Tongs

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Tongs

Postby damiensharjah » Mon May 19, 2008 6:23 am

I googled tongs last night for SA, and came up with very little. What tongs are available in the country, what's your opinion of them and what sort of prices are they going for?

If you think this is industrial espionage, you're dead right :cool:
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Postby Bushviper » Mon May 19, 2008 6:59 am

I have a braai tong and it holds wors very nicely! I do like using a long fork as well but it sprays fat everywhere.

Seriously there are some guys who every few years decide to make tongs because the imported ones are too expensive for the 3rd world economy we live in. The workmanship is either shoddy or else by the time the guy has calculated his time to make a good set of tongs the cost is in the many hundreds of rands again.

Some of the tongs have been awkward and not "field friendly" or else they hook on things due to the way they were put together or else they are in the same class as a side cutter!

To be honest most of the imports have not impressed me enough to justify their costs. $80 ends up costing R1200 and then that leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

Some have been cast in shoddy plastics and rubber which made them either heavy or else they could not handle UV light and crumbled after a few months. These were not always much cheaper than the cast aluminium ones.

If this is industrial espionage then you had better steal idea with your eyes, think outside the box and come up with an african solution!
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Postby damiensharjah » Mon May 19, 2008 7:16 am

Bushviper wrote:If this is industrial espionage then you had better steal idea with your eyes, think outside the box and come up with an african solution!


I already tried half a brick. It's effective and durable, but a bit heavy in my backpack. :(

I'm just really looking at what people are paying for now. For example, a hook stick on one SA website cost R350.00!! A bloody hook stick! I'm happy with the results of the product (As I mentioned to you) but need to do thorough costing to make a decent thing accessible and worth the money.
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Postby Bushviper » Mon May 19, 2008 9:22 am

The best hook sticks produced locally are made here in Pretoria and there are about 6 different designs. They are not made from second hand parts and are the best manufactured hooks I have seen anywhere. The biggest ones cost less than R200.

Recently I saw tongs (Pillstrom type) being sold for R450 on a special for a month. I bought a good few for friends and these were imported, good quality tongs. Locally cast and manufactured ones have gone for about the same price. With the increase in petrol etc I am sure everything goes up in price but you need to get in where the average Joe will be prepared to buy a set or two. Same apples to lodges and secuity companies who do not want to invest lots of money in something that does not generate money in turn.
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Postby DevenK » Mon May 19, 2008 10:33 am

Bushviper, where have you seen tongs for around R450? I wouldn't mind one. I've been looking for tongs but found nothing, maybe I'm looking in the wrong places LOL
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Postby BushSnake » Mon May 19, 2008 11:16 am

For some strange reason there are not many companies that do aluminium moulding here. I was looking into getting one made for me some time ago. The labour costs and time costs were excluded and just the aluminium alone went for over R350. And that was not for a moulded design, it was for a folded design which is not really ideal. So I have ordered my tongs from the USA. A set of tongs that cost $90 and $10 postage, will roughly translate to R800. This is without overseas shipment so clearly the R1100 that is currently asked in SA isn't so far fetched. But the prices will probably go up... Midwest asked $290 for the shipment of 3 tongs, which is absolutely ridiculous!

BTW - the friends / family in America need to collapse the Midwest collapsible tongs for transportation, but have no idea how to. I have of course never seen the actual mechanism and can't explain it to them. Any suggestions on how to explain it? They are clearly not mechanically minded so a very simple explanation will be needed!
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Postby Serpy » Mon May 19, 2008 12:57 pm

As far as i can remember there's 2 pin's that pull out, and they collapse..
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Postby damiensharjah » Mon May 19, 2008 1:36 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I'm getting a rough picture here that I can tie in with my budgeting now to make this worthwhile for all concerned.

I don't want to advertise something I can't offer, in terms of quality, but the initial trials with a full size (slightly smaller jaw than pillstroms etc) has been promising. Many trials to go in the coming month or two before I'm comfortable though. As I write BV, the bits are lying on a sheet of metal in 46c heat (that's the temp in the shade) in full sunlight.

As BV suggested others have tried, I'm trying to create a very affordable alternative to expensive imports, but build them from the perspective that not everyone is all that gentle, or knows what they are doing.
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Postby DevenK » Mon May 19, 2008 1:40 pm

damiensharjah wrote:As BV suggested others have tried, I'm trying to create a very affordable alternative to expensive imports, but build them from the perspective that not everyone is all that gentle, or knows what they are doing.


If you pull that off, I'll be interested in getting one.
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Postby Bushbaby » Mon May 19, 2008 3:23 pm

DevenK wrote:Bushviper, where have you seen tongs for around R450? I wouldn't mind one. I've been looking for tongs but found nothing, maybe I'm looking in the wrong places LOL


This was the 1st lot of hooksticks which were made. You now get light weight, solid, different hook sizes, and different lengths. If you are interested, contact Dentech from the forum. He is the person who makes them. The best quality hooksticks you will find anywhere, I can assure you.

http://www.boaconstrictors.co.za/hooksticks.htm
http://www.snakebiteassist.co.za
http://www.reptileexpo.co.za
http://www.boaconstrictors.co.za
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Postby DevenK » Mon May 19, 2008 3:51 pm

Thanks BB, but I'm looking for tongs. I already have a hookstick ;)
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Postby damiensharjah » Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:42 pm

OK, so going on many people's advice as well as my own experience, I've knocked up the first batch of prototypes. Not the small ones yet, but around normal tong size (shorter jaw).

I've tried them out on a few small vipers, large malpolons (1.3m), a 2m cobra and a few other things and they are very comfy.

The shaft is alluminium coated with a mineral infused composite. The jaws, grip and handle are also from the same composite. All pins are stainless and all holes have steel cuffs to prevent abrasion. The jaws are lined with slightly recessed woven foam matting. The top and bottom jays are both very wide and rounded.

They are nice and light, but tough as hell. I'm just messing around with some materials to use as a scratch - plate on the bottom jaw to stop the plastic from grinding away. Up till now epoxy is looking promising.


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Postby Bushviper » Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:58 pm

They look as if they will be nice and light too.

How well do they take sunlight, heat (like being in a locked car in the sun) and dropping or being trodden on?

What sort of price are we looking at here.
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Postby DevenK » Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:07 pm

Those look very good damiensharjah! Great job.
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Postby damiensharjah » Mon Jun 02, 2008 3:26 pm

At this point, I'm not sure about the UV. The manufacturers of the plastic say the pigment darkens under UV, but the plastic is resistant. For now I'm confident in their use in collections, snake parks and call outs. As pucker field tongs, only time and trials will tell.


Heat is no problem up to at least about 70c.

The plastic is impact resistant and I've chucked rocks on them, hit them with big hammers and bent them in a vice. If I jumped up and slammed them on the concrete floor, then they would snap. This is reasonable as that force wouldn't be generated accidentally.

Being trodden on will probably bend the shaft (as is inherent with alluminium) but the plastic bits won't mind.

One thing is that because it is a very rigid plastic, it abrades fairly easily, hence the need for a scratch=plate.

I'm hesitant to put a price on them just yet as I'll probably have to do more work on them and build new moulds etc. Rest assured that they will be excellent value for money, and affordable to people who could normally not afford current brand names.
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