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Forging my first tongs

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I'm working on making my first tongs from diy blanks.  I have a pair of tongs from Amazon.  They don't really grip anything well and it's hard to hammer something while using those tongs.  I want to make something a lot more useful. 

So far I have drawn out the reins.  I probably should have rounded them first.  I tried rounding them after drawing out and they just kept twisting.  I know I didn't drill the holes the same.  I'll have to make that work.

Now I have to figure out how to make the jaws.  These are small tongs, so I reckon I should make them to hold small items.


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Drawing them down before rounding is correct. Drawing down round causes problems, inclusions, fish mouthing and such. Follow the SOR (Square, Octagonal, Round) technique when drawing down. Do the drawing in a square or rectangular cross section. When it's to length break the corners to make a generally octagonal cross section and finally round it up at a lower forging temp, low red usually works fine.

A rectangular cross section like your tongs is always harder to round up but you only need the parts in your hand to be softened or round so draw that length to square and hit the edges of the rest with a hot rasp to soften the edges.

Brian Brazeal has at least one excellent tong making how to video somewhere on IFI. He does a lot of things very differently than I learned (taught myself) but I've adopted many. His tongs are fast and reasonably easy.

I don't punch the pivot holes on tongs either, I drill them. Drill one side then put the halves together like they should go and mark the undrilled half through the hole in the other, they'll match and not need further adjustment.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Tong reigns do not have to be round either, they just have to be comfortable for you to hold. 

Have you tried adjusting the jaws on your amazon tongs? You can just heat them up and forge them to the shape you need to hold your work. 

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Thanks for the tips.  I'll keep that all in mind for the next pair.

These ones are done.  The rivet is wrong.  I couldn't get it to not bend.  I think it was too long to begin with.  It does work though.  The tongs actually work quite well.  I wanted them to grip a quarter inch Allen Wrench and they do it very well.

I chiseled slots in the jaws and they don't line up at all.  Next time I have to make sure the holes line up when drilling.   That will be a big help in the slots lining up.

Overall I'm not disappointed in my first go at making tongs




More pics




Oops I put those last 2 pics in the wrong thread

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Dont chisel the slots. Heat up the jaws then use a piece of round bar, for round, or a piece of square bar, for square/diamond. A couple quick whacks with the hammer while holding the bar in the jaws, and they line up nicely. 

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They turned out better than my first couple pairs by far.

V grooves will hold round stock nicely but round grooves hold . . . round stock that fits, well.  

Well done.

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