Making tongs?

Justin Presson

Well-Known Member
I need a set of tongs and started on a pair the the other day out of some mild steel. My question is what do I need to use for my rivet? Can I just use some steel or a bolt that I can mushroom or does it need to be something else?

Thanks
JP
 

Rudy Joly

Well-Known Member
Ladies choice.
Just because I have tons of nails around, lifelong carpenter, on smaller tongs I usually use 16 penny common nails or larger. You'll only have one side to peen. Shouldered bolts are ok too, stay away from the zinc coated ones. Pretty much anything goes. Just size your rivet to the size tongs you're making.

How's the forging coming ?


Rudy
 

Justin Presson

Well-Known Member
Thanks guys.

Rudy, the forging has been almost non existent. Especially lately with getting the house ready to sell and all that jazz. I have a lot of my stuff packed away but I left the forge out and am going to try and forge a few knives out so I will have them ready to grind when I get back everything set up.
I have used the forge a lot for heat treating though and it works fantastic for that.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
Justin, is the new house in a neighborhood? (you mentioned being close to school). I want to try forging but I'm worried about noise. i was hoping to get your thoughts.


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Justin Presson

Well-Known Member
Justin, is the new house in a neighborhood? (you mentioned being close to school). I want to try forging but I'm worried about noise. i was hoping to get your thoughts.


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John the house is in a neighborhood, but I have done all my forging at my shop at work. Which is located in town but not a lot of houses around. I could see me getting a small post anvil and trying to do a little forging at the new house which is also going to be in a neighborhood... But probably not until I get to know the neighbors a bit.
 

EdCaffreyMS

Forum Owner - Moderator
Personally, I have a supply of actual Rivets in my shop, for tongs I generally use 3/8"-1/2".

Here's a "trick" that I do to all the tongs I make..... regardless of what you use for that pivot, peen the "rivet" down just to where you can barely open/close them. Then put them in the forge so the hinge area gets hot.....bring it to a dull/medium red color, then into an oil quench tub......work the tongs open and close IN THE OIL.....this will make them "tight" but still easy to open/close. The biggest issue that most have with homemdade tongs is using too small of a "rivet". What happens with a small "rivet" is that it will heat and deform easily, causing a sloppy action in the tongs.
 

John Wilson

Well-Known Member
John the house is in a neighborhood, but I have done all my forging at my shop at work. Which is located in town but not a lot of houses around. I could see me getting a small post anvil and trying to do a little forging at the new house which is also going to be in a neighborhood... But probably not until I get to know the neighbors a bit.
10-4. I really want to forge, but I also really don't want to be "that guy" in neighborhood. I used to live next to "that guy" who thought 7am on Saturday was the perfect time to fire up the circular saw.
 

Justin Presson

Well-Known Member
I think as long as you do it in reasonable times it might be fine, or time it when your neighbor is mowing the lawn...lol :)
 

wall e

Well-Known Member
This is helping me understand and answer a buch of questions I had.
Justin I know the moving everything dread, my family has outgrown our lil 2 bd apt an are looking into movin into a house w a shop out back.
I dont want to be that guy either. Lol the wifes suggestion is to soundproof or insulste and finish the shop.
Sorry for the thread jack of sorts.
 

Self Made Knives

Well-Known Member
I used to have a friend that played in a band. They practiced in an underground storm cellar so the neighbors wouldn't complain.
 

EdCaffreyMS

Forum Owner - Moderator
I live within the city limits of Great Falls, MT. Concerning noise..... years ago when we first moved in, and upon getting the shop setup, the first things I did were to build the following: 1 floor lamp, 1 table lamp, and a small drop point hunter. I went to the neighbor to my east (an elderly widow lady), knocked on the door and introduced myself, then gave her the floor lamp and told her that I built it, and that if she heard banging and noise from my place, its me "building things". The neighbors to the west were/are an older couple..... I went to their door, and did the same thing....introduced myself, gave the lady the table lamp, and the drop point hunter to her husband, and explained what I do, and that if their was noise, it was me. :) I also told them that out of respect, I would not "bang around" in the shop until 8am, and I'd always try to finish by 5pm. That was over 20 years ago, and I've always had good relations with my neighbors. In fact, when either has friends or family visiting, its not uncommon for me to look up and see several people standing in the doorway of the "Blacksmith" shop, and hear "Whatcha doing today Ed?!"

Good relations with neighbors is not automatic, its something that has to be established and maintained. Over the years since, I have done many "little jobs" for each of my neighbors, just to ensure good relations continue. When either is away, I will watch over their homes/property, water gardens/plants, and just generally "keep an eye on things", and they do the same when I am away.

In fact, if for some reason my neighbors don't hear "noise" coming from my shops for a couple of days, its not uncommon for them to come knock on the door to check on me....just to make sure everything is OK. :) All too often these days, people tend to stay in their own little bubble.....but in the case of doing what we do, and having neighbors, being proactive is a big key to good relations.
 
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