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I Forge Iron

Tongs versus vice grips

George N. M.

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On 9/12/2021 at 8:24 AM, swedefiddle said:

No problem using 1/2" or 5/8" square for Tongs, I just upset the area for the hinge/pivot and if necessary the Jaw. It is a lot less work drawing out the reins.

Lol, I just cant resist. There are two words in common use that imply a very specific emotion that come from the Blacksmiths craft, upsetting and drawing out. ;) 

  Ted Ewert hit it on the head. " It provides that extra material to correct minor mistakes and still have enough left."  I'll add this, that extra material most often allows you to do many variations on your tongs

As for drawing out the reins, A drop the tongs forge weld answers that. At Turley Forge,'80, After about 20 hours of a 6 week class, we made our first set of tongs, and learned how to do that weld. Lol, it has a high pucker factor! We did our first forge weld the first day of class. He believed in getting rid of the "boogers and traps" early on. 

I want to say that my posts are all based on one idea. That is I believe that the one thing everybody who gets into blacksmithing have in common is the mystique of being betwixt hammer and anvil, working hot iron. Simply that. Ive pursued that from the beginning. 

Having said that, anyway you choose is good for you. And thats what matters

 And yes, i have a strong bias/predjuce/one sided etc etc belief in maximizing my time betwixt hammer and iron. ;)  I get the same satisfaction from making a rivet as I do turning a complex scroll,,, and I still get butterflies in my belly when i forge weld.  :)  

Have fun

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The first time I did a drop-the-tongs weld (in Fred Crist's introductory blacksmithing class at the old Philadelphia College of Art) was to weld the four rods for a basket twist onto a longer piece for a poker. I hit it too hard, and the short section shot off the anvil and burned a hole in my backpack on the other side of the room.

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