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3 Versions of Tongs
Demonstration by Bill Epps.
http://www.besmithy.com
June 16, 1999

Bill-Epps :
20:30:13

I want to thank my son, Jay for doing these drawings for me, and KiWi going to all the trouble to set this up and make it look real professional.

Bill-Epps :
20:31:16

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Bill-Epps :
20:33:46

Ok, this is 5/8" round sucker rod. This is going to be a pair of 5/16" Farrier's tongs. I make 2 marks. First Mark is 1" back fromt he end, the second is 1" back from that. Then were I have made the mark, I make a divot with a 3/8" bottom fuller about 3/8"deep.

Bill-Epps :
20:34:13

(If you don't have a 3/8" bottom fuller a piece of 3/8" Round Rod works just fine)

Bill-Epps :
20:35:03

After you make the two divots,
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Bill-Epps :
20:36:15

Lining the divots up with the corner of the anvil, I set it down with a good solid blow. Then I come to the near corner of the anvil and do the other side. This will give you the flat where we will later punch our hole.

Bill-Epps :
20:36:44

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Bill-Epps :
20:39:26

Take a real good heat. Now coming over the side of the anvil,and bend down at about a 45 deg. anvil with your flat vertical(using a cross pien and hammering in the divot works well) Your flat should stay about 3/8" thick.

Bill-Epps :
20:40:27

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Bill-Epps :
20:42:36

Now we come back to the front side and we shape our head. At this point you determine what kind of tongs you are going to make and shape accordingly.

Bill-Epps :
20:43:28

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Bill-epps :
20:57:35

Now lets try punching this hole again.

Bill-epps :
20:58:07

I like to start on the corner of the anvil with a tapered punch. drive into the metal until it feels solid.

Bill-epps :
20:59:04

I knock the punch out. and turn the piece over. You'l see a spot line up on the spot and give it 1 good solid blow. You should veel the slug shear.

Bill-epps :
20:59:48

Bring it over to the pritchel hole and knock the slug out and size the hole to the rivet.

Bill-epps :
21:00:38

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Bill-epps :
21:02:14

In making tongs, both sides need to be the same. I have found if I make both sides at the same time that it easier to keep them uniform (but it still takes a lot of practice)

Jock-D :
21:03:56

Those of you that haven't made tongs, remember that both halves are the same, there is no right and left.

Bill-epps :
21:04:10

We were getting knocked out and I forgot to tell about drawing the reigns. I draw the reigns before I punch the hole. I draw them to about 12-14" length. (if you use a gas forge you want longer reigns) then you punch the hole.

Rich-Hale :
21:06:00

What length stock do you start with Bill?

Bill-epps :
21:06:50

Assemble the tongs with a rivet. Set the jaws to whatever size and shape you are making them for, and adjust the reigns to fit your hand. The reigns should lay one on top of the other

Bill-epps :
21:07:41

for a pair of light tongs, I start with 8" of 5/8" round sucker rod. For heavier tongs I would go to 3/4" stock x 8" long.

Jock-D :
21:08:10

Do you ever make tongs by welding the bits to the reigns?

Bill-epps :
21:09:58

You can use 1" x 8" long for real heavy tongs. I draw the reigns on a power hammer I like to put a radius on the top side so I use a 1/2", 1/2 round bottom swedge.
   

Bill-epps :
21:10:30

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Bill-epps :
21:12:02

This is another way of making a pair of tongs. This is out of 3/8 x 3/4" flat bar. We are going to jump weld the reigns on after we make the head.

Bill-epps :
21:13:39

We make a mark 1" back from the end and a second mark 1" back on the OPPOSITE side. The length of stock you start with doesn't matter. You will cut off what you dont use. I make sure it is long enough to hang on to so that I don't have to use tongs in handling it until I get ready to weld the reigns onl

Bill-epps :
21:14:29

Now we fuller it down on the marks about 3/8" diameter and about 3/8" deep. in two places.

Bill-epps :
21:14:48

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Bill-epps :
21:17:59

Now take a real good heat. Align the bottom of the front divot with the vice jaw and a twisting wrench at the top of the divot. Turn 90 deg. Go to the anvil flatten out the twist on two sides.

Bill-epps :
21:19:16

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Bill-epps :
21:21:02

This picture is incorrect. Head should be down. At the second divot start setting it down over the edge of the anvil and ddrawing it out.

Bill-epps :
21:21:14

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Bill-epps :
21:22:39

Now we have this set down and start to drawing it back, and we will cut it off about 3" back from the joing

Bill-epps :
21:23:05

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Bill-epps :
21:24:39

Go ahead and punch the hole and cut it off then holding the jaw with a pair of tongs, we start rounding and drawing the ends.

Bill-epps :
21:25:05

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Bill-epps :
21:25:41

I didn't redescribe punching a hole, it like in the pair before.

Bill-epps :
21:27:43

Draw the end of the head down to about 3/8" diameter, scarf the end and prepare for a weld. Take a piece of 3/8" round mild steel and scarf the end. Flux both pieces and get them ready to weld.

Bill-epps :
21:28:18

The scarf should overlap a little higher that what's shown in this picture.

Bill-epps :
21:29:13

Stick both pieces in the fire, bring them up to a welding heat, come out to thet anvil and weld them. (sounds easly don't it, huh)

Jock-D :
21:32:15

Easy when it works :)

Bill-epps :
21:33:11

After you have succcessfully welded your reigns on, take another welding heat and dress the weld down with your hammer..

joel :
21:34:08

Bill, when you did the twist, is there a twist for holding the tongs in the left hand or the right hand?

