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Hacking Raku Tongs

Have you ever bought something and it stopped working correctly after 4 times? It must have been raku tongs. Look I don't know what the deal is with clay companies making a product that falls apart in mid use but it really is annoying and even dangerous. Every single clay store seems to sell the same model of raku tongs and they all have the same problem. They loosen up with use and eventually the tips of the tongs no longer line up and that leads to pots not being picked up safely.

It all comes down to how they are made, somewhere some one thought it was a good idea to tap one of the arms and just use a single screw to hold the other arm to it and act as the hinge point. All well and good until the screw unscrews due to use because duh friction. I mean where did this industrial designer get their degree? Sigh, but I digress, so back to the pottery hack.

I take that screw out and toss it away, it really is good for nothing. I then get a 1 inch long bolt, 2 washers, and 2 nuts for the bolt. I slide the bolt through the handles of the tongs where the screw was, with one washer on either side fo the handles and then use the 2 nuts to secure the handles together. The reason for the two nuts is that using only one will still allow the tongs to loosen up with friction, but using two allows the second nut to "lock" the first nut into place keeping the tongs snug.

If you want to see what I'm talking about here is a link to the video . Playing with raku is fun and dangerous at the same time. Our tools shouldn't make it more dangerous and less fun.


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