Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Dimensions of flat jawed and gooseneck tongs


Recommended Posts

Extrapolate from the boss cross section, (a&duh flat jaws, a&d v neck) for flat jaws you can use flat stock but round or square are easier to deal with for drawing out. So approximately 3/8 square or 1/2” round for the smallest and an inche and a quarter square or an inch and 5/8 round. 

So looking at the 3 gauges of sucker rod in my stash I have 3 sizes of universal tongs to forge, 1/4”, 3/4” and 2”....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Glenn pinned this topic
On ‎2‎/‎1‎/‎2018 at 11:00 AM, swedefiddle said:

Good Morning Dave,

Now if only there was a chart to tell what size and length stock to start with..... 

Make one the size you want with Play-Doh, scrunch it up to the size of your material. somewhere around 7-8" for average Tongs.


 awww......geeze.....All I was looking for was a free easy way out....Now I have to buy play doh......Extrapolate something....Pitter patter on something.....I don't know....I think somebody knows where the chart is, but they just want to see me work for it.......ha              Dave 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good Morning,

Poor Baby, Do I have to think once in a while, or twice in a short while???? Forget the long while, it turns into a "whine"!! Best to leave the wine for the cup and forget the other "whine"!! If there was a chart for "This dimension of material, makes this dimension Thongs", it would be in the Sewing Department. LOL  We used to call Thongs, the things on our feet!! LOL I guess I am showing my age again, If I can remember that far back.  LOL


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...

I think these came out of the art of blacksmithing. With this you could easily copy tongs you like.

    To calculate the weight per foot of steel bars
        Square - (Width in 1/8ths) * (thickness in 1/8ths) / 19
        Round - (Width in 1/8ths) * (thickness in 1/8ths) / 24
    To calculate the weight per inch of steel bar
        Square - (Width)*(Thickness)*2 / 7
        Round - (Width)*(Thickness)*2 / 9

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

Just returned to this sticky because I want to make some goose-neck tongs for hammer billets but there seems to be a discrepancy in the dimensions for the stock size/capacity I want to make them for. 1 1/2 - 1 3/4" stock/capacity, dimension B = 1" and D = 1 1/8 whereas all the other stock sizes suggest D should be smaller than B. If I've got my imperial correct in my head (sorry, we use metric down here), by comparing to the ones above and below it in the table, it looks like D should be 5/8".

Do others get the same sort of number when they look at this? I'm just wanting to double check because these would be two of the main dimensions that I would use to determine my initial stock size to make them out of.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 2/23/2020 at 8:37 PM, Hefty said:

it looks like D should be 5/8".

Yes, that looks like a typo. 

Keep in mind that this is a theoretical ideal, and if your stock is a bit off, the tong police won't be coming for you. Just try to keep it close and to make sure that the cross sectional area is as near as possible.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That tong chart is from over 100 years ago when tongs were being made from wrought iron.  Largely irrelevant for modern makers who are using A 36 or 1045 or 4140...   Even our modern basic grade of steel (A 36) is far stronger than wrought, so functional tongs can be made from much thinner cross sections. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

You could estimate the volumes of the jaw, boss, and reins, and then divide by the cross sectional area of the stock to get the lengths (and the isolation lengths)

For instance, the flat-jaw 3/16-5/16 has:

Jaw Volume: D * C * F = 0.439in^3

Boss Volume: pi * H *(A/2)^2 = 0.138in^3

Rein Volume: L/3*(H*G + I*K + (H*G*I*K)**.5) = 1.855in^3   

Total volume: 2.433in^3  ( * 0.284 lb/in3 gives 0.69lb per half-tong)

The boss cross sectional area A*H=0.234in^2 is 93% of 1/2" square stock's 0.250in^2 cross section, so you can draw out the boss.

For half a tong, you need 2.433/0.250=9.73", isolated into 0.439/0.250=1.76" for the jaw, 0.138/0.25=0.55" for the boss, and the 1.855/0.25=7.42 remainder for the rein.

Double it up for the full tongs, and this design would weigh 1.4 lbs, and take 19-3/4" of 1/2" square stock. 

For the 2" capacity flat tongs, you need 13" of 1.5" square stock per 8.3# half-tong, isolating 4" for the jaw, and 2.7" for the boss.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...