November 02, 2006

Bolt Tongs and Google Blacksmithing Videos

I worked on a pair of V-bit bolt tongs last weekend, but I did not finish them. They still need the boss (hinge area) flattened and drifted, and the handles need to be rounded and smoothed out. It is difficult but not impossible to draw out, straighten and flatten a piece of metal on a chewed up anvil. I think the hard top plate is simply missing on my anvil. After grinding on it some, I have a flat surface, and 2 inches of rounded edge suitable for drawing. All other edges are ragged or chipped. I need to learn how to arc weld, and lay down a new top with "hard-facing rod."

Making my tongs, I had to work out the process of forming the V bit. I flattened the bit from 1/2 or 5/8 inch round down to about a 1/4 inch thickness, then I put the bit in my swage block's smallest V shape and hit it with the pein end of my 2 pound cross pein hammer. Of course, all work was done hot, and the thinner metal lost heat very quickly since my swage was cool. A specialized tool like a smithing magician would be handy here. The critical part is getting the metal to fold at the center line. A smarter man would have taken some spare stock, heated and flattened it, and formed a few practice bits into V shape.

Below are some cool blacksmith videos found searching for blacksmith or forging:

Forging a nail - using a hammer, european style anvil and a header tool
Curl Making with the Anvil

Making a Katana from a railroad anchor (I think it is a clip):
Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3

Tempering tools, using a hot cut, a fancy twisted rod