Charles R. Stevens

Another rail road iron anvil

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That's exactly how I plan to set it up for them to use. I've got at least one more piece of tube/plate to work with to make a 2nd one. I'm not sure yet if I'll make a 2nd 1" one, or do one that's 1 1/4" to match my 2nd anvil.

 

Kids at the tech school where I help out at, weld these tubes up as one of their projects. I managed to get the two from the scarp can one day. I have some 3" x 6" 3/8" plate from there as well that I may use to make up a bolster with different size square and round holes that can be used on it for drifting various sizes.

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By ridge do you mean a burr on one edge? If so it was rolled by the train tires over time and once the rail has worn enough gets replaced. The couple times I've used rail that worn I only cleaned the burr off. a little time at the anvil and smooth, straight, flat, etc. become less important.

I understand the machinist's perspective on close enough. I grew up in Father's metal spinning and machine shop. He did a LOT of aerospace work, some of his parts have left the solar system, on the moon, Venus, Mars, etc. anyway, I know what a machinist thinks of as slop and understand why milling a rail to acceptable is a pretty darned strong draw.

Frosty The Lucky.

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 I have often thought of fitting hardwood "scales" between the head and flange on each side of the web. That may or may not midigate some of the flex. 

for a sweet spot you could weld two pieces of the head upright between head and flange.

The bottom of the head without flange makes a nice chamfer for welding full penetration.

(at least on my rails, UIC 60)

Lots of cutting and welding but should work like a small farriers anvil

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I am upset,  the thread is only 3 pages long.  I was digg'n it, .i believe i know what to do with my RR  track now

 

nice job Charles,  looks good

 

 

Edited by FRODO,

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Ok, I'll bite.  It seems like I've seen people suggest sucker rod for everything from making bicks/horns to hammers out of it.  Am I thinking of the same stuff as you guys are talking about?  What I'm thinking of is a "rod"(more like a super heavy pipe) that comes in various sisez, has a set of "threads" (some actually have a very defined thread with a 30 degree or so taper, others more of a helically wrapped "lump") on each end, and is made of hard-ish steel with a proportionally sized hole running down the middle to suck/blow water/oil/air out of, commonly used for various rock drilling operations How do you work around the hole in the middle?  Forge weld it shut? Or just neck it down toward the end of the bick/horn?

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Nope sucker rod is used to pump oil with a donkey engine and does not have a hole down the middle of it.  It does have threaded female and male ends and is usually a good quality medium carbon steel.  (the  cost of losing the bottom of the pump string down a hole way exceeds the cost of using a good steel for the rod! )

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 Charles, silly question,  the picture looks are deceiving,  how wide is that RR track ?   

 

 

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Thanks for correcting the misnomer I picked up.  I'll pass the info along.

  The sucker rod makes alot more sense than what I was thinking you were talking about, both in name, and application as horns & hammers.

  I more often hear the stuff I was talking about called drill rod (not the precisely ground tool steel a.k.a. silver steel), but a few guys called it sucker rod, which is what was throwing me off.  We use it in the quarry to drill blast holes.  The 1" stuff is for loading small charges in boulders too large for the escavator mounted breaker (think mega jackhammer), the 3" is for multiple blast holes to make the highwall go byebye, and the 6" stuff I've only ever seen well drillers running.  I'm sure there's bigger, but I haven't seen it myself.

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Dont worry, you run in to odd names, often for very ldiffent  things in hands on industry like mining and oil. 

The flange if the rail (the part that would be down and against the sleepers is 5 1/2" wide, that is what you indicate in your picture. This part is wide and flat, but is certainly wrong way up for an anvil. Tho not for a chiseling bench. The other dementions, the hight, as instaled as rail is 6 3/4" and the head, or the part the train rides on is 3" wide and some 1 1/2" thick. The web is 3/4" at its thinest, and the flange talers in thicknes from 1/2" to 7/8", not including the filets. 

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Charles, this is a great idea. I am a beginner that just acquired a piece of track. It will definitelydefinitely turn out to be a variation on this theme. I don't have much space to set up a shop, and have been thinking that it will need to be portable/storable. This thread has given me a lot of food for thought.

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Your welcome, this project was started to inspire others. Still havent sorted a simple eligant stand. Tho I am leaning tord a steel from one can flip overs. 

Part of my insperation was not only the other smiths using rail, but also the multi purpose anvils/bicks of the bronse age. 

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I'll be xxxxxx, talk about turning the concept of a rail-anvil on its head. Great job, thanks for posting. now I know what to do with my old chunk of rail.

 

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Works well for demenstrating what can be done and used as an anvil.  The horne is a conveniant size for working 1/4" into "J"&"S" hooks as well as steak turners

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Curently lives in the tac bay of my horse trailer. 

RL, this was a thought experiment to inspire y'all to expand on the idea of a rail anvil

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Turned on end, 12" gives a very satisfying anvil under a 2# hammer, the hardy carved in to the web is a one sided bevel, so angling it at 45 deg gives an even cut and laying it flat gives a square or taperd cut depending on the half. 

The small square and round bicks work as expected. I have used the anvil in that configuration to square the toe of a shoe, as well as punch aditinal nailholes so as to mount shoes backwards. 

The small horn took a bit to get used to for adjusting the square toe branches back in to shape, the turning cams/forks are certainly easier. The straitening dish in the rail face makes short work of making cold shoes from pretsels to flat (thanks for the insperation Steve). 

With 8' of rail, one could cut of 3' and still barry 2 1/2 feet in the ground and have 3' to cut up for verius tools. Look at the rail in its component parts. You have verius shapes you can cut from the rail, the head could be a 1 1/2x1 1/2x 3" block to start a hammer.  Etc. 

Personaly a shorter hunk of rail is more user friendly. 

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Well I purchased a 8 foot peace of rail tonight I can not afford a "real" anvil so I just wanted to hear what the feed back was from using it for a little while.

If you beat hot steel into submission on it, it's a REAL anvil. Period. That's the only valid definition of anvil.

Frosty The Lucky.

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So I got in a bind Friday. Parked truck Thursday evening, then went to move it an I had no power brakes. And a full day scheduled in Pauls Vally. 

My salution was to load up Sandy's "1/2 ton Kia", but getting my 70# anvil and stand in wasn't going to happen, so about comes the "Swiss Army Anvil" lol. 

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Thank you Sandy for taking some pictures

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The only thing missing is a little bright red paint on your Swiss Army Anvil. I LOVE a good tool. Well done Charles. Good pics Sandy.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Funny that over the years I tend to like to show off "improvised" anvils at demos to show folks you don't need to shell out a ton of money for a london pattern anvil to get started in blacksmithing....I credit "Honest Bob" Cruikshank for instilling this notion in me from his SOFA demos using a chunk of shafting as an anvil.

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I think that might be a great colaberitive project, showing off tackle and kit for smiths starting out on a shoe string budget. 

Anvils, forges ect. I realize this is building on the work done in the knife making 101 project, but we need to push back against the "I saw it on YouTube" ignorance. Post here, post on YouTube and instructables wile linking back here.

sure we have to deal with a new crop of idiots and fools, but their will be some gems as well, besides we have an up and coming crop of Curmudeons to help sholder the load. 

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