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I Forge Iron

Mystery metal to me


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Greetings All,

This past spring while wandering through the woods parallel to a stream, searching for antler drops, I found this heavy piece of metal. Above, was an abandoned R.R. overpass. This object was half imbedded in the stream.

No idea how long it lay there, but the rust wasn't too bad. So, I wrestled it out of the stream and lugged it back through the woods to my vehicle. It maybe weighed 70 lbs.

The measurements were as follows: 78 1/2 " x 2 1/2" x 1 1/4". The 1 1/4" was forged down to about 3/4" on the ends. I'm not sure if it was connected with trains or if it was a discarded piece off of some heavy construction equipment.

I've searched picture files of trains, freight cars, fuel tankers, etc., but nothing conclusive. I wouldn't even know where to begin or what to look for on heavy construction equipment if I were to try a search.

I found something vaguely similar online, and that object was called an archbar. But it doesn't quite look right for that, and it isn't even symmetrical. Is it some kind of spring steel? I look at it and I see a bunch of hammers, punches, drifts, hardies, and maybe a Hawk or ten. Spark testing suggests that carbon is present.

I am baffled, which isn't saying much. I hope that one of you learned Smiths here can enlighten me. - Robert











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Thank you all for replying.

Jimmy, I'll look into the mechanical linkage and draw bar terms, and I agree that the price was definitely right! Thanks for giving me some word to research. Not having the vocabulary to ask the right questions makes it hard to initiate an effective search.

Thomas, I'll do as you recommend. I was hoping that what I found might be part of the wheel suspension because of the tilde shaped pieces riveted atop the larger bars. There is a hole in the free end of said smaller piece that lines up with a hole in the larger bar, leading me to speculate that a suspension spring was mounted there. As previously stated, aside from its' asymmetry, it looked like an archbar.

Phil, no it wasn't an iron overpass. At least not presently. It may have been at some point in the past, but now is a deteriorating concrete tunnel that spans the stream under a steeply graded hill. I'll spark test a section again in addition to the heat treat. I could have sworn it sparked like carbon steel, but now I'm unsure. I did that when I found it. If it is WI, I'll have furniture for quite a few knives! Oh, and thank you for all of the alternatives you suggested for installing the mig tip in a pipe nipple. I was able to get my burner built thanks to your advice. Now I just need a Fisher regulator, an 8' high pressure LP hose, and a POL. Easy peasy. Man, I am hopelessly slow!

Again gentlemen, Thanks for your opinions and input. It is much appreciated. - Robert

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