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Knife makers tongs ~WIP~


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So roughly 9 am came and I got the forge set up.  I did use Bituminous coal.  Good lord does that stuff SMOKE big time.  In light of that fact I do really like the stuff.  How ever due to having close neighbors I think I will be continuing to use Anthracite nut coal.  But as I did say I was going to make a set of Knife Makers Tongs.   I still have a lot of work I need to do on them still.  I want to further smooth out the reigns.  They are kind of crappy lookin yea but I'm trying to make them look at least as nice as possible for myself lol.  This so far is actually the FIRST set of tongs I've manage to so far make successfully.  I still have to punch out the hole for the rivet and of course rivet them together.  The only other thing I got against Bituminous coal is IT IS FILTHY FILTHY FILTHY.  My face is litterally covered in soot lol:lol::lol::lol:.  Today was fun though I started like I said at 9 done at 4 came in now time for food.  I also think I finally got the height of the fire right LOL.  I'm SUCH A NOOB.

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Edited by AndrewB
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For a beginners set of tongs...  The next question I've got is on the rivet setting.  Do I set the rivet cold first?  How well does that even work for it not to fall out of the holes created in the tongs?  Just out of curiosity.

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Usually when I rivet tongs I cut a piece of the rivet material so that it is hanging on by a little bit. Then I heat it up, put the rivet through both holes, twist it off, and start hammering. Using a rivet block under the tongs is probably best so that you don't run the risk of bending the rivet instead of mushrooming it. Then I heat up the tongs and rivet, mushroom the rivet the rest of the way, and start opening and closing it to loosen the action.

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So heat up the rivet while it's not in the tongs take a wack at it with the hammer to get the mushroom effect and then put it into the drilled holes in the ton and finish it off?  If I got that correctly?

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It's pretty easy to do this cold with some simple tools but you will need at least a hand drill and some drill bits. Mild steel is soft and drills like butter. It can also be cold worked to a certain point. Rivet setting is well within the cold work range.

1) Drill a 1/4" hole all the way through a piece of 3/4" mild stock.

2) Cut a section of 1/4" round mild and chamfer (slightly) both ends.

3) Set the chamfered pin in the "rivet heading tool" flat on the anvil.

4) Use the ball end of a ball peen hammer to tap tap tap 360 degrees around the perimeter of the rivet drawing the edges down and away from the center.

5) Match a drill shank to the diameter of the newly formed rivet head and drill a shallow divot in the 3/4" stock for the rivet head to sit in. It wont be a perfect match but it will be a stable saddle to hold the rivet head securely when you begin forming the other head.

6) When you drill and pin the pieces to be joined, trim the rivet so there is 1/4" exposed to be peened into the joining head.

   My one inch long by one quarter inch rivet is an example. You need to adjust the sizes to accommodate whatever pieces are to be joined. Generally, leaving yourself the same length to be peened as the diameter of the stock will provide the right amount of exposed material to form the head. For 1/8" leave 1/8" exposed, for 3/8" leave 3/8" exposed and so on. Make sure when you start forming the joining rivet head that all the pieces being joined are flat, secure with no gaps between and the formed head is well seated in the divot/aka rivet setting anvil formed in step 5.

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The level of coal looks good, and a helpful hint: keep a hole poked in the top of the fire when first starting or adding fresh coal.  That smoke is surprisingly flammable.  You can even amaze your neighbors by getting a good column of smoke rolling, then hitting it with a lighter.  FOOM!  :lol:  As you noticed, once it cokes up it's pretty much smokeless.  

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3 minutes ago, Alan Longmire said:

The level of coal looks good, and a helpful hint: keep a hole poked in the top of the fire when first starting or adding fresh coal.  That smoke is surprisingly flammable.  You can even amaze your neighbors by getting a good column of smoke rolling, then hitting it with a lighter.  FOOM!  :lol:  As you noticed, once it cokes up it's pretty much smokeless.  

Yea I did notice that LMFAO.  I got the FOOM effect yesterday lol.  But by the end of the day I was literally CAKED in soot lol.  Once it cokes up I can agree it is smokeless.  But due to close neighbors I think I'm going to stick with the anthracite.  I'll finish off this bag of Bituminous coal I've got in the shed which maybe about an hour two of forging if I can reuse the stuff that I've already burned even longer.  But for the sake of my neighbors yes I'll be sticking to the anthracite lol.  I don't have any problems with it I actually enjoyed working with it.  The only problem I had with it was the fact that it liked to clump up and I had to constantly break it apart as it was coking up.  I did save what I burned yesterday as far as coal I'm going to start the pot with the fresh stuff I have left in the bag and slowly add in the stuff I used yesterday to see what I can get if it's better than the anthracite lol.  I had a couple of looky loos yesterday as well lol.

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1 hour ago, Cody Killgore said:

One of the many reasons I swapped to propane, lol. Didn't like all those black boogers.

Lmfao I wasn't worried about it I still enjoyed the heck out of it bout to throw up some more pics in a next post on this thread.

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Who would have thought that making and forging a rivet is so danged easy.  I liked that.  I did a 3/8ths inch rivet.  FREE HANDED.  No molds No nothing except the anvil.  It works pretty good.  Although I'm not thrilled with how the reigns look a bit bent for me.  So I'm going to have to straighten them out more.  But I'm out of fuel so I had to quit forging for today.  But the tongs are pretty much complete.  They are ugly yes but they will work for me.  I may just wind up sticking with the Bituminous Coal lol I do honestly like it.  Even though it is MESSY AS HE double LIMA

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Edited by AndrewB
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