Material. Hand length of 25 x 12 mm flat mild steel; two lengths of 10-mm round section mild steel 360 mm long; 40-mm length of 8- or 10-mm section mild steel.
Additional tools. 10-mm bottom swage; round punch for 8-10-mm hole; suitable bolster or an old 12-14-mm nut; 6- or 8-mm and 25-mm fuller; bending dog; hot set.
Heat one end of each of the 360 x 10-mm rods in turn and chamfer in the bottom swage. Cool these ends and then heat the other ends to near-welding heat, upset them to about 12 mm and scarf as in Job 16. Put these two pieces to one side; they will form the reins of the tongs.
Mark out one end of the 25 x 12-mm flat bar as in Fig. 107A. Take a near-welding heat on this end for a length of about 160 mm. Quickly fuller with the small fuller as in Fig. 109, allowing the fuller to penetrate a little less than halfway through. Flatten as in Fig. 110 and lightly fuller again if necessary.
Turn the work on edge as in Fig. 111 and lightly fuller the corners to give the section shown in Fig. 107B. Straighten and fuller with the 25-mm fuller from the opposite side as in Fig. 112. Again, the fuller should penetrate a little less than halfway through. Flatten on the sides and lightly fuller again if necessary to give a good finish.
Quickly place in the vice and twist 90 degrees in an anticlockwise direction as in Fig. 113. Place over the rounded edge of the anvil and flatten the twist as in Figs 114 and 115.
Be sure the twisted section is still at 90 degrees to the rest of the job. With a hot set, cut off the worked piece about 12 mm from the edge of the 25-mm fuller groove. Hold in tongs and forge end to a square section to match the size of the scarfed end of the reins. Then scarf this end, making sure that the scarf is in the position shown in Fig. 108A. Bring the scarfed ends of both the rein and the newly forged bit to full welding heat and hammer together as in Job 16. A flatter may be used to give a nice finish after welding. The welding position is shown in Fig. 117. Reheat eye boss to a bright red or yellow heat and round up as in Figs 118 and 119.
Reheat to a bright red heat and punch the rivet hole as in Figs 120 and 121. Note that a nut is used to keep the bit end off the anvil during the second stage of punching. This is carried out over the punching or pritchel hole of the anvil. The hole must be opened out for an easy fit on to the 40-mm length of 10-mm round section.
Each operation is repeated in order to make the two halves of the tongs, which should be identical. The 40-mm length of round section is placed through the holes and lightly hammered to prevent the rivet from falling out into the fire. Tong bits and rivet are now brought to a bright red heat and the ends of the rivet are hammered with the ball-peen (Fig. 122). Hammer on each side. After riveting, the tongs are partially cooled in water and should be opened and closed while being dipped in and out of the water to loosen the rivet. Tongs are again reheated to a bright red and set to the metal size (Fig. 123). Note the use of a piece of metal to keep the reins apart to suit the blacksmith's hand. Tongs are now cooled completely and the reins smoothed with a file.
This is the simplest method of tong-making. Stronger tongs are made in a similar manner but with the bits forged by drawing-down from a 25-mm or even larger square or round bar. Tongs made by the method shown here are adequate for most forging operations. Tongs as shown can be made in about 20 minutes (or 30 minutes for beginners).
If specially shaped tongs are required, enough metal must be allowed on the bits and the shaping done after
the rivet hole has been punched. Tongs should drop open easily when released. The method mentioned above for making tongs by drawing-down the bits from heavier sections forms the basis for making carpenter's pincers, pliers, sheet-metal shears and other similar two-piece tools.