Jump to content
I Forge Iron
M.G.

Best scraps make tongs from?

Recommended Posts

M.G., a good source for coil springs is a shop that specializes in aftermarket mods on off-road and bling-bling conversions of pickups, SUV's and those kinds of vehicles.  Folks have been known to drive from the dealer in a big truck or off-roader straight to the conversion shop to have the suspension beefed up for off road running.  One big advantage of these types of springs is that they have almost zero chance of micro-fractures like take-offs from repair shops and scrap yards.  As Thomas and BillyBones have said, take 'em some bottle openers or trinkets as a thank you.

I visited one of these shops once and they let me pick through a 6 ft. x 6 ft. bin destined for the salvage scrapper.  All the coils, tie rods, anti-sway bars, etc. were in new, mint condition, no mud, almost all still had the black & white part number and bar code sticker...brand new condition.  I often wonder if the scrappers were selling these parts on ebay, craigslist and other places as replacement parts, considering the mint condition they were in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Arkie, thats a great point being made about the lower milage scrap being avaliable at a different source.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Be careful; it's often easy to get loaded up with a lifetime supply---which is not as bad as being loaded up with a several lifetimes supply!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Invite people over and use part of their lifetime?

 Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lug nut tongs? 

They should be good quality medium carbon steel, aught to work a treat.

 Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Now I'm antsy to go visit the scrapyard and try some round and v-bit ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice, thats a good thought, "lug wrench"

Also Thomas, I've sorted the consistent supply, but only brought home what I could hold in my arms. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since I don't have a power hammer, if lug wrenches are as hard to hand forge for tongs as are sucker rods, I think I'll just pass and stick with mild steel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good Morning,

I don't want to sound like a jerk, but, use Mild Steel for Tongs. Forget the hocus/pokus, stay simple. Use the edges of the Anvil to draw out the reins. work 3" at a time when drawing out the reins, gradual taper and break the edges before you move out to the next 3" of the rein. Do the tips of the reins, LAST (that way you won't burn them off).

You can make Poz Tongs from 8-9" of 1/4" Flat bar (times 2), you can forge larger Tongs from 8-9" of 3/4 round bar, You can forge larger tongs from 8-9" of 3/4" square bar.

Technicus Joe had a good video, a few days ago, on making Tongs. He didn't profile the jaw of the rein, until last, after he had drawn out the reins. He left a lump of the parent material to hold with another set of Tongs. There are many kinds of Tongs, with many reasons why to make them like that. Get used to one way and you should be able to make a set of Tongs, in a couple hours, by yourself with no Power Hammer. If you have a good Striker, it will be less time. Your Striker can be Male or Female, young or older!

Neil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh go ahead Neil, pretend to be a jerk if you like.:P  You have a perfectly good point, especially for beginners. Forging medium carbon steel, especially from oversized stock is much harder, physically and due to heat management issues. Mild is much easier and makes perfectly good tongs.

I like spring steel because I can forge them thinner, and lighter without losing strength. I don't recommend making tongs as a beginner's project anyway. I suggest working with stock long enough you don't need tongs.

After a person has spent some time at the anvil the challenges of: forging several steps, to make uniform halves and drawing down tong length reins aren't a major thing. It's a small step up working small diameter spring steel. 

Heck, I'm not particularly good at making tongs myself, they just work.

 Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Im definitely not starting with making tongs. But hopefully they won't be too far down the line. I have a couple punches and chisels to make first. Probably after a few small projects to sort out the medium.  But tooling is on the top of my list, im starting with more or less nothing other than a modified store bought 2 lb hammer and a massive hunk of steel to beat on.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Went to the scrapyard Saturday and of course lug wrenches had all disappeared. I found one good one to take home with me for my tong making experiment.  Then I got to thinking; I remember picking up a few earlier to use to make hold downs.  Rummage in the piles a bit and had a total of 8 of them---no two the same size.  At least two had the same socket on them and were close in length so they will be my experimental pieces.  Didn't fire up the forge this weekend; maybe next weekend.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome Thomas, can you do a pictoral walk through of the experiment to put up in a thread for us, super curious to see what you put together. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If you are lucky I might do a couple of pictures. I wouldn't want to do a series until I had done enough of them to work out the bugs.  I sure wish I had power to the shop to use the bader and a 36 grit belt to grind the sockets down to where I want them---going to have to anneal them and then hacksaw them and file them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh yeah that sounds like a blast! Are ou running a zero electricity shop?, or have you somehow lost power to the space?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Been zero power to the shop for the last 15 years; as I approach retirement I figured I'd better get it run while I still had some income and get the belt grinder, fans, lights and powerhammer(s) running!  I picked up a frame to work on a tumbler too at the scrapyard Saturday.  The are remodeling a building on campus so a lot of good motors are being scrapped and the scrapyard will sell a 1.75 HP Dayton looking brand new to me for US$10! 

For 6 years I was commuting home once or twice a month on weekends from my job and so didn't need a powered shop. I've done a lot of historical demo's un powered so I have a lot of the stuff to work zero e-  

I used to run a 100 foot extension cord from the house; but you can't pull much power over that length.

I had thought to run a line from the house but the CoOp and electrician said to bite the bullet and get 200 amp service for the shop as the septic field is between the house and shop and going around that would be about as much as getting a new hookup.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome, I love the idea of a power free shop, but it sounds like a lot of extra work. Im sure you will be pleased when you get some juice out there, for those grinders and P hammers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just got the estimate from the CoOp; it's about double what I have saved up for it and that does not include the electrician's cost.  So it looks like it won't be anytime soon.  Anyone know if postmortal temps are appropriate for hot rasping?  I know the sulfur is terrible for the steel...

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You do realize you don't have to use electricity just because the shop is wired. Power free is a philosophical decision that sounds a whole lot better when you're young than it is in reality. 

I know how you feel Thomas, I ran the buried cable to the shop last summer and saved my shop allowance to get connected and basic wiring. Unfortunately I'm not getting return calls from the sparkies. <sigh>

 Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thomas:  What I have done in the past is have an arrangement with the electrician and the electric inspector that I did the rough in work and they did the finish work and signed off on the permit.  At least on time I ran all the wires and installed the boxes and the electrician installed the switches and plugs.  It was a lot cheaper that way.  I would leave breaker boxes, etc. to the professionals.  I can do a certain amount of basic electrical work but it scares me and I don't enjoy it.  If you have to set a pole between the house and shop that is something to leave to experienced people with big equipment.  Maybe you could rent an auger for a hole but that is about all.

G.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No Poles in my area, all under ground.  To avoid the septic field they want to go straight from the buried mainline 91 feet to the shop and set a transformer on a pad and put up a meter on the shop wall.  Transformer is free.   Base cost is almost double the couple of thousand I'd saved up.

Wife says no. I should have looked into it when I was still making big bucks down along the border.  Depressing++

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Are there any covenants or county regulations requiring underground?  If not, you might be able to go overhead from the buried main line out to the shop.  That, of course, might be a visual intrusion on your own property that might affect property value and might be something that you guys don't want to see out your window.  Or, you may have to go back to semi-commercial black smithing and devote any profit to the shop electrification fund from whatever hand forged widgets you may sell.  If you want to keep doing this well into retirement you really need power.  Muscle powered is cool but not feasible at our ages. 

Or, you could go for a small steam plant and engine and run everything off a line shaft.  High coolness factor and not muscle powered.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

PS  The steam plant comment makes me  wonder if it might be feasible to have a small-medium sized generator that you would only fire up when you needed it for shop power.  It might be worth consideration.  The only real consideration might be the sound signature but I have seen some generators which are pretty quiet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Could use a wind generator and modern batteries for household elec and shop lights. Power in the shop could be wind powered and store energy with BIG flywheels, compressed air tanks and a water tower. 

 Frosty The Lucky.

Share this post


Link to post
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.

Guest
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...