. I only make them for my own use so if a pair don't turn out well it's not a big loss.i have watch Brian's video on flat jaw tongs and made some today, not as fast or efficient as he is but the work turned out OK.my question would be ,has anyone seen a good video tutorial on a pair of bolt jaw tongs?i would like to build a few pair for gripping round stock (forging punches) from 3/8thru1" . I have looked a little but cant seem to find the right spot. I have made the Patrick tongs that have the jaw split with a chisel for square and round but would like to forge a traditional champion style bolt tong. I have them in the shop and the work very well. I am just wanting to forge my own pair (or a few) to perfect that particular joint design. I find that if you forge 6sets of tongs ,the fist ones are alright (and take a while) . The second and third pair start to look pretty good . The forth one you give to your good friend .the fifth and sixth pairs go on your tong rack. Anyone have a suggestion? Thanks and happy forging.

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Greetings , and thanks for directing me to that tube .as has been said ,a picture is worth a thousand words. I don't have a air hammer ,or Toby hick mans experience , but I do see the set up for the bolt tong profile he uses.I do have a mech. hammer which does draw the reins faster than by hand. I also have a pile of 4130 x7/8round . I have no excuses for not concentrating on bolt tongs for the next 2 or 3 days. Thanks again for the direction and happy forging!

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