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I Forge Iron

First set of tongs


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Finally made my first set of tongs!  Scrolling tongs are part of the CBA curriculum based on Mark Aspery's first book so we made them in class at the beginning of the month.


probably invisible in the photo but there is some fine cracking just on the rein side of the boss at the transition, so hopefully they wont snap immediately in use =/ they flex well enough in the hand, so time will tell...


forged from two 9" long pieces of 3/8th by 3/4 bar, supposed to be mild, but some other people had it totally snap so there was talk of it potentially being something higher carbon than mild.


took for-ever to draw down the reins, my hand was so sore after that, felt like it was going to be one big blister if i had to take it any farther!



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They look pretty good from here but if there are fractures . . . Been there. <sigh> the workmanship looks just fine possibly flawed steel is something we're having to deal with more and more, sounds like you ran afoul of A36 inconsistencies.


Frosty The Lucky.

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They look great to me. I added to the scrap pile on my first couple of attempts. I still need to make some scrolling tongs myself. I've made about 4 usable pair now, no scroll tongs yet. I also dealt with the cracking at the boss. I think I was working too cold. You might want to try some 1/4 x 3/4 for tongs used on smaller stock, its working pretty well for me.

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Thank you all for the kind words :) DSW did you change your approach at all to mitigate the cracking? Im sure I'm also working them past where I should stop, but 2+ hours of chain heats to draw them out would probably cause anything to crack = gotta pair up and grab somebody to strike for me next time to speed it up a bit :)

I'll clean them up with a file at some point, and if they survive they will see some use at the beginning if September :)

I have some 1.5x.25 I could saw in half to try, but I think working 1/2" square might be easier still (in terms of how far you need to go to thin it out) would be trickier to forge the boss though

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Good Morning,


1/2" square is ok, best to upset for the hinge area to maintain enough material.


I use a lot of 1/4x1" to make smaller tongs. forge the jaw, define the back side of the hinge area and draw out the reins, leave the hinge area 1/4" thick.


Chinobi, you should use the radius on the edge of the top face when drawing out the reins. Between your hammer and the edge of the anvil it is working like a top and bottom fuller. Only use the face of the anvil to make something kind-of flat. If it isn't red heat, it is at a planishing temperature (only good for finishing). Work smart not harder, always think at least a couple steps ahead.


Enjoy the tongs, you might want to change the angle of the jaws so the tips touch first.



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Thanks Swede,


do you draw the full 1" height down to the final dimension of the rein?  do you do anything special or just frequently turn it onto the flat side for a few strikes to keep it from buckling/bending?


I was working primarily on the horn with either my crosspein (pein side) or this way oversized diagonal pein (sucker is like 4.5lbs) and coming back to the face only to level out the fullering.


they close pretty close to parallel, the very tip got too thin and burned a little so I will need to knock that down with a file, if after they are dressed it doesn't close cleanly then yes I will need to adjust the profile.

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