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Glenn, April 6, 2005 in Blacksmithing, General Discussion
I went to the scrap yard to buy some 3/8 round and of course I always come home with something entirely different. About 60 lbs worth of stuff: drill bits, wire brushes, a pair of side cutters, rullers, Kline nippers, screw drivers, C Clamp etc. Most of it in good shape. Had to sharpen a couple of drill bits, remove some rust, and put a new pad on the C-clamp. I started mowing the lawn when I came home, but could not resist sorting and fixing stuff instead. Besides it is not good to mow the grass in the hot sun and that's my excuse.
The tools I got from the scrap yard appear to have come from an electrical contractor that had finished a job. It was probably not worth having someone working at a loaded rate of $60/hr or more sorting bolts and drill bits or repairing tools.
Last year, while I was working out of town, someone stole my scrap pile from the back yard. Just a modest pile of 800-1000 lbs. They left the galvanized stuff and the plastic pipe. The biggest loss was my piece of 4340 5 inch dia by three feet, that I was using to make power hammer dies.
I got this shear from a buddy. I traded him some used roofing tin that I salvaged and he then paid a guy some cash for this shear and then gave it to me in lue of the tin I gave him. It looks factory to me, and cuts like a dream, nice, clean cuts. I don't see any name or marks on it, but it does need some cleaning up. I'm thinking of de greasing it and killing the rust and painting it up black. Glenn sugjested painting the jaws yellow, for safety reasons, and I agree. Anybody else have a shear like this?
Either it followed me home, or I'm just feeding my addiction.
Most of you guys know, I'm due for an operation on my elbow (hammering arm), and will most likely lose most of the blacksmithing demo opportunities this year. I haven't been looking for stuff much at all lately, but it's still finding me.
Got a call from a lady who's friend I'd talked to at a flea market about blacksmithing. He had a nice Champion electric blower for sale...suggested a price I couldn't turn down.
Managed to find some interesting tongs at prices much cheaper than I could make them. Odd looking tongs, most of which I have no idea what they are for.
Then yesterday, this "followed me home".....
Nice little post anvil attached to an axle. Thankfully I was able to get someone to load it in the car, and my neighbor unloaded it. Probably 150 pounds total. Again at a price I couldn't turn down (and some of you guys know how frugal I am when buying anvils).
Pictures of the blower and tongs...
Any idea what the tongs are specifically used for?
Oh oh oh! I know what the ones that look like scissors with round jaws are for! They are clinker tongs! They are extremely useful for moving around coke and coal, as well as grabbing clinkers. This is the second pair I've seen, they are not very common at all. An overall very handy tool. I cant say about the others.
Thanks Nolano. That was one that constantly confused me...was about half convinced it wasn't even a set of tongs.
They are certainly rare, most people have never seen such a thing. So very very useful for those times when just a few pieces need rearranging, or when you just cant seem to move things the way you want them with the poker.
Nolano is almost right about the far right ones, but did you notice the scissors style handles, these were probably used to grab charcoal to light a pipe or cigar. In some old catalogues they were called Coal Tongs for adding coal to a fireplace, and came in different sizes.
The second pair from the right are brazing tongs (BP0097 BrazingTongs), if the jaw is flat on the insides. http://www.iforgeiron.com/Blueprints/BP0097Brazing_Tongs/BP0097Brazing_Tongs.htm
As to the second from the left, years ago there were socket tools made for spinning nuts and bolts with a brace, I have seen tongs like this used to hold the piece by the socket so the tapered square that fits in a brace could be formed.
The far left ones I don't believe have a designated purpose but they could easily be straightened out and the end reformed for rivet tongs.
Lady Smith, what you have is a Coopers Beak Horn, sometimes called a Bick Iron Stake for Tin Work.
Well, I have heard if the kind of tongs you speak of, Irn, and I seem to remember hearing that they had bent, narrow jaws, so that they could actually fit in a pipe to light it. Also, as such devices were normally only owned by the rich, I believe they were also rather decorated. neither of this type that I have seen has been decorated at all.
The left hand tongs remind me of the stretching pliers that cobblers (shoemakers) used? only they are larger and don't have the hammer head.
The second from left I've seen, handled and puzzled over. But their use is
still not clear to me! Can you clarifie any more please Irnsrgn.
Sorry didnt see your post Chris. possible, but they are made of malleable castiron so they wouldn't stand alot of hard work. Irnsrgn's explanion is more intriguing.
Thanks for the information. Yep that must be brazing tongs, as it's flat inside. Makes me wonder how it would work for brazing copper.
