Advertise Follow Us
When Marshall Iles and I first discussed the 2010 Calgary Mail-In Forging Exercise, the shoer from Alberta said he wanted something that had a real Calgary feel, yet was a departure from the ordinary. As soon as I suggested forging a pair of tongs, he immediately agreed. Only later did I realize I was to write the article on the exercise. I apologize to all you expert toolmakers.
The World Championship Blacksmiths’ Competition has always had such a strong two-man team influence, so it is only appropriate to finally bring this to the Calgary Mail-In. The desired result for this exercise is a pair of bolt tongs that will hold 3/4-inch stock.
My son Cody is normally my two-man partner, but that caused a conflict because he is also my normal photographer for articles. For that reason, many of these shots will look like I have done all the work, when in reality, Cody brushes the hot stock, picks up the camera, takes a picture, strikes for most of the heat and then takes another picture. I work him like a rented mule.
I hope that you can get someone out to the forge to help you with this project. For the making of these tongs, we only used two power tools: an ancient Little Giant Trip-Hammer and a 14-inch straight grinder.
Everyone should have a lot of fun with this year’s contest. Besides, who doesn’t need another pair of bolt tongs? It is better to have three or four…