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I have a short piece of track that was given to me and am setting it up vertically to use as an anvil. My question is would it be a good idea to heat treat it so that it is hardened first or will it work harden over time?

Thanks for your input.

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Get a copy of "The Complete Modern Blacksmith" by Alexander Weygers.  I got my copy at Barnes & Noble.  There is an entire chapter dedicated to railroad anvils.  Besides that, there is a huge amount of information in this book that every blacksmith should know.  Its a must have in any blacksmithing library.

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Good Morning,


If you wear it out, another chunk isn't too far away. I think that a life-time wouldn't be long enough to wear it out. You may want some different configurations, that is acceptable.


just my $0.02 :) :)



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When rail is made, the top running surface is flame hardened.  The rest is left soft so it can flex as the weight passes over.  The side and bottom areas would not be hardened.  However, the type of steel in rails is designed to work harden.  The more you use it, the harder it will get. 

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I knew that name sounded familiar...I had to run-off and see if I own that book. Yep! Too bad though, as I don't use it. It is really indepth and detailed. If I learned everthing in there, I wouldn't be very good at much else. I'd hate to be the guy who wrote that book. He had something to be real proud of; accomplished blacksmith. But just think of all other other things he missed out on in life attempting to be the expert at something...............


I guess I look at things differently...I dunno. 

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SReynolds; I fear you are QUITE mistaken about Weygers:



From wikipedia:

Alexander Weygers was a polymath Dutch-American artist who is best known as a sculptor, painter, print maker, blacksmith, carpenter, United States Marine, philosopher, Aerospace engineer and author.  (His wikipedia entry is worth a read: (a few excerpts)) :



Weygers was born in Mojokerto, Dutch East Indies



He graduated from Hanze University of Applied Sciences, Groningen in mechanical engineering and from a Dordrecht vocational university in shipbuilding. He also briefly attended the Royal Academy of Art, The Hague



In 1941 he entered the U.S. Army and his command of Malay, Dutch, Italian, German, and English led to his assignment to the intelligence operations



He received a patent from the U.S. Patent Office for his discopter in 1944 and his design has served as the prototype for other similar disk and hovering aircraft that have been developed up to the present day.



"Alexander Weygers as a modern Leonardo da Vinci..." and continued, "...He commands attention because he is a success by any standard of excellence in half a dozen professions... a sculptor of heroic dimensions, an inventor, a marine, mechanical, and aeronautic engineer, an artist with a camera, a designer and illustrator, and a virtuoso practitioner of endgrain half-tone wood engraving. He is also blacksmith, machinist, carpenter, electrician, plumber, toolmaker, and beekeeper. He is further a teacher and a reluctant prophet upon whom the admiring descend."

Before 1940 his work was included in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. and was recognized as an artist of national significance.



What horrors if *you* should live so limited a life!

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