Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Rail wheel?

Recommended Posts

Hey guys, i may be able to acquire a train wheel, or even a few of them.
So i was wondering, does anyone know anything about their properties? I'm not even sure about the dimensions, but about the quality of steel, it should be pretty good steel (if its not, i'm not traveling by train anymore:)).
So, if i got a few of those, i might weld them together to try and make an anvil?
Or, just use a wheel as a top plate, and do the rest of the anvil some other way. Any thoughts? :confused::)

Oh, and don't worry, it would be completely legal :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hmm, there is a lot of text to go through, and a lot of terms I'm not familiar with :)
But from a few quick glances i noticed this:

"The vast majority of railroad wheels in use today are formed entirely from 0.6 to 0.7 percent plain carbon steel cast in permanent graphite molds."


Conventional railroad wheel fabrication includes processing the rim portion of the wheel through a quenching process. That is, the rim is austenitized at a temperature in a range from about 1700 degrees to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit by rapid cooling with a liquid, such as water spray. The rim quenching process provides a fine perlitic microstructure for the steel and a desirable residual compressive state of stress in the rim about a circumference of the wheel. The fine perlitic structure is harder, and thus generally is more resistant to wear than coarser microstructures and the residual compressive stress on the wheel rim resists cracking due to fatigue and other stresses.

While quenching the rim portion of the wheel provides some contrast in the properties of the body and rim portions of the wheel, there is a limit to the different characteristics that a single material can achieve. Furthermore, there is an inherent tradeoff that is made to balance the desired properties of the different wheel portions.

So, it looks like only the rim is quenched, and the middle part isn't, does that mean i should try to harden the entire wheel?
Or, is the middle part steel still good enough to form a good anvil?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

By all means grab a wheel or two. Certainly one wheel alone is massive enough to be a good anvil. Don't get too concerned with the hardnees/heat treat. Obviouly the quenched part of the rim will be very wear resistant, but the rest of the wheel will stand up to hot work well enough as well. Hopefully, by the time you do start to deform the wheel, you will have found a traditional anvil. While you are at the train yard, get some axels as well. The six inch (150 mm) diameter axels of trains around here make great anvils for hand, treadle or power hammers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...