I’ve been itching to try out my new anvil but didn’t want to give it a go until I had everything juuuust right. Today was the day to get rolling. Mike is home from university for the Thanksgiving long weekend and Matt got home from his groundskeeping shift early, the weather was great and I finished the anvil stand this morning. All good omens. 🙂
I wheeled the anvil out into the driveway and put the finishing touches on the stand. Mike gave me a hand yesterday getting it ready to go and this morning I made a couple of clamps from some leftover angle iron and lag bolted them to the stand to give some additional stability and then just gave the base a touch up courtesy of Bernie McBlowtorch to give it a bit of a rustic look. All ready to go. Mike and I did a quick run out to Demxx to pick up some rebar. I figured the first project would probably make sense to be tongs and I figured the cheapest stock would be rebar since I’ve never done this before. When we got back from the metal run, we pulled the workmate around to the driveway, pulled out the forge and connected it up and it was go time!
Working on a real anvil to get the tongs built was soooo nice. The chain around it does a great job to keep the noise down and it just feels good to work at. It’s at a nice comfortable height for me and even Matt says it will be fine for him as well.
Getting to the tongs I decided that the first pair would just be a pair of simple flat jaws so the process of getting the jaws and boss area was pretty straight forward.
Once the two pieces were done-ish I drilled some 1/4 inch holes in the boss area and used some 1/4 inch rod as a rivet. Got everything heated up and then Matt peened the rivet while I held things steady.
Once the assembly was secured we fit the jaws to a piece of 1/4 inch stock and then made sure the reins were comfortable.
Job completed. Okay, they’re not perfect, but it was a good first try. It was meant to be an excercise in the process. It got us comfortable with our equipment and I’m pretty sure the tongs are good enough to keep us from burning our hands next time we work on the forge. We have a few more sets of tongs to build and I’m sure that the more we do it the better things will get. It was fun. Really fun. Something about bashing hot metal with hammers is cathartic. I only wish I’d started doing this while I was still working.
With the tongs finished, Matt decided he’d get to work on a knife that he wants to make out of an old railroad spike so he flew at it for a while and then we shut it down for the day
It was a good few hours spent with my boys.
Mike has been working on a thermometer for the forge in his spare time so I can check the internal temperature. He designed the board and built the unit and we’re just waiting for the temperature probe otherwise we would have been using it today. And I have to make a case for it. Kind of cool that this is a family project