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but why Hammer & Tongs? "to go at it Hammer & Tongs " means :
"to literally or figuratively fight with all one's resources, with no holds barred, with might and main..."
blacksmith has become a rarity & a curiosity, but this 17th century expression
alluding to his art lives on. It refers of course to the brawny smitty taking
red hot metal from the forge with his long long handled pincers, or tongs, and vigorously beating into shape on the anvil with his hammer.
definition from THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF WORD & PHRASE ORIGINS, Robert Hendrickson Facts on File 1997