Where to get Port Tongs

Anything to do with Port.
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Alex Bridgeman
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Re: Where to get Port Tongs

Post by Alex Bridgeman » 23:13 Wed 25 Feb 2009

SushiNorth wrote:OK, just to check
1 Jdaw
2 AHB
3 Axel
4 DRT
5 that guy on youtube

I gave two to JDaw last night, we can figure out how to get the rest to the UK shortly.
Neither of us were quite satisfied with the "ring" mechanism that keeps the cable loop from straightening out (thereby trying to flip the bottle). It can catch when trying to pull the loop tight. I think it needs to be a little rounder actually, and not as tight on the ends of the oval as I have it now. It's easy to remove it with just two pairs of pliers (grab either end and twist) and I'm going to try out some alternatives on the three I have left. It also occurs to me, it might just be feasible to tie the cable in a single overhand knot (step one of tying a shoelace). Looks like more experiments are in order, but for future versions I may just get a solid ring and thread the loop before locking the cable into the handles.
Wonderful. Thank you. I've just spent a bit of time on the site starting to catch up on old messages and I've seen the video and the demonstration. Please send me a PM to let me know how much I owe you.

JDAW - let me know how you would like to manage getting these to the UK. Would US Mail be easiest?
Last edited by Alex Bridgeman on 22:37 Sat 28 Feb 2009, edited 1 time in total.
Top Ports in 2019: Niepoort VV (1960s bottling) and Quinta do Noval Nacional 2017
Top Ports in 2020 (so far): Croft 1945 and Niepoort VV (1960s bottling)

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jdaw1
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Re: Where to get Port Tongs

Post by jdaw1 » 04:37 Thu 26 Feb 2009

I was given two sets, with instructions that the other was for Derek.

You and he can settle the matter with tongs at dawn. Twenty paces, I remind you.

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SushiNorth
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Re: Where to get Port Tongs

Post by SushiNorth » 06:33 Thu 26 Feb 2009

jdaw1 wrote:I was given two sets, with instructions that the other was for Derek.

You and he can settle the matter with tongs at dawn. Twenty paces, I remind you.
It's simply a question of how I get one to AHB -- with you or via mail.
As for the request for a SECOND one... well, you know how it goes. First one's free...
I'll have to make some more regardless, so we can decide how to settle ;)

AHB -- one of the reasons i didn't sent a third with jdaw was that we weren't happy with the ring mechanism. I've been searching for a better solution, and tried a lot of things (unsuccessfully). Still trying, though, and I will figure out a good way.
SushiNorth
Image Port wine should perhaps be added -- A Trollope

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jdaw1
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Re: Where to get Port Tongs

Post by jdaw1 » 06:39 Thu 26 Feb 2009

Josh: shhhh! Far more amusing to watch them choose weapons and slug it out. Alex would choose port trivia a match he might win. Derek would choosing kitchen sleeping or drinking volume and would demolish Alex. Shhh!

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DRT
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Re: Where to get Port Tongs

Post by DRT » 21:21 Thu 26 Feb 2009

jdaw1 wrote:Josh: shhhh! Far more amusing to watch them choose weapons and slug it out. Alex would choose port trivia a match he might win. Derek would choosing kitchen sleeping or drinking volume and would demolish Alex. Shhh!
I am willing to throw my glove to the floor and challenge AHB to...




...a TN speed-writing contest - first one to write down all of their thoughts of 10 x 70+ year old VPs wins the set of tongs with the new ring mechanism.

Does the dirty scoundrel from Wokingham accept the challenge?
"The first duty of Port is to be red"
Ernest H. Cockburn

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SushiNorth
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Re: Where to get Port Tongs

Post by SushiNorth » 22:41 Sat 28 Feb 2009

OK, ok, I spent a while hand-adjusting the rings until the mechanism smoothed out. Not as optimal or shiny, but very functional.
SushiNorth
Image Port wine should perhaps be added -- A Trollope

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Alex Bridgeman
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Re: Where to get Port Tongs

Post by Alex Bridgeman » 22:42 Sat 28 Feb 2009

DRT wrote:I am willing to throw my glove to the floor and challenge AHB to...




...a TN speed-writing contest - first one to write down all of their thoughts of 10 x 70+ year old VPs wins the set of tongs with the new ring mechanism.

