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I Forge Iron

Fun with Lag Bolts

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Got a little forge time in this weekend. Inspired by the Brian Brazeal universal tongs I reworked the one (and only) set of bolt tongs I made a few years ago. One jaw was a bit too thin and snapped off a year or so ago. Drew out the broken jaw to fit the unbroken one and these tongs work great for holding small lag screws to forge into screw in hooks. Have to remember to leave a square section to get a wrench on. The lags are soaked in citric to remove the plating. Have to look for unplated lags at the hardware store.


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yeah, made sure the plating was gone before heating them. The Paw-Paw death by metal fume fever story is never far from mind.

Used to use vinegar to strip plating. Got my hands on some powdered citric acid a while back and its easy to make a really strong solution that seems to strip the galvanized faster than vinegar.

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Robert Owings took my class many years ago, and then went to Germany to study for a while. On the trip home, he was able to go through France and by chance, visit a French rural smith. After visiting for a while, when he left the smithy, the smith gave him a pair of tongs for a gift. They were much like your lag screw tongs except the straight jaw had a small bend upward at the end, toward the curved neck jaw. Robert stopped in Santa Fe when he reached the states heading for California. He showed me and my class the tongs and we liked them, but we didn't have a name for them.

I had an old retired swabbie in that class, and when we asked for a name, he said without hesitation, "How about French Tacklers?" So that's what they're called in our shop.

http://www.turleyforge.com Granddaddy of Blacksmith Schools

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