Nolano, I can see the loop handled bowled tongs being used to either adjust coal, or to light a pipe. The holes would make it easy to hold over the pipe bowl and light the pipe by sucking air through the pipe. In either case, I suspect you are correct in that they are really rare.
The other two seem to still be sort of mystery tongs. Irn, you may be right about the one, but I just can't picture what you are describing.
Thanks for the education,
Nice find ladysmith. I'm sure you will like the electric blower. I picked up an old Buffalo electric blower 20 years ago or so, and haven't missed my old hand crank blowers a bit :-) .
The stake is a very nice addition to any shop also.
The tongs - I think the first pair (needing adjustment) is for flat iron, like picking up a wagon tire for installation, etc. I have several similar pairs.
The second pair could be used to hold any piece with a head, like a bolt, or like Jr says a socket type tool, or as someone else said, like a railroad spike.
The third pair is probably like Jr said, brazing tongs.
The last pair, I have no clue. Probably not originally designed for blacksmith use, but you never know . . .
But all in all, a very nice find.
Actually, I'd like to trade the electric blower for a hand crank one. Most of the time I'm blacksmithing, I don't have access to electricity.
Well, they very well could be the pipe lighting tongs. But for many blacksmiths, I think they would better serve as a coal and clinker rearranger.
The ones on the left may be like the ones that I have for working bowl shapes. They would hold the deeper bowls by the lip, after initial forging over the anvil or the depressions in the swage block, the shape requires a different set of tongs. A comfortable angle for the tongs changes with the shape of the forging, therefore one would use these after using regular tongs.
The ones I have are homemade by me. Your mileage may vary.
Irnsrgn is also right, you can reforge them to be another shape if you wish. 50% of all tongs that I buy, I reshape to fit my needs.
OK. Back in March I called about some BS tools a gentleman had>> 127# Swedish made anvil in near PERFECT condition, 4" leg vice "IronCity" excellent condition, Chicago blower in good condition. We talked for some time, he never giving me a price as he wan't real sure he wanted to sell any of it. I encouraged him to go with me to our next monthly meeting but he declined. finally when I was getting ready to leave he told me to back up to the shop and he would help me load the stuff, "Heck, I'll never do anything with the stuff and you can get some use from it" so I did. Paid the man $180.00 for it all and he was glad. (so was I) He also has a postdrill but it is froze up tighter than Dick's hatband. He said he would play with it and get it freed up and give me a call....who knows....
I was at a junk/trade shop and a man had an anvil. Wanted $75 for it, offered $50 we settled on $60 (he told me he had paid 50 and needed something for carrying "the d____ed thang around"! Got it home, cleaned it up and it is a 60# Hay Budden in great shape, well a few small chips on the edge but no problem to work around, especially for $60!! My traveling anvil.
Most paid for an anvil...$325 --180+haybudden (at auction); $75--6" leg vise; $150--Canady-Otto forge (weighs 200#) with blower.and hood
These buys are out there, ya just got to be patient, keep an eye out and when they do pop their little heads up snatch them up. When you get more than you need or can use help out a newbie and sell him/her one of them.
No, sadly it did not follow me home, but I did find a nest of anvils. The one bottom front is 372 pounds. Ahhhh, to choose just one and offer it a new home. Decisions, Decisions.
I have a set of tongs like the second from the bottom. I was able to tweak the forked jaw a little so that it holds a RR spike very well. It gives me complete access to the main part of the spike under the power hammer.
I went to the scrap yard yesterday and found a BRAND-NEW set of semi truck leaf springs!! I only found the main two leafs, but like I said, they are brand new, they still have the paint on them. I also picked up a barring sleeve it's 3" long, 1-1/2" diameter with a 1/2" hole in it, I got a small coil spring off an old piece of farm machinery, and my father picked up a 6 foot long pry bar made out of wrought iron. (i think it's wrought iron 'cause it's really light for it's size. i'll have to do a chemical test). when I get a trailer that my aunt is giving me, I'm going back for more stuff! I paid aonly $9 for all of the stuff. Well, I paid for the leaf springs and the guy told me I could have the rest.
Thomas is right. A few months ago I advertised in a weekly shopper that I was looking for an anvil. After about two weeks and after I was about to give up on that route, I got a call from an old gent who said he had a 100lb anvil that he wanted a $100 for. He just happened to live only a couple miles away, so I hotfooted it over there. The guy said he used to be an auctioneer and stated "we always started anvils at a $1 a pound and that's what I want for it." I didn't argue with him and payed him. After we visited for awhile, I took the anvil home and did some further checking up on it. Turns out it's a 132 lb Trenton in pretty nice condition. So the deals are out there, you just have keep your eyes open and be patient.
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