I like old tools. There…I’ve said it. They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Ah, but that raises a question: is the pursuit of old tools a problem??!!
Anyway…since I started blacksmithing, I’ve been on the lookout for hand-forged items made by past smiths. Over the last couple years I have bought tongs, pliers, a nail header, etc. at flea markets, antique stores and junk shops, all hand forged.
This past Thursday I was off from work and running some errands. It was TOO cold to work comfortably in the shop, so I decided to stop in one of the local antique malls to browse. (Actually, I was looking for a small crock to keep my sourdough starter in…but that’s another story…).
Anyway I found these pincers, obviously hand forged. I was really impressed with the symmetry of this tool. They were obviously made by someone who knew his way around a smithy! The business ends of the two halves were forge-welded on…you can still see the weld lines:

20140316-085418.jpg The ends of the reins (handles) are forged into what can be described as screwdriver ends or maybe pry bars:

20140316-085644.jpg But the most intriguing aspect of these pincers is the rivet holding the two halves together:

20140316-085858.jpg In contrast to the symmetrical, sinewy, (dare I say sexy?!) form and execution of the tool itself, the rivet is crudely done, almost an afterthought. So what happened? Did the smith forge the two halves then turn the riveting over to his new apprentice? Or is the rivet a replacement forged sometime later by a less talented or skilled blacksmith? We will never know. I, however, am happy to add this piece of blacksmithing history to my toolbox. Thanks for looking…bart