by Dan Roesinger
I often have a hard time getting myself to take the time to make tools for myself if I can get on with my work with what I already have on hand. But I did finally make myself something I've needed for a good little while: a pair of box-jaw tongs sized for the 1" x 2" stock I use to for some of the axes I make.
I don't often see smiths posting online about the tools they make for their work -- especially the more mundane tools like tongs -- so I thought it might be fun to share some pictures.
I started these tongs just like I'd make a pair of straight-jaw tongs, starting with 3/4" square stock. But for these, I forge-welded a piece of flat stock (1/4" x 1-1/4" x 3-1/2" long) to the inside face of one of the bits to form the box jaw.
It's just a simple butt weld; I only made a scarf in the center of the lighter piece to aid it in blending into the inner face of the jaw. On the upper face, I used a top fuller to blend the side edges of the bit into the upper face of the crosspiece.
Now I can finally use the bars I'd set aside when they got too short to handle when hot -- they've been gathering dust too long!