Bill-epps :
21:35:59

When you make your twist if you twist counter clockwise, you are makaing a pair of tongs for the left hand, if you twist clockwise, it for the right hand.

Jock-D :
21:36:54

I can never get that straight!

Jock-D :
21:37:31

I've been making twist joint tongs for years. I draw out the reins. I like drawing out the flat stock. Seems to go easier from flat and using a heavy fuller than from square or round.

Jock-D :
21:38:29

Starting from rectangular also makes it easy to leave extra for special bits like gooseneck type.

Bill-epps :
21:36:38

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Bill-epps :
21:38:37

Assemble tongs with a rivet, set the jaws to size and shape of stock that you making the tongs for.

Bill-epps :
21:39:51

Jock, that is totally correct. I use twisted technique on bolt tongs and square and round tongs,

Bill-epps :
21:41:00

At this point I will open this for discussion. I have something else to present, but I want to discuss this first.

toby :
21:41:29

would you put paper in the middle before riviting for clearance

joel :
21:41:35

what type of steel is the best for the jaws on tongs? low carbon or spring steel?

Bill-epps :
21:44:24

i like a littel 1055 4140

Paw-Paw :
21:42:04

Bill, when you finish with the third method, I'll do a short description of a fourth method.
   

Bill-epps :
21:46:15

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Bill-epps :
21:47:46

We have made a pair of tongs out of round, rectangular flat bar, and now we will make a pair out of square. 5/8" and 3/4" Sq. works real well.

Bill-epps :
21:49:07

We start on the f ront side of the anvil and set down about 1/2 the thickness of the stock.

Bill-epps :
21:51:09

Then go to the back side of the anvil (the side away from you) rotate it 90 deg. counter clockwise and set it down about 1/2 the thickness of the stock rotate it another 90 deg. counterclockwise set it down about 1/2 the thickness of the stock again

Bill-epps :
21:51:28

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Bill-epps :
21:53:49

Now you are ready to draw the reigns out and punch the hole. Draw the reigns out to whatever length you want them 12-14" and whatever diameter feels good in your hands.

Bill-epps :
21:54:29

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Bill-epps :
21:55:51

Assemble with rivet and and set to whatever size and shape of stock you wish to hold.

Bill-epps :
21:56:38

We've made tongs from round, flat and square.

Bill-epps :
21:58:48

Ok, Paw-Paw, go ahead
   

Paw-Paw :
21:59:03

Before I describe the tong method that I use... We all have areas where we have a problem doing something. For me it's making tongs.

Jock-D :
21:59:12

You've already done the only one's *I* know. . . That don't require a BIG power hammer :)

Paw-Paw :
21:59:45

If I had every piece of steel that I've ruined trying, Ihave enough steel to cast a good size anvil!

Paw-Paw :
22:01:01

The problem I can't seem to whip is getting the lap for the pivot working right. I've got ONE pair of tongs made the tradiontal way, and Jock started them, I just finished them! :)

Paw-Paw :
22:01:41

So I started looking for a "cheat" method. Let me hasten to say that this is NOT a tradtional method, BUT it works for me.

Paw-Paw :
22:02:15

I go to the local flea market, and buy several pairs of large taiwan pliers.

Paw-Paw :
22:03:41

Take them home, grind the end off of the screw so I can take them apart. Heat and rework as necessary, re-assemble, and use the original screw to make the rivot. If I don't want them to be slip joint, use the mig to fill up one side of the slip joint, and drill to clean up the hole.

Paw-Paw :
22:04:02

As I said at the beginning, NOT a tradtional method, but it works for me. :)

toby :
22:05:58

paw paw do you leave the teeth on the jaws

Jock-D :
22:06:17

Lots of times Channel Locks get used for tongs and Vise-Grips were invented by a blacksmith trying to make a better universal tongs.

Bill-epps :
22:08:17

Chapion tool Co became Vice-Grip tool Co

Paw-Paw :
22:08:47

Toby, Depends on what I'm going to use them for. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. One thing I do is draw out the end of the handls. One I form into a ring, the other I make into a hook. Then I add a piece of heavy copper wire to the ring side that can be wrapped around the hook side. That makes a quick and dirty method of clamping them shut on the stock

Paw-Paw :
22:11:06

Well guys, it's 2315 here on the right coast, so I'm gonna log off and crash Bill, good demo as alwaysy.! Night all!

toby :
22:11:12

ok ,I hadn't thought about a lock

Bill-epps :
22:15:39

got a littel long hope i got the idea across

Ntech :
22:18:11

How long does it take to make each type tong?

Bill-epps :
22:22:06

with my power hammer not long(about 30to45 min) twisted tongs are fastest first way is stroungest

Ntech :
22:23:37

What is the selling price for each type?

Bill-epps :
22:26:56

just depends on what size and shape stock(simpel farriers tongs about25 heavey bolt tongs about 80)

Ntech :
22:27:13

What makes one type stronger than the others?

Bill-epps :
22:28:44

the thickness of the joint at the head

Bill-epps :
22:30:10

and the size of rivett

Ntech :
22:30:54

Around the rivet or where the head meets the riveted section?

Bill-epps :
22:32:03

whear the head meets the rivet section

Ntech :
22:33:05

What is a good size rivet to use?

Bill-epps :
22:35:07

5/16 or3/8 large tongs1/2 0r5/8
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Copyright 1999 Bill Epps
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