railroad spikes

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strong eagle

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when they tore up the tracks in front of my place several years ago they left a lot of railroad spikes behind. my friend and i picked up dozens and dozens of them. would they make a good knife blade?
 

exMember

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Yes, awesome knife blades! Spark test them, lots of bright white/orange sparks = good steel.
 

Coalforge1

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HC rail spikes

Some railroad spikes are marked "H C" for high carbon. They are used on switches, crossovers and bridges. It's not as high carbon as normal knifemaking steel.
According to specifications set forth by American Railway Engineering Association there are two classes of railroad spikes, low carbon track spikes used on straight sections of railroads and high carbon steel track spikes used on curves and switches. According to the specifications, low carbon spikes may contain no more than 0.12% carbon and "High Carbon" spikes may contain NO MORE THAN 0.30% carbon.
Knife blade steels typically contain between 0.85% and 1.5% carbon, or 3-5 times as much carbon as a "High Carbon" railroad spike.
The reasoning is that the railroads want mild steel that will bend rather than break. A bent spike will still hold a rail whereas a broken spike will not.
 

Sparkitoff1

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My BIL and FIL went to a knife making class where they each made a knife out of a railroad spike. They twisted the back of it for either a bare handle or for something that a resin could adhere to.  The front was forged flat, shaped and sharpened.  They are very sharp and durable. Sorry I don't have a pic of them.
 

heelerau

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I have made a couple of tomahawks out of railway spikes, and have one knife. Downunder the spikes are pretty low  carbon but still make a knife. They are good material to practise with. I have a supply of the located at an old railway siding, just lying about so seems a pity to see them rust away ~
 

Rick N Bama1

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Here's a Railroad Spike Knife I bought for my eldest Grandson a few years ago.  It was made at the Old Mill Forge in Pigeon Forge TN.  I can't say how much it's been used but the Grandson says that it is sharp and holds an edge quite well.

LwIr7NU.jpg
 

RhinoDave

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Just got around to taking some pictures of my spike knife. My nephew made it for me. Our muzzleloaders gun club has a outdoor blacksmith shop but I can't make a nail. No talent for it. One of our clubmembers is going to make me a sheath for it sometime this Winter. 
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pb140011.jpg
 

Buck Conner1

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Now that's what hand forged items will look like, not the flat stamped surfaces that some claim. With a little work Dave he will improved his skills like seen with some of the experienced smiths. Good job, use it well.

I visited a small museum in Wallace KS years ago, Wallace was the end of the railroad line during the killing of the buffalo on the plains. For $10 bucks you could go to and from Chicago to Wallace, kill a buffalo and when home get a buffalo robe. A 45/70 rolling block and ammo was furnished. Our government's way of getting rid of the buffalo (hides and food source) for the Indians. In the museum they had a neat small collection of different railroad tie nails made into different things, knives was one of those items.
 

Kentucky Colonel

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Nice! In my youth, there were a lot of those laying around where I grew up. I did not know they were useful. A shame. 

Of course, I was 12... :)
 

Buck Conner1

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Kentucky Colonel said:
Nice! In my youth, there were a lot of those laying around where I grew up. I did not know they were useful. A shame. 

Of course, I was 12... :)
And not allow to play with matches ...   :lol!:
 

Kentucky Colonel

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Buck Conner said:
Kentucky Colonel said:
Nice! In my youth, there were a lot of those laying around where I grew up. I did not know they were useful. A shame. 

Of course, I was 12... :)
And not allow to play with matches ...   :lol!:
Have you been talking to my wife? She still does not want me to play with matches. :lol:
 

Buck Conner1

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No, saw it on the CBS News that a 110 year old male from Central Florida got busted for burning down the wife's garden shed.  Man that's you 100% KC - busted ....  :roll:
 

toot

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now days all ribbon rail with clips, no more spikes. they are even up in antique shop's.
 

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