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ablenumbersix

First Pair of Tongs

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This is my first pair of tongs, my first project really. I'm not finished, however it got too late to continue. I couldn't resist drilling them and running a bolt through them to see how they looked. I'll finish shaping them and cleaning them up, then rivet them and put up another picture. i plan on shaping the jaws to hold square bar.

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I didn't follow any plans or anything, i just wanted to make something. so if something about the design doesn't make sense, that's because at this point i really don't know what I'm doing. also I found that my forge is too deep which is why I ran out of time in the first place. It's difficult to effectively heat something long, and will be until I cut a shallow spot into the side of my forge.

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I see nothing wrong with your design. They should do you well for years to come. Fine job.

Mark <><

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I would have drawn those reins out more and NOT twisted them as you will experience the twist as just roughness when using them. Drawn out more they get more flex which helps to absorb the shocks when you are hammering. I'd also suggest that in future you work toward getting more material in the pivot area. That said these are quite nice tongs for anyone's first effort!

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yep - better than mine too - i like that fact that you could not resist twisting them, there is decoration in this boy!!! i think we should embrace any instinct to decorate, personally.... they will annoy your hands after a abit, but you can make some more, and those will aways make you smile as they are Your First Pair :) they will have great symbolic resonance for that reason too. or maybe thats just me! nice one

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when you go to finish them you can reheat the twist and flatten them a litttle. will make nicer on the hand after long hours. or you can hit the twist with a flapper wheel to round them a little so you still have the twist just softer.

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What I like most is the fact that you made your tongs. Next pair put the twist in the part between the pivot and where your hands are, You can have your twist and be kind to your hands too. Keep in mind to keep your tongs light they only need to be stronger than you are. Thinner reins make for more spring = less shock to your hand, not as tired at the end of the day and less long term damage to your body.

A note on twist. I prefer my twist to be short on something the size of your tongs a well placed tight twist an inch long can often times be more pleasing to the eye than the whole then twisted. By tight twist I mean maybe the same number of turns in a much shorter section. take a 24 inch piece of 3/8 and make yourself a sample bar. In each 4 inch section make a different number of turns. that way you can see what you like best.

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Much better than either of my 1st two pair. Very nice. I'm going to try something along those lines on my next couple of sets, except without the twists. I tend to be a function-over-form kind of guys.

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I won't relate the details but the pair of tongs I attempted to make two days ago was CURSED! four attempts at making a matching rein to the first one and then the metal on the first one failed near completion of the second. I have made probably 100+ tongs over the years and I would say I have 5 or so under my belt before I made some as nice as those. GOOD JOB!

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Pretty slick tongs.
My first pair of tongs were (are) so shockingly awful that they ended up being quite useful for a purpose totally different than that for which the were intended.

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