How to get the best performance out of your tongs. March 31 2020, 0 Comments
Some thought about tongs . How to get the best performers from your tongs.
Cooling tongs .
A good habit is to only dip tongs in water if the heat is traveling up the reins and making the tongs uncomfortable to hold . This is called cooling . This should be done before the tongs get so hot that they show color .
If the tongs show color . Red hot or hotter its best to let them air cool . Until the color is gone . Then it’s ok to cool them in water .
So that describes cooling .
Quenching would be dipping the tongs in water at color , red hot or hotter. This will change the grain structure of the metal . Stiffening the metal . If done repeatedly or at bright heat (yellow or white heat ) the tongs will become brittle . Leadings to cracks and possible failures. This should be avoided.
If you cool tongs as opposed to quenching you will get the best performance from them . Regardless of what material the tongs are made from .
Some folks who work with coal / coke forges will heat the material with the tongs attached . I was taught that this is a bad habit . The tongs take on color which relaxes them changing how they are set . Which almost always makes them hold poorly .
Let me add that if you ask three blacksmiths how to do something you will probably get 9 or more answers .
This is what I do and it’s worked well for me. I make a lot of tongs .