View Full Version : best place for tongs?

05-22-2010, 11:18 PM
I'm needing a set of box jaw tongs setup for 1/4" thick flat bar with 1-1/4" width. Haven't had a hellova lot of luck finding any online.

05-22-2010, 11:52 PM
I bought couple of Tom tongs and I like them alot. I plan on buying some more. Not for shure if they have the size u you .


Diamond G Knives
05-23-2010, 12:07 AM
Ill second Tom Tongs. For the price I dont think you will find any made better.

God Bless

Wayne Coe
05-23-2010, 04:45 AM
The only problem with TOM Tongs is that they are made of high carbon steel. Good tough tongs but don't quench them! The jaws are made differently than the unusual box jaw tongs but do hold better for the size they are designed for. You can probably go up one size and down one size from the size they are rated for. If you want TOM TONGS you probably need to get all the sizes you might need now. I don't think that there is another supplier since Tom Clark died 1.5 years ago. John Elliott is a nice guy to do business with.
You also may find TOM TONGS at Blacksmith's Depot, or other box jaw tongs.
You can go to www.anvilfire.com (http://www.anvilfire.com) and search for box jaw tongs or just tongs and get plans to build your own. Also on the forum www.iforgeiron.com (http://www.iforgeiron.com).
Tongs are not hard to forge. I built a set of tongs in my first blacksmithing class at John C. Campbell Folk School (www.folkschool.org).

05-23-2010, 06:36 AM
Next time We meet up Wayne, Can we forge some Tongs:D2thumbs

05-23-2010, 07:20 AM
Thanks all for the replies. Wayne, thanks for the info I'll do some research over there. Making my own would be awesome, vs. paying :)

Mike Blue
05-23-2010, 07:30 AM
If you have to buy some find Grant Sarver of Off Center products. Steve Parker (Illinios Valley Blacksmiths for contact) makes some very highly regarded tongs and tools.

At demos I've been to, everyone grabs Steve's tongs first. Grant's are really good ones and well designed. These fellows do nothing but make tools for a living so you're getting good practical experience and folks who make tools for other folks don't last long in the business if they don't make good stuff.

Here: http://www.blacksmithsdepot.com/Templates/cart_templates/cart_browse.php?theLocation=/Resources/Products/Tongs_and_Pliers&where=&PHPSESSID=0d1147d1f837a77c2f8acea0a7c19ed0

In the end, +1 on what Wayne says. Really, you will have to learn to make your own. It's just going to happen someday anyway when out of all the tongs you own, you don't have a pair that is right for the job that sits on the anvil in front of you. In addition: ABANA or any of the local blacksmith groups has access to some good videos of how to make tongs/tools and not expensive either.

Bob Warner
05-23-2010, 09:11 AM
Haven't use this guy (forged all my own) but he looks like a good source.


I stumbled on his site and after reading about him and his work I think he knows what he is doing. May be worth a shot.

05-23-2010, 09:34 AM
Shame them Tom Tongs have only a Twelve inch Handle.

05-23-2010, 09:47 AM
i emailed Glen at GStongs.com this morning.

LR Adkins
05-23-2010, 10:09 AM
The very first thing I did when I got my forge up and running was make my own tongs. They weren't pretty but I was proud of them.:)

Go ahead and make your own, the practice will help you improve your technique


Peter Killgore
05-23-2010, 03:44 PM
I bought two pairs of tongs from Glen at GSTongs and they are great! They hold well and comfortable in the hand. He's a great guy to do business with and I don't think you'd go wrong at all getting some tongs from him.

john smith
05-23-2010, 05:15 PM
i did not even know that GS tongs was just about 25 miles away from my house. :bud:
After I built my forge I made a light pair of tongs that I use for quenching. I found the info on anvilfire http://www.anvilfire.com/iforge/tutor/gc_tongs/top_index.htm
I figured if a 10 yr old boy scout can make a basic set of tongs maybe a 52 yr old man might have a chance.
They do work pretty good for a homemade pair of light weight tongs, I made mine a little longer and reshaped the handle. there is also other links to make different tongs.

05-23-2010, 06:16 PM
thanks dogs,

was forging this evening and got a little frustrated with the shape i ended up with...looks like a retarded fighter LOL.

05-23-2010, 06:26 PM
what is the best steel to use to make your own Larry?

Doug Lester
05-23-2010, 07:09 PM
Hotrod, if Glen doesn't have what you want he can probably make it for you. Did you take a look at what he has on hand? He has some flat bar/knife blade tongs that could possibly fit your need. At any rate Glen is first rate people and I recommend him highly. Plus his prices are about as good as it gets.

Doug Lester

05-23-2010, 07:47 PM
I emailed him and he's going to make me what I need. :) Hopefully they'll come in around the same time the 5160 i ordered comes in hahahha.

Wayne Coe
05-24-2010, 04:14 AM
You didn't ask me Stabber but I will answer anyway.
Mild steel is used quite often. Use mild on your first few pair. When using mild make them a little heftier. You can quench them without much worry about them breaking.

If you want lighter weight later coil springs work well. After forging them normalize them. Be careful about quenching, even if they are not red hot.

Unless making light weight pick up tongs I commonly use 5/8 round or even 3/4.
I use coil springs and keep the hinge area thick when making scrolling tongs which need more strength due to the side loading.

LR Adkins
05-24-2010, 06:47 AM
Stabber, Wayne, of course, is right on the money with the steel to make tongs.

Thanks for helping out Wayne.

IMO everyone using a forge should learn to make their own tools. The advantage is you can shape them to fit your specific needs. The tools I make may not always look pretty but they work well for what I need. Besides you get more practice and there is a sense of pride in making your own tools.


05-28-2010, 05:30 PM

Glen's tongs came in today, they are absolutely amazing and a hairsaver on my arms and hands hahahha will take pics when I get home from the weekend.