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Old 11-26-2017, 05:19 PM
LW Hiway's Avatar
LW Hiway LW Hiway is offline
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I have collected at least 20 pair so far and I still have not built the forge yet.
But your ready.

You will need more than one style.
Some would say two of each, one set in short 12" or so and the other in longer close to 24" or a bit less.

I tend to grab the longer as I prefer the extra hold the springiness of the longer arms making it easier for arthritic hands to manipulate with or without the link holder in place. For everything else I've modified slip joint pliers.

A few years ago I was given 40' of 1" rebar and needed to weld two pieces together laying side by side 6" of weld for a total length of 3'. Welded and the beads cracked at the parent, preheat and the beads cracked at the parent. Tried forge welding with far less positive results. I tend not to use rebar for much of anything except concrete or stakes to hold string.

To be honest, the only tongs I've made were pieces of f/b, angle half round cut pipe etc for the heads and joints but I did forge the handles. Much less metal forge manipulation time spent and as much fun in the end. There are several vids for those starting on the cheap or lower ability end of learning. I would personally recommend doing so for anyone just starting out.
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Old 11-27-2017, 12:40 AM
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Walker Walker is offline
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Maybe try these tong kits to get you started. Fairly cheap burn outs, and still some light bending to do, but overall they look promising.
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Old 11-27-2017, 07:45 PM
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biker55 biker55 is offline
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: orange county ny
Posts: 136

thanks all, but purchased a !/4 flat jaw tong on ebay a couple of days ago. they should be arriving some time next week.
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Old 11-28-2017, 09:47 AM
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JWS JWS is offline
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Location: North West Indiana
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Weld a piece of rebar onto the end of the metal you are working. When shaped, cut off the handle and then the tongs can be used for moving in and out of forge, into quench and so forth. Another solution.
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Old 12-03-2017, 06:57 PM
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allessence allessence is offline
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Originally Posted by biker55 View Post
thanks all, but purchased a !/4 flat jaw tong on ebay a couple of days ago. they should be arriving some time next week.
I used to hear this from Newbs all the time. Oh, I can't make tongs, they are to hard... LOL..

I started when I was 8.. With no help of any kind... There are so many videos on tong making now with or without welded reins.. My first pair I made them left hand.. LOL..

There are videos on my youtube page but also on SFT there are "How To's" based on drawings..

The sooner you start making tongs the sooner you will get better at making them.. Sadly with this blacksmithing stuff there are no real short cuts for experience..

If you want to have a pair to start off with vise grips work well.. If you need to stabilize the metal more just weld on ears or a V of angle iron till you have moved up to regular tongs..

I like about a 13" rein on my normal tongs up to about 3/8" stock size.. 3/8" X 1.5" is starting to get into formidable sized stock and will take some serious whacking with a hammer..

I should probably get off my butt and make a few more videos on flat jaw tongs.. The chain making tongs are a good set for an advanced skill set but for beginners it can be tough putting the groove in..

Anyhow, a good pair of tongs can make a work of difference.. I'm always amazed at how many smiths use crappy ones.. Even smiths that do great work will have junky tongs..

I was just up in Orange County, NY few weeks ago..

Just gave a lesson to another members grandson on nail making last week.. He was 11 years old and he swung a mean hammer.. It was fun to watch as he also took direction very well.. Wish he was closer as I could get him all learned up..

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