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Anthony Reid

Pretty simple way to make bolt tongs

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I have been working in getting a forging shop set up after a 3 year hiatus forced on me by life and one of the things I've been thinking about a lot is tong making as I've never quite mastered it. I can make a set of tongs but I'm never completely happy with them so I decided this time around I would focus on tongs to kill two birds with one stone, namely brush up on my forging skills and tool up with the various tongs I will need in the shop. 

 

The first set of tongs I wanted to make is a pair of bolt jaw tongs to hold the stock I intend to use for other tongs and small hardy tools (my 100lb anvil has a hardy hole that is about 11/16") 

 

My first attempt was made from 2 9in pieces of 3/8×1 1/4 mild steel but I made the jaw section behind the v bit too thin and ended up cutting off the v bits to make a set of pickup/hammer tongs. All the work drawing out reins from flat bar was a pain so I decided to try something different the next go round. 

 

My second attempt is still a work in progress but seems to be going much easier. I went with a style inspired by the WCB blacksmithing competition tongs. I made a few changes to the style to match my tooling and work situation (no top fullers and no striker)  I used opposing set downs and the horn of my anvil for the big fuller and a 1/2in bottom fuller and my cross peen for the smaller one. Starting material was 18in of 3/8×1 1/4 mild with jaws forged on opposite ends of the bar ( make sure they are on opposite sides of the bar as the reins will be hot cut down the middle of the bar)

 

3/8×1 would have been just fine but I had the 1 1/4 stock on hand 

 

the pictures should give an idea of my work flow on these. They still need tweaking and offsetting,  as well as the pivot hole and rivet and general cleanup work but the general idea is clear at this point. 

For those who are interested here is the video that inspired these tongs 

I took a look through the tong method thread and didnt see cut rein tongs mentioned unless I just missed it so I thought I would share this in case it helps someone else as it is much quicker than drawing out reins and easier than a drop tong weld  for reins and can easily be adapted to almost any jaw type.

 

 

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Cool indeed!  I have a power hammer and a bandsaw, so drawing out reins or cutting them isn't an issue, but hot-cutting them would be a bit faster.  Good work!  I need to make some more tongs myself.

 

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Finished up the tongs this evening overall I very happy with how they came out but of course the next pair will be better 

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They look good to me, Anthony.

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Very nice!  Cleaner than mine by a long shot.B)

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