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First Blacksmithing Project - Tongs!

Don Nguyen

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Hello IFI!

I've started blacksmithing about two months ago, and the first thing I wanted to make were a pair of universal tongs. A lot harder than expected for me.

Since it was a project for school, I had to include some things like twists, welds, tapers, flattens, textures. Which is why they look a liiiittle flamboyant. I had trouble forging the whole thing out of one whole piece, so it was done in sections and welded together. Hopefully they last.....


Thanks for looking!

-Don Nguyen

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Thanks everyone!

This was my first project overall; I haven't made anything before these. I was given a bunch of, I think it was half in round bar, but those I used for mainly practice. Most of the possible tong pieces I scrapped because they didn't come out right, or I had redesigned them.

It was a lot of trial and error for me, so whatever I learned on the way I made revisions in the designs.

These I made out of this giant screw thing I got at a used tool store. It was probably 5/16. Right now they can hold many different sizes and shapes, from square to round, flat, etc. I have trouble pulling flat things from the forge, so I might make some modifications for that. Also a bit on the heavy side too :)

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Those look really nice and will undoubtedly last you quite a while.

Two suggestions:
First the "BOSS" (the area that the rivet goes through) looks a little thin. You'll want to leave that about 1/4-inch thick usually. You may have problems with the tongs bending there.

Second, if you don't need them for the school project any more, sand off the texture at the back of the handle.

Other than that, GREAT job! I've still got my first pair but they are retired. I've scrapped a half a dozen pairs that just didn't turn out good, and I have an awful pair that needs replacing. After six years at the forge I still make bad tongs! :D Great job for a first pair.

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quite respectable for tongs, great for a first time, my first pair are kind of a novelty, always hang on the rack but never get used, those are much better, after several years I can finally make really good tongs, looks like your well on your way

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