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Author Topic: Antique logging tong assistance  (Read 1133 times)

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Offline Forest Fairy

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Antique logging tong assistance
« on: August 06, 2021, 02:45:04 PM »
Greetings everyone, first time posting. Iím a newbie in every sense so please forgive my naÔvetť. Iíve been reading, trying to educate myself after the World Wide Web searching gave me zero - clear or concise, factual answers to where I could properly identify and determine the age of some tongs I inherited  by surprise on a historical farm/property purchased in Northern Virginia.
I am not in the industry although tree and wood work is a major part of my professions and hobbies. This site and the interactions and information Iíve observed being shared here have helped tremendously already and also given me confidence and trust to know I am not going to be fed lines of BS or half Aíd info if I ask newbie questions or because Iím eww, a girl. Hahaha 
I like to the learn, and learn it properly, in any aspect whatever it may be. And clearly, you all know your stuff. Youíve all inspired me far outside of what originally brought me here. Itís nice to know theres a place I can come and ask greenhorn questions and be given solid and quality info and actually learn - accurate, clear and concise, solid info ! So I just wanted express my appreciation and say thank you before asking my tong questions. Pertinent actual knowledge, honest, factual info that also has substance and quality to it, plus integrity ?? It should not be so bloody hard to locate in the world. Thank you.

So, Ive learned that logging tongs were also used as ice tongs and called as such. Hence my thorough confusion on the web. They also found use in hay barns back in the day. Hence more of my confusion as thats where these were found tucked away, many, many moons ago.
Pretty positive, thanks to you all that what I have are logging tongs - still unclear as to the lifting/skidding bit and how to accurately determine. Especially on such old ones.
In learning about and coming to know the propertyís history dating back to the mid to late 1700ís, its been in the same family until our acquisition and a direct relative is a neighbor who grew up here. 
I know these tongs likely filled all the roles above. Logged the hardwoods here for pasture. The floor joist of the bank barn are fully intact full length tree trunks, flattened on 2 sides by hand with a adze axe. Found that too !
Brought up the ice from the pond for the spring house. Both the barn and spring house date from the early-ish to mid 1800ís. 
And I also found the blacksmiths swage block tucked away here that dates from the same period. I thought it was some concrete block or something propped against one of the understory barn doors. I went and looked a little closer one dayÖ gave it a little kick. Was absolutely not concrete. 200 year old swage block plugged up and hidden by 100 years of dry barn dirt. Not rusting at all. I didnít even know what a swage block was, I just knew I had seen a pic of something similar on a blacksmithing site and went and hunted it down. Got educated. Coolest find to date. 
Iím pretty suspect just from the texture of the iron on these tongs and all the other stuff around here I know was forged on that swage blockÖ.
They were as well. 

Is there a way to determine this for certain ?
Or a accurate age/era at all ?
How do I determine the value ? 
And where is it valued?
As a useable item still ?
Cool historical wall hanger and convo piece ?

Iíd really like to find out just a lot more specifics if possible about what I actually have here besides logging tongs that were also used as ice tongs, that then went to work in the bank barn at the turn of the century when the spring house fell out of use and the hay fork and trolley system was installed to assist with the hay harvesting. 
Iím glad I was able to find, salvage/save, clean up and preserve all this cool old stuff and just keep it preserved and in safe keeping. But thats all Iím doing with it. 

Any assistance with any aspects of this would be greatly appreciated. Thank you all again 

Hereís the measurements and ill hopefully be able to post pics with this  as well. 

Main arms - octagon - 1 1/8Ē diameter, 1/2Ē across flats

Arm length - 21 3/4Ē - top to inside curve of tong points
                 - 23 1/2Ē - top to outside curve 

Arm (flats) - 1/2Ē thick - @ rivet

Rivet - 7/16Ē

U shackles - 7 3/4Ē L x 2 1/2Ē W  outside - 1 3/8Ē W inside

O Ring - 4 3/4Ē diameter x 5/8Ē 

Tong points - 3Ē tip to inside of curve - 4Ē tip to outside

Measures 32Ē across wide open - tip to tip of tong points


 

 

 

 

Online maple flats

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Re: Antique logging tong assistance
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2021, 03:13:39 PM »
Welcome aboard. Those were likely used to pull a small or medium size log by a team of horses (or oxen) from the woods or hedge row to a different location, maybe to cut into firewood. The age is nearly impossible to guess. A pair of those from 1800 would likely look just like a pair from 1900.
The swage block was not likely used to make them, but the ring and rivet might have been made using it..
You might do well to take the tongs to a blacksmith's rendezvous or demo days to get their thoughts. It looks like there might be  some marks on the flat, just before the tongs go from flat to rounded. If yes, that might be a touch mark. Blacksmiths label what they make with a touch mark, as do commercial producers, that may help a knowledgeable blacksmith determine their history.
Good luck.
logging small time for years but just learning how,  2012 36 HP Mahindra tractor, 3point log arch, 8000# class excavator, lifts 2500# and sets logs on mill precisely where needed, Woodland Mills HM130Max , maple syrup a hobby that consumes my time. looking to learn blacksmithing.

Offline Howdy

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Re: Antique logging tong assistance
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2021, 03:20:29 PM »
You have started a wonderful journey by joining the Forestry Forum.  And even figured out how to post pictures too!!!

As this years Pig Roast is just setting up additional answers may be a little slow in coming.  But what a delightful find on your new place.  Letís hope there is still many more treasures yet to discover.

Welcome, enjoy, and share.
Howdy

Offline Joe Hillmann

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Re: Antique logging tong assistance
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2021, 06:02:02 PM »
I would say those are logging tongs.

