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Best forging tonges shape?

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Patrice Lemée, Mar 4, 2008.

  1. Patrice Lemée

    Patrice Lemée

    Aug 13, 2002
    What shape jaws work best for holding knife thickness material while forging? The ones I have dont seem to give me enough grip on the metal. Maybe it has also something to do with the distance between the handles when closed.

    Any ideas would be appreciated.

  2. Rusty McDonald

    Rusty McDonald

    Mar 28, 2007
    off set, or box, I prefer off set myself.
  3. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    I prefer "U"-box jaw tongs. I have them in several sizes for various thickness and width blades. They are superb for forging bevels. Tom Tongs can't be beat.
  4. Raymond Richard

    Raymond Richard

    Jun 17, 2001
    I've got one pair. Several would be a good idea. I'd spend less time looking for them. I was surprised to see they aren't made in the US.
  5. Rob!


    Feb 9, 2000
    Almost off topic, but I bought a set of the Heat Treating tongs from Jantz - and they just plain suck!

    With the handles fully together, the jaws are still about 1/16 apart. No chance of holding an envelope and even 1/16 steel swivels and would drop easily.

    I imagine they'd be fine for heat trating 3/16" in a forge, but who'd be crazy enough to do that? :rolleyes:

  6. Justin.Mercier


    Oct 21, 2006
    They're not made in the US, but they are made from a medium grade tool steel, so they're pretty durable, and with the cost of shop time, a pretty good value. I've only got 2 pairs of tom tongs myself, but iv'e got all sorts of other tongs, so i didnt really need many pairs.

    As far as the best tongs go? Whatever you feel lets you hold your metal the best. Some people grip their steel differently so what works for one person may not work best for another.
  7. Patrice Lemée

    Patrice Lemée

    Aug 13, 2002
    Thanks for the info. I'll look around for these tongues. Sadly I probably find them up here in Canada.

  8. Raymond Richard

    Raymond Richard

    Jun 17, 2001
    Here's a link to some decent tongs: http://www.riversidemachine.net/item539706.ctlg I bet they will even send to Canada. Al's use to have the type that Stacy mentioned but I don't see them there. The right pair of tongs will really make a huge difference. Off Center Forge also makes some great tongs.
  9. D.sylvester


    Apr 26, 2004
    Pad there is a Farriers supply store in bromont Quebec i got most of my tongs from them

  10. Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith

    Stacy E. Apelt - Bladesmith ilmarinen - MODERATOR Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 20, 2004
    Here is the source for Tom Tongs and other tools.Get on their mail/email list. They often run ,"Buy on - Get one" sales on tongs.
    Most farrier supply and places like Centaur Forge carry them ,too.
  11. birdog4


    Jan 21, 2000
    I like wolfjaws from Kayne&son
  12. Will Leavitt

    Will Leavitt

    Jul 28, 2006
    Ummm am I the only person that holds onto the barstock for most of the forging process? I usually only use tongs when I'm finishing up the tang and during heat treat.
  13. bennett


    Sep 22, 2005
    I agree with Will. I like to forge from a large bar of flat or round, and use tongs when finishing the blade up. When doing that, I like wolf-jaw tongs. Just my $.02 worth:rolleyes: Someone mentioned Kayne & Son. They are good folks to deal with. I've also done business with Centaur Forge, and they are good to deal with too. Can't go wrong with either place! Here's a link...

  14. Patrice Lemée

    Patrice Lemée

    Aug 13, 2002
    Thanks all for suggestions.

    Dave, I will look that up. They probably don't have a website. I would like a real anvil too eventually. Nice to know somebody here that is close well closer than all my US friends anyway. ;)

    Will, I do too but sometimes I find myself doing more than just finishing the tang. Maybe a little tweaking of the overall shape or having just enough of the bar left for the knife. I don't like to waste good steel. ;)

  15. Raymond Richard

    Raymond Richard

    Jun 17, 2001
    The only bad thing about going to a farrier's supply is almost all the tongs are related to holding horseshoes. At least the few I've been to here in the US are that way.

    Will, Your doing fine by holding onto the long bar of steel.
  16. Raymond Richard

    Raymond Richard

    Jun 17, 2001
    These are the two tongs I use the most, the others could get tossed and not be missed. The top I use mainly for gripping up to 1" X 1/4" bar and also used after I have a tang forged. The bottom set I got mainly for forging axes and hawks but still haven't used it for that. They will grip up to 1 1/2" X 1/4" bar comfortably. Also used for holding round or square stock. I know one inch and larger will work but not sure about how small it will hold. It will also hold vertical or horizontally. Last but not least hold a knife by the blade if need be.

  17. Sam Salvati

    Sam Salvati

    Aug 6, 2007
    I'll have some pictures of some tongs I have made for others and myself tommorrow.
  18. Patrice Lemée

    Patrice Lemée

    Aug 13, 2002
    Thanks for the pics Raymond, very helpful.

    Can't wait for yours Sam.

  19. A C Richards

    A C Richards Dealer / Materials Provider Dealer / Materials Provider

    Apr 14, 2006
    The BEST tongs are the ones that FIT the stock. That is why you see a rack of tongs in blacksmith shops. Knifesmiths do not need the wide variety of tongs but if you plan on forging some odd stock get or make the proper tongs. The time or money spent will prevent hours of aggravation and possibly ruined project or even worse an injury. Capture the stock fully. Box Jaw and square jaw are the best but they need to fit. Trying to forge 2" material with 1" tongs is possible just not practical.

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