Does the dirty scoundrel from Wokingham accept the challenge?
While tempted, I might find myself at a disadvantage for obvious reasons:
Typical DRT tasting note on Noval 1970:
Smells of melons
Typical AHB tasting note on Noval 1970:
Deep red colour, lighter than the Gould Campbell in the same flight, and with a pale pink rim. An inviting nose of attractive sweet redcurrants. Initially in the mouth this is promising, but then delivers a big dose of sharp acidity and doesn't really come back into balance even after a lot of work. The aftertaste is big and fills the mouth quite beautifully but dries out the cheeks with some slightly bitter green tannins. 87/100. Tasted 30 Jan 2009 as part of the London 1970 tasting, RAF Club, Piccadilly.
A TN speed writing contest may not be fair. I prefer cork reconstruction as my weapon of choice!
Top Ports in 2019: Niepoort VV (1960s bottling) and Quinta do Noval Nacional 2017
Top Ports in 2020 (so far): Croft 1945 and Niepoort VV (1960s bottling)

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SushiNorth
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Re: Where to get Port Tongs

Post by SushiNorth » 00:11 Thu 05 Mar 2009

With all the unlabeled empties I had around, I did some experimenting. The garrotte did fine on port bottles but was ineffective on italian and french bottles. I allowed up to two tries, and was disappointed it took me that many for the ports:

Churchill Agua Alta 1995 VP: 2 tries
Taylor 1994 LBV: 2 tries
Croft Distinction SR: 2 tries
Catello Banfi Brunello 1997: Nope.
Le Dome Bordeaux 2003: Nope.
some other italian: Nope.

I noticed a few things in the process of practicing:
1) The garrotte does not stay hot for long. Get as much of it as bright red as possible, apply quickly, count to 20 (until the glow fades) and quickly remove the garrotte and apply the cold wet cloth. ice-cold water (i.e. NY tap at the moment) or iced water is more effective than a cool cloth. This also means it should be only a few steps from the stove to the bottle.
2) Make sure the center of the garrotte is getting hot, not one side, cause when you pull you'll wind up using the middle. I put it around the burner, even up the handles, and -- once it's started to soften up -- I give a pull to shape it.
3) Putting the cable just in the tips of the gas range's flames will heat it up, putting it against the burner will not. The flames will turn orange above the garrotte if it's heating right.
4) Observe which cable is above the other, and tilt it's side down a little so that the loop is effectively of even height in the flame. You can also adjust the size of the loop so that it circles around the burners flame better.
SushiNorth
Image Port wine should perhaps be added -- A Trollope

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jdaw1
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Re: Where to get Port Tongs

Post by jdaw1 » 00:31 Thu 05 Mar 2009

SushiNorth wrote:The garrotte does not stay hot for long.
A thicker cable would be better.

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SushiNorth
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Re: Where to get Port Tongs

Post by SushiNorth » 05:57 Thu 05 Mar 2009

jdaw1 wrote:
SushiNorth wrote:The garrotte does not stay hot for long.
A thicker cable would be better.
I know, this is the biggest I can get at home depot (and still get fittings for). Also, the bigger the cable, the longer (and harder) it is to heat to optimal temp. This one takes 2-3 minutes. I do wish they had it a couple sizes larger though. This steel cable has been very durable, btw. I've heated it 30+ times now and while a little kinky, it's still solid and as flexible as ever; solid cable/wire isn't nearly as forgiving.
SushiNorth
Image Port wine should perhaps be added -- A Trollope

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jdaw1
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Re: Where to get Port Tongs

Post by jdaw1 » 14:55 Thu 05 Mar 2009

Please do post a link to the fitting (and indeed the cable), so that others, considering son-of-port-garotte, know the best technology so far.

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Axel P
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Re: Where to get Port Tongs

Post by Axel P » 21:25 Thu 05 Mar 2009

If you are not planning to go to Germany or the UK in a bit you might want to give it to one of the FTBitUS (frequent traveler brits in the US) or send it by mail otherwise.

Please let me know what I owe you.

Thanks a lot for preparing.

Axel
worldofport.com
o-port-unidade.com

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SushiNorth
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Re: Where to get Port Tongs

Post by SushiNorth » 22:19 Thu 05 Mar 2009

How to make a Port Garrotte:

