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Ok I got this piece of RR track for free but it's a bit different than the last piece I had.
LAME BACK STORY
First anvil was RR track horizontal with a bit welded on for a "hardie". It did pretty well until I got a 100 lb vulcan. Not top-o-line, but priced right. Now I have moved away from my anvil and am trying to make another to get me by until I can go get it.
ACTUAL PERTINANT INFO
The cross section of the track I have is smaller than normal. 1.5in by 1in or so (Will post pics tomorrow if I get time) and it wasn't very hard to cut through (though I didn't cut the last piece I had). Could this possibly be some kind of trolly track not RR track? Also, I'm not very good at determining make-up of steel from sparks but this had mondo yellow/gold sparks (set my pants on fire) with lots of carbon sparklers. Face dents easily to a hammer blow but seems to work harden if not struck with a corner. Anyone seen, heard of this stuff and is it worth welding into an anvil?

any insight would be helpful

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ok got pictures...top is actually 1X2" but still small.

post-26628-0-44010000-1345645418_thumb.j

This is kind of what I'm going for...I know it's crooked now, I'll fix that before welding.

post-26628-0-46915700-1345645478_thumb.j

didn't adjust sizes, will do that later if needed. I think you can see in the thumbnail. Also I got an error saying my post was too short so I'm adding a bit to the length of it.

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Trolly rail or mine rail. Since it's soft but with appreciable carbon you can harden it you know. "Weygers gives instructions in "The Complete Modern Blacksmith" for hardening regular RR Rail, the small stuff is even easier!

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One_rod over on britishblades made a mini anvil from rail track

http://www.britishblades.com/forums/showthread.php?10065-Making-a-small-anvil.-(Lots-of-pictures)&highlight=One+rod+anvil

He hardened it in oil if I remember correctly. I copied the idea but hardened it in cold water, this has made a really tough little anvil and it is very nice to use. It doesn't dent easily and has taken some real abuse.


I think your RR track in the states is a different composition to ours though, so maybe you should harden it in oil first then go to water if it's no good.

You design seems like a good one to me! Post some pics when you finish it.
All the best
Andy

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Yes no maybe. Rail is alloyed to be work hardening so old rail can be quite a bit harder on the face than new rail. This is combined with how hard do you like your anvil faces, combined with possible uneven heat issues from cutting or welding rail before you got it or during your modifying of it.

For superior performance; hardening it properly for your tastes is suggested!

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will the preheat be above your tempering temp? Do you mind if the part right next to the upright is a bit softer?

I would not say "destroy" but "modify" and only the area close to the upright. Remember that at leas the rail is moderately high C and so your welding will need to take that into account.

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I don't have a welding machine so I'm going to see about getting a pro to do it for me. There's a guy right down the road that I'm going to take it to. Depends on what he says but I don't think it'll need to be preheated too high...the metal I'm dealing with isn't very thick, but I don't know much about welding either...

ground the top flat and cleaned up the "face". Also cut out a small "horn" It's coming along but oh so slowly. I guess it's a good thing my forge isn't ready yet or I'd really have a hard time doin it right.

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You could bolt or weld on some steel plate in the recess of the Rail, then weld the top to that to get a bit more purchase on it, if you are worried about it being thin. This would add to the overall mass too.

My forge was nothing like big enough to do mine, I build a bonfire and put the rail in the middle of it, after about an hour it had reached the right heat for heat treatment.
I never bothered to temper it. But it seems perfectly fine and like I said has taken a real beating.

Yours is a much better design bionicarm, so it should be very useable.



As for hardening, maybe it would be a good idea to slice off a couple of pieces and harden them both, one in oil, one in water then test them out. Any dents or chips would give you a rough idea what to do with it.


All the best.
Andy

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Local scrap yard has a bunch of small mine rail in it---we didn't have trolleys out here in the sticks of NM---actually we don't have sticks either except in the mountains and by *the* river...but we had plenty of mines!

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Got a short hunk of trolly rail waiting to become a stump anvil. Sort of a large double horned bick. Seems to be good quality stuff and as I will be using it for light work I have no pland to harden and temper it.

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Well I buy them at the fleamarket when I can get them for under US$10.

I was lucky enough to be able to use some real "toys" when working on the shaft. The local ABANA affiliate had a weekend demo at a professional smith's place. He had been real busy finishing off a $90,000 set of chandeliers and so hadn't prepped for the second day and offered to let folks forge instead. I just so happened to have brought along my 2.5" stock. His big propane forge got it to welding temp---we had an accidental weld in the forge we had to sledge apart...It was a warm day in the shop!

post-168-0-16377700-1346085541_thumb.jpg

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Powers, that is a beautiful picture...

well I had a local fab shop weld the "face" on. It's marvelous. I thought about heat treating but when I brought it home, I started hammering (lightly) a piece of cold steel on it. No marks, so I upped the oomph and ended up wailing on it pretty hard, no marking to speak of. I found that odd because the shop had preheated it and there are temper colors ranging from straw (on ends) to bright blue (above welds) but there was no denting anywhere... I don't see how that makes much sense but I'm not going to try and heat treat it and possibly mess up something that's working fine. Thanks for advice, Will post final pics if people want em but I think you all get the gist.

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I lucked out in that my apprentice attended that meeting as well, with his digital camera and so I have a lot of pictures of that one time, and very few of the other 30+ years...

As to tempering colours you generally want an anvil face tough rather than hard so a blue temper might be quite suitable for that alloy.

I need to do a preheat on my stake anvil and weld over the tenon area to make a flat pad and so have an "all in one" anvil as I'm trying to cut back on the weight I bring to demo's.

Thomas

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