Jump to content

Tongs, tongs, tongs, which one do you grab?


Shane J Moore
 Share

Recommended Posts

'Ello all, I just joined up litterally last night after reading something in another topic on Damascus of 6150 and L6, but anyways back to the focus. I'm just starting out, I've got an old ugly Anvil thats got a half way servicable working surface, and waiting a few more days to snag one of the Chili forge Tobasco forges. For all intents and purposes I want to forge knives, tomahawks, spear heads, and eventually swords. As a over all suggestion, what kind of tong would you use if you could only have one to work with for a while?

When the man handling the metal with tongs says "Do not grab the metal", you just don't do it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The only tong I use regularly is a piece of rebar welded to the billet or end of the blade I'm forging to shape!

 

Grins,

 

Dave

-----------------------------------------------

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly." -- Theodore Roosevelt

http://stephensforge.com

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For general blacksmithing I use my wolf-jaw tongs almost exclusively. I have them in 2 sizes.

 

For blades and other flats, I made some blade tongs; one flat jaw and the other with turned up sides.

 

Anything that doesn't completely surround the blade will get you hurt when you turn it on edge.

 

As you progress you will make (or buy) more tongs to fit the job. I have one really ugly set of tomahawk/pintle hinge tongs and one made to hold rail spikes.

 

I also have a modified set of split ring pliers that I use for scroll tongs. I use them a lot.

 

But a second to Dave's suggestion on the weld-on handle. That takes a lot of stress out of a job.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One set of tongs! Ain't happen'n. I have flat bar/blade tongs from GS Tongs that I like and use frequently. I probably favor V-bolt tongs or chain maker's tongs in various widths to handle various width stock. These tongs have V shaped jaws that lock the flat bar into their grip. The chain maker's tongs also have a V knotch at a right angle to the jaw to allow the work to be handled from the side. Then I have some tongs with round jaws for handling round stock.

 

I have wolf jaw tongs but I find them too awkward and insecure for handling flat work during forging and use them almost exclusively during heat treating. However, there are others, like Don, who use them successfully. It's up to the smith. Tongs are something that you will build up quite a sellection of. Some you might have to buy or fabricate for one specific project.

 

Doug

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Much appreciated for the feedback. I'll look into the blade tongs, and I have considered the rebar weld, but I don't have anything to tack weld things into place with as of yet. I'll have to be pestering all of you in the weeks and years to come!

When the man handling the metal with tongs says "Do not grab the metal", you just don't do it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Some of what you ask will be determined by the type of forge that you use. If you are using a verticle forge then by all means find a way of attaching a handle to eliminate the use of tongs as much as possible. If you are using a horizontal forge then tongs are a necessity and I recommend learning to make them as you will constantly be wanting something different. At the least, have some that will comfortably hold pieces either flat or edgewise.

 

There are some very good videos on Utube for making tongs. (I would recommend using a low carbon steel for it so that they won't harden when cooled in water.) If you are wanting to purchase something that will get you started then visit Uncle Al's website: www.riversidemachine.net.

 

Have fun forging my friend!

 

Gary

Gary

 

ABS,CKCA,ABKA,KGA

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just re-read my reply and I think I was a little unclear about the chain maker's tongs. They have V shaped jaws just the same way that bolt tongs do but in addition there is a second opposing set of V's in the jaws at right angles to allow the work to be held by the end or by the side. Nice to be able to do if you want to upset the work or drive the ears back into the billet while you're forging out the point.

 

Doug

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The forge I'll be using will be a horizontal. And thank you for the clairfication on the Chain maker's tongs. Also, I am curious about this. What do you all think of people who put up youtube videos of their work, process of creation not just end product?

When the man handling the metal with tongs says "Do not grab the metal", you just don't do it!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are some great YouTube vidoes out there that show the process of blade making. If a picture is worth a thousand words a good video can be worth a whole book.

 

Doug

HELP...I'm a twenty year old trapped in the body of an old man!!!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

in Germany the making of tongs for the process needed is one of the first things an apprentice has to forge from some mild steel round stock and it is a good "practise" to get into forging

I myself like Tomtongs (ready made) and the flat ones I made myself, the above mentioned ones look very good too, so I might switch for a try

my next homemade tongs will be a pair of crucible tongs to lift the hot crucible out of the oven, for that I will reform a pair that I shot at the*bay for low to my needs...

 

but take a look here:

http://members.vol.at/schmiede/feuerzange.htm

 

it is easy, isn't it?! :lol:

Jokke

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...