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I Forge Iron

Tong obsession


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The bosses might not be as isolated as others but that's a fine set of tongs. It's good that you are adding in some of things that set apart good pair tongs from a pair of tong. The flaired out reins and the jaws with a perpendicular groove are great additions. Keep working on insolating the boss and you might also want to use more material for your rivet. When you get to the point you are it becomes about working on refining each part, jaws, boss and reins. You learn something from every pair and every pair gets better. 

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Looks to me like you have it nicely figured out now.. And I do agree they are sharp looking..  In the way back I used to use that style of tong and find them to be very pliable with just the right amount of spring in the jaw/to handle boss where it it thins just behind the pivot.. 

Really nice job..   I have to confess I'm lazy when making tongs now and for a lot of them I don't even bother with the offset to re align the handles behind the pivot.. I just shove the handles in line where my hand goes.. LOL and call them done..  

Great work and love seeing the progress..  

How long does it take you to pound out a set of bolt tongs now??? 

Jim Poor was one of the first guys to produce tongs in that style in the way back.. I"m sure there were others but a pair of his tongs were the first I had seen that way.. 

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On 5/7/2017 at 9:58 PM, Ranchmanben said:

...if I had to choose  between a plain tool and a slightly embeshished tool that does the same thing just as well or better, I'd go for the fancier as long as it's not cost prohibitive....

This is the truth!  I just bought a pair of tongs from Jakob Faram and they are a genuine work of art.  I'm almost to the point that I don't want to actually use them, but put them on a nice plaque so they can hang in the house where everyone can admire them!  Expensive -- yep.  Worth it?  Most definitely.

More than that, though, I'm finding that quality and appearance become far more important to me as I age.  Even if nobody else ever sees them, you get to be surrounded by it and I firmly believe that it rubs off on you.  I'll always opt for the more expensive, but more stylish tongs simply because you can see the effort the craftsman put into them.

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Very nice work Ranchmanben, I'll be following this thread. I share your obsession with making tools in general. I love to make tools and utilitarian items. My future goals include hinges and latches to use on home made cabinets, and making my own tongs. Nothing is more satisfying than needing a tool for a certain job and just making it.

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On 2/14/2018 at 5:09 PM, jlpservicesinc said:

How long does it take you to pound out a set of bolt tongs 

If I’m feeling pretty frisky I can get a pair forged out in 50 minutes. Then it takes me a little bit to spit the jaws and get everything fit up and adjusted. I’m usually not in that big a hurry and can finish a pair in an hour and a half or so. I’ve learned that if I rush spilling the jaws they get off center and I can’t harly stand to look at them afterwards. As you can guess, drawing out the reins takes the longest. All that’s about to change. I’m hauling home a powerhammer as I type this, I’m currently in the passenger seat. 

Thank you everyone else else for the compliments. I’ve put a lot of thought and effort into getting my tong design down and it makes it worth it when others appreciate them. 

I’m currently work on a design tweet to the bolt tong that I think looks pretty good. When I finally get a little forge time I’ll finish up a pair a post them. 

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neat design, Similar to Haberman's tongs. ha, that center punch looks familiar.:)


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On 9/17/2018 at 8:29 PM, jlpservicesinc said:

Well done.. What are they for? 

Its a style of tongs I’d seen other people on Instagram use for holding larger stock, 2-3” round, under the power hammer or the press. I built a pair and I don’t know if I could ever go back to hammer eye tongs. I built those two pair for another smith, the gapped our set is for 2-3” and the tighter set is for 1-2 inchish. They seem to work well because there’s always three points of contact on the work material. Here’s the first and only set I’ve built for myself. 



On 9/17/2018 at 9:50 PM, Frosty said:

Nice, you're getting better you know. I think they're for picking up bacon by the end.

Now that’s an idea I’m going to explore. It’s also amazing how much better your projects appear when you take the time and effort for real pictures. 

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Just twitting you a little Ben, I like your tongs, they appear to be strong where needed and reasonably light, sucker rod is a good material for tongs.

You make MUCH nicer tongs than I do, I seem to have about everything I need so my tong making skill levels have stagnated at sort of adequate if I gotta make a pair. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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