This tutorial came about because of my need for a new set of tongs. My first set of tongs were made from an old lawnmower blade, and they worked great for many years. I mainly used them for heat treating folder parts, so I didn't really needed anything too strong.
After many years of use, the jaws on these lawn mower blade tongs became quit brittle, and they were on their last leg. I didn’t really want to order new tongs, so I started trying to think of a quick and easy way to make a new set. That’s when I came up with this idea...
I’m sure that I’m not the first one to think of this, but as I looked at my slip joint pliers, I thought they would make great tongs for heat treating folder parts if only they had longer handles. Then I thought “why not just add some longer handles?” Here is how I did it:
I made these tongs for less than $10, and that’s with buying new material. I went to Home Depot and bought a set of 6” Slip Joint pliers for $3.49, and a 1/2" x 36” piece of square tubing for $5.57. Throw the tax on there and I’ve spent a grand total of $9.72
The first thing I did was measured the square tubing and cut it in half. This gave me two equal 18” pieces to use for the tong handles.
Next, I removed the grips from the pliers. The easiest way to do this is to use a razor and slice down through the rubber. The grips come off quite easily, and they might even have come off by just pulling them, but I didn’t try that.