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strong eagle



Number of posts : 576
Age : 75
Location : rushville
Registration date : 2016-10-11

PostSubject: railroad spikes   August 4th 2018, 3:58 pm

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?
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FrontierGander
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Location : Boncarbo,Colorado
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PostSubject: Re: railroad spikes   August 4th 2018, 5:27 pm

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

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Registration date : 2012-08-22

PostSubject: Re: railroad spikes   August 5th 2018, 5:38 pm

Glad to hear that. I've got about 2 dozen or so.

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Coalforge

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Location : Island in the northwest
Registration date : 2016-07-20

PostSubject: HC rail spikes   August 8th 2018, 10:16 pm

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.
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strong eagle



Number of posts : 576
Age : 75
Location : rushville
Registration date : 2016-10-11

PostSubject: Re: railroad spikes   August 9th 2018, 7:24 am

some of my spikes go back well over 100 years and much older.
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Sparkitoff



Number of posts : 26
Age : 71
Location : NC
Registration date : 2018-06-08

PostSubject: Re: railroad spikes   August 9th 2018, 2:03 pm

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.
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heelerau

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Male Number of posts : 113
Age : 57
Location : Western Australia
Registration date : 2018-02-08

PostSubject: Re: railroad spikes   August 9th 2018, 2:33 pm

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 ~

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Rick N Bama

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PostSubject: Re: railroad spikes   August 11th 2018, 10:46 am

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.

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