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hiltsbilt

2nd pair of tongs

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so my first pair of tongs work ok but they took forever to make(and I over did it and hurt my elbow), so on this set I did things differently (work smarter not harder). first I hopped on AutoCad and designed my tong blank so I know where to drill and cut the all the blanks so they are close to the same. then I printed it out and made a couple patterns out of some wood. drilled all the rivet hols and then took the 14 pcs to school and cut them out with their torch. Then i had 14 blanks ready for 7 pairs of tongs. so enough gabbing and here is a pic of my firs pair using this method:)

 

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If you keep doing that, You still won't learn how to make tongs.

 

You should be able to make a set of tongs in under an hour. Punch the hole, keep material around the hinge.

Your tongs look weak at the transition to the rein. Keep the strength further up the rein (the law of the lever).

 

There are many ways to make tongs. Make them so you can be proud of them, like jewelrey.

Anyone can make tongs that will function. Make yours NICE!!! :) :)

 

Neil

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Oh I don't know, Hiltsbilt had a problem and found a solution to it.  I can make tongs, but the fact is I can buy them better than I can make them and I have other things to do than make tongs.

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For me making tongs is probably going to be a long learning experience. My first pair of tongs is functional but ugly ugly. My second pair, picture below, from a year or so later was better but still a long way from the nice tongs I see others making. I may eventually get there.

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the reins are welded on so its probably week there anyway, the reason I went that route is because I hurt my elbow making my first pair. I will learn to make bolt head tongs and other tongs down the road but I needed tongs and there was no way i was going to spend 40$ a pair when I can make them, and I was able to do it without killing my arm so I can get my strength up. 

 

here are my first tongs, I hot punched these but didn't draw out the reins.

 

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Good work.  Tongs are a tool so make them how you can, or buy them second-hand.

 

One thing I can see..... you're doing the same thing I did all those years, and it never dawned on me until I saw a recent video on the net.  

 

The area around the rivet (the boss) should be the tallest and thickest portion of the tong.  The reins drawn down from there.  The jaw area doesn't matter much because they are shaped to the task, but making the boss area the same thickness at the reigns will cause collision and it doesn't look right.

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the boss is 1x1/4 and the reins are 3/8" round so its at least the tallest part, and the rivet is 1/4 to match the thickness so i guess im kinda close to what you described I think  

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Works better if you weld 3/8" round stock to a jaw that's at least 3/8" thick around the rivet hole.  From that hole, you taper down and it gives you clearance between the reins so they don't rub against each other.  When you look at new tongs from a store, you'll see how thick they are around the rivet area compared to the reigns.  Just seems to work right for some reason.

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Andrew Willis

For me making tongs is probably going to be a long learning experience. My first pair of tongs is functional but ugly ugly. My second pair, picture below, from a year or so later was better but still a long way from the nice tongs I see others making. I may eventually get there.

 

Andrew. 

