Monday, January 7, 2013


     I would like to meet Samuel Yellin. Unfortunately, I can't do that. But, I can observe his legacy. His work. His iron. It speaks, in a way, and tells stories of how the master of the craft made a lasting mark of steel on the world. He was a master blacksmith. He's a role model of mine. Yellin was able to manipulate steel, at his will, and form it into whatever his mind could think up. Everyday I am going to take one step to rivaling his mastery of his craft. I do not want to be him, nor do I want to reproduce his work. Contrarily, I want to take a bar and make from it what my mind fathoms, so as to express myself in a medium which is lasting.

  ...Well THIS post got off on an entirely too philosophical note! I really was not intending for it to be that deep, goodness!

On Saturday I made myself my very first pair of tongs. They work, though not well, and are ugly. I am not ashamed to say that they are terrible, because I jumped in and did it.
I made several mistakes which make these tongs poorly designed. They will now hang on my wall of shame.
Today, however, I made a nice small pair of tongs to hold small hooks which I forge.
Here are the tong blanks rough-forged, not cleaned up yet
Each one ended up being close to 11" long, and nearly identical. I didn't have to file or grind it any, which surprised me. I used the method of Brian Brazeal as seen here.
I like these tongs a lot, and I know I will spend many quality hours with them.

He's a cute little guy, for sure. Perhaps he needs a name! (do people usually name their blacksmith tongs?)
As I may have mentioned, these are light duty tongs only. They were forged from 13 inches of 1/2" Round Stock, and will be used on 3/16" to 3/4" stock.
I had to make sure they work, of course, and so I made two small drive hooks for my new forge (Work in progress... May be some months yet.)
These hooks were quickly thrown together for fun; I burned the top hook and the bottom hook was made a long time ago, but never finished.
Those tongs are so small and lightweight, they'd be perfect for a portable forge kit, wouldn't they?
I wonder if that previous statement was a hint at something....
Well, my post must come to a close. Only one parentheses in this post! (okay, let's make it two!)
Thank you dear readers! I always encourage feedback and critique, by the way.
Happy Hammering!


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