1) Cut two handles, 5" long, from a 1.25" diameter hard-wood dowel rod.
2) Drill out the handles, at least 3.5" deep, with a .5" bit.
3) Turn the handle over and use a .25" bit to drill the remaining 1.5+". Check that the two bore holes meet.
4) Sand the handles to desired smoothness/etc.
5) Take 20-22" of 3/16" twisted-steel cable (uncoated), and cross the ends to make a loop (a fish-shape). Put the ends through an uncoated oval or ring (welded closed if possible) approximately 1" in diameter and not less than 1/2" across if using an oval.
6) Slide one end of the cable into the .25" hole on each handle, then fit a 3/16" aluminum steel-cable fitting over the end and slide .5"-1" down the cable.
7) Flatten the fitting with a hammer until firm, bang the handle- facing corners of the fitting flat, and fray the end of the cable by untwisting with a pair of pliers.
8) Pull the cable into the handle until the fitting is snug and there is at least 1" inside the handle between the end of the cable and the end of the handle. If the fitting does not fit into the handle, use the .25" bit to widen the handle's hole, or hammer the fitting a little narrower, or use a small bolt to hammer the fitting into the handle. The cable is very difficult to cut, and cutting it should be a last resort.
9) Repeat steps 6-8 for the other side, being sure that the cable is still in a loop and that the ring is at the crossing-point of the cables.
10) Cut two 1" lengths from a .5" dowel rod (shorter, if the end of the cable is closer). Apply wood glue to the inside of the handle, and insert the piece of dowel rod until flush. Allow to dry, then fill in gaps with extra wood glue (and allow to dry).
11) Sand down the end of the handles.
SushiNorth
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jdaw1
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Re: Where to get Port Tongs

Post by jdaw1 » 22:55 Thu 05 Mar 2009

Please re-post in the Reference section. Maybe tidy the wording a little.

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Alex Bridgeman
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Re: Where to get Port Tongs

Post by Alex Bridgeman » 20:53 Sat 07 Mar 2009

Whoohoo!!

After a particularly poop day, I decided to open a bottle of Gould Campbell 1977 to cheer myself up - and then remembered that Julian had kindly posted me the set of port tongs that SushiNorth had made for me. I used these to open the bottle. They worked brilliantly. Thank you both of you for cheering up my otherwise miserable day.

What fun. I wonder if I can drink more than one bottle today and should open the others right now...

:piginpoo:
Top Ports in 2019: Niepoort VV (1960s bottling) and Quinta do Noval Nacional 2017
Top Ports in 2020 (so far): Croft 1945 and Niepoort VV (1960s bottling)

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RonnieRoots
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Re: Where to get Port Tongs

Post by RonnieRoots » 20:59 Sat 07 Mar 2009

Does this also mean that this particular bottle of GC77 is not corked? That would be very good news.

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jdaw1
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Re: Where to get Port Tongs

Post by jdaw1 » 22:10 Sat 07 Mar 2009

AHB wrote:my otherwise miserable day.
:-( Hopefully a once-off.

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Alex Bridgeman
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Re: Where to get Port Tongs

Post by Alex Bridgeman » 22:20 Sat 07 Mar 2009

RonnieRoots wrote:Does this also mean that this particular bottle of GC77 is not corked? That would be very good news.
It isn't! Or, if it is the fruit is still dominating the TCA!

Hooray!

Bad days like today don't happen often. Non-corked Gould Campbell 1977 does help me to cheer up!!
Top Ports in 2019: Niepoort VV (1960s bottling) and Quinta do Noval Nacional 2017
Top Ports in 2020 (so far): Croft 1945 and Niepoort VV (1960s bottling)

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SushiNorth
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Re: Where to get Port Tongs

Post by SushiNorth » 01:03 Mon 09 Mar 2009

AHB wrote:Whoohoo!!

After a particularly poop day, I decided to open a bottle of Gould Campbell 1977 to cheer myself up - and then remembered that Julian had kindly posted me the set of port tongs that SushiNorth had made for me. I used these to open the bottle. They worked brilliantly. Thank you both of you for cheering up my otherwise miserable day.

What fun. I wonder if I can drink more than one bottle today and should open the others right now...

:piginpoo:
Awesome, so happy to hear they did the deed :)
SushiNorth
Image Port wine should perhaps be added -- A Trollope

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Alex Bridgeman
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Re: Where to get Port Tongs

Post by Alex Bridgeman » 23:19 Fri 13 Mar 2009

I used my port tongs again this evening. The bottle was opened first time - no re-heating or reapplication needed at all. They are working beautifully.

Excellent fun.
Top Ports in 2019: Niepoort VV (1960s bottling) and Quinta do Noval Nacional 2017
Top Ports in 2020 (so far): Croft 1945 and Niepoort VV (1960s bottling)

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SushiNorth
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Re: Where to get Port Tongs

Post by SushiNorth » 19:35 Fri 27 Mar 2009

Tested successfully on empties I was provided...
Dow 85 - 3 tries.
Calem 94 - first try
Gould Campbell 80 - first try
Fonseca 95 - first try

I think the problem was that we were ringing out the towel too much. It needs to really stay wet so that the water can conduct the heat away rapidly.
SushiNorth
Image Port wine should perhaps be added -- A Trollope

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