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Tongs as my first smithing project


Ted Ewert

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Here are the first set of tongs I made. I had to cob something together to make a better set. Not what you call elegant, but they were functional and kept me from getting nasty burns.

gZt7Kb4.jpg

I just finished up these:

oMu4f9P.jpg

Again, not beautiful but they should get the job done. At least the jaws line up and I can get a good grip on a piece of steel. Any tips or suggestions are welcome.

 

Ted

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I need to take the same above I'm about to give you...

Make about twenty more!

Nice job on your first real pair.  The Frankentongs in the first picture are something you should keep on the wall forever.

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Frankentongs LOL! I'm sure I'll be making plenty more as there seems to be an endless variety for every possible piece of steel. 

I'm starting to realize that hot steel is like a small child; always trying to go where it's not supposed to.

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Your forged pair looks better than the first pair I did. The main thing I see (and I did this myself when I started) is your steel is rolling over itself in places. Looks like you are either not getting enough heat, or working it too long and letting it get too cool. May also be part of why it is going where it wants instead of where you want it to.

I'm definitely not a great smith, but that's just something that caught my eye and made me think of my own mistakes.

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Ted, the time to correct your material moving where you don't want it to, is when you first see it. Start correcting the problem with your next hammer blow, or heat.

Don't move anywhere else until the problem is taken care of. Oh, and by the way, your first forged pair, is better than mine was also.  Al

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Very pretty. Nice lines, and a great first effort.

My only critique would be to second what others have said about the material rolling. As IFI member Basher points out in one of his knifemaking videos, when you're working a thin bar edgewise, you have to constantly stop and hammer the material flat to keep this from happening and developing cold shuts: "It's very much two steps forward, one step back."

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