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Bolt Jaw Tongs Demo (Plus a 1/2" Square or Round Challenge)


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Nowhere to go but towards "more glorious"!

Something done with 1/2" sq stock: Coathooks




I was once offered 200 22" pieces of 1/2" sq stock for less than scrap price; lots of tent stakes and S hooks later, I decided to make a set of coat hooks to be mounted on an oak board by my back door.  So I forged 7, all different, "dragon heads" and let my wife choose 5.  She thought this one was "too aggressive"; so it's my haul around example---it's my current favorite anyway.

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The steel came from an old apartment complex; they did a remodel and so had to meet the 4" rule on their railings. They had to weld in another piece of sq stock between the ones already in place for all the railings in the complex.  When done there was a number of 20' sticks left over, which they advertised on CL at a great price. 

I showed up in my pickup with angle grinder and extension cord, face mask and hearing protectors, wearing my grungies and bought all they had---they said I was the first person who had come prepared to deal with 20' sticks; typical person showed up in a compact car and didn't understand that they were not going to cut it up in small pieces for them---or deliver it.

After I cut the 20' sticks in two and loaded them on my truck; the maintenance guy asked me if I would be interested in the around 200 drops they had from cutting the sticks to fit the railings: US$10  (for around 360' of 1/2" sq stock!)  Working in an unpowered shop; the short stuff was actually handier to use. It's going down fast while the 10' lengths are waiting for a project to appear----Just like the old Martial Arts saying "When the Stock is ready, the Project will appear"    (Memo to self: avoid Steve and Jennifer at Q-S for the rest of my life...)

By making each of the dragon heads different I sidestepped the "getting them all identical" issues.  The dimensions of each section were done by eye too---definitely going for the "rustic vigor" look.  After forging they were all soaked in vinegar, rinsed with a bit of baking soda in the bucket and wire brushed under the hose bib and  then coated with BLO and hung on the wire clothesline to "harden".

Now I have to make one for each of my 8 grandkids...

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I’ve got a bunch of short lengths of 1/2” round bar that I’m pretty sure is some kind of stainless (they’re nice and shiny and don’t have a spot of rust on them anywhere, even on the surfaces where I cut them off a couple of years ago). I decided for this challenge that I would turn one of them into a pair of chopsticks. 



And after:


That was some tough forging.

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Thanks every one for the congrats. I'm honored. Brady wasted no time getting it in the mail.

Received the tongs and a generous amount of gifts an hour ago. It's so cool to put my hands on somebody else's work. The tongs are great, I'll be trying them tomorrow.

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TW, not a bad idea... I'll think of something in the next couple days/weeks (unless someone beats me to it). Depends on how quickly I get through my current project list.

Lary, it's a flat rate box! It seemed like a waste to just put one item in there. Glad it made it to you. Fortunately, blacksmith tools are unlikely to be damaged in shipping :D

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