Once I had the grips off, I inserted the ends of the pliers into the square tubing to see how it was going to fit. Because of the curvature of the handles of the pliers, they would only go down so far.
In the first picture I set the square bars parallel to each other to see if I was going to be able to get the pliers closed without the back ends of the square bars touching. I was not, and therefore I needed to make some adjustments to the pliers.
Notice in the second picture what I did. I drew some straight guide lines down the length of the pliers to get an idea of how they would fit best into the square tubing. I then cut off a bit of the excess and test fitted the pliers to the square tubing again.
It’s time for welding... My welding set up is pretty basic. I have a 110 volt stick welder that I got from Harbor Freight. A welder I am not. You can see in the above pictures my sorry attempt at welding. While it ain’t pretty, it does hold.
This is the final result. I now have a new set of tongs that are about 21 or so inches in length, and should be perfect for heat treating folder parts.
The cool thing about using the slip joint pliers is that I can adjust them to hold different size stock. Notice in the first two pictures above that the handles are at virtually the same angle. However, if you look at the jaws, you will see that they are closed in the first picture and opened in the second. That’s because I’ve adjusted the pliers to make a wider opening.
The third picture above is showing my old lawn mower blade tongs next to the new tongs.
I’m not sure how these tongs would hold up compared to a heavy duty set of tongs if you are forging large stock, but for heat treating folder parts, they should work just fine.
I hope the tutorial was informative and enjoyable. Please email me if you have any questions or comments.