Heavy Tongs Making Classes
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Page Updated July 16th, 2001.
5) Heavy tong making. A one day course for advanced level smiths. The standard tong used for general blacksmithing work. There are two styles that could be taught here. One used by smiths with no access to power hammers and involves forging the jaws of 7/8ths inch bar and fire-welding handles to the jaws. The second method is much faster for smiths who have power hammers, and jaws and handles are forged from a single bar. Both of these methods are advanced level work and beginners are encouraged to master the light weight tongs before attempting this class. References to see some of the methods for making these can be found in The Blacksmith's Craft by RDC (Rural Development Corporation) and also in Ernst Schwarzkopf's book Plain and Ornamental Forging (reprint) for instructions on making the heavy tongs seen in the top and middle of the above photo. Click here to go to the books page. Dates for this class will be scheduled later. Participants will keep tongs they make.
The tongs seen in the photos at left were made very similar to the tongs forging lesson in The Blacksmith's Craft originally written by CoSIRA (now part of The Countryside Agency) in England. This great little book is still offered for sale by the Countryside agency and is also available through free internet download here: http://www.countryside.gov.uk/LAR/archive/publications/craftpublications.asp (New Link February 2007) BEST LINK ON THE INTERNET!
This series of classes (basic smithing, light tongs, scrollwork and decorative work, and heavy tongs) will give the beginner a good foundation of skills to participate in any large group blacksmithing project planned for SCA events such as lilies. Tongs bought at sales and auctions are usually broken or of poorest quality. The tongs classes offered will solve the problem of where to get tongs and at the same time giving the beginner confidence in their ability to make simple tooling and perform many forging tasks. More here later.