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Hey everybody

 

I was woundering about tongs Im low on money. So the question is should I go ahead and buy them or are they easy enough to make for a beginner. I was planning on using rebar to make them or is this the wrong type of metal for tongs. All advice is appreciated.

 

Adam Mott

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Hey everybody

 

I was woundering about tongs Im low on money. So the question is should I go ahead and buy them or are they easy enough to make for a beginner. I was planning on using rebar to make them or is this the wrong type of metal for tongs. All advice is appreciated.

 

Adam Mott

@Adam,I'm a newbe allso,there a lot harder than you think,just make sure you have somthing to go from,I made a set because I broke the one I had,So I used that paterin to make my next set,but I should of used something heavyer like rebar,I say give it a shot,it wont hurt till you can get a bought set...good luke,if you do show a pic of them :)

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Are tongs easy to make? It depends, how good are you? The first pair of tongs I ever made took me most of 6 hours, working with hand tools alone and having zero experience swinging a hammer, and they were complete crap and didn't work at all. I still have them. I make about 1 pair a year, but now I have a power hammer, so most of the forging only takes 10 minutes.

 

Most of the time I use flat jaw tongs, duck bills, V channel, and a tiny little pair of needle nose. You almost never have enough tongs, or the right one for the job. If you can find tongs at flea markets, junk stores and the like, it cheaper/faster/more efficient to modify an already made pair than it is to make a pair from scratch.

 

I find that not using tongs works better for me. Work from a long bar when you can, weld a handle on a piece when you need to.

 

I like 3/4" flat stock for most tongs. Either way, there is a fair amount of forging to do, either you have to forge the reins (the handle), or you have to forge down the boss (where the rivet goes) and the jaws.

 

So say a nice new set of OC bladesmiths tongs costs $40, and it takes you 2 hours to make something half that good, you are paying yourself $10 an hour to get something that only works half as well. Is it worth $20 to get something that will actually work? Which would you rather be doing, building tools, or building knives? Of course, as Gomez Addams once said, "Half the fun, kiddies, is building it yourself".

 

Geoff

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This guy makes it look easy. Check out the video at the bottom of the page.

@Art,Yeah he does,thats a good vido though,you can tell hemade a few...lol

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I have a couple of rebar tongs, but they don't hold up at all. The first few I made cracked at the rivet. I've picked up a lot of tongs from barn sales over the years. Most of them needed repairing.

Now I make them with 4130 or similar. Something with enough springiness that they'll maintain their shape and keep a good grip, but not so much carbon that they harden and crack.

But you will spend days and days making tongs if you want to make your own. You never have enough if you rely on them too much.

BTW, for making blades I don't find them very helpful. It's better to just have a really long handle as a grip, and wrap it with leather or something with good grip and insulation.

A better use for rebar is to weld it on to the handle if you need a little extra length.

Edited by toxonix
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Hey everybody

 

Thank yall for all the advice I really appreciate it.

 

Cook

I will post pics as soon as I can.

 

Mr. Keyes, Mr. Lawrence and Bruce

thank you all for the links they will come in handy

 

Toxonix

I dont have access to a welder so do you think that they would last me long enough to get a decent pair of tongs.

 

 

Adam Mott

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Well I still have some of the rebar ones I made, so they might. But I don't find them that useful except for picking up stuff that I dropped into the forge. I have a vertical pipe forge, so it's pretty inconvenient when things slip down inside.

The tricky part is punching that rivet dead center. Drilling it won't let you use a good sized rivet. any thick bar stock is going to be better for blade holding tongs.

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