Franklin Countys First News

Learn to make tongs with the Western Maine Blacksmith Association

Learn about making blacksmith tongs at the next meeting of the Western Maine Blacksmith Association on Tuesday, January 7, beginning at 7 p.m.

WILTON - Blacksmiths have a saying that you can never have enough tongs, and it’s true. Tongs are the tools used to safely hold hot metal as you place it in the fire or pull it out to work it on the anvil. Tongs come in all shapes and sizes. The trick is to have the right tongs to securely hold the work you are doing.

Stan Tilton, president of the Western Maine Blacksmith Association, will help you solve that problem in a workshop Tuesday, Jan. 7, at the Wilton Historical Museum on Canal Street. The event begins with a short business meeting for the association beginning at 7 p.m., followed immediately by the hands-on workshop downstairs at the forge.

“Tongs are easy to make and modify,” Tilton said. “So if you are creative you can come up with a pair that do just what you need to do.”

He emphasized that having good tongs to hold the work is important to safe and efficient blacksmithing. He’ll discuss the basic parts of tongs, some common types, and demonstrate how you can easily make your own.

Tilton has been blacksmithing most of his life and is the son of Ray Tilton, who founded the WMBA more than 15 years ago. The association is open to anyone, young or old, beginner or advanced, who is interested in blacksmithing. Individual dues are only $20 per person per year and include membership to the Wilton Historical Society.

For more information about the group, visit www.westernmaineblacksmith.org or check out their group on Facebook. You can also email wmeblacksmiths@gmail.com or phone 207-778-0792.

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