"Easy" Tongs

Demonstration by Sean Conner AKA Whitesmith of
Blackstone Forge

April 24, 2002
 
GURU
Sean is 10 years old and this is his second demo. Demo #112 was his first demo on anvilfire, at age 9. :)

His father is a professional photographer and a part time blacksmith. Sean insists on doing his on-line demos without his father's help other than the photos!


Figure 2
Tonight I am going to show how to make a pair of light weight tongs, the easy way. Start with 2 pieces of 1/4" x 3/4" x 20" long flat bar. Drill, or heat and drift, a 1/4" hole, 3 inches from one end, and in the center of the bar. To be sure both pieces match, clamp the bars together and make the hole in both bars at the same time if you use the drilling method.
WHITE
SMITH
Insert a piece of 1/4" round rod into the hole. Put a vise grip on the handle end to hold the two pieces together.
WHITE
SMITH
Heat the tong end to orange in the forge.

Figure 3
Place the tong end in a vise. Put a crescent wrench just under the piece of 1/4" round rod and adjust the vise so there is about 1 inch of space between the bottom of the wrench and the top of the vise.

Figure 4
Turn the wrench 90 degrees or 1/4 turn. You are turning BOTH pieces of bar stock at the same time, and in the same direction.

Figure 5

Figure 7
WHITE
SMITH
This shows how it looks from the top and the side.

Figure 8

Figure 10

Figure 9
WHITE
SMITH
Remove the rod. Heat the tong end in the forge and then shape it for what you want it to do. This set of tongs was being built to hold 1/4" round stock. The tongs can be taken apart and worked easily in the forge. When you want to see how you did, put them back together with the rod.

Figure 11
When you have the tongs shaped the way you want, heat the end of the 1/4" round rod and put it in the hole in the tongs. Clamp it in the vise and pein the end of the rod to form a rivet head.

Figure 12
Once you have made a rivet head from the end of the rod, cut the other end of the rod off, leaving enough rod to make a rivet head on that side too. Put the whole thing in the fire and get just the end of the rivet hot. You can make the rivet head with the rod cold, but a little bit of heat makes it work a lot better.
WHITE
SMITH
Put it on the anvil and pein the end over to form a rivet head. Be careful not to get it too tight. You can always make it tighter later, just pein it again, but you canít make it loosen up by hitting it with the hammer.
WHITE
SMITH
Note: For the rivet, leave about 1-1/2 times the diameter of the rod to make the rivet head.

Figure 13

Figure 14
WHITE
SMITH
These tongs have just about the right space at the end of the handle to work for me. You can heat and bend the handles to adjust the space to fit your hands.

Figure 15

Figure 16

Figure 13
WHITE
SMITH
These are not heavy tongs, and will not do the work of heavy tongs, but they will do a lot of work and are quick and easy to make.
WHITE
SMITH
Questions?
GURU
Very nice demo. We will add this one to the recommended projects for the Boy Scout Metalworking Merit Badge.
chopper
& i've been making them the hard way :(
Thank's Whitesmith for showing me there's another way to do it
Leah
Thanks, Whitesmith, very good demo and a great job on the pictures.
sleepingbear
These are like the small coal tongs that used to sit on the Mantle at home when I was a Kid
Bryan
Nice job, Whitesmith! I need to make a lighter pair of tongs! :)
Milt
Thanks Whitesmith --- I need to make a pair, looks easy enough for me to do it.
brogan
Great Demo!! Look like a good first timer prodject
WHITE
SMITH
Thank you all for the kind words, and thank you Guru for letting me do the demo.
Bryan
One of the good things about this is, you don't need to already have a pair of tongs to make them!!! :)
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