Start with the jaw, working on the near side of the anvil, with enough material for the jaw, half faced blows on the edge of the anvil to start to define the hinge area, DON'T MAKE TOO THIN. Turn 1/4 turn (left if right handed, right if left handed) on the far side of the anvil, holding the jaw at about 30-40 degree angle (to provide clearance at the base of the jaws when the two parts are riveted together), half faced blows to define the shoulder for the hinge area. Don't make the hinge area too thin (preferable 1/4' - 5/16" thick) Don't make the jaw too thin next to the hinge area!!! If too thin, they will bend there deeming the tongs to not holding a grip. Turn 1/4 turn (left if right handed, right if left handed) allowing a reasonable distance for the hinge area, 90 degrees to the anvil on the far side, half faced blows on the edge of the anvil to finish defining the hinge/rivet area, DON'T make the start of the reins too short or thin (this is VERY IMPORTANT. The leverage is HUGE at this point), start drawing out the rein. Flip end for end, hold the jaw, continue drawing out the reins from the hinge area first, towards the tip, do approximately 3" at a time and finish the 3", gradually work toward the tip and make them taper thinner to the tip of the reins (this way, there is always a lump at the end of the rein material, no thin tip to burn). Make two the same, with the same mistakes, make sure to bevel the edges of the reins as you are drawing them out. Do the Braille Test, no sharp edges, is it comfortable to slide through your fingers, no Gotcha's!!   Pick center of the hinge area and punch a hole for the rivet, just big enough for the hot hinge pin, no bigger.  Heat the rivet (rivet must be about 1 1/2 diameter longer on each side to have enough material for the rivet head) , put it in the two reins (REINS ARE NOT HEATED) as close to center as possible, hold the rivet with the two parts of the tong, QUICKLY hold the bottom of the rivet against the anvil and set the rivet with a hammer from the top, flip over and set the bottom side of the rivet, DO BOTH SIDES OF THE RIVET AT THE SAME TIME, Don't baby it, make the rivet heads right the first time. Heat up the jaws and hinge area of the riveted tongs, gently work the reins, in and out, to free up the rivet, quickly dip them in the slack tub while moving the reins (quickly means just a second or two), continue slowly quenching them (dipping in and out of the slack tub) until they are free when cold. Put a piece of 3/8" rod between the reins near the hinge area (when the tongs are hot) and squeeze the reins (this make a gap in the base of the reins so they will hang on a tong rack without the reins sticking out). Finish the jaws to whatever you wish them to do, heat up and put a piece of material in the jaws, hold the jaws in a vice and make the reins the correct distance apart. I prefer to bend the reins and put a joggle in them so the reins are positioned directly over top of each other, instead of the reins being off-set (entirely your choice. This way they work right or left handed). Put your KISS marks on the reins "Maid Bye the Drone" or whatever!!!  Make them like you are proud to be their father!! :) :)

 

Remember!!! turn LEFT, LEFT or RIGHT, RIGHT!!! If you turn left, right or right, left you get the distinct pleasure of starting again!!!

 

Neil

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I have Grant to thank about knowing where and where not to put material in a pair of tongs. It's actually not what you think. I was critical of his first generation of 14 inch tongs because they were too light. One errant blow on the jaws would spring the V of the box jaw open.  He ultimately remedied the problem with his new 19 inchers that are basically the same thing, just scaled up.  I like a beefy jaw. You can use whatever thickness of material you want if you get the offset correct.

 

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Oh I don't know, they look like a pretty good pair of tongs to me. Assuming the weld is good they should be fine.

I've made a few pairs recently and drawing out big stock by hand does get tiresome.

Andy

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Making tongs is one of the best and most useful learning projects a blacksmith has. You need tongs and you need tongs that fit, buying tongs sort of hurts your supply budget so making them is logical.

 

So, do they need to be forged? Yes; says who? A useable pair of tongs doesn't need more than some strip stock, a drill, a vise and a stout wrench. Align two lengths of oh say,5/16"x1" and drill both, 5/16"dia. on one end oh say 2" from one end. Bolt them together with a 5/16" lag bolt, place (the future pair of tongs = IT) it bits down with the bolt (hinge) oh say 3/4" above the vise jaws. Take a good grip with a stout wrench and give IT a 1/4 turn, use a cheater if you don't want to heat IT. Lastly, remove IT from the vise, customize the bits as needed and put IT to work.

 

Ans such is the making of simple twist tongs. Sure, they're not a "traditional" forged in a smitherly manner pair of tongs but they'll work and you don't need more than the need to make them. Making your tongs by torching, sawing or chiseling the pieces and welding them together is just fine, not a thing wrong with doing it that way.

 

Sure, forging them has multiple benefits besides the tongs themselves, there's the practice at the anvil, there's the development of logical steps  or procedures to the goal. Maybe best of all is the feeling you get using a tool you've made yourself, however you made it.

 

It's all good so long as you aren't misrepresenting your products to customers.

 

Frosty the Lucky.

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