Ice tongs tend to be a lot lighter duty and ice tongs usually have two handles, whereas logging tongs have the chain links and circle link to hook a chain to like yours has.  Depending on their age they were probably used for all sorts of tasks in addition to just dragging logs out of the woods.

As far as value, between $20 and $150, depending on the buyer.

They are still perfectly usable if you wanted to put them back to work.  Most of the tools I use for logging would be antique wall hangers for other people.

Online mike_belben

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Re: Antique logging tong assistance
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2021, 06:21:59 PM »
Dont know but welcome aboard
Isaiah 63:10

Online trimguy

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Re: Antique logging tong assistance
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2021, 08:46:57 PM »
Welcome and nice find !

Offline hacknchop

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Re: Antique logging tong assistance
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2021, 09:29:01 PM »
Nice Logging tongs or what are around here referred to as Skidding tongs as already pointed out Ice tongs were lighter kinda round with short handles I also have my own Skidding tongs as well as Timber tongs which are aluminum with inserted steel teeth I use them often. Oh yes and welcome to the Forestry Forum.
Often wrong never indoubt

Offline moodnacreek

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Re: Antique logging tong assistance
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2021, 09:55:40 PM »
Welcome. Those tongs do look old. Most people don't realize most of the iron logging tools are still made here in the USA and not just a private blacksmith but production manufacture.

Online btulloh

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Re: Antique logging tong assistance
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2021, 11:27:51 PM »
Those look like production but still pretty old and a very nice set.  Iím pretty sure the bolts are not original. As suggest above, a blacksmith could probably provide some good info, even though theyíre not hand forged. Very cool item. 

Offline Chuck White

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Re: Antique logging tong assistance
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2021, 08:04:00 AM »
Welcome to the Forestry Forum, Forest Fairy!
~Chuck~
Retired USAF 1989, Retired School Bus Driver 2012, now semi-retired Mobile Sawyer, 2018 Silverado 4X4
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Offline olcowhand

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Re: Antique logging tong assistance
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2021, 04:41:02 AM »
Welcome to the FF, FF!
There has been a repair to join one of the points back to the leg. If you can find a Blacksmith, he/ she might be able to date the repair by the method used...
Steve
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Offline Texas Ranger

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Re: Antique logging tong assistance
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2021, 09:06:44 AM »
Welcome to the forum, FF, yes, this is a knowledgeable bunch of folks.  My wife tells me if I don't know the answer, I make one up., you wont find much of that here, but we do tend to pull a leg or two now and then. 8)
The Ranger, home of Texas Forestry

Online Stephen1

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Re: Antique logging tong assistance
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2021, 12:26:45 PM »
Welcome the FF FF !
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Offline Tom King

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Re: Antique logging tong assistance
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2021, 12:46:03 PM »
Welcome to the forum, FF, yes, this is a knowledgeable bunch of folks.  My wife tells me if I don't know the answer, I make one up., you wont find much of that here, but we do tend to pull a leg or two now and then. 8)
You would make a good Historian.
I had my hands on some ice tongs this morning, got sidetracked, and forgot to take a picture.  I'll try to remember to this afternoon.

Offline Forest Fairy

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Re: Antique logging tong assistance
« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2021, 08:23:47 PM »
Thank you to all for the warm welcome and info / feedback. Iím going to be heading back home to Montana here in short order so I think I will just put these to good use as I have plenty of clearing to do. Once I am settled Iíll come back here to pick your allís brains on how to that correctly and safely. Thank you all again, your help is much appreciated !
Cheers !!

Offline Les Staley

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Re: Antique logging tong assistance
« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2021, 11:46:02 AM »
Thanks for the nice clear pictures!  Those are great finds, and itís good that you have a knowledgeable neighbor to give the items some provenance.  I am curious about the swage block.  A picture of that would be nice.   If it has a series of decreasing sized U shaped grooves on one side it was probably a ďGun IronĒ. 
East Jordan Michigan, Pinedale Wyoming and St Maries Idaho.  Honey, Iím HOME!

Offline Tom King

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Re: Antique logging tong assistance
« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2021, 04:43:25 PM »
A little late.



 

Offline beenthere

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Re: Antique logging tong assistance
« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2021, 05:13:52 PM »
A little late.


(Image hidden from quote, click to view.)

And Tom's look more like rail tie tongs, than log tongs. But could be used in a pinch for logs or even ice blocks. Something used by hand, regardless. As I see it.

The OP's pics are more what I think of as log tongs, used in a wide variety of ways. Use mine on a hook off my 3pt hitch.. works great. 



 
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Offline Tom King

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Re: Antique logging tong assistance
« Reply #18 on: September 19, 2021, 06:24:07 PM »
The ones I posted the picture of are ice tongs.

Ice used to be bought by country stores from the ice plant in 300 pound blocks.  Those blocks were scored to be cut with an ice pick, into 25 pound blocks, and smaller, or larger.  If you wanted crushed ice, a block was put in a crusher, and run into a big paper bag.

I had a job as a teenager going to the ice plant, and bringing seven 300 pound blocks back in a half ton pickup, to different stores.  We just threw a heavy canvas tarp over it, and slid the blocks into the store's ice house when I got back.  I would drive the store owner's trucks.  It was a half hour to the plant, one way.  I'd get $10 for the trip, and putting the ice in the houses.  I thought I was doing pretty good, for a teenager.

The front wheels on those trucks would hardly touch the ground, but there was little traffic on the roads then.

That was in the 1960's.  Those tongs were for handling the 300 pound blocks, and the smaller blocks that were sold, as well as dropping blocks into the crusher.


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