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I Forge Iron

Buying Tongs


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I have a propane forge. It has three burners and is rather large, so I am finding it difficult to forge tongs 1. when I don't have any to forge the metal with and 2. when the flame of the forge heats up the material too much for me to hold onto it. I don't have a functional coal forge and can't seem to find any material to make tongs anyway. Is there anywhere in Canada that I can buy a couple sets of pre-made tongs to get me started?

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I don't know about within Canada, but I assume that places like Blacksmith's Depot and Pieh Supply ship thither.

Wise move to look at purchasing tongs rather than trying to make them when you're first starting out. You will not regret the investment. If you can't hold it, you can't hit it.

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There's the bane of the propane forge,, they heat EVERYTHING that gets close to the opening. Can you angle the stock to the side so it's NOT directly in the flame exiting the door? Do you have something like a brick laid flat in front of the door to act as a sill? A sill will deflect flame upwards so material laying on the porch isn't in so much flame.

Don't cut your stock short, leave it a foot or more longer than you need so it doesn't get too hot to hold. I keep a couple rags in the water bucket to wrap the handle end when it starts getting HOT. 

However, tongs aren't really a beginner project, the individual processes aren't even intermediate it's the need to match the halves that's kind of advanced for beginners. That makes buying a pair or two basic general use tongs a good option. It's FAR better to succeed forging early projects than it is to endure the frustration of difficult projects you might view as NECESSARY to continue. Tongs are handy, NOT necessary, there are work arounds like using longer stock so you can hold it directly. Not perfect but it works.

I' with John, I'm sure someone in Canada sells tongs. Give a farrier supply a call, if there isn't one close call a farrier, s/he isn't likely to sell you one of his/er tongs but they'll know who does sell them. When I say Call, I mean on the telephone, NOT online. Voice to voice is much easier communications.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Just a separate blower with a narrow rectangular outlet blowing up an inch or two in front of the forge opening to deflect the hot exhaust up.

I have one; but as no power in the shop currently it's on a shelf, waiting,...

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Greetings Orolin, 

Not a problem . Just use vice grips to hold your stock. A water soaked rag will cool the metal you don’t want to hang onto . Your first tongs should be of the box jaw design . The most universal ones. 
 

Forge on and make beautiful things 

Jim

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Have you seen the quick or rapid tongs from Ken's custom iron? I can never remember which are the larger ones but anyway you can get a pretty good selection of tongs that only need a hole drilled/punched so you can put in a rivet and head it after twisting the bits 90 degrees. I think a five or six set bundle is about $50usd or maybe 12 dollars a set. 

Pnut

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pnut I did get a set of those tongs, though they are remarkably short and the instructions are not as clear as they could be.

Frosty  I have a few bricks, but it's kind of hard to set them up in front of the door. I made my forge out of a forty pound propane tank and a large piece of flat metal with two sides. The angle on the sides of the flat piece make it difficult to place bricks there without them falling off, though I could try welding an extension onto it.

Jim Coke  I tried to use vice grips the other day, but the opening on my forge is rather large and I don't yet have a door on it, so it burns my gloves. The flame extends about 3-5" from the opening of the door.

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I apparently got the smaller ones, and I would draw out the reins a little ways if I had anything to hold them with. (I have pliers and vice grips, but as I said before, my forge gets very hot and the flame comes out a significant ways).

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I do have a flux-core welder, but I still need some practise before I start welding on project pieces. I know I can just grind off the welded piece if it doesn't work, but I'd rather practise and do it right the first time.

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Welding a piece of something onto a project as a handle is some of that practice you're talking about. Temp handles don't need to look good, just hold for a while.

Frosty The Lucky.

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